What Is a Call Center Service Provider?

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A call center plays a vital role in any business that sells products and services to customers. Most of today’s customers expect businesses to provide them with a stellar buying experience from start to finish. Call center agents who reach out to leads, take orders, answer questions, and provide support play a huge part in ensuring that brands can make this happen.

Still, building a call center is a significant undertaking. Many businesses wonder whether there’s a way to provide a high level of service to their customers without the expense of starting their own call center. Fortunately, call center service providers exist for this very reason. Learn how these third-party services work and how they can benefit your brand.

How Call Center Service Providers Work

Third-party call center service providers work with multiple businesses to provide call centers as a service. The outsourced call center provides all the infrastructure and personnel needed so that a brand can have a call service working on its behalf without having to invest too much time or money.

Services Provided

Are you wondering, “How do call centers work when they’re outsourced?” If so, you’re not alone. There are a few types of call center service providers, each of which is based on a different function. For instance, you might seek to hire a service provider that is:

  • Inbound-Only: Takes orders and questions from customers who call in
  • Outbound-Only:  Reaches out to prospects and customers on your behalf
  • Blended: Simultaneously handles inbound and outbound communication
  • Omnichannel or Multichannel: Uses a combination of phones, video calls, online chats, email, texting, and social media for customer communication
  • Automated: Uses automated prompts to help customers navigate issues without the help of a live agent

Note that any one of these types of call centers may be virtual with remote workers or have a physical location with agents on the premises. 

Hiring and Allocating Agents

When you outsource your call center to a third party, it generally takes care of hiring agents and figuring out how many will work on your specific account. You must discuss with your service provider which qualifications are important to you in the agent selection process, as well as what training methods and programs should be used to ensure agents have the skills to provide what your customers need.

In many cases, call center service providers will also offer you several options related to staffing your program. This might include having a dedicated staff working solely on behalf of your brand each day or one that you share with other brands.

Ensuring Quality of Service

Many call center service providers employ team leaders, shift supervisors, and QA analysts to oversee the development of agents and ensure their skills and performances are up to par. They may listen in on calls and provide feedback to the agent to help them improve their communication, efficiency, productivity, or results.

Additionally, third-party call centers work according to your preferred processes. This means you get to determine the CRM and other systems agents use, as well as how call flows and escalations should work. You will usually work with the provider to determine which metrics constitute success and work out how the provider will report on these metrics and remediate any issues with reaching goals.

What Is a Call Center Service Provider’s Benefit to Your Business?

The benefits of learning how to outsource your call center include:

  • Saving money on personnel, real estate, or technology
  • Having the flexibility to immediately scale operations up or down as needed
  • Gaining the benefit of third-party quality assurance monitoring and reporting for peace of mind
  • Promoting brand loyalty and higher conversions by meeting customer needs 24/7 
  • Promoting a greater level of brand awareness through outbound sales

In these ways, third-party service providers make it easier to meet customers’ needs in a way that your current brand team cannot do on its own.

How to Choose a Good Call Center Service Provider

The call center service provider you select should be able to:

  • Provide the service options you desire, such as inbound, outbound, or automated
  • Prove they have previously worked with businesses of a similar size and industry
  • Establish clear expectations and performance metrics for all parties involved
  • Be flexible enough to increase or decrease staffing as your needs change
  • Provide an account manager or reliable contact to discuss future needs with

Your provider will have a strong impact on your ability to provide good customer service, so make sure to choose well.

How Do Call Centers Work to Show Success for Brands?

Most call center service providers track metrics known as key performance indicators to help business owners measure the effectiveness of call center operations, agent performance, and customer satisfaction. Depending on the goals you have set for a call center, you may measure elements like:

  • First call resolution rate
  • Average time to answer
  • Call abandonment rate
  • Utilization rate
  • Average handling time
  • CSAT / Net Promoter Scores

The right mix of KPIs for your call center will be determined by the call center or program type and your specific needs. And remember to always discuss this topic with your service provider before signing a contract.

Call Center Service Providers Can Help You Meet Your Business Goals 

The concept of learning how to outsource your call center functions to a third party can seem daunting. However, it’s a much easier task to accomplish when you know how these service providers work and what you need to do to ensure success. 

Furthermore, putting in the work to find a reputable call center service provider can be worth it when you consider the benefits. With the right strategic partner, you can experience the joy and growth that comes from offering an exceptional customer experience that truly meets their needs.

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