Should We Grow Our In-house Operation or Outsource Our Call Center?
To In-house / Outsource Your Call Center or Customer Service Functions, That is the Question!
With the current economy on the upswing, many companies are expanding their operations. The question of what do we do with our expanding customer service and call center operations comes up as well. Do we grow our In-house center or look to outsource?
Keeping call center operations in-house or outsourcing call center operations and customer service is a topic that many organizations struggle with. While you are giving up control of your customer experience to a 3rd party, the perception that in-house facilities are ALWAYS better is in my opinion, false.
When the question comes up whether to outsource or not I would tell you to understand what your customers want and what you can provide. Does your current center provide:
*Multi Channel/ Omni Channel operations (Voice, Chat, Email, Video…)
*Advanced Speech Analytics
*Knowledgeable Call Center personnel
*Chatbot/texting AI capabilities
*Cost effective operations
“If your in-house operation is not up to the technology of today, if it is not a multi-channel facility and/or you do not have the time or resources to train, monitor and track your personnel then you are doing your customers a disservice by NOT outsourcing.”
When executives think outsourcing, India or the Philippines are the first places that come to mind. The other notion that we hear all the time is that “my program is not big enough to outsource” and the large contact centers won’t take it. These notions of outsourcing are not longer the truth. There are many high quality USA BPO call centers (like Expivia) 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 than can be done in-house. USA BPO’s give higher quality than offshoring and many will take smaller programs that the huge BPOS’s will not. For example we have a a couple customer service programs that we are handling for a couple startups that range from 5 to 10 associates.
To prove to you that there are cost savings with USA BPO’s Check this out…Its our Expivia Call Center Calculator. You can do a full cost analysis comparing your ACTUAL cost in your center with this of outsourcing. Click here to do it yourself!
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 I think is especially helpful for newer businesses that want to make sure that their customer are handed with the skill and technology offerings of larger competitors.
When you are the owner or leader of a company your days are hectic. The workload can be overwhelming while at the same time your customers could care less! Looking to outsource your customer service to a US contact center has many added benefits that many do not consider. Notice I did say US center. While I will agree there is great value in near-shore or off-shoring for some specific campaigns, a company that is trying to grow a customer base probably wants to stay onshore.
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 get to the right agent. They have the ability to take multi-channel 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 very powerful. It makes your company legit in your customer’s eyes. Sure of heck beats the 5 people you are paying the back of the office to answer calls with no metrics and with only one channel.
Focus on your core business– I have seen so many companies that almost grind to a halt when member of their customer service staff quit out of the blue or call 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. Outsourcing to the right organization lets professionals handle your customer why you then are given the time to focus on growing your business.
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 your organization apart is a full-time job. One that most new organizations or smaller 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 a launch a new product line or are about to send out a direct mail piece. You have NO CLUE how many agents you are going to need. You have very little clue on the conversion that you should expect from your agents. You have no idea if you have the infrastructure to handle this new campaign. This is where having a great outsourced partner comes into play. Instead of guessing how many agents you will need, training all of them and worrying about if you can handle the calls; how you are going to route them or even worse…are they going to crash your systems! A Partner can help you with roughly how call volumes should come in, they can have reserve agents logged in that automatically will be pulled in to take calls for spikes, have proper CRM’s set up to help with service and sales. These agents (when you pick the proper group) are also EXPERTS at service and sales.
Increase Channel Offerings to Your Customers– So you have some 1800 numbers that your associates answer, maybe you have an IVR. Well that’s not close to good enough for today’s savvy customer. You have to be omni-channel because your competitors are. Outsourcing affords you access to voice, chat, email, IVR/App self-service, social media and if they are good (like we are here at Expivia!) can even offer new video service technologies along the the newest in Chatbot and Texting AI. This all can be bundled to be a very cost-effective tool that will create customer loyalty instantly.
Cost is also a huge benefit of looking to outsource. I don’t think it should be the main focus but it definitely comes into play when you do not have a large call center operation that is on the books. The cost of telephony, servers, equipment, supervision, training, monitoring, tracking and reporting really add up. If you are not great at this as well it can be a huge expense not only to the bottom line but to brand reputation as well.
Don’t put all the stress on your organization to have world-class agents when that is not your expertise. There are many great Contact Center Partners out there that can help you for any need you may have big or small.
If you are thinking about outsourcing, click here to see the rest of our site and to be able to schedule a free consultation.
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Advice from a Call Center Geek is a weekly podcast with a focus on all things call center and contact center. We discuss topics such as call center operations, hiring, culture, technology, and training and have fun doing it! #callcenter #contactcenter #CX #custserv #callcentergeek