Owning a contact support department has become a growing trend with the companies that wish to deliver more than just products and services. Enterprises usually set up a contact center by creating their own call center from scratch, or they outsource it.
Call center outsourcing is a strategic business decision to employ a third party entity, also called a business process outsourcer or BPO, to handle customer service operations. There are technologies designed to minimize interaction volumes to increase productivity, such as workforce management (WFM) systems, chatbots, and process automation.
Outsourcing relieves companies from the burden of managing contact operations. All they have to do is keep a close watch on the work done by the third party call center and make any changes, if necessary.
Many organizations prefer to outsource their customer support department to forgo the hassle of recruiting and managing staff and managing the entire process. But, is outsourcing the right decision? Let’s go through some pros and cons of call center outsourcing.
Pros of Call Center Outsourcing
Contact center services are not time-bound. They can cater to customers around the clock. If a company’s brand caters to customers across the world, it is important for its representatives to be available in different time zones. This can be easily managed by outsourcing the call centre services overseas.
Outsourcing unified communications as a service require less investment. The cost of infrastructure, equipment, and workforce can stack up quickly when you try to set up a center from scratch. By outsourcing it, everything fits within a budget agreement.
Eliminates Staffing Issues
By outsourcing the call centre, the company does not have to go through the process of recruiting people and training them. It becomes the responsibility of the third-party call center service provider.
Enhances Business Continuity
Imagine that a local customer has an issue in the middle of the night but can’t reach you because your call center department functions only during office hours in the daytime. Call centre outsourcing can help you cater to those customers who might not be able to connect with your company due to time constraints. They are usually situated in different places geographically to cater to various time zones.
Suppose Monday is the busiest day of the week in your country in terms of sales. Your company would have nothing to worry about because several people at the call center would be present to handle the load.
However, what if Sunday was the busiest day in some other country in which you have a presence? Outsourcing your call centre to cater to that region will take the load off your local call centre.
While call centre outsourcing has some serious benefits, it has its share of pitfalls too:
Cons of Call Center Outsourcing
Low Customer Satisfaction
Since outsourced call centers cater to many companies at a time, sometimes customers end up having to wait to connect with a customer service agent, which ends up frustrating them. Since the call center staff are not an active part of your company and are not very familiar with your product or service, they may lack the technical knowledge to resolve customer issues effectively.
Call centers are usually outsourced to the geographical regions that may not necessarily practice your local language as their first language. This can impact the service delivery of customer service agents. They may not understand colloquial terms used by customers or may lack the fluency to communicate with the customer effectively. Customers and customer service agents may have difficulty understanding what the other is saying owing to their accent.
Lack of Company Knowledge:
Call center agents usually follow a detailed script to handle customer calls and queries. They may not necessarily have an in-depth technical understanding of your products and services. A script naturally has its limitations, and every so often, a customer service agent might not be able to address a customer query effectively because it is not a part of the script.
Apart from the labor, technology, and service-related expenses that you usually incur when you outsource a call center, hidden expenses are bound to come up. These could be costs associated with foreign exchange, project management fees, anticipated inflation, regular equipment replacement, etc. These costs can have a significant effect on the bottom line.
Privacy and Security Issues
Overseas call center services may not subject their employees to the same background checks while hiring them. This exposes your confidential information, such as customer information, to substantial risk. It is not uncommon for customer databases to be sold illegally if they are not protected by adequate security measures.
Outsourcing a call centre can be a great business decision. It can save you time, effort, and resources. It can improve your customer service or cause it to deteriorate. The key lies in choosing a reliable third-party call center provider with a proven track record and also, going in with clear expectations.