What is your favorite or least favorite BPO or Call Center?

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We’d like to get feedback on who your favorite companies in the BPO and Call Center industry are. We’d also like to know who you don’t like and why. Have you had a bad experience with a particular company, or several companies? You can respond to this blog entry and tell us which company was bad, what happened, and what you decided to do about it.

We’re interested in knowing how particular companies perform in real life.

Are they helpful by phone?
Do they give good answer by email?
Do they give reasonable quotes for projects?
Do they get work done on time?
Are you happy with their staff & management?

Let us know how you feel.


Classical Hip Hop — a radio show about Jazz, Rap, and Classical Music.

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I was having this dream that the symphony’s soloist couldn’t make it to a concert, so they hired a street musician named Ned to play funk saxophone with the symphony. In my premonition, the audience loved Ned so much they put thousands of ones in Ned’s saxophone case which he left on stage (at Carnegie Hall) and he was able to get off the streets for a few weeks.

In real life a few days later after this premonition, I was at Walt Disney Concert Hall which I inappropriately call “Symphony Hall” since I’m an East Coaster origionally. There were several world class school bands playing who were the best of their class. One band had 63 members and came all the way from Malaysia to play music that was far harder than any high school band could possibly master. Last, there was a professional wind ensemble of 101 members called Symphonic Winds from Woodland Hills, California.

Symphonic Winds of Los Angeles area was so good, I could tell while they were tuning up that they were top notch. Their performance was so good that I was blown away (pun intended). Their performance went from a accoustical gale to an symphonic typhoon which filled the whole hall with glorious sounds. After the performance, I wondered if the musicians had a scotch to “unwind” (another inexpensive pun on wind instruments — sorry.)

But, what if there were a radio show called classical hip-hop. The theme song would have a hip-hop drum beat with a funk saxophonist taking turns playing or dueling with a classically trained violinist and pianist playing contemporary sounding music. What an odd sound idea. But, the diologue of the DJ’s would be even more interesting.

JAZZY: (gravely voice) Hi, this is jazzy Fred, comin’ at ya in New York. How y’all doin today? We have a lively program from some cool classical cats like Vivaldi, Levi-Strauss, and more.

EDWIN: Ah yes, the harmonious sounds of the Baroque era. By the way, that is Strauss, not Levi-Strauss. You wear Levi-Strauss’ work, you listen to Strauss.

JAZZY: Oh… Gotcha. Well, anyway, you know what time it is.

EDWIN: Actually, I don’t, I left my watch at home and I’ll be damned if I know where I left it.

JAZZY: Well, you’ll find it — player.

EDWIN: Actually, I’m more of a listener than a player.

JAZZY: I hope you don’t mind Edwin, but I invited a cool cat up to the studio to hang with us. We go way back.

EDWIN: I wish you hadn’t done that. I’m unfortunately quite allergic to cats.

JAZZY: Well I bet you ain’t allergic to this cat. Boy you should hear him play.

EDWIN: I have a long string right hear, I’m sure we will have ample fun watching this feline play with it.

JAZZY: Here he is. Shorty — how you doin?

SHORTY: I’m doin all—- right….

EDWIN: Hello Mr. Shorty, I was going to inquire as to whether or not you had been neutered, but I see that the question no longer needs to be presented to you.

SHORTY: Neutered? After my first wife cranked out triplets, I considered it now that you mention it. But, my wife wasn’t down with that.

EDWIN: I see. Well just give her a stiff drink and perhaps she’ll appear to be more down.

SHORTY: When I first met Jazzy, I asked him if he played jazz or if he played it straight. He asked me what playing it straight meant. I explained to him that meant classical music. He was sober in those days.

EDWIN: Well indeed yes, there is nothing worse than curvy music, especially in this day and age. But, modern classical music does tend to be rather dissonent. I’m not sure if there is anything straight about it.

SHORTY: So, Jazzy, how do you like my new threads?

EDWIN: Now I see why you call him a cat. He likes threads so much, he must be a cat in human form.

JAZZY: Nah, ya-see, calling a brotha’ a cat is a manner of speaking. It just means a guy who likes to hang out.

EDWIN: So, would a “cat” then chase tails?

JAZZY: Oh my God. You actually used an experession that we would use for the first time. This is a triumph for classical hip-hop, where worlds collide.

EDWIN: Yes, where worlds collide, but without all of the predicted meteor showers and the like.

