We’ve all asked the question: “When will I find the right call center partner?”
Maybe you’ve searched endlessly for a BPO partner that felt right. Or you’ve been wondering about meeting someone new, a BPO partner that’s nice, that makes you feel important — but no luck.
Meanwhile, all of your friends are posting happy pictures of their blossoming BPO relationships, scaling revenue and efficiency in great destinations like the Caribbean and the Philippines.
“Why can’t I have that?!?”
It can be disheartening to open yourself up time and time again only to be let down. And, worse yet, you feel like you’re doomed to grow old with a BPO partner that doesn’t meet your needs.
But don’t worry.
Truth is, there’s a huge difference between BPO providers that can technically offer what you’re looking for and the perfect call center that delivers exactly what you need. You don’t have to settle.
Take the Perfect Call Center Quiz
To help you find the “perfect” partner (or reassess your current partner), fill out our “Perfect Call Center” quiz below, which will score your BPO provider across these key categories:
- Industry Experience
Just keep track of your answers as you go along and we’ll add up your scores at the end.
1) Call Center Location
Location preferences will vary between clients, but it’s important to establish (and share) your priorities with potential partners or current BPO providers. Whether you want a proximally close call center or a partner that can globalize your efforts, location will always be a factor.
When it comes to the perfect outsource call center partner, it’s all about location, location, location!
How would you rate your call center location?:
- A) +5 points: “They’re VISA…everywhere we want to be. Plus, top-of-the-line facilities.”
- B) +3 points: “Up-and-coming. We like the location and we’re confident the region will grow along with our changing needs.”
- C) +1 point: “The location is great, but we’re unsure the surrounding area (infrastructure and agent pool) will be able to support our needs long term.”
- D) -1 point: “Kids! Get in the station wagon — we’re not staying here!”
2) Call Center Industry Experience
Walking the walk is better than talking the talk — experience matters —and it’s a great differentiator for finding your perfect call center partner.
For example, a BPO that handled returns and exchanges for educational software may claim to have gaming industry expertise, but it’s not the same as a BPO that managed CX and in-game support for a gaming company with a product similar to yours.
What best describes your BPO’s industry experience?:
- A) +5 points: “They’re the sage at the mountaintop. I can’t imagine a more experienced partner in our specific industry.”
- B) +3 points: “Boy, they’re popular! While not an expert in our industry, they boast so many satisfied clients across so many verticals — they just seem to get it.”
- C) +1 point: “They ask great questions about our industry. And they carefully explain how they believe they can help. But there isn’t a whole lot of proof of expertise. ”
- D) -1 point: “I’m not sure they even know what our industry does — they just keep saying “profit center” a lot.”
3) Call Center Culture
Call center culture is the culmination of a lot of elements, both anecdotal and tangible, from agent collaboration, issue responsiveness, or overall customer experience. It’s no secret that a great culture creates an environment that attracts and retains enthusiastic, skilled agents – the key to providing top CX. But exceptional culture goes beyond employee satisfaction and creates a positive impact throughout the community.
Any BPO partner will leave tons of breadcrumbs that can help illuminate the overall culture of your call center. Make sure you take note of how it feels working with them, as well as how easy it is to achieve goals.
Both success and client satisfaction reveal the quality of your BPO’s culture.
Describe your BPO partner’s working culture like they were a wedding guest:
- A) +5 points: “Best Man/Maid of Honor. They know everyone’s name. They‘re a close confidante. I trust that most things are better when they’re involved.”
- B) +3 points: “Parents. Some ups and downs — but no way we hit our goals without them.”
- C) +1 point: “Cousins through marriage. I can’t say we’re that close — but when the music starts playing, they’re right next to us on the dance floor.”
- D) -1 point: “Uncle Frank. Yeah, let’s just keep an eye on Uncle Frank.”
4) Call Center Pricing
Pricing will always be one of the first considerations for a BPO partner, whether you’re looking for cost control, value, or opening your budget to generate better results.
In fact, different models make the pricing conversation a much deeper exercise. Outsourcing isn’t just about cutting costs, it’s about ROI. The perfect fit call center will improve performance while making a positive impact on your bottom line.
If your call center partner was a game show, which one would it be?:
- A) +5 points: “Price is Right. We’ve somehow managed to win big without going over on price!”
- B) +3 points: “The Gong Show. Our sales are going up (so our gong gets hit more often), and we’re excited to turn our attention toward other goals.”
- C) +1 point: “Let’s Make a Deal. Because we’re excited to work with our BPO, but it feels like we don’t know what’s behind any of the doors.”
- D) -1 point: “Jeopardy. It feels like we’re wagering money and there’s a chance we could end up in the negative if we’re wrong.”
5) Call Center Service
Selecting the right BPO provider is critical to your company’s success, as it feeds directly into your customers’ experience.
