Evaluate the proposals

Factors which a company may consider for OSP evaluation may range from analyzing companies vision to employee and technology competence of the service provider. A supplier requirements survey done by Pricewaterhouse Coopers lists the following most frequently mentioned criteria and rates their importance:

• Guaranteeing specific services levels
• Proven track-record in BPO
• Specialising in BPO
• Maintaining close contact
• Has vertical industry experience
• Cost saving guarantees
• Ongoing training
• Ensuring no conflicting contracting
• Commitment to research and development
• Centre of excellence
• Effective transition HR strategy
• Compatible corporate culture

Set up clear benchmarks that allow you to compare OSP responses. You’ll need to review, assess and score each OSP’s performance in the following areas:

• Physical capabilities
• Experience and its relevance to your work
• Attitude to or hunger for your business
• Robustness of their pricing and contracting structures
• Compatible work

Within each of these areas, define the specific issues or criteria that matter to your organisation and give them a weighting that reflects their importance.

Other factors to consider:


The OSP should impart adequate training in technology and applications required during the course of project. More complicated the project, more intricate the training required. Outsourcer's overall cost calculation should include offshore team's training costs also.

Cultural Diversity

Cultural differences, if overlooked, can backfire in spite of having sound technical support. Lack of understanding of western culture can hinder outsourcer's efforts to ensure cultural compatibility. Reconciliation measures, initiated at onset of project, would go a long way in successful project completion. Cultural diversity should be projected as an opportunity rather than as an obstruction.

Hiring & Retention Policy

The OSP should be ready to immediately replenish the human resource, if it falls short, at any moment during project execution. The retention rate is an indicator of the working environment in South Africa. The OSP’s retention measures should include steps to motivate and encourage the call centre staff on a continual basis. High attrition rate is bound to affect the operation’s performance and overall costs involved.

Language Difference

Check out if the OSP is well versed in language that outsourcer's team intends to use for communication. Having a common communication language, preferably English is essential for conveying and understanding the requirements clearly.

Team size

Does the OSP have adequate skilled human resource to meet the operational requirements? Or is the vendor The OSP on a few skilled people for project's success? An ideal team size implies having multi-skilled personnel capable of handling multiple tasks.

Employee Evaluation Policy

On what criteria does the OSP evaluate its employees? This highlights the level of work (in terms of quantity and quality) expected by OSP from its team.

In addition, the IDC believes that the following recommendations are both applicable and critical in selecting an OSP”

Make technical expertise a core competency.

As companies look to outsourcing for assistance with technical solutions, seize the market opportunity and become a market leader in technology consulting and support. Technology will continue to evolve over the next several years. Accordingly, the demand for these specific services will grow substantially. OSPs would be wise to take full advantage of this robust opportunity.

Deliver value-add solutions.

Be cognizant that businesses retain services from call centre service providers to both streamline and maximize return on investment. When implementing technology, OSPs should attempt to demonstrate and deliver value in addressing the client’s business goals.

Develop Internet compatibility within the call center.

Call centre services have moved well beyond a simple business process. With the maturation of the Internet, call centres are faced with multiple new channels of customer contact. Correspondingly, call centres must equip themselves to handle these new access points. The most effective way to achieve such an end is by aggressively developing an e-enabled call centre.

Focus on solutions that enable a multitude of verticals.

Certain industries tend to have higher call volume. These industries are in need of services specific to their industry or their business. Larger OSPs must offer solutions that are broad in scope but also pertinent to multiple customers. With this strategy, firms are more likely to capture a larger share of the market.

Be receptive to partnering.

There are many service components to call centre solutions. Firms that are smaller in size and offer a limited breadth of services are encouraged to partner with companies that offer complementary services for a total call centre service solution.

Know the implications of wireless on call centers.

Wireless communications, both cellular phones and WAP-enabled devices, are pervasive in the global economy. As these instruments become an integral part of the business-to-business and business-to-consumer marketplace, they assuredly will play a role in customer service and call centre services. Service providers should be aware of the emerging role of wireless devices and their impact on the business proposition of call centre service providers.

Assist customers in establishing a 360-degree view of their clients.

To best serve clients, customer service representatives must have a holistic view of the customer. To facilitate this, call centres must be linked to back-end data that enables customization.





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