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Why Now is the Perfect Time to Start Contact Center Budgeting and Planning for 2015

by Mike Hasler in Contact Center Budgeting, Mike Hasler

It’s the middle of summer – time for vacations, barbeques and trips to the beach. But it’s also the perfect time to start contact center budgeting and planning 2015.

I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying, “Don’t wait until you’re thirsty to start digging the well.” This is especially true when it comes to your annual contact center budgeting. Whether your current outsourcing contract is expiring soon, or you are looking into the benefits of outsourcing your company’s customer service for the first time, here are three reasons why now is the perfect time to get started.

1.   If you wait until you’ve outgrown your current solution, you’ve waited too long.

A great product or service and world-class sales and marketing will never make up for a sub-par customer experience. Research by RightNow (acquired by Oracle in 2012) has shown that 82% of consumers have stopped doing business with a company after a poor customer experience. And 89% of customers have begun doing business with a competitor for the same reason. Growing call volume leads to longer wait times, which leads to more dropped calls and potential spillover into social media and email. Is it worth the risk to wait?

 

2.   If you wait until you are on the verge of outgrowing your current solution, you risk rushing the RFP process.

Outsourcing your call center is a long-term decision that directly impacts your most precious resource – your customers. That’s why it is critical to find the right partner, not just in terms of price, but in terms of agent selection, training and development; technology, processes and reporting; and company culture, clients and track record. This requires putting together an RFP that asks the right questions and gives you a full and accurate picture of the vendor.

Also, once you have narrowed the list of contenders, you need to give yourself time for a site visit. This is a must. It not only represents your investment in this most important partnership, but it will also give you a perspective you just can’t get on paper. You need to meet the agents in person and see them in action. These will be the people your customers come in contact with, so you should see who they are and how they work.

3.   If you want genuine rather than generic answers, you need to give the vendors enough time to respond.

Over the years, I have seen every possible variation of a contact center RFP timeline. One thing is consistent, though: if you don’t give enough time for a thorough response, the answers you get are more likely to be generic, “cut and paste,” vanilla boilerplate. This is not much better than making your decision based on the marketing content from their websites. If you take the time to ask tough questions, give vendors the time to return thoughtful answers.

If you are ready to start  contact center budgeting for 2015, reach out to us. We’ll be happy to learn about your situation and how we might be able to help.

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