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Is Your Vendor Relationship In A Combat Field?

March 16, 2016 Matt Rocco

Call center vendor relationship management is no doubt an important function of your company, especially if you outsource your call center services. The call center is your business partner because go between you and your customers.

When the assigned agents to your products and services offer exceptional service, it reflects well on your brand. If they do not, it hurts your brand and affects your bottom line. Therefore, it is in your best interest to manage that relationship well.

The call center, on the other hand, cannot sit pretty and let the client do all the work; it is their responsibility too to take care of that partnership. As you can see, both parties have to put in effort in building a beneficial relationship.

Other than the mutual understanding between your company and the call center, you need other essential things in place. These include,

  • A contract that outlines the roles and responsibilities of each party
  • A working budget
  • Key Performance Indicators

The question therefore is, is your call center vendor relationship in a combat field or after the wellbeing of your client.

What do I mean by this? Being in a combat field means, you keep fighting with each other. Such a scenario occurs when there are gray areas in the contract, or one party fails to deliver on their promises. However, when you manage expectations before

Here are some key areas that can help you improve your vendor relationships.

  1. Ensure there are no ambiguities : The first step is to ensure that there no ambiguities. Do not assume anything is obvious to the call center. Ensure that they understand your company vision, mission and the objectives you want to be achieved. You need to come up with the best way to educate the call center. How you deliver the information, will determine how they translate it into the excellent customer experience.

    For example, if your company interest is on first contact resolution more that average handling time, ensure that they understand. Otherwise, you will end up with a conflict between your business goals and what the call center implements.

    Clearly outline the key metrics that influence your business positively, and align them with your business vision. The call center will get a good understanding of your company and thus deliver superior customer service.

  2. Think outside the box : Just because you have been doing it that way, does not mean that you should continue doing it that way. You need to check whether there are areas that can improve the overall performance of the call center and strengthen the relationship.

    Put into account all the changes that have taken place, from available products, customer preferences, market changes among others. Think about other elements like confidence, trust, and understanding that can affect the results of the relationship.

    When the contact center knows you trust them to provide the best, they will propose innovative ways that can meet your customers needs better. Sitting together and discussing the best ways to achieve your objectives, and even customize solutions.

    Utilize the knowledge and experiences of the call center staff to create exceptional experiences for your customers.

  3. Communicate clearly : At the core of the above is communication. Lack of communication leads to conflicts, that if not resolved becomes worse with time. To avoid getting into the combat field because of miscommunication, appoint a dedicated manager to the call center. The center should also have a dedicated manager who will be the contact person.

    When information passes through many people from both parties, misunderstandings are bound to occur. For example, if one manager has a discussion with the client and agrees to change the performance metrics, but does not pass the right information to the team, the client will get a wrong report.

In summary, when you manage vendor relationship correctly, you will keep your customers happy, leading to business growth. When you apply these three tips, ensure there are no ambiguities, think outside the box and communicate clearly, you will improve your relationship tremendously.

Direct your energies to strengthen the relationship thus eliminating any possibilities of misunderstanding. Remember the human aspect to bring life into the relationship.