Fb Pixel Call Center Outsourcing Guide For Small Businesses

Everything You Need To Know About Call Center Outsourcing

Everything You Need To Know About Call Center Outsourcing

call center outsourcing

call center outsourcing

 

The abundance of companies focusing on call center services tells us one thing – most companies suck in customer service. When customer satisfaction is not a priority, a competitor can take over, leaving you with higher costs and lower sales. Great thing there’s outsourcing.  If you are considering call center outsourcing do read on.

This guide aims to discuss the following:

  • What is Call Center Outsourcing?
  • What Services Can You Outsource to Call Center?
  • Advantages of Contact Center Outsourcing
  • Disadvantages of Contact Center Outsourcing
  • How Much Does Outsourcing to Call Center Cost?
  • How Can Outsourcing A Call Center Increase Profits?
  • Is Outsourcing Customer Service A Good Idea?
  • How to Hire the Right Call Center Company For You

 

Call Center Outsourcing Guide

 

 

What is Call Center Outsourcing?

Outsourcing a call center is the business activity of subcontracting customer care services and sales-related tasks to a service provider. A call center provider handles all customer requests from inquiries, bookings to refunds, inbound to outbound, catering to businesses of all shapes and sizes.

All this while giving you hiring, training of agents, and providing real-time reports with the use of sophisticated call center technology. Outsourcing a call center is possible through onshoring, nearshoring, and offshoring.

 

 

What Services Can You Outsource to a Call Center?

Call centers offer inbound and outbound call center solutions. Inbound call center services help you with incoming messages from customers. Things like inquiry handling about a product or service, returns or refunds, reservation and booking, and other customer service-related concerns. The services under inbound are:

Outbound call center services assist business owners in making calls in the realm of generating leads to sell products or services, information dissemination, conduct market research or survey, setting appointments, telemarketing outsourcing, and collecting debts. The services under outbound are:

Anything initiated through calls belongs to voice accounts. Chat and email services fall under non-voice call center operations.  Contact center outsourcing can be a short-term or a long-term partnership. You can hire a call center during the holidays or after advertising your product or service. If you want to keep it as a regular part of your business operations, signing a long-term deal with a call center is probably best.

 

 

Advantages of Contact Center Outsourcing

Like everything in this world, outsourcing has its own set of benefits and drawbacks. By becoming aware of what those things are, you are minimizing the risks that can affect your business. At the same time, it is one way of achieving the full potential of this business activity.

Enhanced customer service

Good customer service requires a lot of empathy, understanding, and patience. BPO companies train call center agents in dealing with different types of customers with various temperaments, needs, and concerns.

Sales assistance

Outsourced call center services can help you hire a sales team for lead generation, telemarketing, telesales, and appointment setting. Telemarketing companies can act on your Telemarketing campaigns faster and cheaper.

Save costs

The labor market rate in the 3rd world English-speaking countries is lower compared to other countries. By paying a quarter of the cost for the same service quality, you can allocate your resources to the development of your business.

Mitigate business risks

A mutual risk-sharing agreement comes with outsourcing. It guarantees you that when something goes wrong, you wouldn’t carry the burden alone.

Improve employee efficiency

As their role implies, call center agents can focus on taking and making calls. Call centers follow established quality assurance processes. It makes sure that the agents meet your desired KPIs.

All-day business operation

Call center companies operate 24/7 to make sure that your business never misses an opportunity or ruins a relationship with customers. The idea of a 24/7 operation becomes possible through a strategic shifting schedule approach.

 

 

Disadvantages of Call Center Outsourcing

These are the possible drawbacks that you might encounter with offshore call center services outsourcing. It is important to know these as early as possible so you can prepare an alternative plan of action in case things go out of hand.

Less control

Given that you are transferring your customer service or sales functions to a third-party company, expect that you’ll have less control over these processes. What should you do? Maintain regular communication with your offshore team so you can track the progress of your campaign.

Security and privacy issues

One of the elements that keep business owners from outsourcing is information leakage. What should you do? To make sure that your information assets are safe, choose a service provider that complies with international security standards such as ISO 27001, HIPAA, and PCI-DSS.