How to Ubersize your BPO Outsourcing Company

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Most BPO companies out there thrive on being average. The people answering the phone just can’t communicate. The people doing the work are mediocre with nobody checking on them. In short, it’s a big mess. The secret to fast growth in the BPO industry seems to be finding an elastic workforce that you can check the quality of on a regular basis. If everyone just works in the same office, you can watch them easily, but you can’t expand or contract your business with any type of ease.

To Ubersize your BPO means you have more freelancers working for you. They could work from home, on call, and with no commitment either way. Developing a large pool of resources for getting work done can make your life very flexible. You have to keep records on how good their work is on various assignments so you can figure out who you are going to select for future assignments.

Or, you could automated your whole enterprise and have customers work directly with your help through a web portal. That works well for freelancing sites, but is not necessarily recommended for medium sized BPO outfits. The bottom line is developing a sustainable and efficient business model that works for you!

Another interesting Uber-Type business model is to have clients input their assignment in a portal, have a manager inspect it, and have your remote helpers grab the assignment. A manager would have to review the subcontractors who grabbed the assignment to see if they are qualified or desired for the job. But, this type of automation allows work to get done more quickly. In real life, most programmers and outsourced workers are busy, or don’t want to bother. Having a system where the one who jumps first gets the job ensures a higher level of motivation. Whether they finish on time is another story, but at least they’ll start on time which is half the battle.

What to look for when hiring a medical transcription company

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There is a lot that can go right or wrong when hiring medical transcription help. Any company can hire reps that will write down what you say in a tape. But, can they do the job right and on time?

Error Rates are well documented in the Medical Transcription industry. It is the only industry I’ve seen with such detailed statistics. But, how do you know if their error rate calculation is accurate unless you take your own reading.

Communication is another factor. Does the company that you hired communicate well? Do they pick up the phone? Are they happy to hear from you? Dealing with unpleasant people is a sure way to ruin your day. The question is, can you find the right people?

Commenting is another issue. Can your medical transcription agent make appropriate comments? Also, can they differentiate between text they should include, and you saying “ouch” when you stubbed your toe? Many are so incompetent that they just put the ouch right into the text (and then get fired as a result.)

A smart medical transcription company can catch your errors instead of making errors on their own. It’s just a question of hiring sharp people who care. Some of the MT companies out there are so horrible that my chiropractor decided to train his own girls how to do the job even though it was more expensive. But, his girls did the job right.

The best place to find medical billing and medical transcription outsourcing companies is right here on 123outsource.net!

How do I find a call center?

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Are you looking for a call center to help you with appointment setting, collections, sales, technical support, chat support, or customer service? 123outsource.net has a wide selection of call centers that is well organized and always growing. New agencies are always joining our list of call centers, so you can always find call centers within seconds.

On 123outsource.net you can find inbound call centers, and you can find outbound call centers. You can find international call centers, as well as domestic. You can find call centers in any part of the world such as The Philippines, India, Costa Rica, Jamaica, USA, Canada, Romania, Bulgaria, Ukraine, and other places as well.

So, if you need help to find call centers, with a list that is updated regularly, you are in the right place! We hope you enjoy and benefit from our list of call centers on 123outsource.net.

A programming company that charges $25,000 per week? They should charge by the minute

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$8.33 per hour!
I did a meditation to help me find the best software company in the United States. I tuned into the cosmos for half an hour and got my answer. The company would be in Florida near Tampa. Sure enough when I queried .Net programming companies in Florida, this excellent company came up. They even had a cool name that starts with a number, just like my site! www.352inc.com. In addition, they have the coolest looking website I have ever seen a programming company have. With the type of revenue they are making, they can afford a nice site! The salesperson explained how the company worked and how they finished huge projects in just days using a business model of having four person teams. After they finished projects, they could also assign an independent programmer to touch up code that needed tweaking if you could commit to eight hours per session.

But, what if the team experienced problems? I would be out $4000 per day during any snags in the process, or would I be? Hmmm. And what if they needed me in the middle of the project and couldn’t reach me at the critical junction? Then what? If I had some experience with this company, I would hire them in a flash. But, it was just too much. They were in the fast lane and I like to proceed at a more cautious speed. I think they would be perfect for larger companies. I think they would be perfect for me too — if only they could give me half a programmer rather than a gang of four! 20 hours a week is half a programmer and that is perfect for me providing he is the right guy.

When I hire programmers, I like to interview each one by hand. I like to see if they have the right thinking skills, communication abilities and personality for the job. Working with an unknown team of four would make it impossible to verify if things would go well. Too scary for me, but perfect for large companies who know this company well.

