Call center outsourcing is one of the standard business practices today. Many organizations are utilizing call centers to outsource some parts of their business to other companies – and for many reasons.
This article is here to help you decide if call center outsourcing pays off for your business. Would it be financially wise to outsource your call center services, and why?
Read on to find out exactly why organizations most commonly outsource, its biggest pros and cons, and what steps to follow when starting the outsourcing process.
Why Companies Outsource Call Centers
If you are considering outsourcing some part of your customer or prospect-facing operations to a call center, you are probably wondering if others are thinking the same. You may have your own reasoning behind this move – but why do other organizations utilize call center outsourcing?
According to this research by Deloitte, these are the most common reasons why companies outsource.
These reasons are at the same time benefits that organizations expect to gain by outsourcing call centers or other business processes. Here is an overview of the most common reasons for outsourcing.
Cutting costs is the most common reason for call center outsourcing. The cost of call center services is lower when outsourcing for several reasons. However, the cost is usually reduced because the call center is located in a country with a lower living standard.
Therefore, decision makers still need to be careful not to decrease the quality of the call center services when cutting costs of it. Moreover, it is best to outsource to a country with a similar culture – to avoid misunderstandings and once again, provide better quality to customers or prospects.
Enables focus on core business
Leaders and employees are able to focus on more pressing issues and core business if other business processes are left to professionals to deal with. For example, by leaving prospecting to professional business development representatives in an outsourced outbound call center, business leaders can focus on developing their product.
Solving capacity issues
Call center outsourcing solves one of the biggest challenges employers face nowadays – lack of qualified workers. According to SHRM, 83% of HR Professionals are experiencing recruiting difficulties, and 75% say that there is a shortage of skills in candidates applying for job openings.
By contracting a call center, you are solving the capacity issues you might be facing. In addition, you are cutting the costs of recruitment, which tend to be very high in terms of time, money, and other resources.
Enhancing service quality
Not only can call center outsourcing help you cut costs and solve your capacity issues, it can help you improve the quality of your service. If you are hiring a telemarketing agency, its well-trained and experienced business development representatives will bring you more qualified leads while making sure they adequately represent your brand.
Moreover, if you are hiring a customer service oriented call center, the professional customer service representatives will use their education and skills to resolve your customers’ issues in the best way possible.
8 Simple Steps to Follow When Outsourcing Your Call Center
Considering many benefits of outsourcing, many organizations are thinking about outsourcing their call centers. If a company already has an established in-house team, the switch might be more difficult than for an organization that is just starting out.
If you are thinking about outsourcing your call center services to an external vendor, here are a few simple steps to follow.
1. Assign a project manager
First of all, you need to put a project manager in charge – especially if your organization is large. You need to have an accountable leader that will manage the call center outsourcing process, and that will be a single point of contact for multiple key players involved in the operation.
2. Detect your current challenges
The leader or a team supervised by him should pinpoint the challenges that led you to consider call center outsourcing. Is your customer satisfaction low? Are you not getting enough high-quality leads? Support your claim with statistics, if possible. This will help you not only to look for a specialized call center, but to determine if outsourcing has paid off.
3. Determine your goals
Your goals will be directly related to your challenges – if you were struggling with low customer service quality, your goal should be to improve it. Furthermore, try to also assign a numerical value to your goal, like X % increase in customer satisfaction.
4. Explore your options
It’s time for research! After defining your challenges and goals, you should start searching for your new call center services provider. Be mindful of both quality and quantity in this phase of the call center outsourcing process. In other words, do not look to cut your costs at the expense of the quality of service you will be getting.
For example, you might cut your current costs significantly if you hire a call center outside of Europe or North America. However, if your business and customers are located there, you need to ensure that there is no language barrier with your potential provider, as well as other cultural factors.
Our tip: look closer to home. If your business is located in the DACH area, look for call centers located in countries that can give your customers or prospects high-quality service in German.
