Customer service is an essential element of any successful business. It sets the tone for customer engagement and helps to cultivate relationships that encourage loyalty between companies and their consumers.
Today, call center outsourcing enables businesses to access expert customer service, allowing them to provide customers with high-quality support while reducing overhead costs.
In this article, we present an expert’s guide to elevating customer service through call center outsourcing services. Knowledgeable insights are provided on understanding what aspects of customer service should be outsourced, as well as tips on how to ensure a smooth transition during implementation.
Introduction To Call Center Outsourcing: Definition, Benefits, and Trends
Outsourcing call centers is a business strategy that allows companies to contract the management of their customer service operations. Outsourcing call centers provide organizations with access to expert resources and technology, enabling them to deliver efficient customer experiences while reducing costs.
Why would a company outsource its call center services, and how does it work?
- First, the process enables organizations to manage all aspects of their customer service operations without having to develop or maintain an in-house department.
- Through outsourcing, the vendor provides personnel, training, technical infrastructure, software systems, and other necessary tools for managing customer interactions. Some vendors may also offer offshore outsourcing options, which enable organizations to benefit from lower labor rates and improved response times due to time zone differences.
The ongoing inclination towards outsourcing call centers is growing as businesses strive to reduce operational expenses while improving customer experience. In addition, companies are increasingly investing in automated technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) to streamline processes and enhance accuracy.
Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Call Centers
Call center outsourcing is becoming an increasingly popular option for businesses looking to improve their customer service and reduce costs.
Outsourcing a call center can provide many advantages, but there are some potential drawbacks as well. Therefore, it’s essential to consider all the factors when making this decision so that you can make the best choice possible.
Let’s start with the pros.
- Cost-effectiveness: One of the major benefits of outsourcing your call center services is cost savings. By utilizing an outside company, you can save on labor costs, overhead fees, and other associated expenses.
- Access to expanded talent pools: Once you outsource your company’s call center operations, you will also benefit from having access to experienced professionals who are familiar with industry trends and best practices in customer service.
- Better performance: Most third-party call center service providers offer value-added services such as analytics and reporting tools, allowing you to track performance metrics and measure your return on investment (ROI) better.
And now the cons.
- Not all vendors are dependable: On the downside, it may be challenging to find a reliable partner who meets your needs at a reasonable price point. Hence, companies should conduct extensive research into different call center outsourcing companies before selecting one partner.
- Social and geographical challenges: There could be language barriers or time zone differences if you decide to outsource overseas, which could impact customer experience negatively.
Note: Companies must always weigh both the pros and cons of outsourcing their call center operations carefully before committing to a vendor or platform. Doing proper due diligence now will help ensure successful long-term partnerships between organizations and their external partners so they can maximize business results while minimizing risks related to security or data privacy issues.
Factors To Consider When Choosing a Call Center Outsourcing Provider
When selecting a call center outsourcing provider, there are several key factors to consider.
First and foremost is the ability of the provider to deliver excellent customer service. The best call center outsourcing providers have experience in providing high-quality support services, including customer satisfaction surveys, real-time monitoring of calls, problem-resolution processes, and comprehensive training programs for their staff.
Second, it is vital to choose a vendor with access to the latest technologies. This enables them to successfully handle complex tasks such as billing inquiries or order processing, ensure optimal efficiency when dealing with customers’ queries or requests, and guarantee data privacy and security.
Finally, look for a vendor who has an effective management system in place. This allows you to track progress and make changes quickly if needed. Examples of features to prioritize include automated reporting, interactive voice response, multichannel support, and disaster recovery systems.
Best Practices for Selecting and Evaluating Call Center Outsourcing Vendors
In this section, we list the primary considerations companies should make when vetting a call center service provider.
- When selecting a call center outsourcing vendor, it is crucial to consider the size of the organization and its ability to handle peak demand. The vendor should have the capacity to meet customer needs on an ongoing basis with minimal disruption and be able to scale up or down depending on market conditions.
- They must also have experience working with customers from different industries, so they are familiar with their specific requirements and can tailor services accordingly.
- Additionally, organizations should evaluate vendors’ performance history by looking at customer feedback and operational metrics like response times, resolution rates, and total cost of ownership (TCO).
- Understanding your organizational goals when considering a call center outsourcing company is also important. The chosen partner should have expertise in implementing solutions that will help you reach your objectives.
- Businesses must assess whether service providers have sufficient resources to support large-scale projects over extended periods.
- Lastly, companies should establish clear service level agreements (SLAs) with their providers outlining expected outcomes, such as response times, resolution rate targets, and quality assurance standards. This ensures that both parties are aware of what is expected of each other throughout the partnership.
Calculate the number of resources required
The calculation of the required number of agents is not as simple as taking the number of calls and multiplying with the average handle time and then dividing it by the unit of time. First and foremost, it requires demand planning and typically the historical data is the best source of information for key statistics needed. Of course, the past can not predict the future, but it is a good starting point to kick off discussions with various stakeholders about budgeting and planning as well as to experiment with different scenarios.
Below, you can find an Erlang staffing calculator free of charge to get useful information that can be easily saved for future reference or email to your colleagues. If you are planning to outsource partly or fully customer support you can get a quick cost estimation with a click of a button.
SLA is an easy to understand and measure metric, but it does not tell the whole story. To get a complete view of your customer support efforts you may also consider tracking customer satisfaction, net promoter score (NPS), first contact resolution (FCR), abandon rates, quality scores, etc. The best set of metrics is defined by industry best practices, company business goals and most importantly company culture.
Try multiple scenarios with our free Erlang Staffing Calculator!
