“Thank you for calling (insert organization name). How may I help you today?” It’s a phrase that is repeated in some variation thousands of times per day. When people have a problem with a product or a service, then they contact customer service. If people want to place an order for something and don’t have access to the internet, they’ll contact someone to place the order for them. This requires organizations to staff phone lines so every customer need can be effectively met.
Because of this, the pros and cons of outsourcing call centers are often considered. A careful balance between cost and effectiveness must be navigated and these key points help organizations do just that.
Here Are the Pros of Outsourcing Call Centers
1. It is often cheaper to outsource.
Companies must train employees to take calls according to their standards. They must provide salaries, benefits, and assume other costs as well. Outsourcing creates a simple arrangement where one contract covers all of an organization’s potential needs. These costs are often lower than in-house development costs as well, which helps keep more cash available for other needed issues or investments.
2. Outsourcing call centers come online faster.
Most organizations will outsource their call center needs to a company that already has the infrastructure in place to support the expected call volume. There are no capital expenditure costs behind the charges that happen through the negotiated contract. No internal infrastructure changes are needed either. When these facts are combined, it means an outsourcing call center can be online very quickly when compared to an in-house call center.
3. There are still controls in place over the quality of work completed.
Just because a call center need has been outsourced doesn’t mean there aren’t company controls that can still be put into place. Specific scripts, internal functions, and other needed requirements can all be implemented or adjusted as part of the relationship with the contractor. This allows for adjustments to be made on the fly if necessary so an organization can continue to evolve and meet customer needs.
4. Outsourcing call centers can be placed virtually anywhere in the world.
Almost every nation on the planet has the infrastructure and technology in place to operate an outsourcing call center. This means a company can find the best combination of price and service so needs can be met with a lower risk of taking a loss from the process.
Here Are the Cons of Outsourcing Call Centers
1. There is no control over who gets hired to take the calls.
Outsourcing means giving up control over the employee base. There is still control over how the services are implemented, but there is no control over who implements them. If the outsourcing occurs internationally, then the change in accent may make it difficult for people to understand one another. This communication gap can make it difficult to solve the problem a customer has or place their order.
2. It removes jobs from the local economic environment.
Outsourcing can save a company on expenditures, but it also means that money is being removed from the local economy. Jobs provide a lot of resources to a community that nothing else can duplicate. People earning a paycheck are purchasing food, buying goods, owning homes, and helping other businesses thrive. All of that goes away to somewhere else when a call center is outsourced.
3. It doesn’t necessarily save any time to outsource this need.
Although the costs of outsourcing are attractive, there generally isn’t a benefit when it comes to the needed time investment to satisfy customer needs. Oversight must happen to make sure quality controls are in place. Without oversight, standards will dip lower and this will affect the reputation of the organization, not the company who received the outsourcing contract.
4. There may be no way to cancel an ineffective contract.
Some outsourcing companies are just better than others. That’s why due diligence must happen when a new call center must be established. Even the most careful of companies can find themselves in a relationship that smells more like a lemon than a rose, however, and it can be difficult to cancel this type of non-beneficial relationship. Contract provisions for exiting may not even be enough in some jurisdictions around the world.
The pros and cons of outsourcing call centers must involve more than just time and money. The actual implementation of the call center system must also be evaluated. Only then will it become possible to meet the needs of the customer while balancing the demands of the budget.