Last week at a telecom trade show, I was amazed to hear what people were saying about the cost of their outsourced contact center operations, and what they get for the money. One company representative told me, “You will never beat what I am paying for in my Indian and Philippines call centers!” When he named the price, I saw right away the kind of bad deal he had. I responded that Callzilla's up-front price may be higher, "but your overall cost will be substantially lower. I guarantee it! Here’s why….”

I explained that even though Callzilla would cost double what he was paying in India, and nearly double than the Philippines center, he'd gain back at least that much in performance because Callzilla focuses on the fundamentals: regular business reviews, quality calibrations, you know, the stuff that all contact centers should be doing but often conveniently forget to do.

I don't expect everyone to understand the details of how contact centers work. One of the reasons that companies outsource the work is because they want to put this crucial function in the hands of experts. But I continue to be amazed when I hear prospects tell me they don’t even know who their account manager is!

In fact, just last week someone asked me what an account manager is! When I asked her who she meets with to discuss the contact center's business operation, performance etc. She said, “Actually I just send an email to a and someone replies to me when they can.” I asked how long it typically takes to get a response. She replied, “Oh they are really good. Usually I hear back within 48 hours.”

I was speechless. I couldn't believe that a contact center would have the nerve give such poor service, even at their low price, and that the client would consider it "really good."

For the record: A 48-hour response time is horrible. If you’re not speaking to your contact center on a daily basis, you need to ask yourself why. If you have been satisfied with less frequent conversations because “my contact center hits all of the goals I’ve set forth,” it's time to set some new goals.

One of those goals should be operational transparency. Did you know that some shady call centers will log in as many as three or four agents under the same name to produce the illusion of devoting more hours to the account? That's one way they try make up for the low hourly rate they charge.

When people ask me what my definition of customer service is I reply, “Exceeding your expectations.” When they ask what exceptional customer service looks like, I reply, “Exceeding your wildest dreams!”

I can sit here and say that Callzilla is the best, that we never mess up, and we will do better than anyone you've ever worked with. But don't take my word for it, compare Callzilla to the service you are used to. Then give me an opportunity to run head to head with your current operation and my commitment to you will be a low risk pilot full of great people and an expert team of professionals.

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