Efficient project management is necessary if you want to generate the best results out of your outsourced bilingual customer support program. The problem is that most managers mistakenly think their responsibilities end once they’ve finalized the contract with their contact center.
But what really makes for a successful outsourcing venture is effective management. And as a business owner, you should take an active role in this aspect. Doing so is increasingly challenging, because it’s likely that you’ll be working with an offshore company. You’ll thus have to consider geographic and time gaps, and even your cultural differences with your provider.
Follow these suggestions to stay on top of your outsourced projects.
1. Identify the aspects you can and can’t control.
Keep in mind that bilingual call centers are full-fledged organizations with their own company culture, practices, and systems. Micromanaging them thus won’t help, as it may disrupt their operations, but being too lenient isn’t advisable either.
To find the right balance between the two, you must identify the aspects that you can and can’t control. For instance, as their client, you have the right to establish the project’s objectives and your desired performance quality. But you may have less authority over other processes such as hiring and recruitment.
2. Clarify your business goals.
Keeping everyone on the same page when it comes to your customer support objectives is the first step to building a productive team. This includes your frontline agents, their team leaders, program supervisors, and the contact center owners. This way, they can align their operations with your goals and add real value to your services.
3. Treat your outsourced team like your own employees.
Your outsourced employees are tasked to fulfill a big responsibility every day – communicate with your customers. As the voice of your company, they’re tasked to create a good impression among clients and provide a delightful customer experience. You should thus treat your customer service reps in the same way you’d handle your in-house staff. This will make them feel valued and appreciated, which would motivate them to perform their jobs well.
4. Hold regular meetings.
At the onset of your outsourced operations, make sure to agree with your provider on a fixed, regular schedule for online meetings and phone calls. Effective communication with your offshore company is the secret to efficient project management. It lets you and your provider update each other on pertinent matters and make collaborative decisions.
It’s also important to talk to your agents directly. They can let you know of any process glitches and suggest ways on how you can improve your customer support. Soliciting feedback from them can also boost employee engagement and productivity.
5. Use online collaboration tools.
Online collaborative tools would give you and your outsourced team fast and easy access to project information, files, and other work-related resources. This can help you monitor the project’s progress and evaluate each team member’s performance. You can also use these platforms to update your team about protocol changes, new practices, and other relevant details.
6. Be mindful of your time zone differences.
When setting deadlines and scheduling meetings, keep in mind that you and your bilingual call center are operating on different time zones. Be willing to adjust to their timetable if necessary, and always think about the schedules that work best for both of you. Showing your business partners that you’re willing to meet them halfway builds trust and motivates everyone to work even harder.