When owners of outsourcing call centers and managers of corporate call centers consider tapping the expertise of a call center consultancy, one of four responses occurs. Sometimes, as is the case with the first three reactions, their initial thoughts are not their final one. In fact, some decision makers progress from the first perspective to the second, and then to the third, before landing on the fourth option. Consider these four reactions to the idea of hiring a call center consultant: We Don’t Need a Call Center Consultant: The most common response to hiring a call center consultant is “we don’t need one.” Sometimes this stems from arrogance that the call center already functions with a high level of excellence and has nowhere left to grow. Other times this reaction has its root in ignorance, that a consultant will just be a waste of time and money. In reality usually the worst performing call centers adopt this attitude. They could most benefit from the guidance of a call center consultant, but they fail to recognize their need for help. Theoretically, there could be a high-performing operation that has nothing new to learn. However, with the ever-changing industry and continually evolving business environment, there are always new skills to master and loftier objectives to pursue. Even the best call centers can improve. We Can’t Afford a Call Center Consultant: Some call centers would love to have a professional call center consultant guide their operation to higher levels of performance. But when they see the price tag, their enthusiasm wanes. Often they see consultants as a zero-sum game, where hiring a consultant means going without something else, such as a system upgrade, additional capacity or capabilities, or even hiring more staff. Wise consultants understand this. Ask them if they can first focus their attention on money-saving situations with a quick RIO (return on investment) or on money-generating opportunities to produce a quick payout. In essence, tap their skills to first make it possible to pay them. Then address other needs such as quality service, sales and marketing, technical needs, infrastructure optimization, and so forth. We’ll Hire a Call Center Consultant Next Year: Waiting for next year could be a simple delaying tactic, which they repeat in twelve months—and again in twenty-four. In doing so, they forever put off their decision to engage a call center consultant. However, some managers need time to build a call center consultant into their annual budget. This is often the case with corporate call centers and especially healthcare call centers that are part of a large organization. Experienced call center consultants understand this. They’ll be happy to put together a proposal this year, which will find traction next year. This won’t present a problem for a consultant with a long-term view and stable client base. We’re Ready to Hire a Call Center Consultant Now: Some call centers are ready to hire a consultant right away. They comprehend the value proposition that consultants offer, and they’re anxious to see the results. Interestingly, these forward-thinking call centers are often already top-tier operations. They serve callers with excellence, attract quality staff, and meet annual performance objectives. But they want to do better, and see a consultant as the fastest way to get there. Every call center can benefit from hiring a call center consultant, but not every call center knows this or is ready. Janet Livingston is the president of Call Center Sales Pro, a premier call center consultancy, whose team possesses decades of call center and relevant business experience. Contact Janet at email@example.com or 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.