If you own a business, chances are you’ve had to handle customer service calls at some point. The reasons could be many, from the call volume being too much for your internal team or because your customers prefer to deal with someone in their native language. Outsourcing a call center can be an excellent way to improve customer satisfaction, leading to increased profits.
Outsourcing a call center for your business can be an incredibly worthwhile investment. It can free up your staff to do other, higher-level tasks and save you money. As per IBIS World, approximately 30,988 call center and telemarketing businesses are currently operating in the US. Hence, if you want to outsource one within the country, then you have lots of choices to choose from.
This article puts together a list of six important things to consider before making that decision.
What is Call Center Outsourcing?
Call center outsourcing is when a company contracts with an outside company to handle customer service. The outsourced company could be located in another country, so the people answering your calls are not native English speakers. It can be a benefit or drawback, depending on your business needs. The outsourced company can be located in the US, lowering your costs because of greater efficiencies, skills, lower operating costs, and more.
The outsourced company handles incoming calls, emails, texts, chats, and other customer service requests from your customers. They are responsible for resolving issues on behalf of your business and providing excellent customer service experiences that leave customers happy and ready to do business with you again.
A report by Deloitte states that call centers and customer service rank 4th in the services outsourced by businesses. The top three outsourced services are IT, finance, and payroll. It contributes to around 22% of businesses worldwide that outsource customer support to a professional call center.
Now that you have understood call center outsourcing let’s explore the key metrics you should consider before hiring a call center.
6 Important Things to Consider When Outsourcing to a Call Center
Location is one of the most important things to consider when outsourcing your call center. This factor can make or break a company’s success in outsourcing, so you must ask yourself some questions and think through your answers before choosing a call center provider.
How important is language? Can the service providers have the ability and capability to assign reps speaking multiple languages? If not, they may not be able to properly communicate with your customers or clients who speak different languages.
Are there time differences between where you are located and where the service provider is located? Time differences can affect how quickly you receive responses from customer support representatives.
For example, suppose there’s a few hours’ difference between countries/time zones. In that case, it should be considered when setting up expectations for response times for incoming calls/emails from customers/clients.
How important is the quality of customer service? Many factors can affect the quality of customer service a call center provides. The most important one is how well-trained their agents are and how much experience they have in handling written and verbal communications from customers/clients.
Language is another important factor to consider when outsourcing a call center. If you are going to have a bilingual call center, keep in mind that each language has its own culture and nuances.
For example, Spanish Academy claims that Spanish has around 16 variations depending on where it is spoken, like in Mexico, Spain, Puerto Rico, etc. These variations have different accents, pronunciations, and dialects which can affect how agents communicate with customers.
With more than 500 million Spanish speakers worldwide, you must ensure that your call center agent is well-versed in the Spanish dialect of the area or location he would be catering to.
Language barriers can cause delays in communication between agents and customers, inevitably leading to frustration among both parties. Therefore, it is crucial for you as a business owner to decide whether you want an all-English or bilingual call center for your company.
Outsourcing your customer service to a third-party call center is an excellent way to ensure that the people who answer your customers’ calls are knowledgeable about your products and services. In addition, it can help boost customer retention and provide another point of contact for potential new customers.
When outsourcing, you should look for a call center that offers 24/7 service to ensure there will always be someone available to answer any questions about products or services at any time of day or night.
The quality of a company’s staff also matters. They need to have the knowledge required to answer common questions from customers without sounding like they are reading off a script. They should also be able to resolve issues quickly and efficiently when necessary.
Brand Image and Position of the Call Center
The call center should be a reflection of your brand. It is important because you don’t want to have a company that does not fit with your image or creates negative connotations in the minds of consumers.
You also want to ensure that the person who answers the phone is well-informed about your products and services. Finally, you want to ensure the representatives are empowered to appropriately address any questions or concerns from customers.
In addition, it’s important for people who call into the center to feel like they’re interacting with professionals who know what they’re doing. Customers should feel that your agents will do whatever they can to help them solve their problems or get what they need as quickly as possible.
It’s also very useful that these employees are friendly, helpful and professional, so customers are comfortable talking with them.
Comparing the cost of in-house operation vs. outsourcing is one of the most important things to study. First, consider your cost savings opportunities when outsourcing your call center. Then, when adding up your real operation cost, include salaries (representatives, QA, managers, tech support, etc..), benefits, turnover, training, equipment, physical space, software costs, and more.
If a flat rate you can expect from an outsource partner is too high or doesn’t match up with what you’re willing to spend, then hiring an outsourced team may not be the right solution for you.
Compliance is another important factor to consider when outsourcing a call center. You must comply with all business laws, regulations, and policies. It includes complying with industry standards.
It also means following internal policies and procedures set up by yourself or your team members. And finally, it involves meeting customer requirements while also abiding by regulations regarding data privacy.
An experienced provider will ensure that all processes and procedures are in place and followed at all times. It allows you to focus on other important tasks while ensuring that your customers are happy with the service they receive.
Call Center Outsourcing Improves Customer Service and Increases Sales.
It’s no secret that outsourcing your call center can be a win-win situation. You’ll improve customer service and increase sales while decreasing costs, increasing efficiency and productivity, flexibility, and scalability, so you’ll see increases in profitability as well.
Call centers are crucial for any organization’s marketing strategy. If you aim to improve your business operations by getting more calls answered faster than ever, a call center outsourcing strategy could be just what you need.
When you’re looking to outsource your call center, there are many factors to consider. Hiring a company that will work best with your business and goals is the most important thing. In addition, you want to ensure that the company has experience in providing customer service and understanding what it takes to provide quality service around the clock.