Companies try to cut costs and do budgeting appropriately. This helps them focus and spend more on essential aspects of their business – such as new product development or employee appreciation.
One of the ways to cut costs is to outsource the non-critical processes of your company. Call center outsourcing is one of the most common practices among companies. From budding startups to well-established companies, companies prefer outsourcing their call-center services than to build it in-house.
If you are thinking of call center outsourcing services, then read on to learn about the pros and cons of call center outsourcing services and whether or not you should go for it.
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Why Outsource Call Center Services?
call center Outsourcing services/customer services allow you to spend your time and energy on other important aspects of your business, such as new product development, improving current services, sales, etc. Rather than increasing your employee's bandwidth by making them work on customer service or hiring new employees, you can hire an external service provider to handle call center outsourcing services for you.
When you call center outsourcing services to external vendors, they take care of it for you. You can either outsource a few call centers (like receiving calls, answering common problems faced) or outsourcing the whole business's call center/customer service to external service providers.
Let's now weigh the pros and cons of call center outsourcing services:
Pros of Outsourcing a Call Center
1. Less cost: One of the primary reasons for call center outsourcing services is to lower costs. Developing countries like India can easily leverage low-cost labor as India's cost of living is relatively low. Hence, US-based companies prefer to call center outsourcing services to such countries.
2. Saves Time: Setting up a call center in-house is a very lengthy process. Interviewing, hiring, and training call center employees might take longer than you expect. You have to make sure that your call center outsourcing employees have good communication and good interpersonal skills. If you outsource your call center outsourcing services, it will take a massive weight off your company's shoulders by handling staffing. Hence, it gives you a lot of time to focus on critical activities.
3. Global expansion: If your company is already international or is planning to go for international development, call centers outsourcing will help you. Call center outsourcing service to a local call center, especially in foreign(other than English) language, will help you better cater to your customer's problems.
4. Increase flexibility: Full-time employees have a fixed salary and work only in a specific shift. But with outsourced service, you can assign a call center based on your needs. You can also pay them for the hours they spend on the phone instead of a fixed salary.
5. 24/7 customer support: Customers want you to be available round the clock. They don't want a delay in their queries and expect you to cater to them even during late hours.
However, it costs you immensely to pay local employees to work in extra shifts.
Handle excess calls easily: It's usual to have a higher volume of calls during holiday seasons. During these times, it is challenging to manage an increase in the number of customer service calls. By outsourcing a call center whose job is to handle overflow, you can quickly transfer extra calls to such a call center and efficiently perform the job.
Cons of Outsourcing a Call Center
1. Communication barriers: When you call center outsourcing services to another country whose first language is different from yours, it might create a problem. The difference in accent or lack of understanding of local slang might negatively impact customer experience.
2. Lack of product knowledge: Outsourced employees will not have much understanding of your company or your products. You will have to provide them the training for your company and products. Even after that, they will only handle basic queries and not technical or complex calls.
3. Lack of customer satisfaction: Since different company handles your call center, external employees don't feel dedicated to providing the best customer satisfaction. It doesn't mean they don't care about satisfying customers; it's just internal employees who have a higher urge to build a long-lasting relationship with the customer.
4. No control over employees: When you call center outsourcing services to the other company, you have no control over the employees hired by that company. You might find individual employees unfit for the job, but you have no say in the situation. However, you can question them if it impacts your business; otherwise, you will have to make peace with it.
5. Reduced local jobs: Outsourcing services to international companies might come with a local person's employment cost. By outsourcing, companies are taking a local person's job and giving it to an offshore employee.
How has COVID-19 impacted Call Center Outsourcing?
Coronavirus disrupted every industry, but it left the most negative impact on the Outsourcing industry. The outsourcing industry requires people to work from the office because of the technical equipment and on-premise software.
Working from home is very difficult for this industry because of two reasons: one, managing and monitoring critical processes from faraway is quite tricky. Another is the rules governing the handling of sensitive information related to customers. Also, coronavirus had an adverse impact on the customer's behavior. Customers have now become more anxious than ever before. They want answers to their queries on the spot and are willing to switch to other brands quickly if not appropriately catered.
Widespread of the virus has prevented a large number of people from gathering in office. It has led to a delayed response to customers, which has led to a massive loss of business to many companies.
What has IO Digital done for its customers during COVID-19?
While other call centers outsourcing were struggling to keep their operations intact, IODigital was one of the first to shift its on-premise software to the cloud. It has helped our employees to continue operations and connect to customers while staying at home.
When the lockdown was first announced, our executives volunteered to support customers through live chat support help. It helped us to resolve our customer's queries when everyone else's operations were shut down. It had a positive impact on our client's business. Some of them even observed an increase in revenue in the first quarter when others faced huge losses.
Clients highly appreciated our dedication, persistence, and quality of work. It had such a substantial impact on our client's performance and business that we were approached by a few prominent players like Clix Capital during the lockdown period. Also, we became one of the well-known call center outsourcing services providers during coronavirus times.
During these times, we hired more workforce to support our client's customers. It has helped us in reducing the waiting time and hence increasing the response time for customers. Which, in turn, led to happy and satisfied customers.
We provide both inbound as well as outbound call service to our clients. The outbound calls go through a valid mobile number instead of a toll-free number; this helps build trust with the customer.
We provide Call Center Outsourcing services both to domestic as well as international companies. For domestic companies, we use a cloud-based calling service, whereas, for international firms, we use VOIP, Voice Over Internet Protocol for better connectivity.
We also take special permission from the government for special holidays like election days and other days when most companies are not operating. It has helped our clients to secure happy and long-lasting customers.
Our call center outsourcing lives chat support help service is also managed by our employees. Bots answer basic queries like the order number, product info, and company info, but our employees handle other technical and complex queries.
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Some of our clients include:
1. Adidas and Reebok: International sportswear brands like Adidas and Reebok have outsourced their call center services to IO Digital. We provide them the live chat support service and call center outsourcing services. We have helped them reduce costs by moving their operations to the cloud. Our executives support their customers with basic and complex queries without delay, hence earning them happy and satisfied customers. 2. Ferns and Petals: We have been a call center outsourcing services provider for Ferns and Petals(FnP) for quite some time now. Throughout our engagement with them, FnP's business has seen significant growth, especially in revenue. We have catered to FnP's customers round the clock and even on holidays (Raksha Bandhan, Father's Day, Etc.).
1. Adidas and Reebok: International sportswear brands like Adidas and Reebok have outsourced their call center services to IO Digital. We provide them the live chat support service and call center outsourcing services. We have helped them reduce costs by moving their operations to the cloud. Our executives support their customers with basic and complex queries without delay, hence earning them happy and satisfied customers.
2. Ferns and Petals: We have been a call center outsourcing services provider for Ferns and Petals(FnP) for quite some time now. Throughout our engagement with them, FnP's business has seen significant growth, especially in revenue. We have catered to FnP's customers round the clock and even on holidays (Raksha Bandhan, Father's Day, Etc.).
For one, we provide both on-cloud services(for domestic branches) and VOIP services(for international branches – Dubai, Australia, etc.)
1. Clix Capital: Clix Capital is one of the renounced loan providers in our country. They reached out to us during corona times. We provide them the call center and customer care services.
2. 1-to-1 progress: 1-to-1 progress is the most prominent language learning platform in France. We provide 24/7 call center outsourcing services to them through VOIP, voice over internet protocol, and reduce their operational cost.
3. Shuttl: Shuttl is an app-based bus aggregator service in India. We provide them with our call center outsourcing services and call center live chat support services along with handling other operations. They are present across India in Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, etc.
4. Samarth: The Ministry of Textiles takes care of the Samarth scheme, also known as Scheme for Capacity Building in the Textile Sector(SCBTS). We take care of their call center operations- answering queries, educating, and assisting candidates throughout the training program.
While some industry leaders think call center outsourcing services might help reduce cost, others disagree with it and believe that keeping call centers close to home is worth the additional costs. Both perspectives have their pros and cons. We believe you should weigh the pros and cons of call center outsourcing services and make the decision by keeping your business needs in mind.