Contact center outsourcing isn’t just a valuable solution for huge enterprises. It’s quickly becoming one of the most effective ways for businesses to accommodate increasing call volumes without compromising on customer experience.
By 2028, experts say the market for contact center outsourcing will be worth $132.92 billion. As companies of all sizes continue to embrace the benefits of hybrid and remote work, outsourcing is emerging as a valuable way to handle support requests while keeping costs low.
The right contact center outsourcing strategy can instantly expand your workforce, provide access to valuable resources, expertise, and tools, and even improve your reputation with customers. Today, we’re going to look at the pros and cons of contact center outsourcing and provide some quick tips on how businesses can implement an outsourcing strategy correctly.
What Is Contact Center Outsourcing?
Outsourcing isn’t a particularly new concept for business owners. Demand for BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) has increased drastically in recent years, allowing companies to delegate tasks to remote or external experts.
Contact center outsourcing is just another form of “BPO” service. It involves accessing the support of a team of agents who work outside your company for your CX initiative. You can work with third-party domestic or international organizations, depending on your needs.
Plus, many BPO vendors offer a wide range of options for what you can outsource. For instance, you might outsource technical assistance or outbound calls. The idea is that you can access more of the customer service talent you need without paying for new in-house professionals.
Outsourcing gives you the freedom to scale your “team” up or down according to changes in call volume. It helps to reduce the pressure on your agents so they can focus on building satisfaction rather than just rushing through conversations.
How Does Contact Center Outsourcing Work?
Contact center outsourcing is a pretty diverse service, depending on the company you choose to work with. Usually, it involves working with “remote” agents outside your office.
Many vendors also allow you to customize your service, ensuring you can choose the right subject matter experts for your needs. As mentioned above, there are a few different kinds of customer service and contact center tasks you can delegate to another company, such as:
Inbound and Outbound calling
Outsourced professionals can take over all call-based communications in your contact center. This means they can handle inbound customer calls, routing them to the right agent or solving problems when they arise. They can also deal with outbound calling tactics.
For instance, if you need to follow up with customers after implementing a fix or selling them a new product, your BPO service can handle that. You can even use outbound professionals to proactively contact customers about potential issues, upcoming deals, or subscription renewals.
Speaking of reaching customers with your contact center team, outsourcing professionals can also help with your marketing efforts. Although telemarketing campaigns are less common today, they can be an excellent way to raise awareness about your upcoming products and services.
With contact center outsourcing, you can even get help generating leads for your company. Professionals can dial the numbers of customers or send marketing emails, SMS messages, and other content to people on your prospect list. This can lead to increased sales and conversions.
One of the most common ways to use contact center outsourcing services is to take some of the burden off your in-house staff. If you need help delivering customer support, outsourced agents can assist with troubleshooting, resolving, and answering questions.
Most of the employees available for technical support outsourcing will already be trained in your products and services and should understand how to address common issues for your audience. You can even provide them with access to data and resources they can use to resolve issues.
In some cases, contact center outsourcing can also help you gather and use more valuable data to improve your CX strategy. Companies can work with you to analyze the customer journey, develop new CX strategies, and examine your business analytics.
These technical professionals can give you more guidance and direction when deciding how to proceed with your strategy for customer journey orchestration or if you’re adding new channels to your omnichannel contact center.
Contact center outsourcing doesn’t just have to revolve around providing more consistent customer support. You can also work with external professionals to guide and support your team members. You could create an entirely outsourced service desk for remote or hybrid staff.
This means your employees won’t have to wait for an IT expert to be available if they’re encountering problems or rely on guidance from AI bots and assistants.
The Benefits of Contact Center Outsourcing
For large and small businesses, contact center outsourcing can deliver many valuable benefits. It helps companies save time and money without compromising on excellent customer experiences. Plus, it ensures you can instantly adapt to call and contact volume changes.
The biggest benefits of contact center outsourcing include:
1. Cost Savings
Ultimately, outsourcing your contact center needs to a provider specializing in exceptional customer service operations is cheaper than hiring new employees. While you might still need an in-house team, the costs of recruiting, onboarding, and training endless agents can quickly add up.
With outsourcing, there are fewer costs to consider for initial recruitment and training. Plus, you don’t have to worry about the extra overhead expenses associated with in-house team members. You can save money on infrastructure, equipment, maintenance, and more.
2. Better Customer Experiences
Competing in today’s experience-focused world means ensuring you can consistently deliver 5-star customer service to every consumer. Consistently delighting customers is much harder when you don’t have enough staff to handle increasing contact volumes.
