Reflections on going head to head with a client's incumbent contact center services provider.
Sometimes there are Advantages to Starting Slow and Ramping Up Contact Center Outsourcing Services
Our favorite way to get new clients is when they agree from the start that we should handle all their contact center work. But there's another way that we win over customers: the Champion-Challenger model.
The champion challenger is a framework used to determine the best performing solution, in this case that solution is contact center outsourcing services. The champion represents the current solution, while the challengers are the potential replacements aiming to win the book of business. After the decision maker reviews the results, the best model becomes the new champion. In some instances, the challenger will only compete for a piece of the contract at first, and work to grow that share over time by winning more of the business.
The CEO in me prefers to get the whole job at once. It's much better financially, for one thing. At the same time, the competitor in me gets a kick out of meeting another company head-to-head and delivering better performance. Relying on the Champion Challenger model removes bias from competing parties and paves the way to choosing the best performing vendor for a specific set of services. When we start small, we can showcase success and begin to win new portions of business with that success. In the end, it is the client who benefits from this test of teams and their services.
Callzilla Support Services Against the House
Not long ago I was visiting such a client, a Texas-based manufacturer of skin care products. We had started out handling their Hispanic-focused customer support program, and did so well that we have since taken on the English-focused support business too. And in this case, we're actually displacing part of the company's own in-house customer service team. It's the first time that part of the business has ever been outsourced to a support partner.
A move like that requires building a tremendous level of trust with the client. There's a real psychological element in play when a client is used to managing their own support agents right at home. Now the same work is in the hands of another company at a different site. We make sure they know we put an emphasis on quality. We have the success KPIs and awards to show for it.
We work hard to make the transition a smooth one. We try to set expectations about the best way to manage and administer our joint program, our mutual objectives, and the best communication pattern between our two companies. We get in sync and calibrated for hiring and ramping up reps. It's an ongoing process that goes far beyond the day we sign the contract.
Sharing the Customer Support Load
This year we've even won some work from another outsourced contact center. This particular support center operates out of New England, where the population skews older and the wages are a bit higher than average. As his business grew and became more complex, the owner needed to have some backup. We got to talking, and before long Callzilla was taking on a small portion of his work. A few months into the relationship, we even started working on an exchange program, where we will send employees to each other's centers as a kind of reward for good performance.
He's getting ready to double the size of his operation in January, so this is a case where both companies can play to their strengths and benefit each client base.
There is something to be said for crawling and walking before you have to sprint.
- Customer Care Outsourcing Part 1: Choosing the Right Contact Center
- Customer Care Outsourcing Part 2: Five Pro Tips on Forging Good Contracts
- Customer Care Outsourcing Part 3: Contract Implementation
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