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If keeping up with customer service inquiries is becoming difficult, it's time to consider hiring a call center—but how do you choose the right provider? Read on to learn tips for hiring a call center for your business.

Explaining Different Types of Call Centers

Before we dive into tips for hiring a call center that meets your business's customer service needs, let's take a look at different types of call centers and where they operate:

Domestic Call Centers

Domestic call centers, also known as onshore centers, are located in the same country as the businesses they're servicing. However, domestic call centers aren't necessarily located in the same time zone as the customers they're serving.

Nearshore Call Centers

Nearshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers but in a nearby region with a similar time zone. For example, for US-based businesses, nearshore call centers may be located in Canada, Puerto Rico, or Mexico.

Offshore Call Centers

Offshore call centers are located in a different country than their customers, typically somewhere quite far from the businesses they're servicing. For example, a business in the US may use an offshore call center in India or the Philippines.

What Companies Need to Hire a Call Center?

Any business that requires customer service representatives to provide assistance and support needs to hire a call center, including business-to-business (B2B), business-to-consumer (B2C), e-commerce, and nonprofit organizations. While some businesses have an in-house call center team to take care of customer service needs, it's typically more cost effective to outsource customer support by hiring a call center provider.

Companies operating in the following industries should consider hiring a call center:

  • Healthcare
  • Legal
  • HVAC
  • Agriculture
  • Energy
  • Financial
  • Government
  • Information Technology
  • Real Estate
  • Telecommunications

Tips for Hiring a Call Center for Your Business

Before partnering with an outsourced center to handle your customer service needs, consider these tips for hiring a call center:

Identify the Center's Location

First, find out where the contact center is headquartered and where its agents are located. Considering these types of location factors will help you decide whether a domestic, nearshore, or offshore center is the right option for you.

Understand Inbound and Outbound Services

Call centers typically provide inbound and outbound services. Inbound answering services include taking incoming customer calls to answer questions about your business's products and services, providing technical support, and processing orders. Outbound services include implementing lead generation strategies, such as following up with previous customers, cold calling potential new customers, and compiling survey data. The goal of outbound services is to strengthen and develop new customer relationships to increase sales. When hiring a call center for your business, it's important to get an understanding of the different inbound and outbound services they offer to choose the best options for your business needs.

Ask About Reporting and Metrics

Since call centers directly communicate with your customers, it's also vital to ask about how they analyze their effectiveness. Many centers use call center evaluations that include detailed reporting and metrics to measure agent performance.

Each call center has its own way of measuring performance, but there are four common call center metrics considered industry standards for measuring performance that reveal customer satisfaction insights:

  • Customer experience
  • Agent productivity
  • Call initiation
  • Call center operations

By hiring a call center that prioritizes metrics in these four areas, you can rest assured that the center is maximizing customer satisfaction and maintaining high performance.

Consider Availability

Hiring a call center that's always available to support your customers should also be a consideration factor. Reliable centers have 24/7/365 availability for your customers, and many outsourced call centers also have disaster recovery services to ensure that downtime caused by a power outage doesn't impact productivity.

Is There a Required Call Volume?

Some call centers require a minimum call volume. If you own a small business, a center that requires a large volume of inbound and outbound calls might not be the best option for you. If you're considering partnering with a contact center with a minimum call volume requirement, try to accurately estimate your current volume to determine if their services might be a good fit for your needs.

How Many Customer Service Agents Do I Need?

How many customer service agents you'll need depends on your business's call volume, average handle time (AHT), and your specific customer service goals regarding service level and target answer time. Make sure to ask centers you're thinking about partnering with to determine how many agents they think you'll need to meet your business objectives.

Consider Multilingual Services

If your business targets international customers, you may want to consider partnering with an outsourced call center that employs agents who can speak multiple languages. Hiring a call center that specializes in multilingual services ensures that every customer feels connected to your brand, no matter what language they speak.

Other benefits of multilingual call center services include:

  • Reduced call times
  • Enhanced customer experience
  • Improved cultural sensitivity
  • Increased productivity
  • Improved sales

At ListenTrust, our call center focuses on Spanish language and bilingual English and Spanish agent services.

Hire a Call Center That Exceeds Your Expectations

When you partner with ListenTrust, you're hiring a call center that aims to exceed your expectations by offering everything you'd expect from an outsourced provider—and more. We're a nearshore contact center that provides inbound and outbound services, detailed reporting and metrics to improve agent performance, and 24/7/365 availability. We also offer full support in English and Spanish to ensure that your customers feel connected to your brand, no matter which language they speak. Contact us today to learn more about our services.