With the current economy on the upswing, many companies are expanding their operations and wondering about call center outsourcing. The question of “What do we do with the expansion of the call center and customer service department?” is becoming a substantive issue that a lot of organizations must answer. Should We Outsource Our Call Center or Grow It Internally?
There is a perception in the market that you should never give up control of your customer experience to a 3rd party. The thinking is that the in-house facilities are ALWAYS better, right!?
The fact is in most cases this is not the truth. Most internal centers cannot compete with the training, technology, expertise, and cost-effectiveness of a high-end USA Contact Center BPO.
When the question comes up whether to outsource or not, you need to understand the difference between what your customers desire and what you can provide.
Does your current in-house center provide:
Multi-Channel/ Omni Channel Operations (Voice, Chat, Email, Video…)
Fully Integrated CRM Platform
Advanced Speech Analytics
100% USA Associates
Advanced Routing Techniques
Forecasting and Workforce Optimization Software
Expert Call Center Personnel
Chatbot/Texting AI capabilities
Cost Effective Operations
If your in-house operation cannot stand with the technology of today, by being at least a multi-channel facility; if you do not have the time or resources to train, monitor and track your personnel and KPI’s, then you are doing your customers a disservice by NOT outsourcing.
Many customer service executives too often think outsourcing means offshoring. The issues of foreign accents handling US calls and perceived lack of quality are some of the first things that unfortunately come to mind. The other negative thought that we hear all the time is that “my program is not big enough to outsource” and “isn’t it really expensive to outsource to US call centers?”
These notions of outsourcing no longer have to be tolerated and in most cases are just not true. There are now many cost-effective USA BPO call centers, that offer customers more than most in-house customer service centers in terms of quality options while still lowering costs and giving a better experience to customers then can be done in-house.
The Cost Myth
Cost can be a huge benefit when looking to outsource. The cost of telephony, servers, equipment, supervision, training, monitoring, tracking and reporting really add up. If you are not experienced at running a contact center and are just purchasing the equipment without the real knowledge, you are risking a huge expense to your bottom line and a threat to your brand and reputation.
A wide variety of companies may want to look at outsourcing their customer service as a way to give great service to their customers while still being able to concentrate on their core business. This is something we at Expivia think is especially helpful for newer businesses that want to make sure they are on equal footing with the technology offerings of larger competitors.
What you need to look at if you are thinking of outsourcing:
Technology– Contact centers of today are high-tech companies. They have sophisticated routing techniques to make sure your customer is handled by the proper agent. They have the ability to take omnichannel offerings from your customers which is very powerful. To be able to tell new customers that they can interact with your company through voice, chat, email, social media and video is a weapon your brand can wield. It makes your company advanced and legitimate in your customer’s eyes. This surely beats the five people a lot of companies are paying to answer calls with no metrics, little training and with only one channel of response. We are not even getting into advanced speech analytics either!
Focus on Your Core Business– We have seen so many companies that almost grind to a halt when member of their customer service staff quit out of the blue or calls off. Many organizations then rely on business development employees or production employees to be pulled from their jobs to talk to customers. Worst yet are those that just let these calls abandon or force them to self-service options. Outsourcing to the right organization lets professionals handle your customers while you focus on growing your business.
Contact Center Expertise– Many organizations do not understand the art and science it takes to have great customer service. Most are just happy that the phones are getting answered! The training that is involved to create a world-class experience and set organizations apart is a full-time job. One that most companies do not have time or expertise to do. From training, technology and reporting outsourcing can be a huge benefit.
Scalability– This one is a no brainer. Let’s say you are about to either launch a new product line, send out a direct mail piece or need to scale up for business seasonality. First off do you even know how many agents you will need, if so how are you going to scale? Are you ready to hire full time agents or are you going to just try to bring in temps? Do you have the budget for more infrastructure and do you need to rent out more office space, think of the expense.
Scaling with a call center partner is easy. More agents can be added solely in the amount of time it takes to train them properly. No new computers, no more IT expense, no telephony charges. Just one per hour cost that can be easily forecast and budgeted.
Increase Channel Offerings to Your Customers– So you have some 1800 numbers that your associates answer, maybe you even have an IVR. Well that’s not close to good enough for today’s savvy customer. You must look to become an omni-channel organization because we guarantee your competitors are. Outsourcing affords you access to voice, chat, email, IVR/App self-service, social media monitoring and can even offer the newest in Chatbot and Texting AI. This all can be bundled together as a very cost-effective tool creating instant customer loyalty. We do this every day at Expivia.
Don’t put all the stress on your organization to have world-class agents when that is not your expertise. Remember:
Customer experience is the next competitive battleground, are you prepared?