Outsourcing your customer service program is appealing for a number of reasons. It can save your business money, dramatically improve your customer experience, build more loyal customers and help you design a better customer care strategy.
When making the decision to outsource your customer service to a contact center, it’s important to carefully weigh the pros and cons that contact center outsourcing could have on your brand.
To help you make this decision, Advantage Communications has listed some of the top pros and cons of contact center outsourcing. Before we dive into the pros and cons, let’s first take a look at what contact center outsourcing actually is.
What is contact center outsourcing?
Contact center outsourcing is the process in which a business hires a third-party organization to staff and manage its entire customer service strategy from an external location. This third-party uses specialized technologies, highly-skilled (and trained) customer service representatives and customer experience (CX) tactics to boost customer satisfaction.
The term outsourced contact center is often used interchangeably with outsourced call center, however there are some key differences. A call center typically only refers to the staffing and management of a company’s call center, while a contact center will implement an entire CX strategy.
A successful outsourced contact center will be able to implement and maintain a customer service program that boosts customer satisfaction and drives customer loyalty, all while saving your organization money at the same time.
What are the pros of contact center outsourcing
1 - A contact center will save you money
Building a customer service program is highly complex. It requires experienced and skilled customer service agents, analytical technologies, customer-facing technologies and deep insight into strategy. All of this is highly expensive when paid for in-house.
Since outsourced contact centers are already set up with these technologies and expertise, you can save huge amounts of money (and better results!) by outsourcing your customer service to a third-party expert.
2 - You’ll have more time to focus on your core competencies
Building a customer service strategy is incredibly important for your business, but it’s also hugely time-consuming. You need to spend time hiring customer service agents, learning about customer experience strategy, learning what new technologies you should be using and you need to manage your call center.
Contact center outsourcing will move all of these processes over to a third-party that is highly-experienced and skilled in the industry. By outsourcing these processes, your business will have more time to focus on the core competencies that deliver organizational growth.
3 - Contact centers give you access to complex customer service tech
The customer experience has evolved rapidly in the past few years. Customers now demand seamless experiences across a number of different platforms. To fulfill these demands, your brand needs to offer an omnichannel customer service experience that reduces customer effort.
To do this successfully, you need to offer a range of customer service technologies that not only improve how you interact with customers (such as artificial intelligence) but also how you gather data to improve customer service experiences and agent performance. Contact centers have these technologies available to you, without the expensive fees it would cost to implement them in-house.
4 - You will be able to offer 24/7 customer service
The potential benefits of 24/7 customer service are huge, but it's also now expected by customers. If your organization is there to answer questions and solve problems whenever your prospects need you, then you are way less likely to lose potential customers to your competition.
Outsourcing your customer service to a contact center will ensure you are set up for round-the-clock customer care. That means you’ll no longer miss out on those after-hour sales opportunities.
5 - Your customer service program can easily scale up depending on real-time demand
It’s likely your eCommerce business experiences seasonal demand, whether it’s Black Friday, the festive period or a sales event that you are hosting. You need to be ready to meet customer expectations during these periods, and that often means needing more customer service representatives for a short period of time.
An outsourced contact center will allow you to seamlessly scale up as-and-when needed, assigning new customer service representatives to work on your brand in real-time when you need them.
What are the cons of contact center outsourcing?
1 - Choosing the right contact center solution requires some evaluation
Not all outsourced contact centers are created equally. In fact, old-school offshore call centers and BPOs have certainly gained a bad reputation for the long on-hold times.
Contact centers are completely different. They focus on the customer experience instead of simply answering phone calls, they use technologies that continuously drive up customer satisfaction levels and they employ highly-trained and specialized customer service agents.
You can read more about choosing the right outsourced contact center solution on our How to Outsource page.
2 - You will lose a certain amount of control over your customer service program
In-house contact centers are in your business. That means you have greater control over the program and the agents working within your call center. You can closely supervise what’s happening and make sure all of your operational processes are running efficiently.
When outsourcing to a contact center, you trust them to control that process. That’s why it’s absolutely crucial you work with a contact center that you not only trust, but has prior experience in delivering real results on behalf of their clients.
3 - A potential lack of technical product knowledge
Working with the wrong contact center could lead to a range of issues, but one of the most common of those is agents having a significant lack of technical product knowledge to successfully answer customer queries. These third-party agents are less likely to be truly passionate about your product than your own employees.
The best contact centers are addressing these issues through extensive brand training. Here at Advantage Communications, for example, we guide our agents through an intense client culture training module, ensuring that all customer service representatives become “brand ambassadors” and work as an extension of your company.
Are you looking for more information about contact center outsourcing or need help determining the pros and cons for your specific business? Advantage Communications would love to answer your questions. Get in touch with us today!