What Information Should You Provide a Broker When Switching Call Center Providers?

In a prior post we discussed what to give your call center broker for your first project. This time we’ll address what information you should provide to a call center broker when switching call center providers. By supplying your call center broker with this information, you will equip them to find the best possible call center to match your needs and resolve the issue that is causing you to switch. Why Are You Changing Call Centers? Be upfront with the reason you want a new call center. This will provide your future call center with a clear picture of what they need to do to win your business and retain it. Keeping this information secret, even if it might be a bit embarrassing, will make things more challenging with your new call center. Being honest now will pay off later. What Do You Like About Your Current Call Center Provider? Detail the things you appreciate about your current provider. This will help your call center broker make a list of key requirements for your future provider. Be specific. Don’t assume the things your present call center does well are things all call centers do well. Each call center is different, and each one has its own strengths and weaknesses. Identify what you like, so it can be repeated. What Don’t You Like About Your Current Call Center Provider? This question is probably easy to answer, because the things you don’t like about your current provider are likely what’s driving you to change. When compiling this list, don’t be negative or overly critical. State the facts in a non-emotional manner too clearly indicate what irritates you about your present provider. This will equip your broker to look for call centers that can address your concerns. How Do You Want to Transition Between Call Centers? This is an important issue to address. Do you envision a flash cut? Do you want to orchestrate a strategic transition over several days, weeks, or even months? Call centers prefer one approach over the other, because your answer impacts staffing, scheduling, and training. What Are Your Basic Parameters? Just as with a company outsourcing for the first time, there are some baseline questions you should communicate with your call center broker:

  • What are your goals for the call center to achieve? Letting them know your expectations is the surest way to see outcomes align with your criteria.
  • How will you measure success? Let them know what metrics are important to you and how they will be calculated. Misaligned evaluation benchmarks are the shortest path to disappointment.
  • What is your traffic? Since you currently use a call center, you have historical data about your call volume. Communicate this clearly to your call center broker so the call centers bidding on your project can provide an accurate quote.
  • What is your budget? You know what your present call center charges. Do you seek to maintain the same cost level? Are you willing to pay more to meet your objectives? Or do budget constraints necessitate a cost reduction?
  • What is your time frame? Are you in a hurry to switch? Remember that an expedited transition schedule carries a higher cost and increases the risk of the call center not being ready to take your calls on day one.

Provide this information to your call center broker, and they will be equipped to find the ideal call center provider to serve you. If you try to skip this step, you’re apt to experience a disappointing outcome. Janet Livingston is the president ofCall Center Sales Pro—a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry—that provides a call center matchmaking service, covering both onshore and offshore call centers and answering services. Contact Janet at contactus@callcenter-salespro.com or call 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan  is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.