The new Google Algorithm will whoop your non-mobile behind!

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I was one of the first people to have a mobile page for my site to get search results. However, if you found city or state search results directly on Google it would not go to a mobile page. So, now I realize that I was ahead of my time a few years ago, but I haven’t been paying attention.

Mobile is where it’s at, and if you don’t have mobile pages for your site, you are not catering to roughly 50% of the traffic out there. Why do people like using their mobile devices so much? I don’t know. I use mobile for checking Twitter and Facebook stats, reading leisure blogs, but nothing more. I use a desktop for serious work.

Google’s new algorithm will penalize your site if it is not mobile friendly. And your blog needs to be mobile friendly too. But, the good news is, the minute I got my blog mobile friendly, my stats went shooting up the same day. My Google visits are up 40% the day I got the mobile plugin. I’m just hoping my site traffic will go up equally much when I adjust the pages to be mobile friendly as well.

The bottom line here is that you could lose 30% of your traffic by not being mobile friendly on the new Google algorithm, but once you fix your pages to be mobile friendly, the traffic will go shooting up within hours.

How often do you give raises?

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How often do you give raises? The art of raises and rewarding your employees for deserved behavior, but avoiding running the risk of overly rewarding them and making them think they deserve another raise before they’ve earned it.

My solution was to give raises every 90 days to full-time people and every 180 days to part-time. I realize that this is a powerful strategy, however there were a few kinks to work out. Someone full time will feel a sense of moving up in the world if they are always getting raises. Keep in mind that you need to set their starting salary a little lower for them to merit raises. Also keep in mind that they need to merit the raises with an increase skill set and hard work. Most people are very short sighted which is why 90 days raises are so effective. Google uses this strategy by the way! After a year or two, the raises will become a little smaller. You also have to give people more responsibility otherwise they will not feel useful. Letting them learn new skills is very important to many employees who want to feel like they are growing, while others specifically do not want to grow at all.

The flaw in my system is that my part-timers seem to put in as much time as they feel like. This is not good for long-term employment. Those who are not reliable in their hours will not last long, or will not be that valuable as employees. It seems more sensible to have a starting wage while in training. Then have them put in 400 hours before getting a raise. If they are slow pokes and do five hours a week, it might be two years before their first raise. But, this way the raise is based not only on how much they learned and produced, but how much loyalty and hours they put in too which is a very important factor.

Someone who sticks with you in the long run is valuable, especially when combined with versatile work skills. So, reward people for everything.

These days with millennials, especially in India, there is a lot of job hopping. You cannot get ahead in any career by job hopping. But the time you half know what you are doing, you’ll be at the next company. For managers, knowing they have someone good to do a job is important. How well will they know your work if you hop from job to job? If you are dealing with perpetual job hoppers, I would give them a lower starting salary simply because you’ll have to invest time hiring and training them only to have them quit. Let them pay for this out of their salary and reward them later on if they stay.

What is important in dating is also important in business

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When you go out to find a date, your friends will push their narrow-minded views down your throat. They will insist that the girl comes from your type of background, has the right type of job, and dresses the right way. In my experience, none of this matter, not even a little bit. I dated a girl from the right background, the right spiritual group, the right type of job, and the right type of family — it was the worst relationship I’ve ever had and broke in a very painful way.

Years earlier, I dated someone from a different continent who was not educated, hardly spoke English, was eighteen years older than I was, and had nothing in common with me. I had a much longer and more pleasant relationship.

After I summed up all of my platonic and romantic relationships and friendships and figured out what was good and bad about each one, what I discovered was…

1. The relationships that lasted the longest were with people who were from a similar class whose parents were from the same educational level and/or level of sophistication my parents were from. But, they weren’t necessarily from the same country.

2. In romantic relationships what matters most is:
Chemistry, Conversation, Cooperation, Consideration, Similar attitudes about abortion, Similar attitudes about sexuality

3. In marriage what matters most is
Family — whether you get along with them, Attitude about saving & spending, Type of job the other person has, Spiritual Views, Cultural Views, Common Goals, and Loyalty (perhaps this one should come first)

As you can see, the list for marriage and romance are completely different the minute a commitment is there — at least from my point of view.

Finding an Outsourcing Company
So, what if you were looking for a BPO to hire, and you talked to a few of the managers for a while. Would it make sense to hire a company because you felt good chemistry with them?

CUSTOMER: I really like your voice.

RAHUL (BPO MANAGER): Gee thanks.

CUSTOMER: I feel like we have good chemistry together and a deep connection.

