Few things will be as powerful at changing your customers’ perception of your business as the quality of your customer care, so choosing a call center to handle your calls with unwavering professionalism is a decision that has enormous ramifications.

With the bewildering range of companies and options available, making a decision can seem an impossible task. The key to choosing a suitable partner is to understand your own requirements and your goals:

  • Do you need a call centre to handle customers’ enquiries or technical support? Then you are looking for an inbound call centre. If, on the other hand, you want a team to support sales and marketing campaigns, or generally call potential customers, then an outbound call centre will be the solution.
  • Are you willing to outsource your call center offshore or do you want them to be based in New Zealand? Outsourcing to countries with low wages used to be a popular option for obvious reasons, but the trend has now been reversed, as customers have been consistently expressing their general dissatisfaction about dealing with agents who can’t help them adequately because of a lack of understanding of the callers’ requirements.
  • Does your business deal with extremely sensitive information that requires a high level of security? While most call centres have very robust procedures and software in any case, if your data is extra sensitive, you may need to look for a specialised company.
  • Do you want a dedicated team or are you willing to share agents with other companies? The latter will reduce costs but if your company sells a vast number of products, or requires in-depth knowledge of your goods or services, then an exclusive team may be better suited.
  • Do you need the call centre to have experience and understanding of your industry? While it is not always strictly necessary, a knowledgeable staff will however add to the quality of the service they deliver to your customers and will handle calls efficiently and quickly.
  • Satisfy yourself that the call centre stays abreast of new technologies, as they must be able to keep up with your needs and your customers’ preferred way of communicating. You may be engaging with your customers via social networks, and if this is the case, your call centre should be able to manage them too.
  • Enquire about the call centre reporting capabilities, and agree on how they will measure their performance and goals, so that you can assess their effectiveness on a regular basis.