To elevate your brand and promote customer loyalty, the perfect call center will serve your customers in the languages and channels they desire. The perfect call center will also boast agents that are exceptional advocates for your business and your customers.
When you ask your BPO about current service, what do they say?:
- A) +5 points: “CSAT is up. AHT is down. Calls are being answered in under 20 seconds. Here’s what we’re doing next!”
- B) +3 points: “CSAT is up. AHT is down. Calls are being answered in under 20 seconds. Want to do something next?”
- C) +1 point: “I emailed you the KPI dashboard report with our results. Take a look and let me know what you think?”
- D) -1 point: “I could give you a lot of numbers and acronyms — but those are just vanity metrics. Oh, real metrics?” (*crickets*)
6) Call Center Language
Establishing a call center relationship with a BPO or language service provider (LSP) means your customers will be heard and helped swiftly. Whether you serve a multilingual audience or are seeking specific language skills, the perfect call center fit should be fluent in your business needs.
How well does your BPO partner meet your language needs?:
- A) +5 points: “Our BPO offers a large pool of highly-fluent, skilled agents to meet our language needs. And we pay less because they’re a mid-market vendor with many native speakers.”
- B) +3 points: “Our call center partner is big enough to meet our specific language needs, but the cost is a bit more because their agents are specialized in our priority language.”
- C) +1 point: “We can find agents to serve all our language needs — but we don’t really know if we’re creating stronger connections with our customers along the way.“
- D) -1 point: “Agent fluency and customer service remain our biggest challenges to tackle.”
7) Call Center Flexibility
Your priorities will inevitably change, evolve, or (*gasp*) stack up. So the perfect BPO partner needs to be flexible enough to assist. When you inevitably have a need to scale quickly, you need to be accommodated quickly – not waiting in line behind larger clients that the call center may deem more important.
But being flexible is more than just capably changing directions — it’s as much about adjusting in a way that prevents undue stress or inefficiencies along the way.
Most call centers can adapt to your shifts in strategy, but the perfect call centers will make it feel seamless.
How flexible is your BPO partner?:
- A) +5 points: “Cirque du Soleil”
- B) +3 points: “Like Sundays with no plans”
- C) +1 point: “Their motto: bend just enough not to break”
- D) -1 point: “Somewhere between a saltine and that friend who put ‘Type A’ in their LinkedIn bio.”
8) Call Center Staffing
Most BPOs will promise that they have ample staff ready to scale to meet your needs, but can they prove it? Especially in today’s market, talent acquisition and reducing attrition are two of the biggest challenges for any call center, and your partner should be able to demonstrate that they go the extra mile when it comes to staffing. After all, those agents will be the public face of your company.
Which best describes your call center’s approach to hiring and retention?
- A) +5 points: “Our BPO partner clearly prioritizes the employee experience and attrition is well below the market average. In fact, I’m a little envious of their agents because of the amenities and work environment the call center has created.”
- B) +3 points: “They’re transparent about their hiring challenges, and have shared the innovative steps they are taking to attract and retain top talent. So far, we haven’t felt any negative impact.”
- C) +1 point: “It’s a roller coaster. They are usually able to provide enough agents, but the situation always feels a little precarious. If we needed to scale quickly I don’t know if they could handle it.”
- D) -1 point: “They suddenly stopped including attrition numbers in their reporting, and quickly change the subject whenever we try to bring it up.”
Is Your Call Center “Perfect”
Maybe you’re taking this test because you’re new to the BPO market, or because your eyes have begun to wander from your current provider. Tally up your score and see how your outsource call center stacks up:
- 35 or Above: We get it — sometimes the grass seems greener on the other side. And while no call center is truly “perfect,” they may be perfect for you.
- 25 – 34 Points: Respectable score. But room for improvement. Question is: Can you truly change them? If not, there’s plenty of fish in the sea.
- 15 – 24 Points: Maybe it all started when you were young and naive — but you deserve better now. Start looking.
- 14 or Lower: Brutal honesty time: You need to make change. Luckily, we can help!
Did you get a perfect score – without cheating? Then congratulations! You’ve accomplished what a lot of organizations believe is impossible. You’ve found the perfect fit outsource call center. You’re not settling for “good enough” or overlooking shortcomings because you assume those issues will exist with any partner.
For everyone else, your perfect fit outsource call center is out there – you just haven’t found it yet. And that’s probably because looking for a BPO partner is a lot like trying to find a needle in a haystack – while you’re also trying to stay on top of your other responsibilities. The obstacle isn’t a lack of qualified vendors, it’s the time and resources it takes to conduct a thorough search to find that elusive needle.
There’s another option. Outsource Consultants has over 150 combined years of experience in the BPO industry. We know that haystack like the back of our hands, so we know how to find an outsource call center that’s the perfect fit for your organization. There’s no charge for our BPO search services, so there’s absolutely no risk.
Ready to find your perfect match outsource call center? Start with a no-risk, no-fee consultation today!