As of 2022, the call center outsourcing worldwide industry will be projected at $0.4 trillion. That is more than the annual GDP of countries like Australia, Norway, the UAE, Ireland, Denmark, or Israel! It is swiftly developing in the 2020s as well, having doubled in the volume for the past three years. But aside from numbers, what should you expect from outsourcing a call center for your particular company? Is it right, or is it wrong for you? What are the advantages and pitfalls? These are important questions to consider!
Call centers operations outsourced: key stages of picking a vendor
Selecting the right vendor for the call center outsourcing process is like choosing the right business partner. An OCC holds striking power, as it will be intricately involved with client communication and your brand’s image evolution or deterioration. You can both gain new clients or lose existing ones following the choice of a vendor. The essential steps required to pick the right service provider is such:
- Define your needs and procedures that you will transfer to an outsourcing company.
- Researching vendors on the market that might suit all your needs.
- Short-listing them based on various criteria you will have elaborated.
- Site visits and discussions.
- Final selection of chosen vendor.
- Making a proposal and contract.
- Onboarding (implementation) and training.
- Test launch.
- Correction and fine-tuning stage.
- Execute a productive start
- Managing the loyalty and relationship with the vendor.
Through embracing the right OCC, you gain a business partner who will correspond to all of the following:
- Commitment to your business, its goals, vision, and policies
- Management of day-to-day functions
- Provide clear communication and reporting for you
- Correspond to your KPIs and non-measurable expectations
- Keep a people-centric focus to ensure customer loyalty and new additions
- Provide an unparalleled level of data and procedural security.
Advantages of call center outsourcing
Let’s presume you will have done the process of migrating to an outsourced call center promptly, correctly, and in a satisfying manner. In this case, the advantages for you are clear:
- Saving operating costs
- Outrunning your competitors by accessing the cutting-edge technologies (without having to purchase or license them yourself)
- Cutting off a large chunk of HR management and associated processes
- Scalability and flexibility in workload/flow
- A possibility to optimize your company’s internal processes and structure (with a connected personnel count)
- The ability to choose among tens of thousands of onshore, offshore, or near-shore call centers
- Access to a broader range of skills, expertise, and refined procedures of client communication
- Ability to serve your customers in all communication channels while even assigning certain sales and marketing functions (like email management) to the people working in a call center.
Disadvantages of call center outsourcing
Sometimes outsourcing a call center is not a snap-of-a-finger-quick solution and can, unfortunately, present itself with some disadvantages:
- The need to start and finish a thorough process of migrating to an outsourced call center: understanding what you need, finding it, describing and formalizing all procedures you will pass to an outsourced call center, establishing KPIs for it, making sure data security and integrity, placing control functions, etc. This process usually lasts anywhere between months and years in an average company and requires bright, brisk, enthusiastic, and well-minded people with natural leadership to implement it successfully
- Defining and mitigating possible risks
- Blurring the general control over operations of your company
- Matching with the wrong vendor and the need to start over with a new one
- Loss of quality and compliance.
Disadvantage #1 seems to be the hardest for many: a process of migration. It usually involves a significant - if not the largest - part of your company (those who work with clients on the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd lines of support, sales, or marketing). A project manager is an excellent candidate to shape and drive and facilitate the changes and steps necessary. Luckily in the 21st century, this has become much easier not only because of the large helpfulness of change managers of outsourcing call centers but also because of software development that allows automation of work itself and a process of migration. So if you’re not sure where to start – start with looking at the best market offers and make one or two reconnaissance consultations with providers that most closely align with your company’s needs and values.