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Running a Successful Outsourced Call Center: A Guide for Working with BPOs

Businesses of all sizes from all industries choose to outsource their call centers.  Whether it’s the most cost-effective option or you just don’t have the staff or skill set to manage a call center, it’s still important to be involved in this aspect of your business.

But even with just a hand in this segment of your business, you’ll still need assistance to make sure everything is running smoothly.  And if you’ve never managed a call center on your own, you may feel a little overwhelmed by the prospect of working with a BPO (business process outsourcing).

In this quick tutorial, we’ll discuss the most important elements of running a successful outsourced call center and help you manage your call center, no matter where it is located.

What’s going on in your call center?

When you’ve signed up with a BPO, there’s an agreement in place that sets up guidelines and requirements for the employees working in this segment of your business. (You probably know this as an SLA, or a service level agreement.)

An SLA can help your business set performance and quality standards for the BPO that you’ve chosen to work with.  If those standards aren’t met, your business will feel the effects.

Managing third party agents is difficult because you’re relying on someone else to do it for you but that doesn’t mean that you should sit on the sidelines and hope for the best. Tools like virtual call center software can help you take a more active role in the monitoring and management of your outsourced call center. With features historical call reporting and call recording, you can ensure that the BPO’s agents are matching (or exceeding) your the standards set forth in the SLA.

Look for inconsistencies

You and your BPO have agreed upon standards for the type of performance you’ll accept from the agents working for you. But just because your third-party agents are meeting your standards doesn’t mean there won’t be inconsistencies.

For example:

Let’s say that part of your agreement is to have agents make 50 calls a day. Each agent is making 50 calls per day, and you can see this from reviewing the call logs provided by your virtual call center software solution.

But, as you are reviewing the reports, you also notice that the average call time is extremely low. You’ll want to use tools like call recording and call monitoring to find out what’s happening on these calls. You may discover that your agents’ script isn’t working well and needs to be revamped, or that your agents are making fake calls to meet their goals. Either way, you can use the information gathered from historical call reporting to make sure that your outsourced call center is running smoothly.

Identify and track KPIs

When you hire a BPO to manage your call center, you aren’t on-site to monitor every agent call. So, you have to rely on the tools provided on your call center system and your on-site managers to keep your call center on track for success.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) like hold times, calls made per hour or day, and how quickly your agents answer the phone are important to track because they impact both your employees and the satisfaction of your customers. Third-party agents interact directly with your customers and could impact your business so it’s essential that both you and your BPO know how to track these metrics.

Outsourced Call Center Management

Utilizing a BPO is the right choice for numerous businesses. You have a third-party managing your call center but you still need to take necessary steps to manage this segment of your business remotely.

Looking for more information on working with BPOs and running a successful outsourced call center? We think you might be interested in these related articles: