This article is part of a series entitled: What to Look for on a Site Visit

Part 1: Facilities
Part 2: Leadership & Management (coming soon…)
Part 2: Agents (coming soon…)

Selecting the right outsource call center partner is one of the most important decisions your organization will make. After all, your BPO partner typically serves as the public face of your organization, interacting directly with your customers on a daily basis.

Just as you would never buy a new home sight unseen, you would never choose a call center partner before getting an in-person tour to experience their facility and getting to observe their culture. The site visit phase of the selection process is arguably the greatest predictor of how a call center will perform, as you get an opportunity to see your potential agents in action and observe their work environment.

Certainly, the “wooing” element of the site visit is undeniably enjoyable, but it’s important to gather objective insights about the organization – both through observation and interviews.

The facility itself sets the stage for a call center’s performance. After all, this is where your agents will come to work every day, and where they will be speaking with your customers. A top facility attracts – and holds on to – top talent.

Here are some things to look for as you tour the facility.

THE BOTTOM LINE WHEN MAKING A CALL CENTER SITE VISIT

Ultimately, leaders must look for call center facilities that caters to the happiness of their agents, as happier agents drive higher performance and lower attrition rates. 

If given the option, call center agents are quick to opt for:

  • Added agent perks
  • Cutting-edge and clean facilities
  • Modern, comfortable workstations

THE AGENT PERKS EVERY CALL CENTER FACILITY SHOULD HAVE

Not every organization needs a facility that offers daily catered lunches or in-house movie theaters to secure top talent. But in order to compete long-term and retain the best agents, call center facilities should highlight any and all facility perks that set them apart.

By creating amenities that add unique work value (and resonate with current and future agents) your workforce will offer more loyalty, more ongoing referrals, and noticeably better customer service.

Convenient amenities, such as fitness centers or on-site childcare, can bolster workforce stability and call center productivity.

For instance, nearly 90% of workers prefer an employer that offers health-focused facility benefits to their employees.  Any perk within the facility could well be the difference in securing and keeping your next, highly-valuable agent.

Other facility questions for your on-site visit:

  • What is the full list of perks your facility offers to agents?
    • Fitness centers
    • Childcare accommodations
    • Cafeteria access or convenience shopping
    • Nature access and trails
  • Does the facility have a plan to stay competitive with emerging agent perks?
  • What do current tenants say about the facility? (Don’t be afraid to survey other companies that share the space).

THE IMPORTANCE OF FACILITY FIRST IMPRESSIONS

For many organizations, their call center must be a direct reflection of the overall corporate brand. During your site visit, pay careful attention to the aesthetic appeal and amenity details your prospective facility offers — these will soon become the details that comprise your professional-facing appearance. 

Call center facilities not only must capably house your agents, but also offer the additional resources you may need to conduct business while you are there, such as meeting rooms and breakout areas.

While making a site visit, put yourself in the shoes of your agents, your executives and your clients to identify the facility features that matter most. 

Consider that 75 percent of employees say that natural light is important to them in a workspace, yet less than half are satisfied with their current facility. The more satisfied agents are with a call center location, the more likely they are to stay engaged while at work.

During any on-site visit, consider the first and ongoing impression your call center leaves. 

Ask yourself these questions:

  • Is the facility generally well cared for and clean? 
  • Does it give the impression that management is proud of the company?
  • Can I see business being conducted here?
  • Would I happily welcome clients to this facility?  

THE IMPORTANCE OF CALL CENTER WORKSTATIONS

The complexity of customer service has rapidly increased, thus challenging agents to do better work (and do it faster) to meet rising consumer demands. And while organizations understand the need to invest in technology and talented people to serve their customers, many leaders don’t appreciate the link between call center outcomes and call center workspaces. 

Companies must start prioritizing call center environments—particularly the agent workstation— to enhance agent performance and improve customer experiences

To bolster agent results, look for call center workstations that offer greater choice, flexibility, and ergonomics — such as high-quality seating, modular desks and reasonable spacing between agents workspaces.

By emphasizing the physical and cognitive comfort of agents, you’ll elevate team morale and improve overall customer service.

Here are some other workstation questions to consider:

  • Do the workstations offer enough space for agents to perform their jobs?
  • Will sound pollution or background noise affect agent productivity? If so, what noise-cancelling technology does the call center use?
  • Is the workstation equipment up to date? 
    • Is it stable? Or are there cords and overloaded power strips everywhere?
    • How soon and how often will the facility’s work stations need upgrading?

DOES YOUR FACILITY OFFER YOUR AGENTS ALL OF THE ABOVE?

If not, connect with Outsource Consultants, a worldwide call center outsourcing advisory that is 100% focused on finding you an outsource call center partner. Let us initiate contacts with the right call center partners and coordinate a facility that meets your specific demands. 

We offer our services at NO CHARGE, so feel free to connect with our experts today to lower the risk of choosing the wrong call center facility. 

And keep an eye on our blog for part two and part three of our instructional series on what to look for during your on-site call center visit. 

About the author: Outsource Consultants