There are long-standing and compelling reasons to consider outsourcing contact centers, including cost savings and improved ROI. However, with the continued focus on customer experience driving a multi-channel delivery model, it is important to consider other key elements beyond cost.
Before any final decisions on outsourcing can be made, it is important to consider the most effective model. Recent technological advances have improved the ability for outsource partners to provide more cost-effective virtual services. The remote agent model has proven ROI and typically saves money over an internal brick and mortar call center. However, there are still some skeptics who believe that remote agents cannot be as effective as those in a brick and mortar facility. That is simply not true.
When considering a remote agent model, consider these facts:
- Security is of paramount importance – technology has advanced to the point that high-levels of security can be achieved. Many virtual contact centers perform sales and order functions and are PCI compliant. In order to handle these transactions, the security remains a high priority.
- Productivity is high – often those unfamiliar with the success of virtual contact centers are concerned about agent management. An “out of site out of mind” mentality sets in. However, remote agents are unencumbered by typical office distractions and find they are more productive. Plus, they are happier working at home and therefore highly motivated.
- Training works well – virtual training and eLearning platforms make knowledge transfer simple. Plus, there is a continually growing repository of good information that the remote agent can reference at any time, ensuring continued growth in skills and knowledge.
- Cultures are positive – it is just as easy to develop a solid culture in a virtual environment as it is in any organization. The success factors are the same – start at the top, be consistent, ensure great communication channels, and hire the best people.
- Agents are motivated – there is a misnomer about remote agents. These people are motivated to do their best. Plus, you get a technology savvy, motivated person since those traits are required to be successful in a virtual environment.
- Customer Experience is a priority – simply put, its better.
- Quality is superior – the same technology applies whether an agent is in-house or virtual. The process of quality assurance does not change. What is different is the virtual environment calls for a more proactive, consultative approaching to quality. By coaching remote agents through changes and challenges, the contact center, the client and the customer are all better served.
The truth is that outsourcing became popular strictly because cost savings were the primary objective. This model created a serious gap in customer service quality, resulting in another mass change, often in-sourcing the contact center, creating even more cost for the company. However, there are other, more effective ways to consider outsourcing. Virtual contact centers support transaction volume for supplemental, incremental and seasonal adjustments unlike any brick and mortar center. When added up, the formula is simple – virtual contact centers have more to offer and are an excellent choice when considering outsourcing.