Outsourcing work is appealing for many reasons: It can save your business money, resources, and under the right circumstances, a serious headache. Almost any element of a company can be outsourced, anything from data entry to graphic design. However, the decision becomes more complicated when outsourcing means that another company will be in interacting with your customers. This is certainly the case with call centers.
Contracting out your call center can cut overheads significantly, but poor service could lead to a mass departure of customers. As a result, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing.
The reality is that outsourcing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. In this blog, you’ll find three of the most notable pros and cons of outsourcing a call center. These pros and cons will help you decide if outsourcing is the right choice for your business.
- Lower Costs
Businesses often feel the pressure to manage or reduce costs. Outsourcing some or all of the call center functions can be attractive if your company is laser-focused on the bottom line. Not only will you save money on hiring and training (as we wrote recently, employee turnover is extremely high in call center jobs), you’ll also save money on capital investments like new telephone systems and call center software.
- Increased Productivity
As we’ve written about extensively, customer experience (CX) is important. The customer service department is a core element of CX, helping to form brand perception and determine overall business success. It’s simply not possible for a company to operate without having an efficient customer support department. However, providing solid customer service is no small feat, and setting up an effective customer service infrastructure is a huge undertaking for most businesses.
By outsourcing your call center, you can focus on other activities like production, sales, and distribution. This is even more relevant if customer service is currently handled by employees who have other roles and responsibilities that they are juggling.
Call spikes happen to be one of our favorite topics to write about. Many call centers have peaks in call volume as a result of holidays, bad weather, special promotions, and more. While call-backs are a cost-effective way of managing these spikes, outsourced call centers can also take care of added customer service cases during these periods of high call volume. Outsourcing enables businesses to scale up customer service support during peak times without having to train, hire, and then lay off workers.
The biggest reason that a company would keep its call center in-house is control. Losing control of, arguably, the focal point of your customer service function, means you have a negated ability to reflect your brand promise in the call center.
Close supervision is difficult and, even with a reliable external party who provides the necessary transparency through technology and metrics, you are still placing a vital business function in the hands of someone else.
- Lack of Industry or Company Knowledge
The aforementioned cost of hiring and training is usually high because it’s important that customer service reps have the prerequisite knowledge of your company and industry. Outsourced call centers do not typically specialize in any one industry and handle a number of projects for a variety of companies. If your call center agents require special knowledge to serve your customers, it’s important to ensure that anyone who speaks to them is equipped to provide the level of support required of and expected by your customers.
- Language Barrier
If you are outsourcing your call center overseas, it is possible that agents in these countries may lack the cultural knowledge and language fluency to communicate effectively. As a result, special consideration is needed when choosing an outsourcing partner to ensure that these agents are trained well and can communicate at the necessary level.
Businesses are nothing without their customers; so, providing excellent customer service is the key to customer retention. Outsourcing your call center activities could either improve or reduce customer satisfaction. The decision to outsource is not one to be taken lightly. The key takeaway is that it depends on your company’s specifics and once you take those consideration (and the above pros and cons), it should be clearer whether or not outsourcing is the path forward for you and your business.
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