Outsourcing is a viable solution for startups looking to expand operations and the breadth of what their call center services can do.
Assessing whether your organization should outsource or not is a significant decision-making component of preserving customer trust and enhancing your services.
With the right outsourcing partner and an efficient plan in place, you will see that your business or startup can save more in terms of time, money, and resources.
If you’re just starting to grow your business, this blog is meant to serve as your guide in outsourcing call centers. Let’s dig deeper into the history of call center outsourcing, how it works, and how it could potentially benefit your organization.
What is Call Center Outsourcing?
By increasing your business’s functionality in essential areas, call center outsourcing enhances customer experience. Call center services equip your business with various resources, including customer assistance, technical support, appointment setting, sales generation, and reinforcements for marketing, talent acquisition, and finance.
There are three types of call center services:
- Inbound call center – Its primary job is to resolve as many customer issues as possible. They are typically focused on assisting customers who require assistance with their problems or require guidance on using your products and services.
- Outbound call center – In an outbound call center, instead of receiving calls, agents are the ones who call or initiate communication with potential or existing customers. An outbound call center is mainly used for sales, promotions, and customer surveys.
- Virtual call center – A virtual call center integrates inbound and outbound call center services with various innovative capabilities. It requires a computer or a phone with an internet connection. A significant advantage of virtual call centers is that they work by interacting with innovative tools, such as customer relationship management (CRM) or sales support systems.
Outsourcing a call center entails contracting with a team of agents outside of your organization.
It assists helping your in-house team prioritize what is critical by providing an extension of manpower who can balance the workload. Meanwhile, a skilled and knowledgeable staff of call center operators will handle the other critical factors of running your business.
How Did Call Center Outsourcing Start?
The humble beginnings of the first call centers were characterized by phone rooms, telemarketing services, and the inclusion of computers during the 1970s and the 1980s.
From a mainly sales-oriented contact center headquarters, its capabilities and services branched out to provide customer support as a way of meeting the changing demands of customers. Cellular phones were developed and progressed into what are now called smartphones, while the global access to the internet paved the way for the modernized structure of call centers.
The gradual development in the call center industry made it more apparent that providing quick, real-time, and 24/7 assistance to all customers is a trademark of a reliable business. It was then that the idea of outsourcing to BPO firms came to light.
In-House Vs. Outsourcing: When Should A Company Outsource?
Today, businesses of all sizes benefit from cutting-edge technology and a diversified talent pool to help attain their goals. At the same time, the further a business expands and develops, there are bound to be more challenging endeavors and hurdles that must be dealt with smartly and aptly.
One way for a startup to be well-prepared for such a massive change is to enlist the help of a BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) expert. With outsourcing, SMEs gain access to the necessary resources, experiences, and capacities for growth.
Whether you are in the middle of scaling a team to maximize your operations or are looking to improve your back office, acquiring knowledge on how to start an outsource call center is worth your time and effort.
Below are the following scenarios that make outsourcing a perfect fit for your existing call center practices:
- Reducing and controlling operational costs.
Several organizations outsource because of the high cost of labor and other operational expenses.
Employing in-house workers comes with a number of additional costs, including salary, benefits, and the cost of providing the employee’s own workspace and work equipment. This could have a negative impact on your startup’s finances. In outsourcing, you will only pay for the work that was done.
Training is also not always a necessity in outsourced staff. Typically, remote-based staff already possess extensive knowledge and skills in their respective fields. Hence, you get efficiency without exhausting your resources to cover additional skills training.
- Improving the company’s focus.
Reassigning your call center services to a remote team also allows you to focus on the essential components of your business. It gives you the opportunity to reorganize the distribution of tasks. For instance, you can outsource to a third-party developer and have chatbots handle routine tasks or frequently raised queries.
Or, you can employ call center agents from target countries to enable multilingual assistance to internationally based customers.
Whether you’re a startup or a well-established firm, this can help you focus on building your business and offer you an advantage over your competitors.
- Regulating possible risks to your business.
It is more crucial than ever to be prepared for any issues that may arise in the future.
The consequences of losing an important member of your company’s internal workforce is dire. Even more so if that employee serves as one of the company’s most important assets. Be ready to deal with project cancellations, delays, or lengthy recovery times. It could take weeks or even months to properly train a replacement!
You don’t have to worry about these issues when you outsource, because your outsourcing partner will likely offer alternative solutions. The suitable BPO partner will help keep your business going while minimizing interruptions and protecting it from harm.
Pros of Outsourcing Call Center Services
Increase your operational readiness to satisfy your business needs more efficiently. The following are the top benefits of outsourcing call center services:
Fees for infrastructure, labor, possible training costs, and overhead are all part of the expenses to consider when extending the breadth of what your call center services can offer. Outsourcing can help minimize each of these costs. With enough research, it’s possible to employ a well-trained team complete with all the necessary equipment, a complete pricing list, and a guarantee of success.
Access to the Latest Technology and Tools
Outsourced call centers are committed to implementing the most effective strategies to improve business-to-customer communications and operational processes. Each person at the outsourced center is expected to have access to the best lineup of skills and expertise, regardless of whether they’re a customer service agent or a supervisor. The service provider will take care of implementing and maintaining innovative contact channels and tools, thereby allowing your organization to maximize the benefits of the best software without incurring additional charges.
Eliminate staffing issues
The hiring, training, scheduling, and management of a call center team are all frequently handled by third-party service providers. It keeps your business from wasting time, money, and dealing with added stress.
24/7 customer service for a fraction of the price
Companies that outsource call center activities typically can provide round-the-clock customer service at a cost that isn’t prohibitive. They can even unlock the possibility of catering to a global audience.
Challenges of Outsourcing Call Center Service
Whether you’re a startup, small business, or experienced entrepreneur, outsourcing your contact and call center operations will free up time and resources to concentrate on what you do best. An outsourced call center delivers a cost-effective and profit-enhancing customer service option by rapidly expanding your personnel.
As with any other service, outsourcing has its drawbacks too. The following are the downsides of outsourcing call center services:
Decreased customer satisfaction
According to MIT Sloan School of Management experts, offshore call center outsourcing dramatically reduces customer satisfaction and quality of service. This is most likely due to the combination of the following factors:
Linguistic and cultural barriers
Agents based in other countries may be unable to deliver the best customer service due to a lack of cultural familiarity, fluency, and communication skills. In some instances, agents may have a thick native accent that customers will instantly notice.
Decreased control over business functions
Choosing an external service provider to handle your call center operations puts your business in the hands of someone you don’t know. As a result, it may be more difficult to track quality control and streamline existing procedures to improve customer satisfaction.
Lack of company knowledge
If you outsource your customer service to a call center, they may not be fully knowledgeable of how your firm operates. There is a risk that they may not be fully committed to the business, your customers, or to your company’s standards and culture.
When making a business decision, you need to assess your objectives thoroughly. Look for the non-critical tasks that don’t contribute to your competitive edge, and begin outsourcing those responsibilities to focus on a more important task.
The benefits and downsides of both hiring in-house and outsourcing should be considered before deciding.
Outsourcing is a solution that can help you reduce costs, develop your firm, or focus on perfecting your customer outreach strategy right now. That said, when is it appropriate for a business to use an outside vendor? Now is the best time to start!!
Table of Contents
- What is Call Center Outsourcing?
- How Did Call Center Outsourcing Start?
- In-House Vs. Outsourcing: When Should A Company Outsource?
- Pros of Outsourcing Call Center Services
- Challenges of Outsourcing Call Center Service