The Importance of On-site Call Center Visits
February 23, 2017
By: Scott Newman
With so many options for outsourcing, it’s more important than ever to find a call center that is compatible with your company and its philosophy.
Executives and salespeople love selling their business but what they sell may not be the reality of what’s happening on the call center floor. You need to spend some time with boots on the ground to get an accurate picture of the reality.
Here are some ideas for approaching your site visit:
Start by scheduling enough time in the facility. Most professionals in this industry can get a good read on the culture of a call center within the first few hours, but I encourage you to spend more time than that.
Although the resorts and fancy dinners are tempting, make the most of your time in the call center and with the people who will be working on your account. Most executives will have a plan for your visit. Do they ask for your input on that plan? Are they flexible if you make a last minute request?
When you enter the call center, what’s your first impression? Does someone welcome you right away? Are they friendly? As you walk through the center, do agents on the floor seem engaged? How does management react to your interactions with agents? Is the center clean? Walk through the break-room. Are employees relaxed, happy?
Allocate enough time for focus groups. Don’t allow the management team to sit in. Most employees will be uptight and intimidated at first, but as you start engaging them in conversation, they will open up about their work, their lives, and their company. Keep it light and casual.
Here are some great questions to ask:
- Why did you choose the call center industry?
- Why did you choose this particular call center since there are others to choose from?
- How is the call center job viewed here?
- What’s the most challenging aspect of your job?
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Spend enough time away from the call center to learn about the culture of the country or market. The culture within the call center is extremely important but sometimes even more important is the culture of the country.
If they do a lot of technical support, does the country seem up-to-date on its technology infrastructure? If they do a lot of customer service, what kind of service do you get in restaurants, bars, or your hotel? It’s important because you probably won’t have the same group of agents from day one and the call center will need to recruit from the outside… so know what you’re getting.
Finally, what is your overall impression when you leave? Would you want to work at this center? Did you enjoy your time with management? You’ll be working with this group on a daily or weekly basis so be sure you are compatible. And most important, make sure you’re comfortable with them representing your company and its products or services.
Related Resource: BPO Site Visit – What You Can Learn in the First Few Minutes