Business is increasingly about service. Even product-based companies are now finding that the service element, whether it’s a formal subscription offer or aftercare expectations, is a critical factor in their success. “Customers expect a high level of service, sometimes from the cheapest products, and companies that cannot meet that demand risk not only losing customers, but also long-term damage from poor word of mouth. While some companies are addressing this by investing heavily in customer service, many more have found that the most successful option — perhaps counterintuitively — is to outsource their call center services,” said Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Globalan award-winning outsourcing provider specializing in omnichannel contact center services.
“The decision to outsource can be a difficult one to make. Using a third-party provider can feel like a loss of control over a vital function. But if the decision is made right, it adds long-term value to a company,” he adds. The company gains more capacity to focus on its core competencies, without the distraction of running a supportive customer service center. It will bring significant savings through lower costs. And, most importantly, outsourced call center services can be expected to maintain and often improve the level of customer service provided.
The extra focus that companies get from outsourcing is often an unexpected bonus. Few companies take into account the time taken up by supporting, but necessary, support services. However, these carry over throughout the company. From senior leaders to support functions such as HR and finance, internal call centers distract from a company’s core competencies.
“However, it is the savings that usually lead people to outsourcing. Dedicated call centers operate at a larger scale than in-house teams, each typically has between 20 and 50 customers, and this scale allows them to work more cost-effectively,” says Ellspermann. Whether it’s the shared cost of buildings and infrastructure, the ability to hire and retain better staff, or the ability to use resources from available desks to IT support, more efficiently, the cumulative savings add up . A company that outsources its call center services can be expected to save at least 10-15% on its internal costs by using a domestic provider that offers a comparable or even higher level of service.
But the real long-term benefits are the potential improvements in customer service. While these may seem elusive, the improvements in customer loyalty and reputation have a lasting impact on bottom line. Using a dedicated call center means having a partner for whom quality is part of their mission. They have a level of experience and expertise that cannot be matched in-house, provide staff that are more experienced and trained, and operate from facilities that have benefited from investment. Premier providers often have two agents assisting each customer, a human and an AI that works every step of the way from transferring the call to offering live suggestions to the agent. Together, these factors ensure more efficient call handling and more successful solutions.
The global call center services market is huge, estimated to be worth more than $100 billion a year. This means that there are many possibilities. Leading outsourcing destinations include the Philippines, which combines English-speaking and accent-neutral agents with a low cost of living to typically offer savings of around 40-50%, while still improving service. “But whatever the destination, if a company chooses the right call center, outsourcing is the best long-term decision they make,” says Ellspermann.
Executive Editor at Best in Australia. Mike has spent over a decade covering news about business leaders and entrepreneurs in Australia and around the world. You can contact Mike here.