Once considered the solution of last resort, call center outsourcing has emerged as a wise move to drive the call center forward, meet growing customer expectations, and maximize the customer experience (CE). Managers who think that outsourcing call center work means settling for something less than ideal have not kept up with recent trends and growing developments within the US-based call center outsourcing environment.
Call center outsourcing allows companies to quickly realize substantial benefits and sought-after outcomes that are challenging to achieve in-house. And even if they can address these key objectives with in-house staff, the time it takes to do so is often prohibitive.
Here are the five key benefits you can realize when you tap the services of a professional outsource call center.
It’s expensive to operate a call center twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year, including holidays. But that’s what today’s consumers expect. They want 24/7 availability, and if your call center can’t provide it, they’ll find someone else who will answer their call.
When you outsource your call center work to an outsourcing call center, you’ll get 24/7 coverage for a small fraction of what it would cost for you to do in house. This is because your outsourcing call center already has staff scheduled around-the-clock to meet the needs of other clients. That means they’re ready to quickly meet your needs too. Though larger accounts will require more time to ramp up and adequately prepare for the expected number of calls, smaller and medium-size accounts can usually start service within a couple days. That’s much faster than you could ever add, train, and schedule staff to expand your coverage hours for your in-house call center.
Outsource call centers specialize in customer service. It’s what they do. They spend an extensive amount of time training their staff with advanced telephone etiquette, leading customer service skills, and the mindset to provide exceptional customer service and enhance the customer experience.
This is not to diminish the skill level of your in-house staff, but to acknowledge the breadth of training and depth of experience that an outsource call center vendor can provide to your company.
Most companies that operate an in-house call center did not go into business with the objective of opening a call center to handle their customers’ needs. The call center was merely an ancillary necessity that they had to add to grow their business and serve their customers.
Most companies that have their own call center, see it as a distraction that reduces their focus and lessons the impact of their core competencies. However, once they outsource their call center work, this automatically increases their attention to their core competencies, allowing them the freedom to focus on what they do best.
It’s a hassle to run a call center.
There’s the labor factor, which includes hiring, training, and managing staff. You must schedule employees to meet the projected call traffic and then fill absences immediately. In addition, employees can quit without notice, which presents another logistical problem.
Next there is the technology side. There is software to buy, install, and maintain. And someone needs to know how to program it too. There are servers, routers, and internet access to deal with.
Last, but most important, are the customers who call. How many of their calls are escalated to a supervisor and then to you? Or how many of them do an end run to complain to upper management, who then come down on you?
Managing a call center is a thankless job that all too often results in putting out fires all day long. Why not just outsource all these problems and be done with it?
In most all cases call center outsourcing saves money. That’s because outsource call centers enjoy a vast economy of scale that you’ll never be able to match in-house. They can turn some of those savings over to you, while still making a profit for themselves. It’s a solution where everyone wins. And even in those rare cases where the analysis to outsource call center work results in a revenue-neutral scenario, it’s still a winning solution because of the other benefits it provides.
Sending your call center work to an outsource provider offers many positive outcomes. This includes expanding your hours of operation, improving your customer service level, and allowing for increased focus on your core competencies. It’s also sure to remove the hassles of managing and operating your in-house call center. And most likely outsourcing will save you money in the process.
If it seems there’s nothing to lose with call center outsourcing, you’re probably correct. The key is to find the right call center outsourcing provider.
Direct Call Centers provides call center and contact center services to clients across the United States and around the world. Specializing in business process outsourcing (BPO), Direct Call Centers is your single source for essential contact center work and critical BPO support services, with a focus on four primary horizontal market niches: customer service, tech support, lead processing, and chargeback support. Get a free quote today to explore if Direct Call Centers is the right match for your company’s BPO needs. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer for the call center industry.