Contact Center Solutions Featured Article

Contact Center Vendors Need to Be Carefully Selected, Managed to Improve Customer Experiences

October 30, 2013

Contact centers are very important in today’s business climate – given that they are often the first experience a customer will have with a business. But given that costs for contact centers also need to be reasonable, outsourcing a contact center is an interesting option.

According to one study, businesses can see a run-rate cost savings of 25 to 50 percent if they outsource their contact center.

Beyond just the savings, remember that before selecting any contact center vendor, a business needs to carefully review its options. There are many outsourcing options from which to choose. Information Services Group in a white paper called “Contact Center Outsourcing: Select and Work Differently with Contact Center Vendors” reported a few years ago that the market for contact center services was “highly fragmented. There are no dominant players, as no one firm has more than 5 percent of the market, and the largest 10 firms comprise less than a 25 percent market share. More than 350 firms offer such services.”

In addition, Accenture in a recent report urged businesses to use a contact center to improve the customer experience. Customer expectations need to be met, the report said. “The most successful companies have taken outsourcing relationships well beyond a ‘subordinated vendor’ or ‘vendor of choice’ mentality,” Accenture explained. “These forward-thinking companies are cultivating strategic relationships with an optimized mix of contact center vendors. Accenture experience shows that this type of collaborative and open business relationship can deliver the greatest value to both parties, as well as to customers.”

Accenture has come up with a Vendor Management Framework to identify vendors which are “performing well and invest to improve relationships.” Businesses are urged to eliminate “poor performing vendors.”

The report says it is also important to increase customer satisfaction and lower cost for contact center vendors. Some of these may include improving first-call resolution rates, and improving close rates for vendors.

In addition, technology and services need to be able to recover efficiently from interruptions. Also, when it comes to controls, processes and operations should be done accurately and comply with various requirements. It is also important that the vendor’s operation is well-run with efficient recruitment, resource preparation, professional development, a system of rewards, employee recognition and personnel retention, the company said. Outsourced operations and technology need to be properly monitored and managed, as well.

Prices should be predictable and transparent, too. Also, there needs to be adequate security and protection of data, so as to avoid theft or loss of data, and prevent unauthorized access or use of the data.

Contact center outsourcing is a fine option if it is properly researched and managed. Avoid the pitfalls, and both a business and its customers stand to be rewarded.

Edited by Ryan Sartor