The benefits of outsourcing all or part of a contact center go beyond the cost savings. Improved customer experience, better metrics, good return on investment and even access to greater talent is all on that list. The first, and often one of the most difficult, questions to answer is do you try virtual or do you go the more traditional, brick and mortar route? The answer? It depends.
Facility-Based Contact Centers
Our award-winning facility-based contact center, WS Live, manages a multitude of clients in our centers in Iowa. The team handles various types of transactions for clients, many who have been with us for over 10 years. Obviously this type of outsourcing works well.
When considering outsourcing, what parameters should determine using a facility-based contact center over a less traditional offering such as virtual?
- Culture alignment – if the culture of your organization is more traditional, then it makes sense to align with an outsource partner that fits that culture. For example, if you don’t have a multitude of remote employees, and all your contact center people have always been in a brick-and-mortar facility, then it makes sense to continue aligning your company with partners who have the same environment.
- Management / Training style – There are organizations that prefer to have the team in one location in order to transfer knowledge and train. Facility-based contact centers are the best choice in this situation.
- Customer Need – Perhaps your organization has a government contract that requires brick and mortar facilities over virtual workers. Or your organization prefers to perform face-to-face visits with agents working your contracts. These types of scenarios are better served by a facility-based contact center partner.
Virtual Contact Centers
We have a large number of Agents OnDemand throughout the United States that provide good customer care to our clients. This particular environment works well if your contact center needs require the following:
- Rapid implementation – virtual environments can be ramped up quickly.
- Seasonal or Spike coverage – having the ability to quickly add agents is a benefit of virtual outsourcing.
- Weather impervious – the ability to re-route calls to another geographic location when bad weather strikes keeps customers happy while ensuring agents can stay safe.
Benefits of Both
Regardless of the type – facility-based or virtual – your company should receive multiple benefits from choosing the best contact center partner, including:
- Top-tier talent – using a strong recruiting and retention model ensures that the best agents are available.
- Excellent training – whether in the facility or virtual, good knowledge transfer and understanding of your company is critical to launching and maintaining a solid outsourcing relationship.
- Security – the good news is that top-level security is available in both facility-based and virtual environments.
- Advanced processes – outsourcing only works if the partner can implement efficiently and then follow-up with strong business intelligence.
The bottom line is that whether you choose facility-based or virtual outsourcing depends upon your business rules. The main thing to look for is the right partner – one who can improve existing processes, ensure excellent customer experience and follow-up with strong business intelligence. Then it’s just a matter of location.
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