5. Ask for references
In any business, it is important to ask for references. Your potential call center partner might even offer them to you on their own. In any case, the call center outsourcing process requires a proof of high-quality work from your potential vendor’s current or former clients.
6. Talk pricing models
Besides discussing the specifics of your project and services you require, you should engage in the conversation about pricing models. After all, the way you are being charged can change the quality of service you are being given.
For example, let’s take a closer look into the outbound call center pricing models. Even though many think that the pay-per-performance model has the most benefits, that might not be the case. Once again, quality is the key – not only cost-cutting!
7. Start with a pilot project
It might be advisable to do a test-run with your chosen provider before you outsource your complete customer service or business development services. Therefore, set up a smaller-scale pilot project that will help you determine if you should proceed with the complete call center outsourcing.
8. Keep a transparent bond
During the process of negotiation with your potential provider – and after you sign the deal – keep a transparent relationship with your partners. Let them know if you have any hesitations, questions, or suggestions. Moreover, ask the same from your provider – agree to frequent reports and the kind of data they should entail.
Potential Challenges Associated with Call Center Outsourcing
If you follow the aforementioned steps, chances are that you will choose the right partner to perform your call center duties. However, you still need to be mindful of the most common issues associated with call center outsourcing to try and avoid them.
Here are some of the challenges that organizations commonly face when outsourcing their call centers, and our suggestions on how to avoid them.
Limited product knowledge
Outsourced call center employees have less chances to get to know your products as well as in-house employees. However, that does not mean it is impossible. What you can do to avoid this shortcoming is insist on a dedicated representative or team that will work solely on your project, and not on others as well.
Moreover, you can assign a person from your in-house team to ensure the call center team is properly educated and knows everything they should about your product.
Fewer customer insights
Companies that listen to their customers’ grievances are also more likely to improve their products and increase their profit as a result. However, by utilizing call center outsourcing, you get less insight into your customers’ opinion.
You can rectify this shortcoming by asking your call center provider to keep track of the most common issues your customers face, and include this into their regular reports.
Language and culture barriers
As explained earlier, the quality of your services can drop when you outsource your call center services if there are language and culture barriers. Luckily, it is very easy to avoid this shortcoming by choosing a vendor from a location within your cultural circle, and whose representatives speak your language with high proficiency.
Outbound Call Center Outsourcing Benefits
When talking about call center outsourcing, you might think about customer service first. It is true that many companies outsource this part of their business process – but outsourcing an outbound call center is a popular practice too.
Sales is complex, but it is essential for every business – and that is exactly why sales outsourcing is such a common practice. Organizations are using outbound call center outsourcing to boost their sales and reduce their costs.
Find out what some other benefits of outsourcing your outbound call center are.
1. Leaving sales to pros
The biggest benefit of outsourcing your sales to an outbound call center is that sales will be left in the hands of professionals. In other words, business development representatives working in professional outbound call centers receive a lot of training and are constantly upgrading their skills in cold calling, resilience, and other aspects of their work. Moreover, all the training and education is handled by the outsourced company – so it simultaneously saves you time and money.
2. Access to the latest technology
Not only do outbound call centers use the latest technology to reach your prospects – the cost of it is handled by the vendor. If you are contracting a B2B telemarketing agency, its business development representatives will probably utilize LinkedIn to reach your potential buyers. Another technology that is used in most outbound call centers is a CRM that ensures good insight into data and performance.
Furthermore, the outbound call center you have outsourced is probably leveraging a multi-channel approach and social selling to increase their performance, schedule more meetings, and close more deals.
3. Reporting and accountability
The biggest benefit of call center outsourcing might be the fact that you are free to end the relationship if you are not getting the results you want. You can establish regular reporting to have an overview of their operations, but in the end – the responsibility of delivering results you agreed upon will lie with your outsourced business partner.
If you are looking for a reliable B2B outbound call center with highly skilled business development representatives, contact us to find out more about the way we work, our references, and pricing.