According to statistics, the call center outsourcing industry is growing exponentially. This shows how popular the practice of delegating your customer support to a specialized agency is today. Why is that so? The obvious answer would be because outsourcing is cheaper. But while that is true, it’s not the only reason companies decide to outsource their customer service. In this article, we will start from the basics by defining the call center outsourcing services and their advantages and then dive into the latest trends of the industry.
Call center outsourcing is a service operated by independent agencies that provide customer support to businesses. Usually, companies decide to outsource their client care because it is more convenient than maintaining an in-house customer support team. Outsourced call centers handle all customer inquiries helping brands to stay in contact with customers and build customer loyalty.
Companies choose to outsource their customer support to call centers for different reasons. In many cases, it’s because of companies’ inability to provide full-range customer support due to insufficient resources and limited capabilities. And since brands have to stay on top of their customer service they turn to outsourcing providers that can fill in that gap. So what benefits does the call center outsourcing offer? Let’s take a look at them one by one.
Outsourcing to call centers will cost less than setting up an in-house customer service team. That’s because contact centers already have everything needed to run a customer support system. You only pay for the actual service they provide without having to spend money on recruiting agents, training them, equipping them with workplace necessities, providing benefits packages, etc.
Outsourcing offers great flexibility and scalability. This is a very important feature especially for those businesses that experience seasonal spikes in customer demand. Call center outsourcing offers an opportunity to easily scale up your support team (when your business is growing) or scale down (when the busy season is over).
Outsourced call centers provide superb customer service because they possess extensive experience and expertise in this niche. All of their resources and attention goes to developing and providing the most viable customer support solutions. That means call centers usually use the latest technology and actual industry experience to build the most efficient customer service strategy.
Pretty much every business has faced challenges or had to go through an adaptation process due to the pandemic crisis. The call center industry is not an exception. The global collapse triggered by the COVID-19 outbreak shone the light on some weaknesses as well as strengths of call centers. The new demands brought by the “new normal” require call centers to be more agile. As a result, call centers started looking for new ways to increase their productivity and meet those demands.
Let’s talk about the latest trends that have emerged from the pandemic crisis.
With moving mostly to work-at-home regime call centers started relying more on the cloud system. This tendency is seen across multiple industries, not just call centers. All due to the convenience and other benefits that the cloud presents. Let’s take a look at each of them.
This is one of the most advantageous things about the cloud. With most companies moving from office to remote work during the pandemic, in-house computing proved to be inflexible. Implementing cloud computing in your call center allows your agents to access your system from anywhere which creates a great flexibility and scalability options.
Most cloud software uses APIs. That means that the cloud system synchronizes with your business system. With this feature, you can provide exceptional customer service by collecting information about your clients from different sources and produce customized solutions.
Cloud is a subscription-based service which means your only expense would be a monthly fee for the service. This way you would have to spend significantly less compared to how much you pay for in-house computing.
A significant amount of customers prefer a self-service option when interacting with brands. Indeed, many customers have developed a habit of turning to self-service tools to resolve their problems before calling up agents. This reduces call queues, which in its turn, facilitates agents job allowing them to concentrate on more complex issues. Let’s take a look at technologies that play a significant role in self-service:
Intelligent automation helps call centers with secondary, time-consuming and repetitive tasks. Not only does it take some pressure off your agents but it also boosts your call center productivity by reducing response time and processing inquiries faster. Call center automation has a lot of forms. A chatbot is one of them and that brings us to the next point.
Chatbots are a great tool for call centers as they can route customers, answer their simple inquiries and resolve their problems. In other words, we can call them assistants of customer support representatives. More sophisticated chatbots use text-to-speech processing created by AI innovations and machine learning.
AI-based applications can empower agents by providing insightful information about customers. Here is how it works. Let’s take a CRM with AI-powered solutions for example. Such a tool can demonstrate a wide range of information about customers, like their previous experience with your brand, the reason why they are calling and more. This saves agents time on searching all of that information on different systems and helps to provide more personalized service.
Interactive voice response technology can perform multiple functions such as greeting calling customers, identifying the problem issue they are calling about and transferring them to agents who are best qualified to handle such type of a problem.
Those technologies have greatly contributed to the development of call center self-service options that are very popular among users today.