Call center outsourcing is when a business decides to contract its call center services to a third party. There are many reasons companies outsource employees or departments, but the most common is to save money. Outsourcing can be as simple as trusting another nearby company to do the job, or it can be as extreme as contracting the work to employees in other countries. The latter practice tends to be more controversial, with many believing that outsourced jobs should remain in the United States.
In the case of call centers, these are basically the customer service hub for most businesses. They field incoming calls about customer questions, concerns, or requests, and they may make outgoing calls as well. While many companies do operate in-house call centers, they mainly just require supervisors and agents well versed in customer service and the company’s products and services. It’s entirely possible, and potentially efficient, to hire remote workers for these positions. Here are some pros of outsourcing a call center.
Outsourcing the call center allows companies to be much more flexible. Firstly, they don’t have to invest in the infrastructure of a call center since they’ll only be paying for the time the outsourced agents spend on the job, so companies can spend that money elsewhere. Outsourcing also makes it easier to adapt to evolving needs. It becomes much simpler to hire or cut back on employees, for example.
Having remote workers in multiple locations also makes it easier to handle higher rates of incoming calls. Missing customer calls can quickly lead to frustration, and may even result in lost customers, so having as many agents available as possible is always a plus. This can also make it easier to expand the business into new areas.
Outsourcing also saves the company from having to maintain its own call center and implement their own technology. Outsourcing to an already well-equipped call center can make for the best customer experiences. If a company outsourced to a call center equipped with Bright Pattern’s omnichannel call center, for example, they could enjoy all those benefits without the installation cost and hassle.
This omnichannel solution allows customers to contact agents through their preferred contact method whether that’s text, voice, SMS, webchat, or other supported communications. This already provides great customer convenience, and they can even switch between communication methods if the need arises while staying connected to the same agent.
The right technology in outsourcing companies can make things easier for agents as well. For example, ringless voicemail providers make it possible to leave messages directly on a recipient’s voicemail server. This saves agents time and allows the recipient to just check the message when they’re available. Outsourcing isn’t always positive, however, and it’s important to be aware of potential cons.
One of the biggest disadvantages of outsourcing any department is the lack of direct control the company will have over it. This can be especially bad for a call center if the company has a specific strategy in mind they want to follow. Even for companies that have a more lax approach to their call center may find their center performance suffers without frequent oversight.
Naturally, effective communication is one of the most essential elements of a call center. Outsourcing the call center, particularly to a foreign country, could make communications difficult if customers are having a hard time understanding foreign agents.
Your own in-house employees will also have a better understanding of your company and more experience with your products and services, and that level of knowledge can go a long way towards resolving customer issues.
Outsourcing your call center may make sense if you typically reach easy resolutions, but if you have complicated products or want a more hands-on approach to supervision, it’s likely better to invest in your own.