This Valentine’s Day, fall in love…with your call center.

The first time you talked to each other, there were butterflies. You had to admit it was a thrill to meet someone who listened to you, and  knew exactly what you needed. However, I am not talking about your soul mate. I am talking about your call center.

Okay, falling in love with a call center is a bit of a stretch. However starting a new business relationship is just like starting a personal relationship. There is that initial stage of getting to know each other, a honeymoon period where everything seems great, and possibly even a “first fight.” Eventually the problems are resolved, and hopefully your connection is stronger than ever. Your call center becomes a source of support, helping you grow your business as the years progress.

Now the trick to a good relationship with your significant other is the same as a good relationship with your vendor—communication. You want a call center provider who listens, who likes to check in regularly and talk about the health of the program and who cares enough to invest time into your business.  Inversely, a bad call center is like a bad date. They trick you into thinking you are going to have a great time but then ignore you and eventually stick you with the bill.

So how do you pick the right call center for you? Here are a few tips to keep in mind when looking for “the one”:

1)    Are they part of an accredited call center association?

Most reputable call centers are members of the Association of TeleServices International (ATSI) or the Canadian Call Management Association (CAM-X). Both organizations were created to represent the needs of the call centers and telephone answering services across North America, and they provide many regulatory and educational services. You know you have a good catch when the call center is an active member.

2)    Do they have a quality assurance process?

Every call center is going to tell you that quality is their number one goal, but what are they doing to assure quality standards? A call center worth your time will be able to articulate the quality assurance process in place at their site. It can include things like hiring and account training testing, compliance with industry standard key performance indicators (KPIs) and even quality checklists they might use to monitor calls.

3)    Do they have a business continuity plan?

If a disaster happens, will your call center run and hide, or will they ride up on a white horse and save the day? Well, maybe we are exaggerating a bit. However, a good call center should have a business continuity plan to cover all their bases. It should include a failsafe process (where your calls will go in case the site loses power), if they have backup generators at their site and protocols for when they need to run updates to their system.

So for this Valentine’s Day, don’t be blue if you haven’t found your one, true call center. A great relationship with a new vendor is right around the corner. If you are in the market, you can rest assured that these tips will help you find the right telephone answering service or call center for you.

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