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9 Criteria To Pick The Best Contact Center Outsourcing Partner

Is it possible to improve customer interaction quality while reducing stress and contact center costs? It is when you choose the right call center outsourcing company. Before you outsource customer service, use these 9 criteria to make sure you and your customers will be in good hands.

#1: Don’t settle for less than the staffing FLEXIBILITY your customer support team needs.

Customer care outsourcing service should boost your flexibility. Staffing flexibility is especially important for call center service operations whose call volumes fluctuate throughout the year, sometimes even within a single day. 

Get the flexibility you need. Steer clear of call center outsourcing companies with minimum staffing quotas. Sadly, many outsourcing solutions come with staffing quotas that can add unexpected costs and challenges. Staffing quotas turn what originally looked like a great deal into a never-ending series of headaches. 

Staffing quotas take away the flexibility you wanted when you decided to outsource your contact center operations. Don’t get into a situation where you have to choose between meeting quotas or dealing with costs you didn’t count on.

ContactGuru Solution: Our unique staffing and scheduling model gives you unmatched flexibility, even within a single day. We exclusively employ part-time, at-home agents for unbeatable staffing flexibility. These dedicated agent employees, not gig workers, deliver consistent quality control.

Plus, we don’t have minimum staffing quotas. Over decades of experience, we’ve mastered the at-home, part-time agent staffing model. We pass our flexibility on to you.  

#2: Be data-driven by asking to review their contact center performance METRICS.

Ask to see the contact center outsourcing provider’s performance metrics long before you hire them. Don’t just settle for the statistics they cherry-pick. Ask to see the full range of metrics you measure for your own high-performance customer care operation.

Do their call response times meet or exceed your own? How satisfied are their clients’ customers when they contact the outsourcing partner’s agents? How well do they retain agents as long-term employees? Do these and other performance metrics prove that they’re people-focused?

Leading contact center outsourcing partners have industry-leading performance metrics that prove they’ll deliver the experience that you and your customers deserve.

ContactGuru Solution: ContactGuru by IMS has customer satisfaction scores that lead the industry. We’ve employed at-home agents for more than 25 years. We’ve been in the business of caring for our own customers for a century. We have proven experience operating high-performance, employee-staffed contact center options, both onshore and offshore.

We’re people-focused. Our agent retention rate is 4x greater than other contact center outsourcing options. Since we’re privately-owned, we’re committed to our clients and their customers, not stockholders. As contact center operations veterans, we’re pros at hiring and retaining happy employees. 

What’s more, IMS has zero debt, which is increasingly rare in outsource partners these days. We have no need to cut corners or skip steps to save a buck. IMS makes rapid, locally-made decisions that always put you and your customers first.

#3: Choose a COST MODEL with no hidden fees or gotcha clauses.

Make sure you understand the customer service outsourcing company’s pricing model. Get the best value, not just the lowest price.

Make sure to watch out for hidden costs that could hinder service or flexibility, like minimum staffing quotas. Read contracts carefully. Avoid gotcha clauses that would prevent you from cutting ties if the partner doesn’t deliver what they promised they would.

ContactGuru Solution: Our at-home, flexible agent model is the most efficient, cost-effective, and highest-quality option you can find. We’ve done the research to build the model that has best-served the nation’s leading direct marketing companies for decades. We know that our pricing is virtually unbeatable, especially for the superior quality service we provide. With onshore and offshore options, we can meet rigorous budget demands while delivering excellent customer service. Don’t hire a contact center outsource partner without reviewing their service metrics for both onshore and offshore operations.

#4: Ensure they have CAPACITY to flex up to your steepest peaks and grow with you.

Make sure your customer care outsourcing company has capacity to handle steep peak volumes. Make sure they also have the flexibility to flex down when you want and need to.

Choose a partner who can scale as you grow. Find a partner who can service your customers across multiple channels, including phone, email, chat, SMS and social. Avoid complexity and headaches before they happen.

ContactGuru Solution ContactGuru by IMS has 2000+ virtual agents who handle 20 million contacts annually for our business clients. Decades of experience stress-tested our performance and made us better.