Which Shore? Understanding the Different Types of Outsourcing
Outsourcing can be a valuable strategy for businesses looking to increase labor output while reducing costs. However, with so many outsourcing models to choose from, it can be challenging to develop an outsourcing strategy that best suits your business needs. In this article, we’ll explore the four main types of outsourcing models to help you decide which one is best for your business.
The first type of outsourcing model is the onshore model, where businesses choose to outsource to companies in the same country. This model can be localized or span across large areas. The offshore model, on the other hand, involves outsourcing to foreign countries with different time zones. For instance, businesses in the United States use customer service agents based in the Philippines.
A variant of the offshore model is the nearshore model. Similar to the offshore model, the outsourcing company is either based in a foreign country or uses foreign workers. However, the foreign country is usually somewhere relatively close by and either shares a language and culture or where the language or culture is understood. An example of this would be a Singaporean business outsourcing to a Malaysian company, or an American business outsourcing to a Mexican company.
Choosing the right outsourcing model depends on individual business needs. The onshore model is ideal when a business requires a localized approach to outsourcing. The offshore model offers access to distinct time zones and lower labor costs, but may come with cultural and language barriers. For companies looking for outsourcing at lower costs with manageable language and cultural barriers, the nearshore model is ideal. Hybrid models, on the other hand, are flexible and can incorporate elements from other models to meet specific business needs.
Outsourcing can be an effective strategy for business growth, but choosing the right model is crucial. By exploring the four primary outsourcing models, businesses can make informed decisions that align with their goals and objectives.
Be Involved in the Hiring Process
Outsourcing your call center operations can be an excellent business strategy for your recruitment process. It can save you time, money, and resources while still providing quality customer service to your customers. However, one downside to outsourcing is that you hand over control of who you hire to the outsourcing company. This can lead to uncertainty about whether the employees hired are the right fit for your business and can provide quality customer service.
It is essential to be involved in the hiring process and hiring practices when outsourcing your call center. This can help you ensure that the employees hired are a good fit for your business and can provide quality customer service. Before outsourcing your call center, it is crucial to determine the practices the outsourcing company uses to include you in the hiring process. What is their human resources management philosophy and what technology are they using for an applicant tracking system?
Your involvement in the hiring process may be greater than you expect. The outsourcing company may involve you in the hiring process and employee selection to ensure that the employees hired meet your standards and have the necessary skills and knowledge to provide quality customer service. Furthermore, be sure to access historical job postings and know there is a specific process for screening candidates. It is important to know what the employment verification and onboarding process will entail.
Depending on the type of service and turnaround time you are looking for, your need for involvement in the hiring process and talent acquisition may vary. If you require a high level of customer service, you may want to be involved in every step of the hiring process to ensure that the employees hired are the right fit for your business. However, if you are looking for a quick and easy solution, the outsourcing company may have a streamlined hiring process that limits your involvement.
In conclusion, when outsourcing your call center operations, it is crucial to be involved in the hiring process. This can help you ensure that the employees hired are a good fit for your business and can provide quality customer service. Determine the practices that the outsourcing company uses to include you in the hiring process, and make sure they align with your expectations. Your involvement in the hiring process may vary depending on your needs, but it is essential to find the right balance to ensure the success of your outsourcing strategy.
Outsource Your Customer Service Needs to Agents Republic
In this guide, we explain that outsourcing call centers are an excellent option for businesses looking to improve customer service operations. There are three main takeaways from the article:
- Call center outsourcing improves customer service and reduces operational costs.
- Apart from cost-effectiveness, the process also ensures access to expanded talent pools and helps improve performance. However, call center outsourcing can be affected by vendor non-reliability as well as social and geographical challenges.
- For companies to choose the right provider, they should consider various factors, including experience, availability, quality standards, and scalability.
At Agents Republic, we can handle your customer service and AI audio data needs. Our vision is to enable businesses by offering scalable assistance fueled by innovative cloud-based technology.
Contact us today to get a quote.
- How many agents do I need?
- Shall I increase weekend hours?
- How to evaluate quickly various scenarios?
- How to balance AHT and FCR?
- How much will it cost?
Calculate the staff required to meet your needs!
What is Erlang calculation for call centers?
Erlang is a unit of measurements, named after Agner Krarup Erlang a Danish mathematician, who invented traffic engineering. Erlang Calculation is a formula that predicts call center load and calculates expected staffing requirements. Call center calculations are typically rely on the Erlang C formula, which is based on Erlang distribution.
Learn more »
Scaling Customer Support
Black Friday rush? Christmas traffic spikes? Mass media campaign? Your team may not be equipped to deal with a surge of unusual incoming traffic like this. Now obviously it wouldn’t make sense to maintain the required staff, office space, and equipment for the rest of the year outside of these independent scenarios. How, then, do you handle these precipitated yet temporary increases in call volumes, numbers of emails, and flooding chat requests? Do you have the capacity to train and coach temporary staff? And could you continue to deliver on your service level targets in an outstanding way?
Learn more »
Extending Multilingual Capability
Are you a global brand with localized websites in languages other than English? Do you receive calls, emails, and chat messages in multiple languages? If so, can you effectively and efficiently handle all of these requests, or are you losing customers and sales because you lack the appropriate levels of multilingual capabilities?
Learn more »
Reduce Staffing Cost
Do you rely on expensive sales reps or area managers to handle repetitive general customer support calls? Or do you already have a large pool of customer support reps, but are looking for a more cost effective solution while preserving the same quality? Are you hiring within your geographic area from a limited pool of applicants?
Learn more »