Blog - Call Center Outsourcing

When Is It Time to Outsource Your Contact Center Operations?

10/05/2012

In the past, the primary motivator for outsourcing contact center operations was saving money. However, with the voice of the customer representing a major consideration and the rapidly changing customer interaction types, outsourcing has become an integral part of successful contact center operations and provides additional benefits beyond cost savings.

Customers expect to receive service via their preferred communication, whether that is social media, email, chat, text or telephone. Furthermore, they expect correct answers quickly.  The internet has taken the place of the basic contact center interactions, empowering users to find their own answers. To answer the more difficult questions now generated from customers, agents must be better educated and more effective, which can increase the cost of your contact center, but ultimately improve customer service and therefore provide value.

The complexity of contact center operations should factor into the decision to outsource. So where do you start? There are key triggers that should prompt a conversation and most likely action on outsourcing.  Let’s explore five of the top circumstances where outsourcing can improve contact center operations:

  1. Seasonal upswings – it is cost-prohibitive to completely ramp up for seasonal upswings in a brick and mortar call center. Since these upswings represent a significant portion of revenue, it is critical to cover them appropriately. Outsourcing to a virtual call center empowers your organization to make the most of your season without incurring large costs.
  2. Consistent turnover of contact center agents the cost associated with high turnover is staggering. Not only do you have the gap created by not having a full staff, but your organization also incurs costs associated with recruiting, training, and benefits. Add to that the impact to customer service and consistent or high turnover of agents can cripple your operations. Often an outsourcing partner provides stability in this area, particularly if the environment is positive and attracts high-caliber talent.
  3. Acquisitions, mergers and buyouts – this may seem counterintuitive, but bringing in an unbiased, professional third-party to handle customer service questions can diffuse customer concerns. Additionally, it can provide relief during tough transitions and cover gaps created by necessary lay-offs. Again, this is an ideal circumstance for virtual call center agents as they can ramp up and down quickly.
  4. New product or service roll-outs – if you already have a fully burdened team, adding the increased volume generated from a new product or service could negatively impact the launch. Ensuring positive customer interactions is always important, but particularly critical when a launch occurs.
  5. Keeping up with technology – with no end in sight, technology will continue to rapidly change, improve and impact the way we do business. If attempts to keep up with technology negatively impacts customer service or costs significant dollars, it is time to consider an outsourcing partner. Hosted call center providers are in the business of keeping up with technology and will definitely save your organization money and time.

Regardless of the circumstances that cause you to consider outsourcing, it is important to find a partner that can meet all your needs. Whether that is improving technology, generating more sales during a launch, or improving customer service, weigh every factor in addition to cost so you are empowered to make the best decision for your contact center operations…and your customer.

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