Shauna Geraghty of Talkdesk shares 25 key questions to ask when opening up discussions with an outsourced contact centre provider.
Call centre outsourcing is a hot topic on both ends of the phone – company and customer. And both groups have reasons to celebrate and hesitate.
From a company’s perspective, call centre outsourcing can be attractive for expanding customer communication, but may be nerve-racking given that it requires giving up some control over their provision of service.
From the customer’s perspective, call centre outsourcing can provide longer service hours and more available agents, but it can also lead to frustration and misunderstandings.
Let’s take a closer look at call centre outsourcing and explore what it could mean for your business.
What Is Call Centre Outsourcing?
Call centre outsourcing is the process by which companies employ an external service provider to operate and manage their call centre. This external service provider can be based anywhere, but most often this term is used to refer to offshore outsourcing.
Offshore outsourcing is simply moving call centres outside of the United States.
Companies may choose to outsource all or part of their call centre operations (e.g. sales, service, market research, etc.) In general, companies hand over most of the control to the external provider, giving them the power to hire and train agents, maintain call centre software and manage day-to-day operations.
What Are the Principal Upsides of Call Centre Outsourcing?
The biggest benefit of call centre outsourcing is that external service providers absorb the cost of operations, including call centre software maintenance and hiring.
This can represent significant savings. Call centre outsourcing can also facilitate around-the-clock service for customers, since outsourced call centres tend to be in different time zones.
What Are the Principal Downsides of Call Centre Outsourcing?
The biggest downside of call centre outsourcing is that it can lead to decreased customer satisfaction if service representatives do not speak the same language or come from the same culture as the customers.
Additionally, companies may feel that their call centre operations are no longer in their control, so they do not have as much power over brand representation, company knowledge or call centre decisions.
25 Questions to Ask Before Outsourcing Your Call Centre
- What am I hoping to achieve by outsourcing?
- Which aspects of my call centre will be outsourced?
- Does the outsourced solution allow for inbound and outbound agents?
- How much money will it cost to outsource?
- How much do I expect this to affect my profit margins?
- How involved do I want HQ to be with the outsourced call centre?
- How much time will it save long-term?
- How much time am I willing to put in upfront?
- Where will the call centre be located?
- What language will the call centre agents speak?
- What culture will the call centre agents come from?
- What are the laws concerning privacy in the location of your call centre?
- How secure will the outsourced solution be?
- Will these call centre agents be fielding calls for other companies at the same time?
- How much control will I have over hiring?
- What will my call centre’s hours of operation be?
- How will I ensure that quality standards are being met?
- What call centre KPIs will I use to track success?
- Will my customers mind if I outsource my call centre?
- Will my customers notice that my call centre has been outsourced?
- How will the outsourced solution scale?
- Will the outsourced call centre be able to receive calls from everywhere your customer base is?
- Will it be possible to outsource more than just phone communications?
- What call centre software will the external source use?
- How customizable will the software settings be?
Note: This list is by no means exhaustive.
What Are Your Choices When It Comes to Call Centre Outsourcing?
There are many shades of call centre outsourcing. Everything depends on your answers to the above questions.
For one, outsourcing is not a compulsory practice. It’s a choice and it may not be the right choice for you! Second, although the implication tends to be offshore outsourcing, local outsourcing is always an option.
Outsource your call centre, but don’t go very far. Third, and finally, if you’re not ready to make the leap, why not outsource just a few aspects of your call centre?
This blog has been re-published by kind permission of Talkdesk – View the original post