Linguistic and cultural barriers

Customers prefer to speak with someone who has the same accent and understands their culture. What should you do?

Choose a company that trains its agents to neutralize their accents. For example, the majority of Philippine schools — grade school until tertiary level —  teach students about the importance and rules of the English language. This explains why Filipinos don’t have a hard time perfecting their accents. Aside from this aspect, the Philippines also has a rich cultural background due to the long history of colonization in the country. Agents can learn within a shorter time frame the nuances in their clients’ culture.

Hidden charges

Sometimes, what you see isn’t what you get. Be careful of companies that do not show you everything that you need to pay so they would appear cheaper than other companies. Instead of saving money, you could be spending more. What should you do? Be blunt about asking them if there are charges that they haven’t written down in the contract.

Insufficient company knowledge

Insufficient knowledge about your company, service, or product can negatively affect customer experience. It would make your customers think that your staffs are incompetent. What should you do? Find a call center company that provides regular accent and product training to their agents.

 

How Much Does Call Center Outsourcing Cost?

Call center pricing varies from so many variables. Always remember that price alone does not guarantee the quality of service that you can get. Saving is a good idea as long as it does not compromise the result. At the end of the day, you should always ask yourself, “Is it worth the price that I’m paying for?”

Several factors determine the price of a particular service. In general, these are the main elements that you have to consider:

  1. The number of seats. This refers to the size of the team that you plan to outsource.
  2. Agent expertise. It ranges from Levels 1-3. Level 1 – answers basic questions, Level 2 – deals with the more complex subject matter and Level 3 – advanced level.
  3. Labor market rate. The cost of labor in a specific place.
  4. Length of contract. It can either be a short-term or a long-term agreement.
  5. Call Volume. The average call count per week. Typical lower volume for business to business but it’s a different story when it’s business to consumers.
  6. Average handling time (AHT). The average duration of each call, quite the opposite for call volume.
  7. Add-ons. It can be a business continuity program, specialized training, or infrastructure.

Another thing that you need to consider is the pricing model of your engagement with the call center provider: fully-managed, co-managed, and per hour of calls answered.

 

 

How Can Outsourcing A Call Center Increase Profits?

For over a decade now, outsourcing has become a go-to process for every business because of its benefits. So how does it help you in making profits?

  1. It helps you save on resources — money, time, effort, and equipment.
  2. Outsourcing solutions cost comparably lower compared to the neighboring countries that provide the same service.
  3. A good call center company can improve your customer engagement, customer care, customer retention, and customer acquisition performances
  4. You can take advantage of the outbound services it offers to generate interest from your target audiences or proactively sell your product or service.

 

 

Is Outsourcing Customer Service A Good Idea?

Yes. Many companies today — even those that belong to the Fortune 500 — outsource some of their business processes. It can be your partner for growth. It can bring your business tons of benefits.

Overall, outsourcing will depend on your business needs right at this moment. You have to assess your internal capacities and concerns first before you go looking for an outsourcing company.

But if you’re done with that step and ready to step into outsourcing, we hope that the information you read here can help you in your search.

Here are some signs that might tell you that you should.

  1. Budget concerns. Do you need to reduce operational costs to give way to other business development projects? Do you have insufficient funds to maintain an in-house team? Is the economy in your country suffering, making it difficult to keep and hire new employees?
  2. Productivity problems. Is your business getting bigger that you have difficulties keeping up with administrative tasks? Are you and your employees starting to lose focus on your core business functions? Has it become a challenge to meet deadlines?
  3. Need for specialized skills. Is it difficult to look for talents who meet your required skills? Do you need someone knowledgeable in dealing with different customer personality types? Are you expanding to another market that speaks another language?

 

Conclusion

It is important to clearly define your problems first. If you’re a startup owner, list down all the areas that you can get some help with. Meanwhile, if you’re a small to medium business owner, sit down with all the key decision-makers in your company. Discuss the current situation and the challenges that you are facing. After that, identify if outsourcing a call center can benefit your company in the long run.

 

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