The Ultimate Contact Center Site Visit Guide
Navigate your site visit effectively for an insightful experience
The Problem with Site Visits
Of course, the problem with site visits is that you must sort through the “dog and pony show” to get a feel for what the contact center delivers.
Contact center company executives and salespeople love selling their business but what they sell may not be in keeping with the reality of what’s happening on the floor. You need to spend time with “boots on the ground” to get an accurate picture. Where the sales presentation was intended to justify a site visit, the actual site visit is your chance to validate that what you were sold is actually being done.
That’s what this guide is designed to do: Give you the essential information you need to make an informed decision regarding site selection. Using it, you will know exactly what to look for to have the most productive visit possible.
1. Before You Leave
Preparation is Key: Start by setting an agenda with the management team. Often, a client will dictate the initial draft of the site visit agenda. While this works to communicate the critical items the client wants to cover, you may be leaving out important pieces the contact center would offer up.
- Actionable Tip: Ask the contact center to provide a draft of the agenda first, and then offer your feedback. This is your first view into their organization and professionalism. Validate how open they are to implementing your suggestions.
- Question: “Can you provide a tentative schedule for our visit? I’d like to ensure we cover all critical areas.”
2. Arriving at the Airport & Heading to the Site
First Impressions Count: The airport pickup often sets the tone. Your ride to the center is a great time for a casual conversation.
- Actionable Tip: Note the punctuality, professionalism, and demeanor of the person meeting you. Use this time to gather some general knowledge about the company and region. If you have the opportunity, ask the driver questions as they will most likely give you unfiltered responses.
- Question: “How far is the contact center from the airport, and what’s the typical commute like for employees? Can you tell me more about the local community and its relationship with the contact center?”
3. Arriving at the Site
First Glance Matters: Observe the surroundings, building condition, and reception.
- Actionable Tip: Look for company branding, security measures, and the general upkeep of the facility.
- Question: “How long have you been at this location? Are there plans for expansion or relocation?”
4. Assess the Workforce
Engagement is Key: Gauge the mood and engagement level of the employees.
- Actionable Tip: Spend time in communal areas like break rooms to catch unscripted moments.
- Question: “What activities or programs are in place to boost employee morale and engagement?”
5. Allocate Time for Focus Groups
Deepen Employee Insights: Schedule private, informal focus groups with agents.
- Actionable Tip: Make it comfortable for them to open up. Assure them that their feedback is confidential.
- Question: “What improvements would you like to see in your day-to-day operations or work environment? Why did you choose this particular contact center?”
6. Meet with Management
Leadership’s Role is Pivotal: Their vision and capabilities will greatly affect your collaboration.
- Actionable Tip: Note their availability, willingness to share information, and rapport with subordinates. Ask them questions on how they address performance issues. Often times, the front-line leadership has not been trained to tackle performance issues using root cause analysis and this blocking and tackling is the key to consistent performance.
- Question: “How do you handle challenges or disputes within the team? Can you share a recent example? Can you tell me a time when a client’s KPI was not in SLA and what you did to fix it?”
7. Ask About Attrition
Attrition Speaks Volumes: Understand the why’s and how’s of employee turnover.
- Actionable Tip: Look for clear, consistent metrics and genuine answers. The industry secret is that there is no “standard” way of calculating attrition. So, the reality is that every vendor will present attrition in the best light possible. Ensure you are asking the right questions to get to the root of attrition.
- Question: “How do you address and work towards reducing attrition? How do you calculate attrition?”
8. Inquire About Recruiting and Hiring
Building a Strong Team: The quality of the hiring process often mirrors the quality of service.
- Actionable Tip: Investigate the assessments administered during the recruiting process. Ask to see training modules or on-boarding materials.
- Question: “What traits or qualifications do you prioritize when hiring? What is your class graduation rate from training into production?”
9. Observe the Facility
The Working Environment: Physical surroundings affect employee morale and productivity.
- Actionable Tip: Take a detailed tour, noting things like lighting, space utilization, and cleanliness.
- Question: “How often is the facility updated or renovated? Are there any upcoming changes?”
10. Check for Security Protocols
Security is Non-Negotiable: Ensure that both data and physical security measures are robust.
- Actionable Tip: Check for visible cameras, security personnel, and secure access points. Try to break protocol from time to time. For example, leave a door propped open and see if there are alarms or someone addresses it.
- Question: “Can you walk me through your security protocols, especially in the event of a breach or threat?”
11. Get the Take on Technology
Tech Backbone: A strong tech infrastructure is crucial for efficient operations.
- Actionable Tip: Look for updated equipment, redundancy measures, and secure data storage.
- Question: “How do you keep your technology updated? What’s your process for handling tech-related issues?”
12. Spend Time Away from the Contact Center
Cultural Insight: Understanding local culture can provide insights into potential workforce behavior. This is often one of the most overlooked areas of a site visit. Any good contact center can stage a site visit, but they cannot control the surroundings. Find at least a little time to visit with locals around your hotel and gauge the overall sense of the culture.
- Actionable Tip: Visit local spots, interact with locals, and gauge the overall mood and hospitality.
- Question (to locals): “How do you view the contact center industry in this region?”
13. Reflect on Your Overall Impression
Final Thoughts: Before leaving, take a moment to gather your thoughts.
- Actionable Tip: Jot down immediate feelings, observations, and potential concerns.
- Question (to oneself): “Based on what I’ve seen and experienced, can I envision a successful partnership?”
Remember, a site visit is an invaluable opportunity to gather insights that can’t be discerned remotely. Approach it with an open mind, prepared questions, and a keen eye for observation.
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