Costs frequently drive outsourcing decisions as businesses are hoping to make savings, but using contact centre services to provide tasks like customer support and routine business processing offers so much more. Many businesses, which by definition are not in the contact centre industry, find that outsourcing results in an improvement in the customer services and processing they offer. The benefit is not, therefore, just savings, but also happier customers.
“Ironically, many outsourcing decisions are delayed or postponed because of a misplaced concern that customer service might suffer. Although misplaced, it is understandable. Customer satisfaction is vital to a business’s survival and losing direct control of contact centre services may feel like losing the ability to influence customer satisfaction. In practice though, agreeing with delivery standards with a premier partner offers the assurance that experts are closely monitoring, and delivering, the customer service to the required standard,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading mid-sized BPO specialising in omnichannel contact centre services for Australian SMEs.
A typical call centre agent may have been attracted to the role because of their interest in customer service. However, in working for a large provider they have access to more specialised training than they could ever get as a member of an in-house team. They work at facilities that are set up purely as a contact centre, in a role they know is central to their organisation’s success. In-house teams are frequently add-ons, important, but not part of their business’s core mission and often housed wherever they can fit in. This can lead to a lowering of morale that customers inevitably pick up.
And when those dedicated call centre agents need support, whether it’s IT, HR, or finance, they are dealing with teams that are focused solely on their needs, not IT support that needs to manage multiple systems or HR generalists that deal with multiple professions. They also have access to far more development opportunities, meaning that call centres tend to have better staff retention; and better retention results in better, more dedicated and efficient staff.
Even if the added quality that comes with using dedicated call centre services was not enough, they also offer significant savings. Even at the lower end, opting for a domestic provider with the same service levels as offered in-house, can provide savings of around 10-15%. Most of these savings accruing from the same factors that enable third-party call centres to offer better services. The use of dedicated facilities, equipment, and software — contact centres were one of the earliest adopters of AI, which frequently acts as an assistant to human operatives as well as providing valuable insight into activity and trends — combined with their scale means they operate efficiently. A global call centre has high occupancy 24 hours a day, getting the best value out of its resources, and retaining the capacity to scale rapidly to meet customer and client demand.
Even higher savings are possible with offshore contact centre service providers. The Philippines has become a leading destination for outsourcing. Its ability to provide English-proficient agents who often have a little accent, being in a convenient time zone, and costing 40-50% less than an onshore outsourced or in-house operation makes it an especially popular choice for Australian companies. “But whatever the motivation for outsourcing call centre services, it can be one of the most astute decisions a business can make,” says Ellspermann.