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 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
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.
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 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
Focus on solutions that enable a multitude
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
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.