57% of businesses turn to outsourcing, but is it the right option for you? It isnâ€™t the right option for every business, so in this post, the team from https://supportyourapp.com/call-center-outsourcing/ explains more about the pros and cons so you can make an informed decision.
Letâ€™s start with the advantages of taking this step.
One of the main benefits is that it gives you access to the global talent pool. This means you can work with a team in a country where the cost of living is significantly lower, meaning the wage bill is too high.
Secondly, you save because you only pay for the capacity you use. You donâ€™t have to employ consultants to cover sick or annual leave or in case the center gets busy. The provider takes care of all of that for you.
Thirdly, you save on the overheads of managing a team like:
- Recruitment and onboarding
- Office space
Access to Expertise and Better Efficiency
Your customers hire you for your expertise in your field. Call center service providers offer the same level of expertise when it comes to customer support. They not only know how to deal with any kind of client effectively, but they use efficient processes. They train their consultants to have empathy and improve their problem-solving skills, thereby delivering higher levels of service.
One significant downside to running an in-house team is that you may need different numbers of consultants at other times. Youâ€™ll need to up your staff complement during peak periods, but what do you do with those employees during off-peak times?
Furthermore, recruitment, onboarding, and training can take weeks or months if you can find suitable candidates. If you need to upscale quickly, you canâ€™t afford to waste this kind of time.
When dealing with a third-party provider, youâ€™ll find that they usually have excess capacity for just this kind of occasion. Itâ€™s, therefore, far easier to scale up your team when necessary.
We donâ€™t live in a world where regular business hours always apply anymore. Your customers may not find your office hours convenient, or they may require support when your company is closed for the day. Not offering such support can cause a drop in customer satisfaction that your company can ill afford.
Is your target market multilingual, or are you expanding into a new region? Having consultants who can speak local languages fluently can improve customer satisfaction by making it easier for customers to explain themselves. It also reduces the chances of misunderstandings due to language barriers.
Focus on Core Activities
Who answers customer calls at the moment in your office? Is it anyone who hears the phone ring? If so, those calls could negatively impact productivity and employee satisfaction. Each time a call comes in, it interrupts your employeeâ€™s train of thought and this reduces productivity.
Depending on the nature of the query, it might also frustrate your employee. Imagine, for example, a software developer trying to debug your app and being interrupted by a customer wanting to know what operating system your software runs on.
Letting a third-party team handle the basic queries and refer to you for the more complex ones gives you time to focus on your core activities.
Access to Advanced Technology
Most businesses invest in technology directly related to their core operations. That doesnâ€™t leave much room in the budget for advanced call center software. The same is true of third-party providers, but they focus on customer support software and hardware.
By partnering with them, you get the best of both worlds without the expense.
Reduced Employee Management Costs
Running a call center is time-consuming and challenging. You not only need to ensure that itâ€™s adequately staffed at all times but also that your consultants have things to do during off-peak periods.
This means hiring someone to manage the center and workflows and spending more on HR and training.
Before you jump on the outsourcing bandwagon, here are some things to consider.
Loss of Control
Youâ€™ll need to relinquish a fair amount of control when handing over customer interactions. The provider decides who to hire, how to train them, and everything to do with the systems that they use.
While you can opt for a company that allows you to monitor the quality of the interactions, your overall control is limited. Which makes it essential to carefully research any partner youâ€™re considering.
You must also include clear service level agreements and find a way to monitor interactions. A reputable company will allow you to do so and provide you with several ways to access reports so that you can be part of the quality monitoring process.
Language and Cultural Barriers
Outsourcing to a foreign country gives you the opportunity to save money, but you must be sure that the consultants can communicate in your target audienceâ€™s language. They should also understand the proper cultural conventions so they donâ€™t cause any offense. Finally, you do need to consider your target marketâ€™s reaction. Do they expect you to hire locals?
Data Security Concerns
Youâ€™ll share sensitive customer data and this comes with data security and reputational risks. Youâ€™ll need to make sure that the provider adheres to the strictest data safety protocols. They should be on a par with or better than your own.
Compliance issues may also crop up when dealing with a vendor outside of your home country. You must ensure that they comply with their local regulations as well as any pertaining to the areas you operate in.
Entering into this market can be confusing because you might not know what costs to expect. Itâ€™s worth getting at least three or four quotes to see what the average price is. Be wary of companies that charge much lower fees because they may be baiting you into signing a contract. They might make up the difference later with hidden fees.
You can mitigate this risk by being very clear about what you expect the company to do. Then, create an ironclad contract that makes the expectations on both sides as clear as possible.
Youâ€™re trusting this company with your reputation. Theyâ€™re your representative so if they let a customer down, itâ€™s your brand that suffers. Thatâ€™s why itâ€™s vital to take time to research every candidate company carefully before signing up.
Loss of In-House Expertise
By moving this function outside of your company, youâ€™ll lose the expertise within your company. This makes it harder to reincorporate support later if you change your mind.
Transferring your call center operations can be a complex and time-consuming process. There are bound to be teething problems, which can impact customer service in the short term.
Outsourcing services provide companies with a significant number of advantages. However, there are some drawbacks to consider as well. While companies can mitigate the latter with careful research, they must still take them into account before signing up.