Let’s face it; every company needs a call centre. No matter what product or service you offer, your customers will have a problem you need to solve. Most companies spend a lot of time creating their offers without giving much thought to how they will deliver it. The results of this oversight are often disastrous.
Ergo, the problem with customer support is that it’s a never-ending cycle of dealing with angry customers. You have to answer the same questions over and over again, saying, ‘I’m sorry.’ The fact is that when they have a question or complaint, 90% of customers want an immediate response. Thus, it’s crucial to provide good customer service, but it can be distracting if done yourself. It might need more of your time than you have to offer. But if you think of it as an expense rather than an investment, you’ll lose out. After all, around $75 billion annually is lost on poor customer service experiences.
Call Centres have been here for decades.
If you’re a small business owner, or a big corporate, collaborating with customers is a hallmark of success. Even though your employees should care about customers, they cannot be present and willing to help at all times. So, rather than losing your potential customers because you can’t answer them, you should probably outsource it. After all, creating a positive customer experience is more critical than ever.
In this guide, we’ll take you through all the steps required to make outsourcing your call centre easy and smooth.
1. What is a call centre, and why do you need one?
Call centres are large, private businesses that exist to answer calls. Global conglomerates often own them, and you probably deal with them every day without even knowing it! You can outsource your entire call centre services if you want to, or just some functions. Either way, it’s not a bad idea to know what you’re getting yourself into before diving headfirst into outsourcing your business.
The main types of call centres
Outbound call centres
An outbound call centre is a business that makes phone calls on behalf of another business. Whether it’s for sales or telemarketing, an outbound call centre is a must-have for any company. This is especially true if they want to grow their customer base and improve their revenue stream. These call centres hire dedicated staff trained in sales techniques. They make outgoing calls, identify potential clients, generate leads and close deals. This process is an effective way to establish contact with new customers at a low cost.
Inbound call centres
An inbound call centre handles incoming phone calls through either landline or mobile devices. Typically, organisations use an inbound call centre to deal with customer service inquiries, develop new leads, or conduct surveys. Think about a customer who contacts you because they don’t know how to use your products or services. If handled properly, call centres can be very effective at improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Outsourced call centres
When most people think of outsourcing, they think of manufacturing jobs. While that is still one aspect of outsourcing, it’s far from the only way to outsource. One overlooked aspect of outsourcing is outsourcing call centres. As technology grows, it’s possible to have your call centre staff handled by other people in another country or even continent. Whether you are starting a new company, dealing with an expansion or just need some extra help managing calls, outsourced calling centres are here to meet your needs.
In-house call centres
Having an in-house call centre is no longer a requirement or even advisable for most companies. It is cheaper and easier to outsource your call centre operations to a third-party provider who specialises in it. Of course, outsourcing can still come with some risks for companies — especially if you don’t do your homework and find a reliable and reputable company. Finding a reputable outbound call centre can be difficult, but not if you know what to look for.
Reactive call centres
Reactive call centres handle angry customers who have complaints. They don’t sell products and services – they only deal with customer issues and queries. They usually take calls from within a specific industry – for example, to field customer queries about products.
Proactive call centres
Proactive call centres are there to help you with any business-related queries. These call centres differ from reactive call centres because they do not just take customers calls. Instead, they reach out to customers and provide advice and solutions before a customer is even aware that he needs a particular service. Reports show that 84% of loyal customers consider customer service as important as the product they buy.
2. Why should you outsource your inbound call centre service?
There are many advantages to outsourcing your inbound call centre (you can guess some of them yourself.) Moreover, there are several ways to outsource inbound call centre services, including offshore staffing companies, remote employees, home-based employees and third-party agencies.
Some of these options are much more cost-effective than others, so make sure you do your research before committing! There is plenty of outsourcing information, and it can seem like there is no end to it – but we promise there is!
Benefits of outsourcing your inbound call centre
In the digital age, the future of communications includes virtual assistants. Hence, it’s critical to look at some of the most important benefits that come with outsourcing your call centre.
#1 Outsourcing helps you save time and money.
When you outsource your call centre services, you’re getting someone else to do all your support calls. This means that there is no need for you to train and employ new staff members. You can focus on what you do best – your core business model. Additionally, businesses that outsource their call centre services enjoy cost savings, high-quality work and speedy resolutions.
#2 Outsourcing means fewer headaches for you
You’re all busy, you’ve got a lot on your plate – and there aren’t enough hours in the day. In business, time is money – literally. The quicker you can get things done, the faster you make money – and it means you have more time to relax. You don’t have to worry about overspending, either! So, perhaps one of the biggest reasons for outsourcing your call centre is to save time and eliminate headaches.
#3 Outsourcing means better service delivery
No matter how capable your in-house team is, there are still things they’re not great at (don’t worry, nobody is perfect after all.) If you can do these tasks better, why not outsource them? This puts your business in a better position to offer a service delivery that your competitors can’t come close to matching. After all, 95% of consumers cite brand loyalty as being closely tied to exceptional customer service. The key here is that outsourcing doesn’t necessarily mean finding cheaper sources. Instead, it means finding areas of weakness and improving upon them (a win-win situation.)
#4 Outsourcing is best if you’re limited on time, and it’s time for growth!
Outsourcing your call centre is best if you’re unwilling to spend time building and training a team. It allows you to be focused on growing your business as opposed to running a call centre. One of the most common mistakes that entrepreneurs make is “overpromising and under-delivering“. If you have limited time but want excellent customer service, outsourcing is definitely worth it.
