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Why Are Call Centers Outsourced?

By: Greg Alcorn on February 13th, 2019

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Why Are Call Centers Outsourced?

Contact Center Management

The decision to outsource your contact center is not one that you as a company should ever take lightly. It is a major decision – after all, you are trusting a part of your business and its operations to another company. Your contact center is often the first line of communications your business has with first-time buyers and customers who have had an issue with your products or services. Choose the wrong call center outsourcing company and it could miss the opportunity to grow your relationship and reputation with your customers.

The stakes are undeniably high, so why do people outsource their call centers instead of managing them in-house?

The short answer here is that outsourcing your call center is often a smart course of action. While contact center employees may not start with the depth of product knowledge that your dedicated sales associate might have, it often does not take them long to get there. Plus they are trained with the expertise to interface with your customer and to do so through whichever communication channels you want to offer, such as in-bound calls, text messaging, web chat, email, and more.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of outsourcing your call center.

 

It gives your firm flexibility

Outsourcing is one of the best ways for you to add flexibility to your company’s operations. When you choose the right call center provider, you are buying the ability to flex the number of people working on your company’s behalf as well as the hours those employees work – and that is invaluable.

Plus, while this flexibility lets you respond effectively to changing demands within your existing business, it also simplifies the process of entering additional markets or developing new product offerings. Without call center outsourcing, you would be forced to estimate how many call center employees you need to meet the needs of a new market or answer questions about a new product. In addition to hiring each of those people, you also need to train them, pay for someone to manage their work efforts, and pay for someone to administer their payroll and benefits. That’s no problem if you estimated well, but if you forgot to carry the proverbial “one,” you could end up spending more than what is necessary.

If you had chosen an outsourced call center, all of that estimating (and the costs associated with an error) can be eliminated. If you chose a shared facility a shared facility, additional customer service agents can be added or dropped from your customer service program in direct response to the demand you actually receive. Ultimately, you are only paying for the agents who speak with your customers. During low volume calling, agents can be directed to other projects. If you are receiving a higher than average call volume, more agents can be added. You only pay for what you use - and need to meet customer demand.

 


The Complete Call Center Outsourcing Guide

Get all your questions on outsourcing your call center answered! 

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It increases response time

When you choose to outsource your call center activities, you can better manage all sorts of spikes in call volume and customer service. You can expand into new markets with peace of mind, launch new products, or change your website at will, knowing that you have a team of agents ready to answer any questions and solve whatever issues your customers might have while providing that service quickly. Outsourced call centers also help you manage spikes in customer service year-round. For example, if you have a retail business, you might notice spikes in customer buying during the holidays. If you house your own call center, you would need to hire, train, and house seasonal workers to manage the seasonal call volume, then go through the unpleasant process of laying them off after the rush dies down. You would also need to get the timing just right so that you don’t have idle workers or bottlenecks. Even with the best efforts, you can expect to experience some inefficiencies.

In contrast, an outsourced call center helps you manage surges in call volume easily. Agents can be shifted on and off your program seamlessly, to reflect seasonal demand – and that’s not all. Outsourced call centers also manage surges in call volume during the day extremely well for the same reason. Whether your customers like to call in during lunchtime, after hours, or first thing in the morning, an outsourced call center can flex to meet those demands. Not only do you save money by not having to hire dedicated employees, but your customers receive minimal wait times, regardless of how many calls your company receives at any given time.

 

It frees up staff to focus on your core business

When your staff doesn’t have to stretch to handle spikes in customer contact, it frees them up to focus on your core business and your core staff. Your human resources team can focus on your direct hires, the people who are core to your success, while the company to which you outsource your call center business takes care of the rest for you. Not only do they manage customer service agent schedules, but they handle lots of other concerns too, such as recruiting, payroll, training, attendance, benefits, and disciplinary actions. You don’t have to get involved beyond the initial set-up. Call center headaches such as right-sizing, benefits administration, retention, and more are eliminated as far as your company and your operations are concerned.

 

It creates a better customer experience

Outsourced call centers are your best opportunity to deliver outstanding customer service. The agents that work there are trained on how to answer questions and resolve issues, but they are also primed to do something else that is very important – provide customer service. That act requires a variety of soft skills and tools, like empathy and listening, that people possess to varying degrees. The type of customer service training that an outsourced call center provides helps to foster these skills. Also, the best contact center facilities include quality assurance systems that help to monitor agent behavior and provide coaching to correct any deficiencies. Customer feedback is often collected as well.  It is used to further train and support the agents to continually improve the customer experience. While you might be able to set up a strong customer service system in-house, an outsourced contact center has specific expertise in doing so. They know the best practices in this type of customer service and they have experience in training agents to provide the highest level of care possible. All while maintaining superior levels of efficiency. After all, it doesn’t take much customer service expertise to answer a single call, but it takes a coordinated effort to answer thousands, without keeping other customers waiting.

 

It reduces operational costs

On top of everything else, outsourcing often saves money. It can take a lot of money to set up a call center. There are both hard and soft costs. If you don’t know what you are doing, a good portion of that initial outlay could be wasted. In contrast, if you hire a call center outsourcing company, you can capture every penny of cost and ensure it is contributing to a higher return on investment. Each phone, customer service station, and piece of equipment will actively contribute to providing the best customer experience possible. They will also make sure that the infrastructure can support your call volume and the contact channels you wish to provide.

Plus, not only do these firms know which technologies to use for call processing and equipment but you can also leverage their scale to get better technologies than you may have been able to afford on your own. For instance, you might be able to add multi-channel customer support for the same or less than outfitting a traditional call center.

 

Conclusion

Hiring a company to provide your company’s contact center can cost less than building one yourself, buying the equipment, creating efficient procedures, and managing the staff – and it reduces costs other than money. Outsourcing can help your company increase its competitiveness by 10-fold or more.

So, what are you waiting for?

Outsourcing your contact center operations can make a difference. Check out The Complete Call Center Outsourcing Guide to get an idea if outsourcing is the best decision for you.


The Complete Call Center Outsourcing Guide

Get all your questions on outsourcing your call center answered! 

Learn more