What is call center outsourcing? And why do you need it? Discover everything you ever wanted to know in our ultimate guide.
“Master your strengths. Outsource your weaknesses”— Ryan Kahn
We have to agree with Mr. Kahn. Outsourcing can be a powerful tool for you to master what you’re good at while leaving what you’re not so good at to the experts. You’re basically improving the performance of your business while managing to focus on what’s important: your clients and your core activities. When you decide to outsource, you can gain a competitive advantage that can’t be obtained through any other process – particularly when you decide to go with call center outsourcing.
We already covered the advantages of outsourcing your customer service and how to choose the right outsourcing partner for your business. We’ve spoken about outsourcing your email and even your social media channels. In this guide, we’ll explain everything you ever wanted to know about call center outsourcing.
What is Call Center Outsourcing?
Call Center Outsourcing is when you entrust a third-party business or BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) with handling your call or contact center operations and customer support.
If you’re a business, no matter what you sell, then you have customers. And you need to provide your clients with a way to get in touch with you for questions, complaints, returns, or more complicated issues. This is where an outsourcing partner comes in and completes specific tasks according to your company’s needs to make support operations more effective and efficient.
However, entrusting someone else to handle these operations isn’t always easy. It takes lots of planning (not to mention courage!). Knowing what you’re getting into (and who you’re getting into business with) is part of the recipe for success.
What Types of Support Are Covered In Call Center Outsourcing?
This depends on both the outsourcing partner you choose and the type of plan you sign with them. Some businesses include not just phone calls, but email, chat, social media, and more when you hire their call center outsourcing services. Depending on the BPO company you partner up with, call center outsourcing may include any of the following types of support:
- Customer Care
- Technical Support
- Back Office Support
- Outbound Solutions
- Inbound Sales
We discuss each of these in detail below.
Customer care is focused on building strong customer connections, one call at a time. A team of support experts can take care of all your customer’s needs: answering tickets, solving issues, and improving customer loyalty in the following channels:
- Social Media
Customer care outsourcing can help ensure every customer receives accurate, prompt, and friendly attention from the hands of an expert.
This specific outsourcing type deals with any incoming customer query directly related to sales. Meaning, any time a client reaches out to your business hoping to make a purchase. These can be done through any channels your business lays out as a point of contact: phone calls, email, social media, or chat.
Not all customer support tickets are related to complaints or order issues. A few of them are technical.
And as a business, you are expected to deliver answers and solutions to any technical issue (especially if you’re a SaaS provider). Call center outsourcing ensures that the agents handling the communication can effectively and efficiently assist your customers with the following:
- Help Desk/Troubleshooting
- Technical Support
- ID & Password Reset
- Activation Support
- Billing & Payment
- Issue Resolution
- Third-Party Verification
- Account Management
Your customers will never feel left out or adrift if you have someone that can help them fix their technical issues in an instant.
Back Office Support
Back office support outsourcing means that you let another company handle your administration and non-client-facing support personnel. This includes things like routine administrative tasks, accounting, IT services, etc. This type of outsourcing can include:
- Desktop Faxing and Email Handling
- Data Entry Services
- 3rd Party Verification & Audits
- Scanning Services
- White Mail Processing
- Consulting – Call center optimization
Outsourcing these non-core services can allow you to exchange high fixed costs and management drain of in-house back-office support with a flexible approach designed to save both money and headaches.
Not everything is about receiving phone calls. You can also outsource your sales efforts. This type of outsourcing can help maximize your campaign revenue and provide successful results. Some of the outbound solutions you can outsource include:
- B2B Retail Sales Initiatives
- Appointment Setting
- Customer Win-Back
- List / Database Scrubbing
- Customer and Market Research
- Lead Generation / Sales Qualification
- Product Recalls
With outbound solutions, call center outsourcing can help you gauge responses and identify what’s driving sales to harvest more of those opportunities.
As you can see, call center outsourcing isn’t limited to just phone calls. You can also outsource specific processes or on-demand services. All you need to do is get in touch with an outsourcing partner that puts your needs first. iCall Services offers a full range of contact center services, including customer care, inbound sales, order processing, chat support, email, and social media support.
When To Hire Call Center Outsourcing
The next big question when it comes to call center outsourcing is deciding when you should hire these types of services. There are the following key scenarios.
- When you’re about to enter peak season– but allow for ramp and learning curve period
- When you want to focus on your main activities
- When your support team cannot consistently meet KPIs
- When your customer experience needs a professional focused expert approach
- When technology road map isn’t meeting your business needs
Regarding peak seasons – whether it’s Black Friday, Cyber Monday, New Year’s Eve, or even just a heavy sales season for your business, a call center outsourcing partner can help take the load off your shoulders. Dealing with seasonal ticket increases in an efficient manner can result in less churn, increased customer loyalty, and more sales!
