Building a loyal customer base is central to the profitability and sustainability of a business. For this reason, many leading brands rely on BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) contact centers to serve their customers.
Quality third-party providers apply the people, processes and platforms required to serve customers well. They understand what is needed for a high-quality customer experience, and are able to deliver outstanding results which impacts their longevity as a provider.
Leading call centers make significant investments to hire, train, mentor and retain staff. Processes and technology are combined with human capital to offer solutions to achieve every program goal.
Most customer service outsourcing centers offer numerous advantages over a company’s internal operation. Their technologies are typically the most current and rich with features. Additionally, contact centers apply best practices that have evolved from their experiences of working with a number of different businesses and customer bases.
Here are five main benefits that outsourced contact centers provide:
1. Cost Savings
You might wonder how a company with a profit margin can save you money when compared to internal costs for a similar number of staff. The answer lies in staffing practices, efficiencies and economies of scale.
Most company’s staff locally, which is to say the hiring radius is most likely within an hour’s commute to the office location. This local labor market dictates the cost of qualified staff. While this could be good in certain parts of the country, it’s not ideal in markets with high living costs.
Many BPO call centers are virtual, meaning their staff works from home. This approach allows contact centers to hire personnel at favorable rates and provides access to more people than a premise-based process. Contact centers can hire agents who live anywhere. For example, Telecom Inc. employs agents in five states, allowing us to tap into many unique labor groups.
Another consideration is the economies of scale that offer savings. Outsourced providers have many clients, and their costs are spread across them. Plus, buying in bulk saves money on technology licenses and telephony fees, human resources, hiring, training and quality control, and all these savings get passed on to you, the client.
Contact centers are accustomed to the ebbs-and-flows of support demand throughout the year. Companies serving clients with various peak seasons can better mobilize resources without negatively impacting the customer experience.
Call centers serving retail and e-commerce brands often see peak support needs increase 40x vs. steady-state demand, and sometimes much more. Providers understand these fluctuations, and can plan to scale up and down accordingly.
Since BPOs serve the interests of many brands, one significant advantage they have is the ability to transfer staff from a program with declining volume to a program with increasing demand. Companies relying exclusively on internal personnel do not have this luxury. And remember that the downside of the volume demand curve causes the challenge of how to retain the staff they heavily invested in after the peak push has passed.
Scaling doesn’t dilute the quality of customer service staff when working with a trusted third party like Telecom. Companies trying to “get by” their peak season without external help often reallocate staff from other departments into the customer service department or hire agents from a temp agency. While this may be a successful quick fix, both of these approaches often result in a decline in customer satisfaction scores.
3. Improved Customer Service Experiences (CX)
Delivering excellent customer service should be the top priority when planning your support program. Defining excellent service varies by client and program, but typically involves measuring program metrics. These metrics include the average speed of answer, average handle time, first-call resolution rate, average order size and customer satisfaction score.
Collaborating with your call center partner during the implementation process allows for setting goals and benchmarks for your program. Achieving and surpassing goals starts with the training process. Designing training curriculums as a team enables buyers and providers to capitalize on best practices identified by both parties.
BPO centers improve the customer service experience in other ways, including:
- Expanding live support days and hours
- Intelligent queuing and routing of inquiries to the most qualified staff
- Capacity to serve the needs of customers during peak periods
- Quality assurance processes to measure and improve customer experiences
- Access to specialized skills
4. Expanded Contact Channel Options
While customer service delivered by telephone is still the most popular choice today, many customers now communicate via email, chat, SMS and social channels. Businesses who want to maximize sales must offer all channels and allow customers to change channels mid-dialogue (omnichannel approach), as appropriate.
Customer service outsourcing providers like Telecom, Inc. employ current technology that provides clients with the option of which channels to include for their customers. As many companies have found, the demographics of their customer base are closely tied to preferred channels. Outsourcing the customer service function, partly or entirely, allows you to let your customers decide how they communicate with you while applying best practices for each channel.
5. Increased Customer Retention
Happy customers return to make additional purchases. They also spread positive news about your company. Research shows that retaining customers is less expensive than acquiring them. In addition, over 85% of companies state that excellent customer service plays a huge role in customer retention. Considering this thinking, customer service quality directly impacts customer retention.
Outsourcing inbound customer service to a partner that excels in customer retention and problem resolution is critical to success. Support should be delivered by expertly trained, tenured, professional agents operating as an extension of your brand. These companies empower agents to resolve customer’s issues on initial contact and monitor them regularly to ensure they perform at the highest level possible.
Partner with the Experts at Telecom, Inc.
Telecom, Inc. recently celebrated our 30th anniversary. When you partner with us, you’ll find that our extensive experience is apparent from day one. We custom design programs and staff them with tenured agents located exclusively in the United States. Our team absorbs your brand messaging and culture, becoming well-versed in your company, values, and processes, making us the perfect team to supplement your staff.
Contact us to learn more about our company and how we can elevate your inbound customer service outsourcing strategy.