Contact centers, or call centers, come in various sizes. There are answering services (typically the smallest), mid-size providers, and “the big guys” – those with seat capacity measured in thousands or tens of thousands. Depending on the scope of telemarketing outsourcing services desired – with peak contact handling capacity for your program being central to the equation – it is essential to know the pros and cons of different size providers.
Fees and quality of service are significant factors to consider when choosing an outsourcer; however, if your chosen provider does not serve customers promptly, neither you nor your customers will be satisfied. Therefore, capacity is a critical consideration when seeking to provide the best possible customer experience.
A mid-size call center like Telecom, Inc. offers the capacity needed to support all but the largest programs. Since many mid-size providers either maintain an ongoing concurrent capacity of up to 1,000 seats or can quickly flex to that level, it is fair to assume that 80% of businesses that outsource don’t require capacity beyond this level. Mid-size telemarketing outsourcing companies often provide support on programs requiring hundreds of concurrent representatives to serve the needs of one client. When determining the capacity needs of your program, ask yourself if your project will require more than 500 seats/agents. If not, a mid-size provider is a perfect choice for a partnership.
As technology is constantly evolving, contact centers rely on the latest features to continue expanding service options and save clients money. Effective outsource providers invest in new technology, understanding the value offered by staying current.
When it comes to technological advances, mid-size providers are typically early adopters with their size working in their favor. Small operations often can’t justify the investment required to obtain new technology, and many small call centers simply don’t need the “latest and greatest” technology to provide their services (after-hours answering services, for example). On the other hand, large contact centers typically make the investments needed to stay current. Still, they can’t always implement the technology quickly since they have many user licenses to upgrade. They are faced with significant capital investments when adding new features or systems and often wait for major advancements in technology before upgrading, skipping less material advances.
Mid-size providers like Telecom have the financial resources needed to stay current, a reasonable number of user licenses to upgrade, and as a result, are often a step ahead of the competition.
Mid-size outsourcers do not typically service hundreds of unique brands simultaneously. Most providers this size have smaller client portfolios. As a result, executive oversight of individual accounts is feasible. There is a ceiling to the number of client’s programs with which an Owner, President, CEO, etc., can actively be involved. Buyers of services provided by mid-size contact centers get the most attention from the executive teams there, relative to small or large-size telemarketing outsourcing.
There are financial advantages to partnering with a mid-size call center provider.
Many small centers require pre-payment for services on the first of the month, along with a “plan” that commits you to a certain number of minutes for the coming month. Another common practice among smaller firms is a surplus charge when you exceed your allotted monthly minutes, requiring you to pay more per minute (than your pre-paid rate) for additional minutes, which is counterintuitive. Larger call centers often have significant monthly minimums associated with their service models, protecting them if the anticipated volume does not materialize.
In comparison, mid-sized contact centers like Telecom, Inc. rarely require pre-payment for monthly services, nor do we demand large monthly minimum commitments, regardless of actual interaction volume. The flexibility of service contracts makes centers like ours the perfect partner choice for various businesses and projects.
Service Model Options
Depending on your contact volume and the scope of services needed, you might have the option of choosing from different service models for your program. However, not all contact centers will be able to offer you a full suite of service options, as the center’s size often influences this capability.
Small call centers are known for offering a shared service model, a setting in which you pay by the minute for the time associated with serving your customers; this is a good model when contact volume is generally low or unpredictable.
Large call centers typically offer a dedicated service model, one in which you pay for the entire hour of the representative’s time, regardless of the portion of the hour they are occupied and actively supporting your customers. This is the most cost-effective model available when you can count on sufficient volume to keep staff occupied.
Mid-size providers like Telecom, Inc. can offer you three service model options – dedicated, shared, and a hybrid model (containing dedicated and shared elements). A hybrid approach is the most common choice among businesses for two reasons: it mitigates risk, and the consistent, predictable service by a dedicated team boosts ROI.
Telecom, Inc. is a mid-size provider. We maintain many of our foundational characteristics, allowing us to operate as a mid-size boutique within the broad spectrum of call centers. We offer the capacity to assign hundreds of agents to a client’s program, have been in business since 1993, and our staff operates exclusively from within the United States.
To learn more about telemarketing outsourcing and how Telecom, Inc. can serve as your most effective contact center partner, please contact us.