Author: David McAbee

Over the last year, constantly evolving technology and an ongoing staffing shortage have made delivering a top-notch customer experience challenging. To meet those challenges head-on, companies increasingly turn to customer service business process outsourcing (BPO).  

With an estimated 89% of customers more likely to make another purchase after having a positive customer service experience, delivering a memorable customer experience impacts your company’s overall profitability. 
 
You need the right people, processes and technology to stay competitive and meet customer expectations. Working with a customer service BPO offers a proven way to fill any gaps in your CX operations.  
 
BPO is much more than a way to optimize your budget. Additional benefits include:   
 
Scalability: With a BPO, you can scale up or down based on demand and the natural fluctuation cycles of your business. 
 
Infrastructure: BPOs invest heavily in their technology, tools, and infrastructure. Workforce Engagement Management (WEM) and call center software can ensure customers are served more efficiently and effectively.   
 
Analytics: BPOs provide extensive reporting, which helps drive better-informed business decisions.   
 
Skills: BPOs have clearly defined training and coaching programs and strictly adhere to best practices, leading to better trained and coached agents and ultimately, better customer satisfaction. 

The value of working with a BPO is clear. However, not all BPOs are the same. When exploring potential BPO partners, you’ll want to understand the different types and how they’ll work with your company to execute your CX strategy.  

Essential Questions to Ask a Customer Service BPO 

Selecting a customer service BPO can be time-consuming and challenging. However, the process can become much more manageable if you’re armed with the right questions. 

Here are 50 questions to ask when vetting a customer service BPO.  

General 

  • What’s their approach to customer experience strategy? 
  • How will they help you achieve more significant cost savings? 
  • How will they drive operational efficiency?  
  • What is their experience in providing customer service BPO solutions? 
  • Have they served other companies in your industry? 
  • Can they provide references or case studies from previous clients?

Culture & Vision

  • Does the company’s culture align with yours?  
  • Do their vision and mission complement your goals?  
  • How do they promote a positive, customer-focused culture? 

Operational Structure 

  • What sort of operational model do they follow?  
  • How big is each customer service BPO outsourcing company you’re vetting?  
  • How many clients do they have?  
  • How do they ensure each client gets the focus and attention needed if they’re a larger company? 
  • Does the company have the resources and infrastructure to scale when needed?  
  • If they have a business that goes through seasonal highs and lows, can they accommodate that?  
  • Can they flex their workforce when it needs to change?  
  • Can they scale up or down quickly? 
  • What technology and software do they use for customer service operations? 

Partnership 

  • How will they guide the process of getting started? 
  • Will they provide a dedicated account manager or point of contact?  
  • What kind of response time can you expect when issues arise?     
  • How quickly can they change gears when things aren’t working?  
  • How often will you meet with the team to review results and recalibrate? 

Workforce 

  • What staffing models do they offer? Dedicated agents or shared resources?   
  • How quickly can they respond to staffing level changes? Can they scale up and down quickly? 
  • Can they support different routing schemes? 
  • How much of the workforce is on-site versus working remotely? 
  • Can they support follow-the-sun support models? 
  • Do they operate a 24/7 model?  
  • Can they support your hours of operation? 
  • Are there office closures for holidays that may impact operations?  

Staffing & Management 

  • How involved is the management team in day-to-day operations?  
  • How do they handle performance issues with staff?  
  • How do they handle onboarding and training customer service agents? 
  • What’s the typical education level of employees?  
  • How complex are the products or services they handle?  
  • What additional education may be required for employees to serve customers with skill and confidence?  
  • How do they attract the right talent for their clients? 

Location 

  • What is their current infrastructure?  
  • Does the location have any potential challenges with ensuring consistent connectivity?  
  • Do they have any weather-related geographic vulnerabilities? 
  • Is the area easily accessible to staff? Do employees have access to public transportation? 
  • What’s the safety level of the country, city, or community where they’re located? Will you or your team be able to travel there without concern?   

Customer Service 

  • What languages can they support? What language proficiency levels are available at each location (B2, C1)? 
  • Are the agents empowered to deliver outstanding customer support to your clients?  
  • How do you retain your top performers and minimize agent churn? 

Performance Management 

  • What KPIs will be part of the agreement with your BPO? Who will define them?  
  • If a KPI isn’t met, what’s the timeline to discuss, adjust and implement? 
  • Are they leveraging Quality Analytics? If so, when and how is it used?  
  • When and how will it be used for our customers?  

Get the Support You Need to Choose Your Customer Service BPO Provider 

By doing the legwork first you can determine all of the important attributes your organization needs in a provider aligned to your CX strategy and goals before you start vetting customer service BPOs.  
 
Use the above questions to guide your decision-making, and for further support, download our guide below on unlocking the power of BPO for your business.

Unlock the Power of BPO

Get your guide on how to improve your CX in the era of hybrid work.