Is this the BPO for me?

What to ask when outsourcing your appointment setting

By Kristina Beaulieu

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You’ve made the decision to outsource your appointment setting campaign. You’ve looked around and found a few candidates for your BPO. Now it’s time to choose. Have you asked the right questions? Have all of your qualifications been addressed?

According to recent statistics, 78% of companies across the world feel positive about their outsourcing partnerships. So, how do you know which provider is the perfect fit for your business? The answer may lie in asking the right questions from the very start. But what to ask?

Here are a few suggestions to help you get started on the right foot:

  • How many people will the BPO need to build and maintain a strong team?

By asking this question, you’ll gain insight into the provider’s internal structure – from top management to phone agents – to make sure they have what it takes to effectively staff your campaign and represent your brand.

  • How “hands-on” will your company need to be throughout the relationship?

The answer, of course, depends on how involved you want to be.  Asking this question gives you better overview of the provider’s overall scope and level of experience. It also helps you to determine how much you’ll need to oversee the operation and how much you can trust to leave to their expertise.

  • Do they offer you the option to “live-listen” from time to time?

Some BPOs only provide recorded transmissions of previously made calls.  Being able to listen in on a live call gives you added peace of mind that they are accurately and professionally representing your company.

  • Will the agents be supervised in person from a domestic call center?

This question also allows you to clarify exactly where your calls are coming from. For example, some companies prefer that agents call from a U.S. based call center with  English-speaking   agents, some prefer agents that do  not work remotely from home where barking dogs, crying babies and other sounds from home may spill into the conversation. These are all important things to know right upfront.

  • What will they do to ensure their agents will clearly convey your company’s products/services?

This is crucial. After all, you never get a second chance to make a first impression. And, they’re speaking on your behalf. Also, asking this allows you to have critical “Quality Assurance” conversations giving you a clearer understanding of their processes and procedures, including how agents are being scored, monitored, prompted, coached or even incentivized for a job well done.

  • How does the vendor monitor results and incorporate changes if necessary?

This is another good question that touches on important QA details. The answer may also give you further clarification of how proactive they’ll be in quickly addressing any unforeseen issues, including whether or not to add staff if a campaign is under-performing. Ask for clarification into how they’d handle script revisions, additional coaching, staffing changes, etc.  

We hope some of these questions have helped you in your decision to outsource your appointment setting capabilities. Knowing the right things to ask should help you in your search to find just the right partner for your business.