Two chats at a trade show gave me shocking reminders about some of our competition. These exchanges got me thinking about how much the idea of a cheap call center will cost plenty in the long run.
Last week at a telecom trade show, I was amazed to hear what people were saying about the cost of their outsourced contact center operations, and what they get for the money. One company representative told me, “You will never beat what I am paying for in my Indian and Philippines call centers!” and when he named the price, I agreed.
I also saw the rotten deal he was getting. I responded that Callzilla's up-front price would be higher, but your overall cost will be substantially lower.
A nearshore provider like Callzilla would cost more than what he was paying in India and the Philippines center, but he'd gain back far more from better performance. When I refer to performance here, I don't mean something squishy like "brand equity". I mean quantifiable changes key performance metrics. These are shifts in things like conversions, customer retention & renewals, along with average order value.
Callzilla focuses on the fundamentals to improve these metrics: regular business reviews, quality calibrations, training, coaching, and talent acquisition.
These are areas that all contact centers should be focusing on but few are actually doing (see Hustle: Customer Service Shortcuts Get Companies Stuck in Ugly Places).
I don't expect everyone to understand all the details of how contact centers work. One of the reasons that companies outsource the work is because they want to put this crucial function in the hands of experts. I am amazed when I get glimpses of what other call center's clients experience.
Horrific Contact Center Outsourcing Service Can Seem 'really good' Without Perspective
Just last week someone asked me what an account manager is! Let's call this person Jenny, and we'll call her company's call center services provider Acme Call Center. We got to talking, and things started to take a turn for the worse.
Me: Who is your account manager is at Acme Call Center?
Jenny: What do you mean, account manager?
Me: I mean, who do you meet with to discuss the contact center's operations, performance, etc?
Jenny: Actually I just send an email to an firstname.lastname@example.org and someone replies when they can.
Me: How long, typically, does it take to get a response?
Jenny: Oh they're really good. Usually I hear back within 48 hours.
I was speechless. I couldn't believe that a contact center would have the nerve to give such poor service, even at their low price, and that the client would consider it "really good." For the record, a 48-hour response time is bad. If you’re not speaking to your call center partner frequently, ask yourself why. If you reply, "less frequent conversations are fine because my contact center hits all of the goals,” it's time to set some new goals.
If you reply that you wouldn't gain much from doing that, ask yourself why. One of the goals should be operational transparency.
Crazy Outsourcing Costs are Not Okay Either
Would the kind of experience you have with your provider be okay to give your customers? If not, it shouldn't be okay with you. Ask me what my definition of customer service is and I'll say, “exceeding your expectations.” Ask me what exceptional customer service looks like, and I'll reply, “exceeding your wildest dreams!”
I can sit here and say that Callzilla is the best, that we never mess up, and we will do better than anyone you've ever worked with, but don't take my word for it. Compare Callzilla's performance and service levels to the service you are used to and go from there. Give us an opportunity to run head to head with your current contact center operation and my commitment to you will be a low risk pilot full of great people and an expert team of support professionals.
Ryan Romero is Executive Vice President of Global Sales at Callzilla, an outsourced contact center that ICMI and Customer Magazine rank among the best. He consults with executives in a variety of industries and roles to help determine fit between Callzilla's proprietary methods, and organizations' need to improve customer service, sales, and engagement. Before Callzilla, he led several companies in the contact center and BPO space to mergers and aquisition. He's on LinkedIn and Twitter.
Also by Ryan
- Call Center Trends Not Happening: AI and AR in Agent Training
- Call Center Trends Not Happening: Mobile-Friendly Multi-Channel
- New Series: Call Center Trends NOT Happening (Why Not?)
- I'm Listening
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