Contact Center as Strategic Asset
If you have ever thought about creating or expanding an internal contact center to improve your business, or simply outsourcing the tasks, you are in good company. In a previous post we wrote about the importance of delivering outstanding customer service. One of the main enterprise teams that makes this happen is the contact center, or front office organization. Not only do they field all types of business calls, they immediately convey either a negative or positive image of your corporate brand and style of client care. No longer considered an expensive overhead for companies, the contact center has matured into a strategic entity that can help maintain customer loyalty and contribute to brand excellence and overall growth.
Reasons for Outsourcing Contact Center Operations
There are many great reasons for outsourcing your contact center. Contact center activities are often not within a company’s realm of expertise. An outsourcing company can provide full service contact center functionality. They also offer all-inclusive performance-based outsourcing services with expertise in telecommunications and customer support, and can provide full or partial services dependent upon your objectives and budgetary requirements.
The ability to always appear “open for business” is a priority for many companies, including those that deliver critical products and services. Outsourcing enables companies to focus on their core competencies while implementing short or long-term campaigns. With outsourcing, you reap the benefits of a professional contact center without incurring the cost of purchasing and maintaining expensive equipment.
Expenses associated with housing and maintaining additional workforce can be cost prohibitive to many companies as well. Companies who choose outsourcing reserve capital and resources otherwise needed to fund technology, quality monitoring, recruiting, training, incentive programs and more. Also, there are many payment plans available on the outsourcing market including a performance-based payment model where you will only pay for calls that deliver a quantifiable outcome.
Other industry payment options include:
- Per transaction payment – developing campaigns based on a flat fee per transaction for predictable budget management.
- Per call minute – customers who choose this payment option for inbound traffic are billed a flat rate per minute so they only pay for the exact time agents spend on the phone.
- Monthly Retainer – used for programs reliant on availability and expertise rather than quantifiable results, a monthly retainer option ensures that expert agents are always available to service customers.
- Per agent-per month or monthly flat fees – this is a cost-effective per-agent-per-month for ASP, or flat fees for hosted applications.
Creating New and Unexpected Opportunities
Outsourcing your contact center needs can have some unexpected and positive outcomes. Due to their expertise and technological resources, outsourcing services often identify and recommend solutions to maximize untapped revenue streams for customers. Mining and the analysis of performance reports, made possible through using an outsourcers software technologies, can help to recognize trends and discover new opportunities. Outsourcing can work with customers to create programs and expand services that capitalize on these additional opportunities.
Outsourcing services can complement your business for short term projects such as new product releases or marketing campaigns, and to achieve the goal of retaining customers and reducing the rate of customer turnover with:
- Retention Programs
- Churn Management Programs
- Customer Contact and Loyalty Programs
Outsourcing delivers a diverse array of services and offers valuable solutions for any organization. Multiple programs can be implemented simultaneously for maximum benefit.
|Customer Transaction Outsourcing Services||Telemarketing and Campaign Outsourcing Services|
|Billing and Billing Resolutions||Acquisition|
|Customer Plan Changes-Migrations||Up Sales and Cross Sales|
|Customer Surveys||Sales & Marketing Campaigns|
|Data Collections||Lead Generation-Qualification|
|Customer Support Services and One-Call-Solution-Center||Inbound-Outbound Sales|
|Order Processing-Provisioning||Direct Mail Campaign|
|Revenue Tracking, Reconciliation & Reports||Market Trials|
|Target List and Data Mining-Analysis|
Outsourcing Does Not Have to be “Overseas”
About this time you might be thinking, “Yes, but I don’t like talking to overseas companies myself, so why would I put my customers through that negative experience?” There can be language and accent barriers, and overly scripted and restrictive processes that are a challenge for calling customers when using overseas companies. As many large U.S. financial and technical organizations have discovered, most of their customers have a negative opinion and do not like dealing with an overseas outsourcer. U.S. agents have a much better command of the English language and are embedded in American culture. This translates into improved customer satisfaction with fewer complaints than with foreign contact center agents. To maintain customer service and loyalty, they have brought their call center operations back to the U.S.
Outsourcing your contact center operations can provide you with many options and benefits. Once you have decided on the right outsourcing company that can grow with your business, check into their flexible billing arrangements and setup the transaction processing or campaign services that best fit your needs.
Agents can be dedicated or shared, dependent upon the level of skill required and the volume of calls generated through your campaign. Many outsourcing companies have the ability to manage shifting call volume with automated call blending across inbound and outbound groups. This ensures that your contacts are never kept waiting during peak call periods.
The top-tier companies will be able to provide guidance and understand your needs and other factors to get you started. Once setup, they will furnish the information pertaining to your campaigns made available through reports that you can access via email, fax or online. Overall, outsourcing just might be the right choice for your company, ensuring that your objectives will be satisfied as efficiently and timely as possible.
“Top 10 Reasons to Outsource Your Call Center” – Infographic