The current labor market has been undeniably tough on employers, especially those in the customer service space. According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the professional and business services industry (which includes call center support) has only been able to fill 65% of its vacancies.
If you’ve tried hiring a support agent recently, you know firsthand just how scarce the talent pool is, but thankfully, outsourcing inbound calls can help you alleviate your hiring woes and deliver better service to your customers. The question, however, regards how much it will cost you.
With that in mind, join us as we take a deep dive into inbound call center outsourcing pricing, benefits, and knowing how to choose the right vendor for your business.
What Are Inbound Services?
Inbound services primarily focus on handling incoming calls from customers. These can be support calls, sales inquiries, product information requests, or even complaints.
Instead of having an in-house team answer these calls, many businesses outsource these services to third-party call centers, which also manage emails, reply to live chat requests and engage in other types of customer communication.
Understanding Inbound Call Center Outsourcing Costs
While you are likely more than ready to put your customer support agent hiring woes in the rearview mirror, you can’t just adjust course without considering the cost of doing so. The good news, though, is that inbound call center outsourcing costs are very straightforward.
There are two predominant call center outsourcing pricing models in the industry, which are as follows:
In a per-minute model, your business is charged down to the number of minutes (sometimes even seconds) that a call center agent spends on calls. That can be beneficial if you manage a smaller business and have fluctuating call volumes. You only pay for what you use, so it is a very cost-effective approach.
Here, your business is billed on an hourly rate for each agent. If you have a predictable call volume and require dedicated agents to be available during specific service hours, hourly pricing might be the better option for you.
As you compare these pricing models, consider how many hours your agents spend on the phone. Look back over the past year to properly gauge your monthly costs and identify any seasonal spikes that may drive up your support expenses.
Benefits of Outsourcing Inbound Calls
Many businesses are deciding to outsource inbound calls for some of the following compelling reasons:
By outsourcing, you will often get a clearer picture of your monthly costs, and thanks to set pricing models, you can better forecast and manage your budgets.
Conversely, the costs of managing an in-house support team are constantly fluctuating, and between overtime costs, training and onboarding, and attrition, it can be next to impossible to predict your costs from one month to the next.
If your business experiences a lot of seasonality, you can easily scale up or down depending on your needs, thanks to outsourcing. You won’t have to let call volume spikes or the holiday shopping rush keep you up at night, as you can trust that your call center provider will have it all covered.
No Training or Hiring Headaches
By leaving the tasks of recruiting, training, and managing agents to the experts, you won’t have to worry about the finer details of trying to find talent in the currently scarce worker pool.
Eliminating training and hiring hassles will also unlock significant cost savings for your business and free up your HR staff to focus on more dynamic tasks, such as upskilling your central workforce.
Better Service Quality
Call center agents are professionals: They have the knowledge, experience, infrastructure, and on-hand technology to deliver service quality that’s hard to match in-house.
Your customers deserve the very best, and working with a reputable call center service provider is the simplest way to give them a support experience that nurtures loyalty and keeps them coming back for more.
Choosing the Right Inbound Telemarketing Services for Your Business
Here are some factors to consider to help you choose the right vendor:
Analyze your call volume to determine whether it is constant or fluctuates wildly each day. Knowing the sort of call volume you receive will help you pick between per-minute and hourly pricing models. Per minute may initially appear to be the most appealing, but if you handle a substantial volume of calls, an hourly approach will likely be cheaper.
One major advantage of outsourcing is its scalability. Be that as it may, you need to first ensure that the service provider you choose can handle the highs and lows of your business needs and that offers multifaceted support solutions on top of outbound calling, such as chat and email support. Even if you don’t need these services right now, it’s nice to know that your vendor can scale out their support if you want to include them later.
Scope of Services
Ensure that your chosen provider offers a comprehensive range of services that align with the needs of your customer base. While you don’t need to offer support over every channel, you do need to communicate with customers over at least a handful of different mediums. In addition, determine whether your provider offers self-service solutions, as those can help remove friction from the customer journey as well.
Hidden costs are a big red flag, so ensure your provider offers clear and comprehensive pricing so you’re not in for any nasty surprises when you receive your first bill. Ask about any add-on fees, surcharges, and other such expenses so you know the exact amount you are getting charged.
Location of Support Agents (Domestic vs. Offshore)
Turning to offshore support agents might save you a few dollars on the front end, but the customer experience you provide is going to largely suffer, as consumers will have to contend with cultural misunderstandings, language barriers, and time zone differences.
Ready to Outsource?
Outsourcing is a great way to cut costs, eliminate the headaches of hiring and managing in-house staff, and better serve your customers. If you are considering doing so, make sure to do some additional research, weigh your options on call center outsourcing pricing, and find a reputable domestic provider that can deliver the most for your business.