While having a call center on site may be ideal for some companies, it’s simply not realistic for others. Perhaps you don’t have adequate space for a call center, or you don’t want to overwhelm your human resources office with the task of hiring temporary employees for a telemarketing campaign.
If you want to keep control of your marketing program but you can’t have the sales team on site, one option is to outsource. Outsourcing involves working with sales companies that manage multiple telemarketing campaigns and other campaigns related to customer service.
Do Your Research
Before selecting the company you want to manage your call center, speak to several different vendors. Explain the purpose of your campaign and ask if they have handled similar marketing campaigns in the past. If so, request references.
By all means, ask the vendor about price, but remember that the lower priced vendors may not have the quality of some of their higher priced competitors. Think long and hard before you decide to trade quality for savings.
Giving up quality when it comes to customer service can be a dangerous decision. Inattentive or rude agents or telemarketers can cost you far more in lost sales than you will have saved by selecting the less-attentive vendor.
Be a Fly on the Wall
Before you sign an agreement with a vendor, ask if you can listen in on some of their calls to make sure they are treating the callers with the respect and courtesy that you would like shown to your clients. If you hear or see anything that sets off alarm bells, it’s probably better to take your business elsewhere.
If you’ve outsourced more than one function of your business, such as customer relations management or the handling of social media functions, make sure the vendor’s software and telephone systems are compatible with those of your other providers. Trying to force two mismatched programs to work in harmony can be a headache for everyone involved.
Check in with Your Customers
It’s a good idea to have your in-house agents periodically check with customers contacted by the outsourced center. Make sure your customers are pleased with the treatment they received. If you start to hear about issues, at least you will have caught the problem early so that you can either resolve it with the vendor or take your business elsewhere.