After the pandemic, there is a drastic shift in consumer expectations and behaviour.
COVID-19 has welcomed the breeze of digitization; the global digital market is expected to grow to $1009.80 billion, where now everything is automated and fast, so is customer service and communication.
Digital transformation demands better customer service, as written in the business rule book, Customers are the root of every business.
86% of customers are ready to pay more for a better customer experience.
Better customer service results in trust, which works as a lifeline for business in this competitive era.
So how do we manage this customer service more effectively and seamlessly?
The response is call center outsourcing.
Yes, call center outsourcing is the appropriate way to help businesses manage and improve their customer service and enhance their overall customer experience.
What is outsourcing?
Outsourcing is a process in which an external vendor performs part of an organization’s function, such as sales, customer care, accounting, administration, etc.
What is call center outsourcing?
Call center outsourcing is described as a strategy to manage all types of customer service problems an organization faces.
When a business decides to delegate its customer support function to a third-party vendor, it’s described as “call center outsourcing.”
This third-party vendor will manage all problems faced by customers.
Various industries are benefited from call center outsourcing, and global spending on outsourcing could hit $731 billion in 2023.
Global spending on outsourcing will hit $731 billion in 2023.
Various industries utilizing and winning the outsourcing game are:
- Banking and financial sector
- Healthcare sector
- Travel and transportation industry
- Restaurants and food service
- Telecommunication center
When does your business need to outsource its call center service?
Now, a million-dollar question arises when we need to take the decision to outsource our call center services.
1.When a business grows, it becomes difficult for the management to answer all the queries raised by customers.
2.When business time and money are wasted on customer service functions, the organization cannot focus on business strategies.
3.when a business cannot get the desired ROI on the amount invested in the in-house customer service process.
Above are a few alarming reasons for businesses to start thinking of outsourcing call center services.
Benefits of call center outsourcing
With the help of an outsourced call center service, you can eliminate excess business load and cut down on operational expenses.
Nearly 59% of businesses outsource to cut their operational costs.
Apart from the above, outsourcing call center help business in the:
- Focusing more on business problems
- Reducing operational costs
- Improving customer support
- increase in scalability and productivity
- Working with experts
- Accessing the latest technology
- increase in efficiency and flexibility
How do you make call center outsourcing right?
Call center outsourcing is beneficial for all industries, be it a large organization or a small business; outsourcing always helps in providing high-quality support.
But this support depends on one reality: call center outsourcing will only be fruitful if you work with the right partners.
Well, there are certain factors that businesses have to consider while choosing the right call center outsourcing partner.
When outsourcing call center service, the first obvious thing that has to be looked at is the experience of the call center outsourcing provider.
The company must have sufficient knowledge, a proper track record, and experience to cope with the challenges that arise in the process.
The company must have worked with different businesses across the globe as this will be added to the service provided to businesses.
A successful track record of the company will be helpful for delivering quality service to our customers, as 73% of them agree that a positive experience helps them to make a buying decision.
Language is one such factor that businesses need to draw their attention to.
For example, a call center specializing in American English will not be beneficial to your business if your customer base speaks French.
Businesses have to decide whether American English will be good to go or whether they require an outsourcing agent to understand the local language.
Cultural understanding will help in building a good rapport with customers, and outsourcing agents will help in delivering qualitative service to customers.
Thus, businesses should make sure that the outsourcing partner is aware of their culture.
There are certain questions that businesses need to clarify while choosing to outsource call center service, including:
- Where do businesses want a third-party agent to be located?
- As per company policy, they should hire a local agent or an overseas agent.
You should also check on the company’s global presence, as organizations with a global presence help deliver better communication services.
As you search for an outsourcing partner, it is essential to have a view of security protocols and data compliance measures.
Certain points need to be clarified with a third-party vendor:
- Security service for business
- Measures are taken to ensure data security.
- Investigate the measures taken for disaster recovery.
When call center outsourcing partners are finalized, you should define your business protocols and procedures well in advance.
Keep transparency on expectations and processes that are needed to be followed to avoid any interruption in a customer support function.
A well-defined methodology helps in maintaining a seamless process of transition.
Identify outsourced processes and in-house work.
Before outsourcing call center service, you should clearly differentiate between work that has to be outsourced and work that has to be kept in-house.
As there are no of factors that are covered under customer support, like:
- Customer service
- Help desk
- Chat and email service
- Disaster response and many more
For example, generic or common customer queries will be answered by an outsourcing agent, but if certain customers have product-specific queries, these can be diverted to in-house customer support.
Technology is a crucial factor in every business.An organization should check with outsourcing agencies if they offer advanced infrastructure tools.
- Email automation
- Live chat or video chat
- Cloud communications
- Omni-channel communications
Outsourcing agents should have a backup plan in case of a natural disaster, as technology is a key factor on which call center operations depend, and with no backup plan, customer service might be interrupted.
Make sure the call center outsourcing company has efficient staff.
As these trained agents will understand consumer behavioural patterns and expectations.
You need to check on the below traits while selecting an outsourcing call center vendor:
- How is the training program of the staff conducted ?
- Check the time period of the training process for newly recruited staff.
- Investigate their training and development programs.
- How comprehensive is the training program they have?
Always check that the staff involved is trained enough to cope with the latest trends, techniques, and updated technology.
Customers are the lifeblood of your business.
Check on outsourcing company reviews before signing a contract:
- Cross-check with other existing businesses using the company’s outsourcing services.
- Check with their previous clients.
Even if the company provides the lowest rate, make sure to thoroughly audit the company, as it might happen that lower cost results in lower quality of service, which will affect your brand and result in declining ROI.
Tips for managing call center outsourcing contracts
The work does not stop when you have got your outsourcing partner,
Actually, The real work starts from here,
There are certain factors that the organization should consider while managing a call center outsourcing contract.
Treat your vendor as a part of an organization.
It is necessary for businesses to maintain a healthy and fruitful relationship with their outsourcing agent.
Businesses should consider them a part of the organization and treat them as partners and not as third-party companies.
As they are the face of your business in front of your customers, it is necessary to have a give-and-take relationship that can enhance productivity.
Conduct review meetings.
Conducting quarterly or monthly review meetings will help the business.
- To update its strategy
- Identify the problems.
- Discuss current trends in the market.
- Customer acquisition turnaround
- strategy for retention of customers
- Social media reviews
- Engagement of clients on emails, chats, etc.
As an outsourcing company is the face of your business, you need to check that the quality of service is maintained.
Businesses can evaluate a performance review process and also check on the feedback and reviews received at a daily interval.
Make sure to have predetermined a proper escalation matrix in case of complex situations like
- The customer is getting angry on the call.
- The customer is asking for a refund on a certain product, which is not as per the company’s policy.
- The customer starts misbehaving on the call.
There should be predefined templates or scripts that outsourcing agents should follow while facing a similar situation.
There should be transparency and clarity between the business and outsourced agents so that they can describe the entire situation without being in a fear of being called out.
Both should work as a team to provide efficient customer service.
Weekly status call
Businesses should conduct a weekly status call to check on their operations.
- Service level
- call volume handled
- Handling time
- Customer complaint
- Average resolution time
- Agents’ point of view
This weekly call will help to close the gap between business expectations and outsourcing agents’ performance so that both can sail on the same boat.
All set to pick up your outsourcing partner ?
Still here? Kudos to you for making it this far.
Now that you have a blueprint, you can pick your right call center outsourcing partner easily and conveniently.
which can help in scaling your customer management process and can also help your business scale sales and improve ROI.
Kajol Dayalani is a content writer, and she helps businesses build quality content by converting business ideas into engaging and powerful words.