Finding the best contact center to handle your outsourced customer care is a multidimensional process. In our last blog post, we offered up tips for streamlining the contact center RFP writing process. In this post, we look at some of the soft factors that can affect your decision-making process post-RFP. When it gets down to the short list of outsourcers to evaluate as possible partners, visiting the physical contact center is a must. A site visit represents your investment in the potential partnership and it offers insights you simply can’t get through any other element of the process. After all, you want to have the peace of mind that your contact center vendor will actually “walk the walk.”
Don’t just consider what’s on the surface; examine the vendor’s underlying foundation by keeping an eye on these subtle signs when visiting the contact center.
1. Collaboration or control. Does the vendor ask for your input on agenda before the visit or are they dead set on giving you their canned “show”? Is the potential vendor demonstrating a predisposition to collaborate and willingness to customize? Or are they showing you just the opposite? How willing are they to bounce ideas off you from the outset?
2. Welcoming vibe. How are agents and coaches reacting to visitors in the production area? These are the folks who are going to take care of your customers – are they warm and friendly in person? Is there an atmosphere of hospitality running through your visit from the production floor up?
3. Body Language. What messages are you receiving from the body language of agents and employees? Is there tension in their body language? Disinterest in what’s going on around them? Or is there a sense of relaxed engagement?
4. Selling or Doing. How involved are the operations folks in the sales pitch? Are the sales people doing all the talking? Does the sales pitch about the great company culture match what your see and hear on the production floor?
5. Truth and trust. What are spontaneous discussions with agents or employees telling you about the center? How does the sales team react to spur of the moment interactions with employees? Are they holding their breath or are they encouraging the contact? If you set up time to speak with agents one-on-one or as a group – does the management/sales team leave you alone with agents? Or do they linger in an effort to influence the agent input?
6. Gut Check. How would you feel introducing the contact center’s management team to your senior management? Can you see yourself working with these vendors on a day-to-day or week-by-week basis for the long-term? Can you imagine trusting your customers to the people you met on the site visit? Does the contact center culture feel like a good complement to your own?
A stroll through vendor’s center gives decision-makers an opportunity to assess whether they are the right fit for interacting with your customers and the right fit to become an extension of your own team. If you are interested in seeing a contact center operation firsthand, request a contact center tour.