In this day and age, every business needs a customer contact center. The bigger question is how any firm should go about delivering call center services: should you keep it in house, or should you team up with a third-party provider?
You need to weigh the options very carefully in order to select the right solution for your firm. When you’re considering outsourcing call center services, think about these five factors before you decide.
Some people see outsourcing as an all-or-nothing option: either you outsource the whole call center or you keep it all in house. It doesn’t have to be that way. If you already have an in-house call center providing inbound services, maybe that’s not where you need a helping hand. Instead, look at outsourcing outbound services.
Even if you do decide to outsource all call center functions, you’re still going to need to select services for your unique solution. Maybe you want webchat and phone services, but you don’t want email or texting. Perhaps you’d like to do a follow-up survey with your existing customers, but you don’t want to spend the time researching potential customers. All of that must be taken into account.
If you’re experience rapid growth, you might consider outsourcing as a way to get more hands on deck in an efficient manner. And it certainly can be—your provider will have the infrastructure and the highly trained staff already in place to provide exceptional customer service.
But you might wonder if your provider will be able to scale with you. You’ve already outstripped your capacity to service your customers on your own. What happens if you sign a two-year deal agreeing to a certain level of service but then find you need more service within a year? What if growth slows down or you experience seasonal swings?
A truly great provider will be able to help you handle any scenario, whether it’s growth or scaling back, but you must ask about flexibility and service scalability before you sign on the dotted line.
One of the reasons firms decide to outsource is to gain access to the latest call center technologies. Investing in infrastructure is a huge item on the budget expense line, so outsourcing call center services can be an economical solution for businesses without a call center or those that need to upgrade their call centers.
Ask about the technologies any potential provider uses. Some providers will stay on top of technology trends, while others might fall behind. Those using older technologies might be able to promise a better price, but it will come at a high cost to your customer service.
Once you’ve decided on what services you’ll purchase if you decide to outsource, you can think about the cost of outsourcing call center services. Many people believe cost is the first and final factor in any outsourcing decision, but it most definitely shouldn’t be the only thing you consider.
Get quotes from several potential providers and compare the service offerings. You might even choose to compare quotes for outsourced call center services against projections for an in-house call center.
1. Your Brand
Perhaps the most important thing to consider when you’re thinking about outsourcing call center services is your brand and how it can benefit from outsourcing services.: A strong brand can maintain and enhance its reputation, while a weaker brand may be able to make strides to create a better image for the company.
Nonetheless, it’s important to consider exactly how any potential partner will work with you to maintain your brand integrity.