It’s understandable why some entrepreneurs hesitate to transfer their customer service to outsourcing companies. For one thing, the management part can indeed be tricky, as it usually happens in a remote setup. A business owner may choose a call center located in the same country, but if the goal is to cut costs, the best bet is probably to find a customer service provider in the Philippines.
Considering this, there are plenty of reasons why outsourcing can be risky. It would be unwise to proceed without making sure that all aspects of outsourcing have been covered. However, if done right, an outsourced contact center will help you establish better customer ties. Thus, you’ll be able to focus on your business’ core activities.
If you’re undergoing a similar dilemma, here are five remote management best practices that you must remember when handling an outsourced team.
1. Be specific with your requirements.
If you want to have a smooth relationship with your call center partner, make sure to specify your expectations. This includes the type of work you want done (i.e., voice services, tech support, email and live chat, etc.), how many agents you need, the quality of performance they must satisfy, and many others.
If you discuss these at the onset of the partnership, it becomes easier to fine-tune the details. However, remember that working with outsourcing companies involves compromise, so the ideal setup is one wherein both parties equally benefit from the arrangement.
2. Avoid micromanagement, but monitor progress.
At first, you may have this tendency to micromanage, as you want to make sure that everything is going according to plan. However, do avoid this at all costs. Of course, as the client, your inputs have a heavy bearing on how the call center would carry out the services you require, but remember that you’re working with an organization with its own structure. The best thing to do is to approach your partnership with an open mind. Try not to be too controlling, but don’t let them be on their own either. Ask for weekly, monthly, and annual progress reports to monitor their performance.
3. Your contract must be free of loopholes.
As mentioned earlier, you must specify your requirements at the beginning of your partnership. All these aspects must be included in your contract to make the terms formal.
Aside from this, however, you and your outsourcing provider must also agree on the recruitment process, performance monitoring, quality assurance, and finance-related components such as taxes. To create a catch-all deal, you must be able to anticipate the problems that may arise and think of possible solutions.
4. Schedule regular meetings.
Using online applications, it’s now easy to set up virtual meetings and this makes remote management much easier. In this age, there’s no reason why you won’t be able to talk to your outsourced team. Just make sure to agree on the time and the platform to be used. Make this a routine so you can regularly update one another regarding performance, some changes that may affect customer service, and other relevant topics.
5. Treat outsourced employees as your own.
Reward them as you would reward your in-house employees, talk to them directly, and give them plenty of opportunities to grow. If you do this, you’ll gain a lot from their productivity and good performance.