Ultimate Guide to Call Center Outsourcing
Business owners try their best and apply various tactics to ensure that they're maintaining their business in the best way possible. However, with the rapid evolution of enterprise IT and increasing concerns about cybersecurity, the need for business process outsourcing is at its peak. Several businesses rely on outsourcing their tech support, call center services, and accounting to keep the process functioning on top.
In addition, some large corporations prefer outsourcing their entire departments to come up with better productivity and growth. First, however, considering call center outsourcing, you must get through this ultimate guide. From the basics to the most complex challenges the industry faces, this guide will familiarize you with everything.
What Is Call Center Outsourcing
When a company binds a contract with another company to handle its customer service and sales functioning, the strategy is called call center outsourcing. The outsourcing company can handle these operations via telephone conversation, email, or chat.
It allows the outsourcing company to focus on its core competencies while reducing operational costs and improving customer satisfaction. With the help of outsourcing, companies gain access to trained and experienced staff, advanced technology, and flexible working hours to meet customers' demands around the world.
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All you have to do is find a well-reputed and reliable outsourcing provider to ensure that the company's brand reputation is protected and to ensure a smooth transition.
Types of Call Center Outsourcing
A company must choose a third-party vendor for call center outsourcing after considering the types of outsourcing and the services offered. So, there are three main types of call center outsourcing, each with its unique features and benefits; and they are:
1. Outbound Call Centers
In outbound call centers, the agents make calls to customers instead of receiving them. There can be several reasons behind the calls, and some of them would be regarding sales, telemarketing, lead generation, customer service, and surveys.
Most outbound call centers use automatic dialing systems and customer relationship management (CRM) software to manage the calls. The main purpose of outbound call centers is to provide information, solutions, or other answers. They are best for companies aiming to expand their reach and wishing to connect with more customers.
2. Inbound Call Centers
Inbound call centers are the ones in which customers call in for assistance or to make inquiries. The customers mostly call for solutions, queries, technical support, or general information.
Inbound call centers use interactive voice response (IVR) systems to manage the calls, and the only purpose they have is to improve a firm's customer service. Companies that wish to improve the customer-client relationship can outsource their technical support to an inbound call center.
3. Automated Call Centers
Automated call centers are the best for firms needing more staff or employees to communicate with customers. Hence, such firms have to rely on automated calls, and they are enough to solve any customer's query.
In addition, most automated call centers provide services like appointment reminders, email Management, SMS Texting, and check-in reminders.
Noteworthy Advantages of Call Center Outsourcing
Call center outsourcing has become a popular option for many businesses in recent years, offering numerous benefits over in-house call centers. Here are some of the key advantages of call center outsourcing:
- Saves Money: Hiring a bunch of professionals is surely more expensive than outsourcing your calls or chat process to a company. So, with outsourcing, you can consult a company in some other country where labor costs are lower. In addition, if you want a team to handle your calls, you need a proper working space; outsourcing also saves such expenses.
- Specialized Expertise: Companies that provide call center outsourcing appoint highly-experienced and well-skilled call center agents who have specialized knowledge in a particular industry or area of expertise. Hence, you can access them and get benefits from their services.
- The Option of Scalability: With a professional firm handling your call center operations, you can scale the process and make changes to it according to the demand. It allows businesses to avoid the costs associated with staffing an in-house call center during periods of low call volume and quickly add additional resources when volume spikes.
- Better Customer Service: When a team of experts would be handling your call center services, it will definitely improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. Most companies have a proven track record of delivering excellent customer service, and you can expect them to be beneficial to your operations as well.
- Access to a Global Customer Base: Outsourcing call center services can provide businesses with the ability to reach a global customer base, as many outsourcing providers offer multi-lingual support.
- Increased Flexibility and Efficiency: The experts handling your calling operations are skilled enough to quickly and easily modify their services to meet changing customer needs. Such outsourcing companies know how to use advanced technology and processes to optimize call center operations, which surely increases efficiency.
Challenges Faced By Call Center Outsourcing Companies
There can be some considerable advantages to call center outsourcing, but businesses have to tackle some challenges that can negatively impact the overall output. The top three challenges are:
1. Lack of Awareness
You cannot ensure that all call center outsourcing companies understand the values and ethics of your company and will work as per that only. Also, a team of experts you've hired would be more familiarized with the products and services your company is offering than the outsourcing partner.
To fix this issue, you must guide the outsourcing partner about your company's offerings and culture.
2. Language Issues
Customer service is solely dependent on the communication between a customer and an executive. If the executives are not fluent in the language the client is speaking, it can come up as a huge challenge.
Language barriers can create issues of miscommunication and create misunderstanding between the two parties. For example, if you're outsourcing customer service to a firm based in Australia, they may face difficulties when communicating with your clients in the US.
To overcome these challenges, companies may need to provide language training for call center agents, partner with translation services, or outsource to call centers that specialize in providing services in multiple languages.
3. Inability to Monitor the Tasks
When you decide to outsource your calling operations to some other company, you won't be able to track their work. In that case, the outsourced agents will work as per their own will, and you won't be aware of the fact that they're following your company's policies or not. To overcome this challenge, you can ask for regular updates or seek help from a performance management software.
How to Make Call Center Outsourcing Effective
Outsourcing call center services can only provide the desired benefits if done properly; hence, you must keep up with the following practices to make the processes more effective.
- Ensure Compatibility: If the outsourcing agents are well-aligned with your business, they can surely generate better results. For example, if the calls are related to payment processing, answering customer queries, or renewal requests, you must consult an inbound call center. On the other hand, if the calls are about booking appointments, generating leads, or conducting client follow-ups, you must consult an outbound call center.
- Use the Right Tools: To make the whole outsourcing plan more effective, you must utilize some effective software and tools. They will streamline operations and improve efficiency. You can make use of call center software, automation tools, and cloud-based technologies.
- Keep the Communication Clear: Call center outsourcing seems incomplete if you're not communicating well with the agents. You must share your objectives and goals with the agents to help them understand what is expected of them and stay clear of misunderstandings. To be clear with your communication, you can set performance metrics, provide regular feedback, and be accessible to the agents if they want to approach you.
- Spread Cultural Awareness: Call center outsourcing often involves working with agents from different cultural backgrounds. Ensuring that call center agents are culturally aware and sensitive can help improve communication, reduce misunderstandings, and improve customer satisfaction. You can provide cultural training and encourage cultural exchange and interaction among call center agents.
- Keep Quality Customer Service as Top-priority: According to a report by Forbes, 96% of customers consider customer service before becoming loyal to a brand or service provider. Companies make a mistake in considering other factors like pricing, ease of collaboration, and customer expectation when outsourcing services. Nevertheless, they must prioritize customer service because, in the end, it's all that matters.
From maintaining the standard of your customer service to saving costs, call center outsourcing can be highly beneficial for your business.
With the types mentioned above, you can decide which one suits your requirements, and keeping the challenges in mind, you can address them beforehand so that they don't come your way.