BPO is a common acronym in the call center world. It stands for business process outsourcing, a term used to describe the hiring of a third-party to complete a business operation.
BPO call centers partner with clients to process a company’s incoming and outgoing consumer calls.
How is a BPO Call Center Beneficial?
Many companies migrate to BPO contact centers for their customer service needs. In today’s world, individuals aren’t only calling for support; they’re utilizing more digital channels such as SMS texting, chat, and email.
Contact centers offer a wide variety of support options under one umbrella. In fact, if you know what you’re looking for and you choose the right BPO call center for your company, the benefits are well worth it.
According to statistics, 78% of companies feel positive about their outsourcing partnerships. So, how do you know which provider is the perfect fit for your business?
Questions to Ask BPO Providers
Choosing the right BPO provider for your business is as easy as asking the right questions. Doing so ensures that your goals align for success. Consider these questions:
1. How Many Agents and Managers Does Your Project Need to Maintain a Strong Team?
Asking about the provider’s overall strength and capabilities gives you insight into their internal structure. Once you have your answer, compare it with your goals and timeline. Do they have the capability to meet and exceed your expectations?
2. How Often Can We Expect Updates and Reports?
Reporting is a major consideration when allowing other parties to do your work for you. If you want transparency throughout a project, you need a provider that communicates with you regularly.
Asking this question also gives you a better overview of the provider’s scope and level of experience. You want a call center that sends reports on a predetermined schedule dictated by you and your company.
Even with a schedule, you should have access to information whenever you need or request it.
3. Do You Offer Live-Listening?
BPO providers offer recorded transmissions of calls before they’re made. Some also offer the option to listen in on a live call, giving you added peace of mind knowing that all calls are handled accurately and professionally represent your company.
4. Are Your Agents Supervised In-Person, Remotely, or Domestically?
Inquiring about location allows you to clarify exactly where your call center agents and supervisors reside. Some companies prefer fluent English-speaking agents located in North America.
It’s often best to hire agents that reside within your own time zone to better accommodate your customers. Additionally, local agents improve the customer experience with knowledge of the local area, its laws, and any other relevant information to the caller.
5. How Will You Ensure Your Agents Properly Convey My Products or Services?
Agents never get a second chance to make a first impression. When you hire a BPO provider to communicate with customers on your behalf, their agents represent you and your company.
Ask the provider about their internal culture and training. It may also open a conversation about their quality assurance processes, giving you a clearer understanding of the call center’s processes and procedures – including how agents are monitored, scored, and coached.
6. How Do You Monitor Program Results and Incorporate Needed Changes?
Asking about further evolution and improvement gives you clarification on how proactive the provider is. Inquire about staffing as well, for example, if you may need to scale up or down during the project. Gain clarification as well on how the company handles script revisions and how long they take to implement.
The answers to these questions help guide business owners just like you through an efficient and effective decision-making process.
BPO Call Center Implementation
Once you select your new BPO call center, the implementation process begins. With any corporate change, you want to have a plan and a strategy. You’ll hand over an important part of your business to a third-party vendor.
Set yourself and your program up for success by maintaining open communication and laying out your strategy and goals upfront. You’re bound to encounter problems but continuing communication and working together through them is the best way to get a good start.
When you begin your BPO call center implementation process, expect a process in roughly 5 stages:
Stage 1: Information Share
A comprehensive discovery process allows your new BPO provider to pinpoint your business’ current and future needs as they pertain to BPO services. The goal of this first stage is to exchange detailed information as well as the materials needed to teach the BPO staff about your processes.
Important items for consideration include FAQs, scripting setups, and any other materials you feel are necessary for running a successful program.
Stage 2: Account Setup
With your help, your BPO provider creates personal log-ins for their staff members to use any of your software they may require. This allows the provider to help train them to be the highest performing employees for your business.
Stage 3: Collaborative Meeting
To help kick off your program, hold a meeting with your primary stakeholders. Use this time to build out the account, laying out all expectations and goals as well as assembling all needed materials from both parties.
Create an outline of anything else you expect of your BPO provider. Open communication is key to a successful campaign.
Plan live webinars or on-site visits so you have a deep understanding of the processes of your new BPO partner. From this point forward, stay as integrated with the process as you like – up to production and beyond.
Stage 4: Staff Training
One of the most important steps is the training of staff, equipping them with the knowledge and tools they need to successfully execute your business processes.
As the BPO staff reach a point of fluency, the nesting phase begins. Agents take live calls from your customers with close oversight. You can even be part of this crucial process as you and your provider determine how best to serve your customers.
Stage 5: Full Production
Once training ends, full production begins. BPO staff are now skilled experts and highly knowledgeable about your company culture, your products, and your services. At this point, they’re ready to become an extension of your company.
When they begin answering your calls, they should have a peer trainer with them for some time so your agents continue to receive guidance and help. Regular feedback from management, as well as the QA teams, should always be given.
Once your program is fully online, schedule QA meetings regularly and ask for detailed reports on effectiveness.
Skip the Hard Part and Choose a Trusted BPO Provider
While it’s still important to ask questions and prepare yourself, there’s often not enough time to research. You might need call support as soon as possible – and you’ll need a provider that can ramp up services immediately.
AnswerNet allows our clients to hear live calls and read transcripts, allowing you to make an educated determination of how successful our agents are in representing your brand.
You have the tools and knowledge you need to choose and implement a successful BPO partnership. Know that AnswerNet offers a wide variety of BPO services. If you want to learn more, schedule a no-obligation consultation today!