#5 Outsourcing is affordable to start with
With outsourced call centres, you can save significantly on staffing costs. For example, if your company has $1 million in annual sales and $200,000 in profit each year with one employee taking 50 calls per day at $15 per hour (including overhead), that would cost $50,000 annually just to handle incoming calls. You can also save money by outsourcing part of your call centre needs to an outbound or inbound service. However, for different types of call centres, there are different prices. Read more on that topic here.
#6 Outsourcing helps you deal with angry customers effectively.
If you run an inbound call centre, you need to know how to handle angry customers. Your employees have to be good at handling customer queries, and they must also deal with angry customers. Outsourcing means that all complaints are taken care of by professionals. They have trained individuals who are ready to deal with any situation. They are skilled at calming down customers and making them feel comfortable about their interactions with your business or organisation. After all, proper call handling helps ease your mind without worrying about any repercussions from unhappy customers.
#7 Outsourcing helps you bridge the business gap.
As a business owner, you need to focus on moving mountains! The thing is that dealing with inbound call centre services isn’t a mountain you have to move by yourself. It could be costly and time-consuming to have full-time staff members answering calls from customers or clients. A virtual call centre can fill that gap for you. It takes over for your current staff while adding an extra layer of outsourcing to help take your company further down its path toward success. Outsourcing your business leads to a bigger cake, and virtual assistants help you eat it.
3. Signs that you need an inbound call centre
and how to manage it
Inbound call centre services have been growing in popularity for some time now, and it’s easy to see why. You can find a support network of knowledgeable staff without paying for all their equipment and office space. There are many clear signs that your business needs an inbound call centre to help manage your incoming enquiries. If any of these apply to you, it might be time to consider how outsourcing could benefit your business as a whole.
1: Your clients are worried about your service
2: You can’t be reached when you are offline
3: You want to grow faster
4: You want to control your brand voice
5: You can’t get on the phone quickly enough to talk to sales prospects
6: People are getting impatient on hold while you’re doing other stuff
7: You need help with lead generation.
There are many countries you need to consider when it comes to outsourcing in 2021. Check the top 5 Countries for Call Centre Outsourcing here, distinguished by their multicultural, highly skilled professionals and technology used (among other factors). However, if you have decided about outsourcing in the UK, then this list of top providers will come in handy(you are welcome.)
How does call centre outsourcing work?
As we see the fourth industrial revolution, the call centre is becoming smarter and smarter. It helps boost performance and make life much easier. Every business owner knows how valuable it is to have a solid customer support system in place. If your customers have questions or complaints, you want to ensure their concerns are addressed—and kept out of review sites. It may sound easy to find a good outsourcing company for your call centre needs, but what exactly do you look for?
5 questions you must ask before outsourcing your call centre operations
A solid customer service strategy is essential to business success. If your customers have a positive experience with your company, they’re more likely to come back and recommend you to others. A modern call centre has evolved from simply answering phones to addressing other challenges as well. So, where should you begin?
If you want peace of mind knowing that experts handle your call centre operations, check out these five questions you should ask every time.
- Your expertise areas?
- Your performance stats?
- What makes you different from the competition?
- What kind of technology do you use?
- How do you handle emergencies?
- Do you have a disaster recovery plan for the critical data?
4. How to manage your outsourced call centre?
Outsourcing customer calls to a third-party can be a great way to both keep your customers happy and keep costs down. But managing an outsourced call centre isn’t easy, especially if you’re new to it. In fact, outsourcing is about finding a good match between you and your service provider – it shouldn’t be a one-size-fits-all kind of deal.
If your outsourcing relationship is going well, congratulations—keep up the good work! If it isn’t going so well, here are some tips for you.
Remember that your outsourcer is not your vendor.
This is a critical point. Outsourcers are not vendors who you can pick and choose from at will. They’re a professional team that will be with you for a long time if they work out. You need someone who’s invested in your business as much as you are—and that means constantly seeking new ways to optimise performance.
Be an active part of the training.
The first rule of outsourcing is to have a good idea of what tasks to outsource. That means if you’re not on-site for training, you can’t fully take advantage of your outsourcing operation. A good part of any call centre manager’s job is to train new employees on how they can handle different situations that come up on calls. Getting someone else to do it will only cost more in the long run, so stay involved in your company’s offshoring process.
The call volumes have been booming due to the pandemic. However, statistics show that steady growth will follow. That’s why you must ensure that your outsourcer offers excellent training.
Don’t micromanage your outsourcer.
Keep tabs on your outsourcer, but don’t get too involved in their business. If you treat your call centre as a child and tell them exactly what to do and how to do it every step of the way, you’re not outsourcing anything. Sure, some people can micromanage their outsourcers successfully. But most will either go broke or put stress on an otherwise good relationship with their outsourcing company. The smarter option is to establish goals at all levels within your business so that your call centre team knows exactly what to do.
Set realistic targets for your outsourcer
When you’re outsourcing your call centre, it can be tempting to set super-high targets, but take a step back and think about what’s realistic. You need to consider how experienced your outsourcer is with phone conversations and call handling. They might have little experience dealing with customers over the phone, so if you set unrealistic goals, they could struggle to meet them—and that’s going to create delays and problems that cost you money.
So, there you have it—the ultimate guide to outsourcing your call centre. To get it right, you’ll need a good idea of what you expect from your outsourced call centre and a clear vision of how it should work. With these points in mind, hiring an outside agency should be a relatively straightforward experience for all involved. You do your research and make sure everything is set up correctly from day one.
Since call centres outsourcing will become a major employment sector over the next few years, there’s never been a better time to take advantage of cost-effective business services. After all, once they’re set up correctly, they can help save businesses millions every year with little effort on their part.