Contact center outsourcing guarantees cost-effective, customer-focused support, ensuring that your customer comes first every time.
Improving customer experience should be at the forefront of your business plan. After all, happy customers don’t only increase your sales; they also provide free advertising in the form of word of mouth. But suppose your in-house team is already brimming with work; in that case, you run the risk of low-quality customer service, misinformation, and an unhappy customer looking to jump ship to your competition. By outsourcing your contact center operations, you can provide a service that ‘follows the sun’ and deliver value by increasing customer satisfaction.
But what is Contact Center outsourcing, and what are its benefits and best practices?
Let’s dive into it right away!
What is contact center outsourcing?
A contact center supports customer relationships and interactions using a range of channels, including, but not limited to:
- Phone calls
- Web collaboration
- Social media
Traditionally, contact centers have been physical locations, but some of these contact centers have transitioned to the cloud in recent years. Outsourcing your company’s contact center means getting a third party to provide high-quality customer support. This helps your staff from being burnt out, allowing them to focus on other, equally important tasks.
For example, with the upcoming holiday season, your company might expect a significant increase in demand. Still, the last thing you want to do is provide your customers with incorrect information, terrible tech support, or inadequate call center services.
How does contact center outsourcing work?
When it comes to contact center outsourcing, there are a few routes you can take. But first, there are several things to consider. It will help if you understand your contact center’s business process outsourcing needs. You also need to consider which type of contact center suits those needs and which company is best placed to meet them. Transparency is also crucial, and you should choose a partner that will provide you with regular check-ins. You can use contact center outsourcing services for some or all elements of your customer support.
Call center outsourcing might be a great idea if you need to effectively manage many inbound and outbound calls. Outsourcing call center services are also more cost-effective than having the team remain in-house. Inbound call centers deal with calls that customers themselves initiate. Businesses will often offer inbound services for people seeking technical support, managing customer accounts, receiving customer feedback, or process orders.
On the other hand, outbound call center services call potential customers to sell products or services of some sort. These call center agents usually focus on lead generation, following up with clients, conducting surveys, or ensuring customer satisfaction. Technical support is another contact center outsourcing solution that you can consider for your business needs. Not only can it save you time and money, but it allows your team to focus on other vital aspects of your business.
The great news is that you can invest in a team already trained in whatever you need, meaning you don’t have to spend extra on training.
In-house vs. outsourced contact center costs
One of the biggest reasons businesses look to contact center outsourcing is to reduce costs. This service is typically priced per hour. However, there are also other costs you need to take into account, like telecom costs, campaign building, and infrastructure. Pricing greatly depends on the scope of your outsourcing services as well as your service provider’s location. Regions like North America, Western Europe, and Eastern Europe charge the most per hour for contact center outsourcing.
If you’re looking for cost savings, regions like the Middle East, South America, South-East Asia, and India are optimal contact center outsourcing companies.
While there are great savings to be made, many customers claim that not understanding their customer service agent is one of the most frustrating experiences. This is where regional and local outsourcing comes in. You can still make savings while benefiting from agents with sharper language skills, and working across similar time zones will also help you meet your customer needs and your business needs.
In addition to agents’ hourly wages, here are the additional costs for call center outsourcing companies:
- Script building
- Telecom costs
- Recruitment of agents
- Campaign setup and building
- Account management
- Reporting to the client
- Costs of system licenses
- Account management
While not all of these services are required, they play a crucial role in delivering customer experience outcomes. There are also variables when it comes to the cost of outsourcing customer service. For example, the number of agents you will need to provide excellent service depends on whether you run a small business or a corporation.
It also depends on which day of the week and the time your agents work. Late-night shifts, as well as working overnight and weekends, are all charged at various premiums. While it’s no secret that customers prefer multi-channel support, the pricing will vary considerably based on the customer support offered. Many prefer speaking outright to an agent via telephone, while others gravitate towards live chat, email, and social media.
If the campaign is complex, you will need specialized agents who are more expensive. Also, the skills required, such as how many languages they speak, will affect the price. Lastly, industry comprehension, for example, healthcare or legal knowledge, is another variable.
On the other hand, setting up an in-house contact center can be very costly. You need to invest in infrastructure, phone lines, computers, call center software, and PBX systems. If there is a high call volume, your agents might need to provide round-the-clock services, which is not only expensive but might also be something that your in-house agents struggle with. Additionally, if you have an in-house team, you will likely require HR staffing that also needs payment.
Investing in contact center workforce optimization is often more cost-effective than keeping in-house customer service providers. An integral part of your company, customer service reflects your business, and outsourcing to a top call center and live chat messaging service is essential for customer success.
