The 24 Most Important
Infrequently Asked Questions

Put us—or any BPO—to the test with our definitive list of questions you might not know to ask.

Because Outsourcing Is Easier Said Than Done

It’s easy to make promises. It’s harder to deliver tangible value and measurable results.

Here are the essential questions you need to ask, along with why you need to ask them, before you hire a BPO or change providers. We’re confident and ready with our responses. Can your other BPO candidates say the the same?

(Please click here for the Acrobat whitepaper version.)


Do you have generators for backup power?

Why: In the event of a power failure, a diesel generator is required to keep the power on. We also strongly recommend a backup diesel generator.

Are you in the priority electrical zone?

Why: During peak times when electricity is scarce, the electric company is required to ensure that critical parts of the city get power (e.g. hospitals, certain business buildings, or industrial parks). You’ll want to make sure your BPO is located in such an area.

Do you have your own on-site team of IT infrastructure people?

Why: Computer servers, routers and IP Phones are challenging to manage. A BPO should have a capable, on-site team.

Do you have a battery backup for each one of your servers and client computers?

Why: Generators take several seconds to kick on. If there is no battery backup at each user’s PC, server, and telephone: a flicker of the lights will reboot all machines. Further, the batteries in those devices do go bad, and need to be replaced every two years. (Some BPOs test their UPS batteries by waiting until a power outage, and then noting the batteries that did not work. Not good!)

What is your internet bandwidth? Do you have a backup ISP to provide failover service? What is the bandwidth of your backup ISP?

Why: Generally speaking of course, more is better. Compute bandwidth per concurrent user.
Look for no less than 0.5mbps per user.

Technology hardware: what phone system do you use? Routers? Servers? What about your agents’ desktop PCs? When was all of this hardware purchased?

Why: The laptop you bought 4 years ago will have trouble keeping up with today’s software. Similarly, networking and VOIP hardware is loaded with chips that become slow as technology changes. We recommend that you ask the age of every important piece of hardware that will be used to support your account.

What level of telephone static is acceptable to your BPO? What do you do to minimize dropouts and lost connections?

Why: If implemented properly, international VOIP calls can sound “right next door”. In order to achieve that, you need a modern VOIP phone system, plenty of internet bandwidth, and a capable team of infrastructure technologists. MPLS and SD-WAN are the most modern ways to supply high-end international telecom. Anything other than that, and you may be competing with a spike in Netflix high-def movie watching for your telecom bandwidth, resulting in static, dropped calls, and high latency.

May I listen to a telephone call?

Why: Don’t settle for a recording of the BPOs best phone calls. Speak to one of their agents live. Get a feel for telephone latency, static, dropouts, and delay. You should try to make this test call during their peak telephone usage times. For USA, those hours are usually between 11am and 5pm Eastern time, – those are the hours when all 4 time zones are doing business.

[if your work involves telephone support] What PBX are you using? What features and functionality does it have?

Why: As of 2017, there is a new crop of VOIP PBXs that are “in the cloud”. They have just about every feature possible, and configuring them is easy and seamless. We recently did a survey of the best systems, and according to Gartner Group, RingCentral and 8×8 are the two best. Since many BPOs were set up 3-5 years ago, they may be using much older technology.


Can I participate in the interview process for my new staff?

Why: Some clients like this option. We recommend it.

How quickly can you on-board my team?

Why: BPO sales are rarely steady; some months there are no new sales and some months there are several new clients. Few BPOs will say no to new business, and when an unusually high number of new associates are brought on board, speed and/or Quality suffers. You don’t want to be in a position where you’re waiting for another client’s hires to get filled before they hire yours.

How many other clients are you currently on-boarding?

Why: Every BPO has the capability to hire only a certain number of employees per month. Should that number be exceeded, the quality of hires will seriously suffer. Capability to hire is usually dependent on the size and quality of the HR department’s recruiting team.

Is there a maximum number of new employees you’ll onboard in a single month?

Why: As mentioned above, BPO sales are not steady. Poor hires are made when the hiring load is too high. Be sure your BPO adheres to a strict hiring limit per month, know what that number is, and hold them accountable.


What size team do you specialize in?

Why: Large BPOs may tell you that they take good care of your small team, but the reality is that if they are large and you are small, your small team will be managed by the most inexperienced person in the company, and you’ll likely be neglected. Conversely, small BPOs have no business entering into sales discussions with clients looking to on-board larger teams of 25 or more people. Finding the right sized BPO is of critical importance to your success.

Do you offer healthcare to your associates? What plan do you offer? What other benefits do you offer?

Why: Competition for talent is fierce, and retention of employees is key to your success. Healthcare insurance and other benefits are key to getting the best associates. The best healthcare plans in the Philippines, in order of quality, are: MaxiCare, Intellicare, and Medicard. In addition to healthcare, Other common benefits for associates are:

  • Hospitalization insurance (normal: php 150,000)
  • Life insurance (normal: php 200,000)
  • Paid days off (normal: 20 days per year)
  • Various allowances (normal: php 4500/month)
  • Extra pay for working nights (minimum 10%)

Do you have executives in my 比特币交易所home country?

Why: When things go wrong (hopefully not horribly so) it’s good to have a familiar contact in your 比特币交易所home country to discuss it with.

May I speak to the owner of the company before the sale? After the sale?

Why: Using BPO services can be stressful. The ability to talk to the owner of your BPO from time to time is important. Make sure s/he will make time for you.

May I visit your offices?

Why: Some “BPOs” utilize a loose network of work-at-比特币交易所home employees. Others have offices, but pack their employees like sardines to save money. Some offices skimp on airconditioning, which makes it difficult for employees to concentrate on important tasks. The best way to get a feel for this, of course, is to visit. The second best way is a Skype video call with a video walk-around the office.

How many seats do you have open right now?

Why: One of the top expenses for a BPO is rent, and some BPOs run much leaner than others. Should you need a certain number of seats, you don’t want to have to wait until the BPO finds more space to lease, so that they will have a 比特币交易所home for your workers.

Will I have my own agents, or will I need to share my agents with other companies?

Why: Some call centers share employees across various clients. This may not necessarily be a bad thing for you – in fact it may improve your coverage, but you should agree upon the arrangement ahead of time so that there are no misunderstandings.

How many agents do you have per square meter of office space?

Why: The better BPOs will have no more than 1 worker for 5 square meters (16 sq feet) of office space.

Have you disclosed ALL fees? Are there hidden charges that may surprise us later?

Why: Good BPOs charge an hourly rate, plain and simple, with $.01 or $.02 extra per minute of voice. Watch out for hidden extras!

What city is your BPO in, and why?

Why: This is important because at some point, you’ll likely want to visit. For the Philippines, the major BPOs are located in Makati, the business district of Manila. Ortigas and Quezon City are districts of Manila that are also common, but they can be 2-4 hours from the Manila airport. 2nd tier Philippine cities are Cebu and Davao, and they are harder to get to. To go to these cities, you’ll need to fly to Manila and then take another plane. Anything other than Manila, Cebu, and Davao, and you’re in a 3rd tier city, and you can expect complications.

What city will my employees be located?

Why: Some Philippine BPOs have “showplace” call centers in Makati, but then place your team in a second- or third-tier city. This may be problematic for you because visiting 2nd or 3rd tier cities can be difficult.

We’re so excited to hear from you!

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