This is the third of a 3 part introduction to outsourcing.
Some contracts between businesses and outsourcers are based on pay per call/email, others are based on time spent. Why is this important? Well, this means that some call centres want you off the phone as soon as possible (or will send you a scripted email) because if you have to contact them back, they will be paid each time. Others want you speaking to reps on the phone as long as possible, because the more minutes you rack up, the more money they make. In both scenarios, the business and the outsourcer have conflicting interests. It’s important that you don’t get caught in the middle or you will not likely see satisfaction.
The outsourcer’s objective is to get a resolution, but the customer wants a solution. These are not always the same! In the eyes of support, a solution means the issue you contacted them about, is now fixed. A resolution means that there is no more communication with support, regardless of whether the problem is fixed. So long as you have agreed to stop contacting support (explicitly or implicitly), the job of the outsourcer is complete and they have achieved resolution.
Keep this in mind when you call in. Are they trying to get rid of you too quickly, without resolving the issue? Are they taking more time than necessary to arrive at resolution? You will soon find you can determine their goals, and you can use this to your advantage.
Stay in control of the call and ensure that the call is on track. Don’t allow the rep to take control, and don’t settle for promises and half solutions. Threatening to end your loyalty to the company, that is represented by the outsourcer, has little effect on the outsourced rep. They have little vested interest in the form of quality monitoring or customer satisfaction survey feedback whereas a company’s internal support rep may have more to gain. The internal rep could have rewards, bonuses and company stock at stake.
When calling Bell, for example, if you express your displeasure, the answer is always the same. It’s scripted and displays no real empathy or concern, which of course provides an even worse customer experience. If you were to call a company that keeps their support internal, threats of going to the competitor mean something when trying to get satisfaction. Know your audience!
In some cases, reps are required to meet ‘upsell’ quotas. Pay careful attention to what they are asking for especially near the end of a call. Be sure that you are not agreeing to any contract change, or new product or service.
Readers: Are there any companies in particular that you find try to rush you off the phone, or that spend too much time on the phone chatting about unrelated things? Are there any that try to upsell you when you are requesting support on a simple matter?