Just like most business partnerships, conflicts are unavoidable when you’re working with a call center. However, they don’t necessarily mark the end of your relationship.
As much as you’d like to lead a perfectly harmonious relationship with your customer service vendor, this won’t always be the case. You and your provider may not always agree with each other, or you may debate about some aspects of your arrangement.
However, in most cases, you can work out your differences if both of you are willing to do so. Just keep in mind that both parties must place equal amounts of effort to build a strong, mutually beneficial relationship. Otherwise, one of you may end up sacrificing too much of their time, money, and resources, and that won’t end well for everyone involved.
It’s thus important to recognize when a conflict is starting to brew so you can manage it before it escalates into an unhealthy fight. Here are the four common types of disagreements you might have with your call center plus some conflict resolution tips.
1. Underperformance issues
Naturally, as a business owner, you want to make the most out of every cent you spend for your outsourced processes. So when your outsourcing partner fails to meet your expectations, you may end up feeling disappointed or let down.
There are several ways to deal with such a scenario:
• Find the root cause of poor performance, then work on it together with your contact center.
• Refer to your official contract and implement the necessary sanctions.
• Have a meeting with your vendor and brainstorm possible solutions.
Whichever approach you’d use, be sure to maintain your professionalism. If you end up switching to a new provider, stick to the contract termination policies that you and your vendor have previously agreed upon. This way, you can address all loose ends properly before parting ways with your call center.
2. Contract breach
For many entrepreneurs, it can be hard to forgive contract violations, especially if they directly affect the business’ operations and performance.
When your customer service provider breaches the business contract you both have signed, take a step back and look at the situation objectively. That way, you can weigh your options more accurately and make a wiser decision that lets you protect your brand and its services.
Avoid resorting to passive-aggressive behavior at all costs. Instead, communicate directly with your vendor about their actions. As much as possible, talk only about the facts, instead of playing the blame game.
3. Unfair pricing
Conflicts over money are always difficult to resolve. If you think you’re paying more than what you have to, express your concerns openly and directly discuss them with your call center.
On the other hand, you must also recognize when you’re the one being unfair when it comes to money matters. Although you may want to reduce your operation costs, make sure that your provider is receiving what they deserve. As you talk about the pricing and payment arrangements, be sure to consider your provider’s own operation expenses, as well as the well-being of its own employees.
Miscommunication happens when:
• you constantly talk to your outsourcing partners but you’re failing to discuss the most critical topics; or
• you and your call center aren’t communicating often enough.
Thus, during meetings, make sure to cover the most urgent and critical concerns. Doing so will benefit not just your performance but also your relationship with your customer support provider.
Another useful conflict management tip is to set regular meetings with your vendor. Make sure to agree on a communication channel that’s convenient for everyone involved.