Finding the Right Fit: How to Choose the Best Contact Center Outsourcing Partner


April 5, 2024

Written by

John Calongcagon

Customer service is crucial in maintaining a successful business in today’s interconnected marketplace. Organizations always seek innovative solutions to maintain high customer support standards while enhancing operational efficiency. One such solution is contact center outsourcing. 

Contact center outsourcing falls under the umbrella of business process outsourcing (BPO). It centers on delegating customer support and service functions to specialized external providers. Contact center companies have the expertise and resources to handle customer concerns and foster seamless customer interactions.

Unlike traditional call center outsourcing companies, contact center outsourcing providers are not limited to voice-based interactions. They operate on a broader range of communication channels, such as phone, email, and live chat, to match the evolving customer preferences and needs.

Competition has become fiercer in today’s globalized marketplace. Fortunately, contact center outsourcing provides a cost-effective, scalable, and round-the-clock solution to businesses of any size. It enhances customer experiences, drives operational excellence, and fosters business growth. Therefore, partnering with the right outsourcing provider is imperative to reap these benefits and more.

Here’s a seven-step process on how to choose the perfect partner for your business:

Step 1: Understanding Your Contact Center Needs

understanding contact center needs

Simply identifying pain points is not enough. Having a deep understanding of your organization’s contact center needs is the initial step in the outsourcing journey. 

Here are a few steps you can take to determine your organization’s contact center needs:

  1. Identify Your Goals and Objectives

Start by clearly defining your goals in outsourcing contact center operations. These goals may include reducing response times, improving customer satisfaction, streamlining business operations, or entering new markets.

Articulate goals and objectives can help you create a roadmap for potential outsourcing partners to match their capabilities with your company’s visions.

  1. Assess Your Current Contact Center Performance

Second, evaluate your existing contact center’s performance. Your assessment must include:

  • Average response time
  • First-call resolution rate
  • Customer satisfaction scores
  • Agent productivity

These key metrics help identify your strengths and areas for improvement which can set the outsourcing partner selection criteria.

  1. Determine Key Metrics for Success

Establish key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of the outsourcing partnership. These metrics, including average handling time, customer retention rates, and cost per contact, should match your business objectives. Clear and direct KPIs can help you track the impact of outsourcing on your business outcomes.

Step 2: Evaluating Potential Outsourcing Partners

evaluating customer

Once you know your contact center needs, the next step is to evaluate potential outsourcing partners. Choose the appropriate contact center service provider using the following criteria:

  • Experience and Industry Expertise

In selecting an outsourcing partner, proven track records and extensive industry experience are a priority.

For example, a small business requiring billing contact center services can benefit from partnering with specialized BPO companies adept at handling billing-related customer support. These specialized providers have agents experienced in handling billing inquiries, account management, payment assistance, and refund processing.

Investigating a provider’s experience and expertise requires a careful look into their case studies, client testimonials, and industry certifications.

  • Services Offered

The right outsourcing partner must offer services tailored to your existing needs and future goals. An ideal contact center company goes beyond traditional call center outsourcing services. A reliable contact center provider guarantees exceptional customer support in multiple languages across various channels, including phone, email, and live chat. 

  • Technology and Infrastructure

Your outsourcing partners’ technology infrastructure and capability must be scalable and compatible with your systems. To guarantee this, you must evaluate the following:

  • Customer relationship management (CRM) platforms
  • Workforce management software
  • Data security protocols

The best outsourcing partner invests in cutting-edge technologies to enhance efficiency, provide seamless customer experiences, and ensure business growth.

  • Scalability and Flexibility

Businesses with fluctuating call volumes or seasonal peaks should consider scalability. Choose a contact center outsourcing company capable of scaling operations based on demand without sacrificing service quality. Additionally, check whether they have flexible contract terms and service offerings to accommodate changing business needs and digital market trends.

  • Quality Assurance and Compliance

A reliable outsourcing company offers high-quality business outsourcing solutions. They have regular performance monitoring and agent training programs. Also, they adhere to relevant regulatory requirements or industry-specific standards to avoid legal and reputational risks.

Step 3: Assessing Cultural Fit and Communication

cultural fit

Besides operational capabilities, cultural alignment and effective communication are crucial factors for a successful outsourcing partnership. Ensuring compatibility with your outsourcing partner requires careful consideration of the following:

  • Company Values and Culture Alignment

Partner with a business outsourcing provider with values, culture, and work ethic closely aligned with yours If your organization focuses on innovation, collaboration, and customer-centricity, look for a BPO company that shares these core values. Outsourcing based on matching company values and culture alignment can lead to a successful and long-term business relationship.

  • Communication Channels and Frequency

Establish communication protocols and expectations from the outset of the relationship. Designate preferred communication channels, escalation procedures for urgent issues, and frequency of status updates and performance reviews. Effective communication enhances the overall partnership experience by ensuring transparency, accountability, and responsiveness.

  • Language Proficiency and Accent Neutrality

Businesses that cater to a diverse customer base require language proficiency and accent neutrality. Thus, the outsourcing partner must employ agents proficient in the languages relevant to your target markets, and they must demonstrate a neutral accent to communicate with customers clearly and effectively. These factors help avoid language barriers and cultural misunderstandings.

