How do I manage the staff I outsourced to a call center in the Philippines?

How do I manage the staff I outsourced to a call center in the Philippines?

March 27, 2014

Communication is among the four key areas to monitor in order to ensure a successful outsourcing deal with a call center in the Philippines. Supervising the three other areas—operating costs, agent performance, and contingency planning—may guarantee retention of managerial control over the subcontracted services, but it is still the constant communication between you and your outsourcing service provider that drives the partnership to success.

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Leading IT management source CIO even hailed communication as the “Holy Grail” of any outsourcing deal, pressing its importance in informing the overall goal to everyone involved in the voice service campaign—from the top management, down to the agents.
Some businesses, however, only recognize the importance of communication but unfortunately never truly put the theory into practice. Some do employ contacting measures, but these end up being poorly executed.
In an example by CIO, one outsourcing client communicated with its outsourced staff via an intranet connection, but only 10% of the employees spent time reading the messages. Needless to say, the effort came out futile. To overcome communication obstacles such as this, you could follow these steps in planning your communication approach:

Establish channels

There should be dedicated channels where you and the call center in the Philippines could send and receive messages. This could either be via electronic means (chat, phone, videoconference, etc) or through the liaison officer you stationed in the outsourcing location.

Schedule messages

Messages should follow a standard format and must arrive on a regular, predictable schedule. This way, your employees would know when to anticipate your calls and quickly grasp key points in your written messages.

Be interactive

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Encourage interactivity by opting for live channels such as videoconferences and phone calls. Two-way communication promotes real-time exchange of messages, thus eliminating delays. Here, you get to immediately address concerns and clarify questions that could possibly blow into a problem if left unanswered even for a short period.

Be ahead of time

Have a proactive rather than a reactive approach not just in solving concerns but also in delivering messages. Tell your staff everything they have to know about strategies or campaigns before they ask questions. Also, news about changes should be delivered early to give people sufficient time to prepare.

Be familiar with the outsourcing firm’s culture and schedule

A typical call center in the Philippines may operate 24/7, but it doesn’t mean that the recipients of your messages are also available round-the-clock. Know the right time to communicate with the management or the agents. Familiarizing yourself with communication practices and lingual contexts in the country would also help smoothen message delivery.

Poor communication between you and the service vendor could lead to the outsourcing deal’s failure. Culture, time, and distance could never contribute to the failed deal if you set understanding and clear communication approach from the start.

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