Here is a list of questions you will want to consider when choosing a call center:
- Do I need 24-hour call center service? Do I need a weekend or holiday coverage of calls? If your company is not involved in providing emergency services to the public, it may not be necessary to provide 24-hour, weekend or holiday coverage.
- Do I need a call center that has "live" personnel or should I consider a lower cost "virtual" call center? If your company is mainly web-based, a virtual call center may meet your needs. Make sure to consider your customer's needs when answering this question.
- Are there any special skills or languages required of call center personnel? Be sure to document these requirements and determine if the call center can provide the level of expertise you require.
- What type of calls do I need the call center to cover? Consider having the call center handle only calls that can be answered with a script or a standardized process. Can the call center handle forwarding calls back to your internal customer service center when experienced personnel need to handle problems that fall outside this defined area?
- Is there a cost benefit of hiring a call center? Calculate all potential costs and compare them to any anticipated revenues to determine if there is a positive outcome. If there are only expenses with no anticipated revenues, calculate the costs and compare them to equivalent personnel costs including benefits.
- Where do my products appear in the product life cycle and what factors must be considered depending on this stage?
- Companies with products in the Introduction cycle are concerned with building market share. Does the call center have the ability to make "cold calls" in order to build a customer base? Consider hiring a call center if you are a "start-up" so that your company appears to be bigger than it is.
- A company with products in the growth stage of the product life cycle experiences an increase in demand for products. This creates a demand for more order processing resources. Does the call center have adequate resources to handle order processing? Does the call center's system integrate with yours so that orders can be processed in real-time and immediately sent to order fulfillment?
- When products enter the mature and decline life cycle stages, more competition makes it necessary for companies to lower costs and consider budget cuts. Ask yourself what personnel can be eliminated and transitioned to a call center.
There are many advantages to hiring a call center, such as A-1 Message Center. Asking these questions will ensure that you have chosen the right call center for your business.