Opting for outsourced call center services or moving towards a remote call center setup can help your business manage tedious processes better, like dealing with customer complaints and making cold calls for B2B marketing. However, since you are likely working with professionals from another country, it is important to have a professional contract to ensure everything runs smoothly. Otherwise, your company may run into worker complaints, labor law fines, and other related issues.
Your company may already have a contract in place, but if you are like most clients, this document may have come from the outsourcing company. While they can create favorable contracts, you and your team may miss out on particularities, affecting daily operations in the process. To ensure there are no misunderstandings, consider the following things to include in a call center service contract:
Of course, not every contract is the same; your company may either have a short-term or long-term agreement. It depends on what you intend to do with the call center services. This can include the dates, any third parties involved, and your company name, which is important since business processing can change over time.
For example, let’s say you only need seasonal agents to handle a bulk of the calls during the holiday season, which is when businesses are most busy. So you have a contract in place for December or the other months if necessary. After that, what if you realize customer demand is more active due to your success during the holidays?
You need another contract to settle with your outsourcing company to act as a remote call center, allowing you to deal with customers all year round. It means you may agree to exclusive rights over your provider, letting the service provider focus on you as their sole client. All these terms start by having a clear, concise scope.
Worker standards are ubiquitous to every call center outsourcing contract because while you may think employee responsibilities, policies, and benefits are the same across industries, there may be a few specificities that differ, which can lead to miscommunication if not addressed immediately.
For example, most remote call centers have to work in different time zones and even during local holidays. Some employees may also share data freely online, which your company deems secret. All this and more should be included in this section. Consider the following contract inclusions you need to define:
Signing non-disclosure agreements are common among outsourcing companies since plenty of customer information, trade secrets, financial details, and more are shared between you and your call center agents. Ensure that there is a clear understanding of what can and cannot be shared. Don’t forget to add repercussions in case this agreement is violated, like immediate termination or temporary work suspension.
While most non-disclosure agreements already have a section about social media to protect their business’s data, it may be beneficial to have a section dedicated to purely these matters. Besides, outsourced employees may post defamatory content about your company, affecting your positive reputation. You may also have to do further research on social media activity to be more specific about the terms and limitations.
Experienced and new call center agents may act as spies for your direct competitors. Others may also be lying about their professional background, so seeking authorization from the outsourcing company is necessary, whether by doing the checks themselves or allowing you to process them.
As you may already know, calls are often recorded to determine quality assurance, enforce data protection, train outsourced employees, and look after customer welfare. Consent to record is necessary, especially since you are working with staff with different setups. Your company should also include here the minimum base requirements for recordings and the appropriate audio-visual equipment, like video recording software and voice call logs.
One of the potential dangers of dealing with remote workers like outsource call center workers is their attendance since they may look for craft ways to get out of work while still getting paid even when they are tardy or leave too early. To address this, check attendance through software, such as VeriClock and Time Doctor. Attendance also includes work during holidays, weekends, time-offs, and graveyard shifts. You can also implement consequences for employees who don’t acknowledge attendance policies.
Although you are hiring professionals or experts in this field, your company should still define what is to be expected from your outsourced service provider. Putting this in the contract clarifies what is considered the gold standard that everyone should be aiming for, allowing you to gain customer satisfaction.
To guarantee high-quality calls, ideally, all agents should answer within three rings, speak in a low-pitched voice to avoid heated exchanges, show genuine politeness, and endeavor to resolve complaints or meet quotas. Anything other than this can affect your business’s customer services, so ensure the guidelines are clear and update them when needed.
If your team wants to bolster your operations and optimize productivity, there should be training and development opportunities available in your contract. However, take note that this section may be optional since some outsourced staffing companies already have routine processes for skills enhancement, like improving their English accents or honing cold call marketing strategies. Whatever the case, consult with your service provider.
Most call center outsourcing contracts have quality control procedures to ensure your company gets what you paid for and doesn’t waste any time with amateur agents. You can include Key Performance Indicators, such as average hold time frame, abandonment rate, call handle time, and more. To determine these, do more research and consult with professional call center agents.
Outsourcing call center services can help your operations free up the daily workload and handle crucial tasks effectively, but legalities may get in the way. So, you need to have clear terms and conditions with your chosen provider. Doing this can regulate daily processes, leading to a seamless, more productive organization or enterprise. Remember all the essential information stated above and work with experts like us to get you the most favorable staffing solutions.
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