Five benefits of outsourced contact centers
There are dozens of benefits that come with outsourcing your call center, and we’ve narrowed down the most crucial ones for you:
1. Cost savings
Contact center optimization can reduce significantly lower overhead costs. You’ll save on a range of things, including equipment, office space, software, and payroll.
However, offloading and outsourcing non-essential tasks for the sake of saving money should not be your primary driver. There are many call center outsourcing companies to choose from, and if you want excellent quality, it probably won’t come with the cheapest solution out there.
2. Improved service levels
Having an overworked team is a complete nightmare. Not only do they lack motivation, but there is a higher chance of human error taking place, which can very quickly and very severely reflect on your business. Call center outsourcing companies provide your customers with the right answers with efficiency.
3. Focus on primary areas of improvement
When starting up an in-house call center, you need the right equipment to handle calls and emails, like computers and contact center optimization software. Not to mention the fact that it’s essential to hire someone with excellent managerial skills. A leader or manager who will take care of agent workflows and map out customer journeys.
You don’t have to spend the time or resources on developing a customer service department by outsourcing your team. Instead, you can focus on spending both time and money on other areas that can be improved upon.
4. Forget about updates and upgrades.
When it comes to call and contact center technology, there is always something new on the market that will make customer interaction more efficient or simplified. Headsets, telephones, omnichannel connections, AI, speech analytics, self-service – and the list goes on. So, what tools are necessary to make your agents more efficient and nice to have but not at all essential? Your professional outsourced call center already has all the answers.
5. Better data analytics
One of the most important elements of any successful business is data analysis. Business process outsourcing allows you to access the latest metrics, sometimes even in real-time. Outsourcing companies can make market research easier by analyzing, setting, and re-configuring KPIs thanks to their superior analytics software. Not only will you improve your business model in both the short-term and the long run, but you will gain insight on how to improve every stage of the customer journey.
What services can you outsource to contact centers?
Call center outsourcing services can provide you with a virtual call center and be a virtual help desk for customers. You can outsource a range of services, and it’s vital to remember that omnichannel support is essential. The ideal solution would be a contact center that receives calls, live chat, emails, social media, etc. Other services include lead generation, telemarketing, customer acquisition as well as market research.
To make everything run seamlessly, you should include:
- A wholly integrated CRM platform.
- Advanced speech analytics.
- Advanced routing techniques.
- Workforce optimization software.
- AI support.
What are the best practices for managing an outsourced contact center?
You must have a relationship between you and your outsourced team that’s quick, easy, and most of all honest. Open communication is a precious and vital aspect as you work together. For optimal results, here are the three best practices for managing an outsourced contact center.
1. Remain unified
You cannot treat the outsourced company as a vendor. They represent and reflect your company and should be treated as such. If they make a mistake, it’s important to remain rational and not come down too hard on them, as this will negatively impact your relationship in the long run.
Instead, you should provide them with constant feedback. If possible, remain in touch regularly, and if you can, plan team-building activities where all of your employees come together. Creating bonds will ensure the elimination of an ‘us’ and ‘them’ type mentality.
2. Have regular meetings
Your in-house team and your outsourced call center must be on the same page. The only way for everyone to know what the company’s goals are and to strive towards those goals is by keeping the lines of communication open. Sit down at least once a week and check-in with everyone to make sure everything is going smoothly and discuss whether any immediate adjustments need to be made to ensure this.
3. Use a singular point of contact
Make sure to assign one person to be your direct point of contact to help you with any requests you might have. See if they can answer your inquiries within a timely manner, like 10 minutes to half an hour. Having one point of contact means that you’re not receiving conflicting information from multiple people. It also means that there is less of a chance of miscommunication.
Outsourcing your contact center for a better customer experience
Customer relationships are crucial for your business, and having your overrun team deal with customer questions and problems is likely to result in misinformation and frustration. Hiring a third-party company to deal with customer service doesn’t just offload your in-house team and prevent burnout, but it also greatly benefits your customer.
About Freshdesk Contact Center
Freshdesk Contact Center (formerly Freshcaller) is a modern-day contact center that enables businesses to provide omnichannel customer support through phone, chat, helpdesk, email, and social channels with great efficiency. With its cloud-based architecture, Freshdesk Contact Center brings together the best of legacy features like IVR, call waiting, VoIP solutions, and advanced call routing capabilities like Smart Escalations, Customizable Performance Reporting to help you set up state-of-the-art call center operations.
Visit our website for more information.
Illustrations by Rajesh Raja.