Regarding any other “normal” time of the year – call center outsourcing is up to you. You might want to take away dragging, time-consuming tasks from your team’s hands. You might want to expand into an area where you’re not an expert. You might want to get access to leading technology. you might want to save on costs and outsource rather than build in-house. Whatever the reason or time of year, call center outsourcing can be kind to both your customers and your pockets.
Benefits Of Call Center Outsourcing
Call center outsourcing has many benefits and advantages that you can’t get anywhere else. Some of the main benefits include:
- Expert Workforce
- Increased Revenue
- Increased Customer
We discuss each of these briefly below.
This is normally outlined as the biggest benefit – and with good reason! Building an in-house team implies a huge investment on your part – from equipment to training, to office rental space, to salaries and other benefits… the list seems endless. But when you decide to let an outsourcing partner handle things, they cover all of this for you. In return, you get a top-level service provided at a fraction of the normal cost. Not too bad, right?
Every business has peak seasons. And while they can be good for business because you sell more, they also entail more work on your side to keep customers happy. An outsourcing solution can deal with this thanks to its scalability – the workforce provided for your business can scale up and down depending on your needs and busy seasons. You simply need to tell your partner what you need and you will have extra hands on deck in the blink of an eye.
Finding talented experts is hard. Hiring them, even more so. And when it comes to training, it seems like maybe all hope is lost. What about attrition? With the right outsourcing partner, all of these worries go out the window. They will give you an expert workforce that will be available for your business from day one. Agents are trained to provide excellent customer service, every single time for each of your customers.
More sales with less churn add up to one thing: increased revenue. You get to reap all the benefits of selling more without dealing with any disgruntled customers – your BPO partner has your back there! And because you’re also saving money by hiring an outsourcing company, the revenue-related benefits only multiply.
Time is the only resource we can never get back. This is why an outsourcing partner can come in extremely handy. They can save you time by training team members for you, dealing with time-staking back-office processes, handling customer tickets daily, etc. They become an invaluable ally that can leave you with more time to innovate, perfect your current offer, and watch your business grow.
For more outsourcing benefits and advantages, check out this article.
How To Choose The Right Call Center Outsourcing
Now that we’ve discussed what call center outsourcing is, the best times to implement it into your business processes, and the benefits it can bring to your company, it’s time to talk about the most important factor: finding the right partner. We’ve already covered how to choose the right outsourcing partner for your business in a separate article. However, for the purpose of being thorough, we’re going to summarize the key points below.
Defined Scope Of Work
The key to any successful partnership is understanding. Start by having a clearly defined scope of work: what are the expectations? What are the KPIs your provider has to meet? What are the deadlines? What’s the team size? All of this needs to be discussed and agreed upon beforehand by both parties.
Never forget to check your potential outsourcing partner’s credentials. Former clients, customer reviews, company values, team member quality, etc. All of this adds up, so be sure to do your homework and choose a partner that aligns with what you’re looking for.
An outsourcing partner should never lack the necessary resources to do their job. Get a full scope of their design systems, processes, technology, and team members available. And never forget to double-check if all of the above meet the latest industry standards necessary to keep your business booming. The last thing you need is to be left behind your competitors due to faulty technology or lack of resources.
Team Of Experts
Anyone can assign an agent to take care of your account. But the right outsourcing partner will always strive to assign the right resource for your business. That might entail a thorough research process to ensure this person meets your requirements. Or great in-house training to provide you with a fully qualified team member. In any case, make sure you’re getting what you’re paying for: a team of experts.
A flexible partner is key. You need to be able to rely on a company that can scale and bend without breaking down. So your third-party outsourcing provider should have the necessary infrastructure to grow with you, according to your times and your needs.
We like to define the perfect outsourcing partner as that one who can work towards your goals as if they were their own. For more tips on how to choose the right partner for your business, check out this article.
We left the best for last. Call center outsourcing isn’t a ready-made solution. This is both unimaginative and unhelpful – you need a partner that can adapt, adopt, and adjust to your business’s needs specifically. Make sure to choose someone that can provide a unique solution made just for you, your KPIs, and above all, your customers.
Call center outsourcing is a simple concept that gets more complicated the more you dive in. There are many support types to choose from, and many ways to ensure you’re choosing the right partner.
Whether you rely on an outsourced call center partner for 100% of your customer care needs or are looking for overflow support during peak seasons, iCall Services can deliver an outsource customer support solution designed to help you increase customer lifetime value and improve retention rates.
Our agents act as extensions of your own organization to provide answers to customer questions, assist with orders, and process requests. They become brand ambassadors, owning your brand’s and company’s values as their own, and helping you connect with your customers no matter where they are.
Learn more about our customized approach or request a quote today.