Last Updated: February 2024
Setting up an in-house call center can be a good idea if you run an established business and have a lot of time and money to spare.
But if you comprise a small business, outsourcing customer service to a good third-party call center services company would be an effective option for you.
In fact, as per studies, 54% of all companies use third-party services to connect with their customers. Moreover, “cost reduction” is the primary objective of outsourcing for 70% of the companies.
So, it’s a no-brainer that an outsourced call center would be a more time and cost-saving option compared to an in-house call center.
But how to select a third-party call center outsourcing company best suited for your business.
In this post, we will help you know:
- How can a third-party call center help your business?
- How to select a third-party call center services company?
How Can A Third-Party Call Center Help Your Business?
A third-party call center can be inbound, outbound, or both. It can help you with taking orders, answering calls, providing customer assistance, and other services performed via telephone.
Here are some benefits of an outsourced call center:
Cutting costs is an important factor that contributes to increased business revenue and profits.
Setting up an in-house call center can cost you a lot. However, outsourcing it to a third-party call center can provide you with cost benefits.
According to the 2013 Global Contact Center Survey results, “a business organization can save up to 50% of its spending if it can outsource operations to the right Customer Care Provider”.
It implies that your business will spend less on overhead costs. You can use that fund to set up or upgrade other aspects of your business that can contribute to increasing your revenue generation.
2. Trained agents/Domain experts
In a Helplama survey, “50% of respondents who ended a commercial relationship cited ‘unskilled support representatives’ as a cause of action.”
A good third-party call center can provide you with ‘domain experts’ agents specialized in your niche. For example, if you run an e-commerce store, you will be equipped with agents who have experience in the e-commerce domain.
At Helplama, we would train and test our agents based on YOUR past customer interaction before letting them interact with your customers. Hence, ensuring you have high-quality and risk-free services that are not devoid of your brand’s voice.
3. Focus on your core business
Customer service is crucial indeed but it mostly involved repetitive tasks that do not require a high-level degree of specialization. Hence, it doesn’t require the personalized attention of management and can be easily delegated.
Outsourcing customer support will allow you to save important time and focus on your core business. With your customer service division being taken care of by outsourced professionals, your managers can focus on the other aspects of your business such as logistics, marketing, advertising, etc which will, in turn, increase the productivity of your organization.
4. Use of latest technology
Outsourcing firms use up-to-date technology to ensure the best efficiency and security of customer data. For example, new-age data outsourcing companies like Helplama use the latest technology like “cloud storage” to store and pass on data. In fact, at least a third of all data will pass through the cloud and it would be essential for businesses to get on the technology train to push up speed, productivity, and growth.
5. Real-time customer support
Providing real-time support is not a trend anymore, it has become a necessity instead!
Why? Because today’s customers have become impatient and so used to real-time responses and support that they might break business relationships with a company if their issues are not resolved on time.
Outsourcing call center firms can ensure fast response times. Some agencies may even provide 24/7 real-time support.
So if you have got an idea of why you should consider outsourcing call center support services, let’s talk about how to select the best outsourcing call center provider for your business:
How to Select a Third-party Call Center Services Company?
Choosing the wrong call center company to interact with your customers can be terrible for your business.
The consequences of bad customer service are alarming! More people share negative experiences than they share good ones. Even worse, they might end the business relationship with your company.
So, you can not take a chance while selecting the call center company to work with. Now let us dive into how to look for a third-party call center service:
Skill-set to look for in a third-party call center provider
Not all third-party call centers are equal! Some call centers excel at inbound IT service, and some call centers are good at inbound and outbound sales calls.
So you need to understand for what purpose you need to outsource your business calls. Before deciding on a call center company, you must evaluate what they can do for you.
- Do you need 24/7 call center services? If you have customers in different parts of the world, you should consider round-the-clock services.
- Do you just need answering services or domain expertise? If you provide personalized services (like legal and healthcare services) that need your personalized attention to deal with your customers, then you should only consider answering services to book appointments or take notes.
- Do you just need call center outsourcing or live chat as well? Today, you need voice services only, but in the future, you might need live chat or email services as well. In such a case, make sure your call center provider can satisfy your future requirements.
- Do they offer customized services and pricing? A good outsourcing company will provide you with customized services and pricing as per your requirements.
In short, identify the outsourcing requirements and skill-set you need in an outsourcing call center provider.
Technology options at third-party call center services firm
Apart from the skill set, you must look for the call centers that are using the right technologies to handle their inbound process. It is very necessary to understand what kind of technology is being used by the firm to further improve efficiency and enhance the customer experience.
Some “must-have” technologies are listed below:
This is a technique that allows you to route a specific call to a specific agent. This is important because there will always be some agents who are more efficient and your goal is to use those agents as much as needed. Data shows that “it takes about 8 cold calls to actually reach a prospect, and less than 2% of cold calls actually lead to a meeting”. Efficient agents have more probability of doing successful cold callings.
Robust IVR and ability for multiple queues:
In Helplama’s survey, 68% of respondents who ended a business relationship cited a “bad automated phone self-service (IVR) system” as being a major reason for their decision.
However, you can make sure this does not happen to you by making sure that your outsourced call center company comprises a robust IVR tree.
It will enable you to be more flexible to provide service to your customers with more precision. Your program might need 360-degree customer service. You can make these options accessible to your customers with this one-stop IVR technology.
For example, you might need a sales team who doesn’t deal with technical assistance and a technical team who doesn’t do sales calls. Now your call center team has a mix of different experts who can deal with a variety of customer issues, so it becomes necessary for you to provide your customers easy access to them.
Real-time reporting is a very important aspect of a call center services company to have. It allows you to see the real-time statistics such as average response time, average calls in queue, average interaction time, customer satisfaction score, etc.
But there are some third-party call center providers who do not implement this technology. Hence the supervisors lose the ability to analyze the performance of the front-line workers.
So make sure that a third-party call center provider offers a real-time reporting feature.
Scalability of a third-party on-call services company
So you have selected a third-party call center based on their skillset and technology required to match your program.
Nevertheless, you have to consider if the company has the scalability to meet your growth goals.
Remember, with effective customer acquisition programs, the size of your business and customer base might increase in no time. You will also need to set up social media support, Email support, and Phone support to enhance the omnichannel experience of your customers. The selected call center must scale with your company as you grow.
So, make sure that outsourcing customer service providers would be able to fulfill your outsourcing needs as you grow.
Security options provided by the third party call center services firms
With modern technology, the call center vendors offer customer services both on-premises and cloud-based.
You should investigate the security measures and software used by the call center for recovery from disasters or security breaches. An on-site call center will serve you better if you are skeptical about the security the cloud-based vendor is providing. Else the cloud-based call centers are a perfect fit for your business if you are looking for a large number of agents working from multiple locations.
Bonus Tip: Prepare a Call center RFP Template for Outsourcing
Preparing a call center request for proposal (RFP) will help you identify the outsourcing requirements that you have not even thought of. Additionally, you will be able to know the hidden things about an outsourcing provider that they do not disclose by themselves.
You can prepare various RFP templates to know – General information, operational information, recruitment details, service details, technology-used, etc.
So now, you must have got an idea of how you can select the third-party call center best suited for your business.