Step 4: Considering Cost and Pricing Models

cost and pricing

Cost reduction is a major benefit of business outsourcing solutions. Outsourcing companies offer various pricing models, from one-time payments to subscription plans. However, it is vital to evaluate the cost and pricing models without compromising service performance and quality.

  • Transparent Pricing Structures

A reputable outsourcing partner clearly outlines service costs, billing methods, and any additional fees or surcharges. Transparent pricing can help you accurately budget your resources and forecast possible expenditures.

  • Hidden Costs and Fees

Beware of hidden costs and fees that may not be immediately apparent in the pricing proposals. Identify the outsourcing provider’s policy on setup fees, training costs, overtime charges, and penalties for exceeding service level agreements (SLAs). Conduct a thorough cost analysis to identify and prevent potential hidden expenses upfront.

  • Return on Investment (ROI) Analysis

Consider the potential return on investment (ROI) beyond the immediate cost savings. Take into account outsourcing's qualitative benefits, such as improved customer satisfaction, increased sales revenues, and enhanced brand reputation. Conduct a comprehensive ROI analysis to determine the outsourcing initiative's long-term financial impact and strategic values.

Step 5: Negotiating and Finalizing the Partnership


After finding a suitable outsourcing partner, it’s time to negotiate the terms of the partnership. Formalizing the agreement and finalizing the contract requires that you consider the following:

  • Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

Define clear and mutually beneficial SLAs that outline performance expectations, service delivery standards, and reporting metrics. SLAs should have specific parameters like response time, resolution rates, and uptime guarantees. They should also include penalties for non-compliance to ensure accountability and service quality.

  • Contract Terms and Duration

Match the contract terms and duration with your business objectives. The terms should allow flexibility in scaling operations and adapting to changing market conditions. Consider contract renewal options, termination clauses, and pricing adjustments to accommodate future growth or unforeseen circumstances.

  • Exit Strategies and Transition Plans

Develop a contingency plan with well-defined exit strategies and transition plans to mitigate setbacks and ensure smooth transitions if the partnership needs to be terminated or transferred to a new provider. The contingency plan should have clear procedures for knowledge transfer, data migration, and continuity of service to minimize disruptions to your operations and customer experience.

Step 6: Onboarding and Continuous Improvement


Maximizing the value of the outsourcing partnership and achieving long-term success requires effective onboarding and ongoing performance.

Here are some factors that need special consideration for an effective outsourcing partnership:

  • Onboarding Process and Training

First, a comprehensive onboarding process ensures seamless integration of an external provider into your operations. You must provide detailed training on your products, services, brand values, and standards to equip agents with the knowledge and skills necessary to deliver exceptional customer service.

Second, you must collaborate with your potential partner to develop training programs that will help address your organization's needs. Also, companies must constantly assess these training initiatives and adjust as needed.

  • Performance Monitoring and Reporting

Develop robust performance monitoring mechanisms to track key metrics, identify emerging trends, and measure your contact center outsourcing partner’s impact on the business objectives. Use advanced analytical tools and dashboards to generate real-time insights into agent performance, customer satisfaction, and operational efficiency. Schedule regular reporting and performance reviews with your outsourcing partner to identify opportunities for improvement and optimization.

  • Feedback and Continuous Improvement Initiatives

A reliable business outsourcing partner encourages a culture of feedback and continuous improvement. Solicit feedback from customers and internal stakeholders to identify pain points, address concerns, and implement corrective actions.

Empower contact center agents to suggest improvements and implement best practices for more efficient processes and positive outcomes. Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of continuous improvement initiatives based on established performance metrics and stakeholder feedback.

Step 7: Monitoring and Managing the Partnership

managing partnership

Effective outsourced business services require proactive oversight and management. To ensure this, maintain a collaborative partnership with your outsourced contact centers by implementing the following:

  • Regular Performance Reviews

Conduct regular performance reviews and check-ins with your outsourcing partner to evaluate progress, discuss challenges, and identify optimization opportunities. Review adherence to SLAs, KPIs, and quality standards to ensure the quality and effectiveness of the partnership. Collaborate on action plans to address performance gaps or areas for improvement. 

  • Addressing Issues and Concerns

Promptly address issues or concerns that arise during the outsourcing partnership. Adopt a proactive approach to problem-solving and relationship management. Establish clear channels for escalation to ensure timely resolutions of potential issues that can negatively disrupt service delivery and decrease customer satisfaction. 

  • Strategic Planning for Future Growth

Engage in strategic discussions and planning with your outsourcing partner to align future initiatives and support mutual business growth objectives. Collaborate on long-term goals and projects that help drive continuous improvement, enhance operational efficiency, and deliver added value to your customers. Anticipate market trends, customer preferences, and industry developments to stay ahead of the curve. Position your partnership for sustained success in an evolving marketplace.

Perfect Solution with the Perfect Partner

Selecting the right contact center outsourcing partner requires careful consideration of various factors, from understanding your business needs and evaluating potential partners to negotiating terms and managing the partnership effectively. Knowing what to do and taking into consideration during the different phases of the outsourcing process can help you maximize the value of outsourcing and achieve exceptional customer services and streamlined operations.

New Media Services offers comprehensive business outsourcing services tailored to your company’s needs. They offer omnichannel support solutions, catering to customer needs through voice, email, and live chat. Moreover, they tailor multilingual support services that will help you cater to diverse demographics.Together with New Media Services, your company can stay ahead of the curve in today’s competitive business landscape. Contact us now!

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