CX Guides

6 questions to ask before choosing a CX provider

Ensure a successful procurement outsourcing journey with our guide to selecting the right customer experience provider, with a focus on key evaluation criteria.
6 questions to ask before choosing a CX provider

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Here’s an honest fact: Global spending on outsourcing could hit $731 billion in 2023. Businesses large and small contribute to that total, because the portfolio of business services that BPOs provide is comprehensive.

Outsourcing some processes makes sense for many businesses. But it can be risky to contract out a function as critical as customer experience (CX) to a third-party provider. If corners are cut and customers alienated, winning back trust is never easy.

How can you identify a CX outsourcing partner that you can trust to become a brand ambassador and build customer loyalty? We recommend asking these questions:

1. How would the CX provider help you turn customer experience into a growth opportunity?

This question helps you find out whether you’re talking to a true partner who can provide a tailored approach to help your business grow—or if you’re getting a cookie-cutter approach that may not serve you well.

While there are some commonalities among similar companies, ultimately your business is unique. And the personalized customer experience you provide is critical to retaining customers and building a robust brand set up for growth. You need a partner who will work with you to create processes and procedures that sync your customer service with your customers’ needs—and ultimately exceed critical KPIs.

2. How does the CX provider train agents to represent your business?

You need to know how much time they spend on training and whether it will be ongoing so that it can adapt to changing needs. And make sure their training includes a thorough understanding of how your company works, both internally and externally. The more agents know—including about your customers’ big-picture concerns, regulatory issues in your industry, and your unique processes—the more adeptly they can resolve issues.

In short, the more they know, the more value they can add, not only answering frontline questions but also providing information back to you that can improve your internal processes.

3. How would the CX provider respond if they fail to meet quality benchmarks?

Find out if they provide transparent analytics into agent performance. Obviously, not every customer interaction goes smoothly. You need to know if your customer experience provider can handle those difficult moments appropriately. If agents are struggling, your provider should commit to facing that challenge quickly—and honestly— and working with you toward improvement.

The best providers truly want to drive your business forward and will hold themselves accountable. And if the problems they’re experiencing originate with your processes, they can then provide insights into how you can improve. Frequent reports and check-ins are an essential part of a constructive partner relationship.

4. What role do scripts play, and how frequently are they revised?

Find out if agents are bound by scripts or empowered to solve problems independently, backed by their knowledge and experience. Overly strict reliance on scripts can strip empathy from agents’ interactions and tie their hands, which can lead to poor customer interactions.

Familiarity with common call types and the autonomy, freedom, and confidence to work without being tethered to a script all make an important difference in the quality of customer experience agents can provide. It’s easy to undervalue the finesse of the human touch, but that tendency can be a slippery slope.

5. How does the CX provider leverage interactive voice response and artificial intelligence technologies strategically?

Ideally, your outsourcing partner should be using these technologies to their full potential, both to handle customer queries quickly and keep costs under control. At the same time, these technologies should be programmed to minimize customer frustration and move customers quickly to a resolution or to an agent who can resolve their concern.

6. What is the CX provider’s annual staff turnover?

One customer service equation is simple: The more experience agents have, the better service they provide. On top of that, staff retention and employees’ satisfaction with their roles translates directly into higher customer satisfaction: Higher ESAT equals higher CSAT.

Find out what kind of opportunities for training and growth the company provides, how cohesive their teams are, and why their agents leave—or why they stay. Companies with a thriving employee culture have agents that stick around because their work feels meaningful.

Asking these questions should help you find what you’re looking for: A provider who will tailor a program to fit your business, focus on continual improvement, and nurture passionate, empowered agents that go the extra mile to make your customers happy.

Find out more about choosing a business process outsourcing partner in the Insanely Honest Guide to Outsourcing.

Outsource with confidence

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