WRITTEN BYMadison M.
If you have experience working with BPOs, you understand how challenging it can be to find the right contact center partner. And if you’re new to the process, well, take it from those who’ve been there - it’s no walk in the park. However, I don’t say this to deter you. Outsourcing has many benefits, especially when you find the right partner.
While it can be hard to find, select, and vet the right contact center partner for your business, it can also be extremely rewarding and help take your customer support to a new level - a level that can be difficult to reach with an internal support team alone. Some of these benefits include mitigating operational risks, lessening overall support costs, saving valuable time that can be re-focused on more strategic planning, and making your team overall more resilient to changing demands. Download our guide on Creating Resiliency in your support operations using the T.E.A.M. Approach.
As a marketplace of contact centers, ArenaCX is all too familiar with the complexities of the outsourcing process. That’s why we designed a system that makes it easier for businesses to safely and easily outsource without the time it takes to vet and onboard partners.
With all of this experience up our sleeves, we’ve learned which traits are critical for creating a strong partnership. While each business has its own unique needs, here are 3 universal traits that all good contact center partners share.
Lesson #1: Security and Fundamentals
First, and arguably the most important, is ensuring your contact center partner meets some fundamental business priorities. Essentially, making sure they check all the legal boxes on regulatory compliance and data security. You obviously do not want to find yourself in a sticky situation if a partner’s system gets hacked and your customer data is exposed. Imagine the PR nightmare your company would face, not to mention the distrust your customers (if they even stay customers) will have for you. It’s absolutely critical to make sure that a potential partner has a secure system if there was an attack on those systems.
If they can’t prove their data is secure, or they’re not 100% up-to-date on the latest recommended security measures, they’re not the right partner for your business.
Lesson #2: Strong History and Track Record
Nothing is more trustworthy than having proof to back up what your potential partner is claiming. Have they ever had a data breach? What do their other partners say about them? Do they have a good repertoire and are they known for being trustworthy?
It’s so important to do your research on their past performance and any major hiccups in their service. If they had a hiccup, did they do everything they could to make it right? Accidents happen and as many leaders know, things don’t always go to plan, but how a company responds to those bumps is a huge consideration when trusting them with your business.
A large reason people choose to outsource is to avoid the internal overhead and staffing complexities, especially as demand is not always easy to predict. It’s important to ensure that the partner you choose has a proven ability to scale staffing when you need the additional resources.
But not only is it important that they are capable of producing the agents you need, but that those agents are well-trained and provide a good experience for your customers. Make sure you’re happy with the KPI and SLA performance before moving any further.
Finally, it’s always a good idea to talk to current and former customers to get a good sense of their experience working with that BPO. Testimonials from real customers is one of the best ways to confirm that the partner you’re considering is a strong match for you and your company.
Do your research and find real people who use or have used this company. What people say about working with that company is a good indication of the way they view partnerships and treat their customers.
Lesson #3: A Strong Fit
Whether you’re someone who is adding another BPO to your network of existing partners, or this is your first time outsourcing, remember there is a reason you started looking. You need a partner who can satisfy a missing piece to your organization. Perhaps you’re looking for an additional partner to cover a channel that your other partner(s) can’t.
For example, maybe you just opened up to a new market and there is now a language barrier that your current partner can’t breach, or you need a partner with a different specialized skill than your current partner offers.
No matter what you are looking for in a partner, it is important to ensure that your partner is a strong representative of your brand. This means that they understand your values and are enthusiastic about acting in the best interest of your company.
If you’re new to outsourcing, your needs may be broader and less specific. Maybe your internal team simply doesn’t have the capacity to handle all your tickets and you’re starting to realize that the constant circle of hiring, training, scheduling, and laying off isn’t a sustainable way to operate.
If this sounds like you, it can be extremely overwhelming trying to make sure your support goals are apparent to your potential partners. Not sure where to start? Start by asking yourself these 4 questions:
- Have you received any recommendations/heard positive feedback about this company from a trusted source?
- Does this company cover a specific need you’re looking for? (i.e. a channel, geographical, language, or industry vertical)
- Does this company have experience working with your current ticketing system?
- Does this company have the needed regulatory certifications or other specialized capabilities that I’m looking for?
While searching for just the right contact center, don’t lose sight of the reason you started looking in the first place. Make sure that the gap you’re looking to fill will be made whole by the candidate you’re considering.
With so many options to consider, we know picking the right contact center for you is not always easy. If you’re struggling through contact center selection or becoming frustrated with the long RFP process and sticky contracts, consider ArenaCX. ArenaCX offers a way for you to trial different contact center partners so that you can be sure they work for you before you commit to them.
With an entire marketplace of contact centers, we offer access to multiple BPO partners to handle any ticket ranging from non-technical, to technical, to account-based. Interested in learning more?