RAHUL: That figures, I majored in chemistry in college. This connection is pretty good. It’s Fios.

CUSTOMER: I’m looking for a meaningful relationship with an ePublishing company

RAHUL: We can deliver meaning in any context — online or book format — your choice. But maybe we can shoot for an eFling first.

CUSTOMER: That’s not what I meant. I’m looking for a deeper friendship

RAHUL: I”m not sure my wife would be okay with that. I’ll have to ask. Or she could come along

CUSTOMER: I just feel so happy when I meet everyone’s family.

RAHUL: You obviously haven’t met my sister. Just one more question…

RAHUL: Yes. Yes.

CUSTOMER: What are your views on abortion?

RAHUL: I’m pro-choice: eCommerce format or PDF.

CUSTOMER: We mesh perfectly. I’m finding you very sexy right now. What are your attitudes about saving and spending?

RAHUL: I save for a rainy day. And I spend on umbrellas.

CUSTOMER: Spiritual views?

RAHUL: I pray it doesn’t rain today. I just washed my car.

Every time you call and get someone charismatic will make your business seem amazing

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When people call your business, what kind of people do they get to talk to? Do your prospects or customers talk to smart people, dumb people, helpful people, ignorant people, or charismatic people? If you give your customers a good phone experience, that can make quite an impression. Charismatic people might not come cheap, but neither is losing out on hundreds of great customers that you are losing by hiring losers to answer your phone.

Nobody has to know the truth about your company. Nobody has to know that you hire lousy people. If people call and get to talk to a different interesting person every time they call, they will have the impression that everybody that works for you is amazing. The truth might be that only four out of two hundred is amazing, but the customers won’t know that unless they visit your office. And even if people visit your office, have the charismatic people jump out at them and chat them up and offer them some coffee or chai.

It doesn’t matter what the ratio of great employees is to terrible ones. What matters is the perceived ratio. If every interaction I have with your staff is amazing, I will have an amazing impression. If most of your workers are amazing, but you only let me talk to the terrible ones, my impression will be terrible. You can manufacture an experience at your company, so design it the right way to make the right impression.

5 popular call center benchmarks

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f you want to hire a call center, give them a quiz over the phone and see how well they know their benchmarks or benchmarks of quality standards. If they say, “huh?” maybe you have found the wrong call center.

Service Level
How many percentage of calls were answered within a particular time frame? If 80% of calls were answered within 20 seconds, that is very impressive. But, how many can achieve that?

Average Speed to Answer
Many of your callers might be on hold for a while in a queue. How long does it take for your average call to get answered?

Abandonment Rate
How many of your calls hang up before an agent answers?

Call Duration
How long was the call. If your agents talk too long with your clients, you might be popular, but won’t be able to handle many calls in a day.

First Call Resolution
If an agent can handle 90% of calls and resolve them singlehandedly , that is fantastic. Other agents need to transfer calls and get others involved. The value of a call center agent lies in their ability to resolve issues.

I’m not sure if this is on the list. But, there are certain factors in the call center business that cannot be measure with stats. If someone has a pleasant voice, comes to work regularly, doesn’t quit after severa months, and is nice to the clients, that is actually more important than any of the more statistical metrics associated with the call center industry!

You can’t be behind when you behead

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The joke is that extremists in Iraq who like to cut people’s heads off were late to an appointment. All of their friends were there wearing ski masks with the video equipment ready, but two guys were late to the beheading. The leader of this satirical extremist group scolded them on their tardiness and said, “You can’t be behind when you behead! Next time will be your last!!!” The late guys said, “Gulp?”

But, having a business is just like fighting a war. You are in a sense beheading the competition or getting your head chopped off by them. If you are always behind on your work, your business will never grow. Your customers will always be upset with you for your sluggishness. Most businesses want to use manpower efficiently and make sure that each labor resource is used to its maximum. The problem with this is that you won’t have time for last minute emergency projects, not will you have time if existing projects take longer than anticipated.

If you want to grow your business, hire more people, buy more computers, buy more inventory, make things bigger. If you have a little extra available labor resources, your business can grow. If you are always up to capacity, there is no room to grow. The analogy is having a city on an island. If the city takes up all of the island like Singapore, then there is nowhere to grow unless you find a way to build into the water. You need new land to put your buildings and farms.

So, stop being behind. Start finding ways to have more labor capacity and more managers ready to assist. Have people who are ready to answer phones who can communicate well. I wonder what the Mayans would say about this article — they did lots of beheading back in the day!