We’ve mastered the art of flexing up and down to meet business needs. Our contact center agents handle both inbound and outbound calls as empathetic problem solvers, driven by excellence.

We work hard, but not at the expense of employee satisfaction. In fact, more than 1 in 10 agents are referred by existing employees. We’ve got your back through steep peaks, quiet valleys and business growth for years to come.

#5: Stress test their VALUES to make sure they’ll care for customers the way you would.

Okay, we know this one is tough. Make sure you find a customer service outsourcing solution whose values and service match your own. Make sure they’ll care for your customers by asking for metrics that prove that customer care is in their DNA. 

ContactGuru Solution Our call center agents love the outsourced customer service company they work for. As a result, we retain our employee agents 4 times greater than other outsourcing options. The result? We maintain industry-leading customer satisfaction levels and quality interactions, while you gain the benefits of outsourcing your contact center operations.

#6: Evaluate their SECURITY measures.

Beyond staffing and performance metrics, outsourcing call centers must deliver on technology, tech support and security protocols to deliver a great customer experience. Ensure they have robust data protection measures in place, especially if handling sensitive customer information. Look for contact center outsourcing partners that invest in state-of-the-art technology and advanced analytics, to enhance customer interactions and provide valuable insights.

Security certifications like SOC I Type 2 and PCI Certification & Training indicate commitment to safeguarding your data and maintaining compliance with industry standards. Ask about both onshore and offshore technology, support and security measures, if you’ll be using both.

ContactGuru Solution We’re known industry-wide for having a high-quality security culture which protects clients and their customers. Here’s a list of just some security measures and standards we have in place: login provisioning, SOC I Type 2 for both onshore and offshore operations, PCI Certification & Training and locked printing ports.

In addition, we require background checks for all employee agents and require agents to sign agreements to uphold security requirements. Our documented policies for all contact center operations also ensure that we can deliver peace of mind for clients.

#7: Make sure they’ll prioritize excellent agent TRAINING to take care of your customers.

Training is a key area where contact center outsourcing partners who use contract or gig workers often fall short. Low staff retention compounds the challenge of getting agents up to speed quickly and effectively. Making sure your contact center outsource solution values and conducts excellent training. When agents are effectively trained and the partner has industry-leading agent retention, then those agents can be empathetic problem solvers for your customers.

ContactGuru Solution Since clients have varying needs, we offer options for training agents to serve your customers.

#8: Do they offer a variety of WORKFORCE MANAGEMENT models to meet your needs?

Workforce management challenges come with the territory for contact center leaders. Outsourcing should eliminate headaches, not add to them.

Before you choose a contact center outsourcing partner, ask about workforce management model options.

ContactGuru Solution Our metrics and track record speak to our ability to manage a motivated, knowledgeable, high-performance contact center workforce. Our clients choose from three different workforce management models, depending on which best meets their needs:

#9: Review client references and CASE STUDIES.

Before finalizing your decision, request client references and case studies from the prospective contact center outsourcing partner. Get firsthand insights and experiences from operations leaders who know best, those who’ve been served by the partner.

Ask about the partner’s responsiveness, adaptability, and problem-solving. Review performance data and case studies to get a clear picture of how the partner has addressed specific challenges and delivered results for the businesses they serve. This due diligence will ensure that the outsourcing partner aligns with your objectives and values.

ContactGuru Solution: Our roots are in providing contact center services for the catalog industry’s leading multi-title mailers. Since we handle 20 million contacts annually across phone, email, chat, SMS and social channels, we’ve got case studies that showcase the challenges we’ve solved.

Our clients can share ways we’ve developed ways of doing things faster, smarter, better for decades. We’re happy to put new clients in touch with operations leaders who can speak to our service and partnership.

Get the flexibility, stability, and expertise of a seamlessly-run contact center, without the worry or headaches.

Book a Call today. We’ll ask key questions about your needs and goals. We’ll outline a no-risk pilot program for you. Put us to the test, and let us show you who’s best.