OPW - Aug 29 - Procall (client of Courtland Brooks) knows Internet dating and can help you offshore your customer service center. We interviewed Jim Rush, COO of Procall, to provide some background and expertise on outsourcing and what questions you should ask, if you're considering outsourcing.
Can you give us a brief introduction about yourself and your role with Procall?
I was in the U.S. Navy as a section leader for a cryptologic intelligence unit. I learned to join teams together to process tasks in a project oriented environment. Later on, during my five year tenure at Dell, my role as a global project leader was to lead initiatives in the Americas, Europe, Japan and India regions. I was in charge of operations and process improvements for departments such as tech support, enterprise servers and HR. I also worked closely with outsourcing partners such as eTelecare, ClientLogic, and Sitel. My role with Procall as COO culminates much of my past experience in these fields. Today I review our daily operational goals and oversee process implementation for our various clients and projects. I work with a team of executive staff members to drive our business directives and streamline our operations to surpass our shared goals with our clients.
What is the background of Procall and how long has the company been in the outsourcing business?
Procall has been in the call center outsourcing space since 1997. We were one of the first outsourcers to work with the nearshore model. This term means the Latin America and Caribbean areas. Our first international center opened in Costa Rica in 1997 and due to that amazing agent pool that we had there and the infrastructure, we opened our Dominican Republic operation in Santo Domingo in 2003. We continued our expansion in 2007 to include Panama and the Philippines. In early 2009 we opened our centers in Columbia and Guyana. Today, we're one of the largest call center networks in the region.
Are you working with internet dating clients at the moment?
Yes. We provide customer service, billing, help desk and retention support to over twenty internet dating sites currently. Part of that service is complete email, chat, voice support, in addition to profile reviews, photo, video and blog reviews as well.
So how many centers do you have? And what are the hours of operation?
We currently have eight call centers located in the U.S., Central and South America and in Asia. We have slightly over 3000 call center reps. Our Panama center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Most of our other center provide 8am to midnight Eastern U.S. coverage which is seven days a week as well.
What languages do you support?
We definitely are global at this point. We support English, Spanish, Portuguese – both European and Brazilian, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Japanese, Korean and other languages. Twelve.
So just in terms of platforms and tools that you have in place to service your accounts, can you outline some of those?
Sure. I think we have a total solution. This includes an e-learning solution, a workforce management system as well, various call management systems. I'll name a few, Phone Fusion, Five9, Touchstar and Genesis. We have a CRM and quality monitoring solutions as well.
Can you outline your base client size that you have right now?
Our voice-only customer service programs are quite large. They typically average 100-200 agents. The internet dating programs are generally smaller in nature and run roughly 30-40 reps on average. However, Procall has serviced clients with smaller requirements with 10-15 reps as well.
Outsourcing allows the client to focus on running their website while leaving the outsource provider, us, to manage day to day customer support. Outsourcing provides different types of cost effectiveness in the form of employee salaries, other overhead costs such as real estate, internet and communication rates, vacation, insurance, you name it. Agents in outsource countries typically view jobs in call centers as a career. This leads to a very professional environment and with less attrition.
So what should an internet dating firm consider or look for if they are looking for a provider such as yourself?
Main questions that come to mind are: how long have they been in the business? Do they have experience currently with other dating sites? You don't want them to muddle through the process. What type of support do they provide? What requirements does the firm need to fulfill? Is the provider familiar with balancing queues and service levels, email, reviews, calls, etc. all at the same time? Do they know how to prioritize all of these? For these very reasons, the internet dating community actually has been our most complicated model and has taught us a very valuable experience in operations.