“Every great business is built on friendship.”  -JC Penney

JC Penney hit the nail on the head when he said, “Every great business is built on friendship”. It’s totally true — When you foster a strong, positive relationship with the customer, your business will flourish.  Of course, the way you accomplish this task is by having great customer service. Inversely, by having bad or “just okay” customer service, your customer won’t want to have a positive relationship with your business or its products at all. 

Suffice to say, great customer service is a necessity for business growth. But if your company is already on the larger end, it may become increasingly difficult to handle all your customer service requests entirely in-house. This is where outsourcing to a call center can be a great help — It takes stress off you and your employees, eliminates the overhead cost of training, and allows your customer service to be handled by a dedicated, professionally-trained team.

So, if you think outsourcing your customer service sounds like a good option for your business, this article will help you select the best customer service call center for your business needs!

Understand your options

There are two major types of call centers: Inboundand Outbound. Inbound services are best for  providing customer service and tech support (the customer calls you for help), whereas outbound is for helping you reach out to the customer.

Regardless of which type you choose, it’s very important that the call center tracks your completion and refusal stats so you know how to increase your levels of successful calls. If you’re a US-based company, consider hiring a call center based in the US as well. All too often the reps working in overseas centers speak English as a second language, which can lead to communication barriers. This means that there may be difficulty in providing customer service that is useful, knowledgeable, and professional.

Ultimately, the call center you hire should offer services that are well matched to the needs of your business, so make sure to familiarize yourself with their features and pricing.

Security

Maintaining a high degree of security is very important. For this reason, consider hiring a call center that integrates with the cloud. Installing software via the cloud is faster and less expensive than installation in-person, but the call center you choose should be able to perform both cloud-based and on-premises service.

Find out each call centers’ disaster recovery and redundancy security protocol. If you’re skeptical about the security of cloud-based services, an on-premise call center is your best option. But, a cloud-based center will be better for your business if you have representatives in multiple locations.

AI usage 

Call centers that utilize artificial intelligence are far more efficient than those that do not. AI is capable of an array of functions — Contextualizing mass data, predictive analytics of customer buying patterns, and keeping agents accountable, to name a few. Natural Language Processing, or NLP, uses complex algorithms to analyze speech patterns, determine intent, and even predict future customer actions. AI can be automated to accomplish weeks of tedious human work in much less time, which means agents can spend more time being effective and driving results.  

Know the call center’s volume limit

Before going through the rigorous task of choosing a call center, you should have your best estimate for how many calls you’ll be expecting per month. Many centers will have a minimum requirement for call volume, so if your business is on the smaller end, try to find a vendor who will work with a lower amount of calls. 

Foreign vs. domestic

The best performing call centers are often expensive, especially in countries like the US, UK, Germany, and Australia, but they may be necessary in situations where you need the absolute best customer service you can find. These centers are best for:

—Outbound Sales or Lead Generation 

—Inbound Support for high value applications

—Low call volume

—Products or services with a high profit margin

Consider business culture 

Another important consideration when selecting a call center is whether or not the center’s business culture, values, and brand coincide with yours. For this reason, most good call centers will offer you a tour of their facilities before signing a contract. Be sure to assess how engaged the representatives are in calls and how upper management manages their teams. This is generally a good indicator of cultural continuity or potential clashes. 

Choose a highly-rated call center

Great reviews are often a big deciding factor in the buying decisions. This rule applies when selecting the right call center for your business too. When creating your list of companies you may want to hire, take professional and client reviews into consideration, as well any portfolios offered on each call center website. Once you’ve done that, make a final decision based on recommendations by people who you know personally, as you can trust their recommendations to be totally honest.