Top contact center outsourcing companies ensure you can scale your team whenever and however you like. You can deliver 24/7 round-the-clock support to clients all over the world. You can even find specialists capable of providing specific assistance with certain tasks.
3. Instant Expertise
As mentioned above, when you invest in contact center outsourcing, you access the expertise and knowledge of a highly trained team. These people already have the technical abilities, soft skills, and insights they need to serve your customers effectively.
In some cases, you might even be able to work with BPO providers who can give you access to additional tools, like sentiment analysis or advanced self-service solutions. You can also request employees with skills in specific industries, like healthcare or finance.
4. Simple Scalability
One of the best things about contact center outsourcing is its flexibility. When you outsource contact center processes to another company, you’re in complete control of the services you request. You can instantly add new agents to your team or eliminate personnel whenever you like.
This makes outsourcing an excellent option for companies dealing with unpredictable call volumes. For instance, you might outsource specific tasks to another team during a busy period, such as the festive season. You can cancel your outsourced services again and save money when contact volumes drop.
5. Fantastic Business Insights
Often, when you outsource tasks to another provider, they’ll be committed to showcasing their value as often as possible. This means they usually provide insights into contact center metrics and KPIs you can use to evaluate their performance.
The extra insights you gain from your outsourced experts can give you more visibility into the customer journey and factors influencing customer satisfaction. You might even be able to make better business decisions based on the reports of your BPO vendor.
Are There Downsides to Contact Center Outsourcing?
While contact center outsourcing can deliver several benefits, from improved customer satisfaction to a better business reputation, there are possible downsides, too. Without the right strategy, there’s a risk you might lose some control over your contact center.
Contact center agents outside your business might not strictly follow your rules and policies. That makes it crucial to monitor their performance and ensure they’re adhering to your expectations.
What’s more, depending on where your BPO company is located, you might find collaboration and communication between your team members begin to diminish. Time zone differences can make communicating with international agents more complex.
However, you can always take steps to eliminate this problem. For instance, a combined UCaaS and CCaaS solution can help staff members collaborate synchronously and asynchronously wherever they are. You can also meet regularly with your providers to gather feedback, check their results, and keep everyone aligned.
Most of the downsides associated with contact center outsourcing can be mitigated by combining the right strategy and the correct technology. But it’s worth considering the pitfalls before investing in a BPO service.
Quick Tips for Better Contact Center Outsourcing
Ultimately, the best way to ensure your outsourcing strategy is a success is to choose the right BPO vendor. The best companies will collaborate and communicate consistently with your team. They’ll use state-of-the-art technology to deliver exceptional experiences. Plus, they’ll follow the rules, guidelines, and policies implemented by your company carefully.
Of course, there are a few other ways you can make the most of your outsourcing strategy:
1. Provide the Right Tools
Although many BPO companies will already have access to tools they can use for things like sentiment analysis and metric tracking, it’s worth ensuring all your team members use the same resources. Consider giving your BPO team members access to all the CCaaS platform components and communication tools your employees already use.
Ensure they can access valuable information from your company’s database to answer customer questions and share data from your CRM system. You might even offer access to a broader range of tools, like AI-powered agent assistants and recording platforms.
The more tools and resources your external team members have, the more quickly they’ll be able to integrate with the rest of your business and provide a consistent experience.
2. Illustrate Workflows and Processes Clearly
While outsourced experts might not need the same level of training as your in-house employees, they still need guidance. No matter what kind of industry you work in, the chances are you have best-practice guides and compliance rules you need to follow.
Ensure your outsourced professionals understand when to use different tools for customer communication and how to use them effectively. For instance, show them how to use automatic dialers, video conferencing and co-browsing tools, and AI assistants.
Ensure that everyone follows the same policies and guidelines regarding things like recording conversations and storing data in the cloud. This will help to reduce your risk of security and compliance issues.
3. Keep Crucial Issues In-House
Finally, while most contact center outsourcing services are highly reliable, you may not want to depend on them for every customer interaction. When dealing with critical issues and VIP customers, it’s best to ensure an internal staff member is on the case.
The right routing technology will help, ensuring you can determine which conversations are passed to internal teams and which go to your outsourced agents.
Keeping critical conversations in-house ensures you can preserve your reputation with your customers and build stronger relationships overall.
Making the Most of Contact Center Outsourcing
In today’s complex world of customer experience, contact center outsourcing could be a valuable tool for many business leaders. It can help you improve customer experiences by optimizing your company’s performance in various critical areas.
Contact center outsourcing can also help keep costs low, even as your business scales into new territories and contact volumes increase.
The key to success is simply ensuring you have the right strategy. Implemented carefully, a CX outsourcing strategy could be the fastest way to prepare your organization for growth.