by Admin September 11, 2008 03:15

Recently I had lunch with a friend – a former client who was venting her frustrations with her new job, past predecessor and current vendors. During the course of our conversation, she explains that she is responsible for outsourcing 50k consumer telemarketing hours each month. She has inherited 3 call center companies and a management team that are all on different agendas and different skill sets.

Her first plan of action was to visit her vendors. Walking through the call center with the Director and a Supervisor, she was impressed with the number of people in the call center. When asked how many work stations the facility has, she is told 750. By the time she gets to her team at the far side of the call center she finds that they are packing up and on their way home. Okay – it ‘s 4:30. “Have a good night see you in the morning” as she introduced herself to the team as they headed to the door. Before going back to the conference room to check her email and voice mail she asked the call center director, “How many people do you have on my program”? “Between 50-70” she is told. One hour later she returns to the floor looking for her team. Where’s my team? They can’t be on break! She asked a supervisor standing by. We don’t have room at night due to the demands of some of their other larger clients. We just call your program during the day. STRIKE 1.

The next day she returned to the call center to spend some time with the agents and the management team. The team sounds okay and inexperienced. Her company has been working with this call center for 2 years. As she began to monitor she finds the agents to be using an outdated script, no manager was monitoring, motivating or coaching her agents. While talking to the Supervisors she realized they have less than 3 months of experience between the 2 of them. During her meeting with the agents she finds that her program is the stepping child for the other programs within the facility and that really didn’t know the senior management team. They only know their direct supervisors. STRIKE 2.

At this time I was so amazed that it began to get funny. Trust me she didn’t think so. Many of the processes supposedly in place were broken. Monitoring and verification were not being completed as required and agents were all working at their own pace. What she saw the previous day were not people functioning as a call center but a room full of people getting ready to go home. This day the entire facility seemed to be dysfunctional. She decided it was time to meet with the Senior Management team.

During this meeting she was told that they were sorry for what she had experienced. It was not typical and that the facility is quite large and they can’t be everywhere at the same time. They have had some turnover lately and they can assure her they are doing their best to fix the problem at hand. One of the management team members commented that it’s hard sometimes to manage such a small campaign. She realized she was a small fish in this pond and she needed to go back to where she found the most success. The smaller call centers where she can work with the owners (the decision makers) where size does matter and her program is going to get the attention it needs. STRIKE 3.

Make sure when you are looking to outsource, choose the company that has experience in your industry.See the technology and meet the management team.Choose the call center that takes your business as serious as you do. Treat them as a partner and as a part of your team.Their success is your success. Most of all, make sure your vendor is willing to have the flexibility and scalability that you need while maintaining the appropriate attention as promised. Don’t get caught up in all the glitz stay focused on what is right for your needs and company.

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