What Is Call Center Consulting and How Is It Different from BPO?

customer service executive working in call center

While call center consulting and business process outsourcing are essential B2B services, these concepts serve two different functions in the business world. Consulting often focuses on helping business owners reach critical goals, while business process outsourcing involves handing off the responsibility for meeting those goals to someone else.

Business owners need to realize that both of these services can have a place in their business. However, they require two different mindsets and approaches to use them effectively. If you’re unsure which service is right for you, read on to learn more about the differences and how you can leverage both for greater success in your business.

What Is Business Process Outsourcing?

Business process outsourcing is a done-for-you solution that involves a business offloading the management or control of a segment of its business operations to a third party. BPO firms may offer back office functions such as data management, payment processing, and account support or front office functions like customer service and sales.

In the case of call centers, business owners usually outsource front office functions like inbound and outbound contact with customers through lead generation, technical support, or win-back campaigns. No matter the segment of business they’re taking over, the third party provides the necessary resources and does most of the heavy lifting.

What Is Call Center Consulting?

Call center consulting involves having a firm show your team how to successfully manage call center operations within your own business. This is very different from business process outsourcing in that you are not allowing a third party to take over those operations. Instead, the consultant is simply handing you an improvement plan.

Instead of providing a specific service to lighten the load for your team, a consultant provides more complex thought leadership and strategy to help you evaluate and fill gaps, fine-tune your technology, streamline your operations, and reach your business goals.

What Are the Main Differences Between Call Center Consulting and BPO?

Several key differences between call center consulting and business process outsourcing make each uniquely valuable for business owners who use these services.

Who’s in the Driver’s Seat?

Consulting is about working together with a third party to co-create strategies and set goals and direction for the aspect of your business you are currently working on. On the other hand, outsourcing requires the experts to take direction from the client and ensure that the client gets what they want.

Complexity vs. Simplicity

Consulting is a very complex, resource-heavy process that provides leadership and advice. Business process outsourcing is designed to be as simple as possible. Instead of thought leadership, it provides a specific service that allows the third party to take over the work and get the job done.

Skills Development

Consulting requires business owners and their teams to do the work to develop new soft and hard skills. Business process outsourcing doesn’t involve the development of any new skills because the team that works for your third-party partner already has the skills needed to handle tasks for your business.

Transferring vs. Augmenting Skills

Engaging with a consultant is all about that person transferring skills, knowledge, and insight to your team so that they can improve operations in a particular segment of your business. Business process outsourcing is more about augmenting your team and having a third party handle the operational capacity needed to reach goals and objectives.

Proactive vs. Reactive Approach

Consulting is all about working proactively to address business processes, while business process outsourcing is more of a reactive activity in response to an immediate need.

Leveraging Expertise and Service to Deliver the Ultimate Customer Experience

While consulting can help business owners set direction and decide on an improvement strategy, no consultant will do the work for them like a BPO firm will. Still, both services have their place in the business environment and can help business owners on their journey toward meeting their goals and finding success.

Business owners need to know that they don’t have to choose between call center consulting and BPO. Once you have had the opportunity to sit down with a consultant and identify the gaps in your technology, personnel, and front-office strategies, you may decide that outsourcing is the most straightforward or cost-effective approach to solving the issues.

Decide your business goals, and then use that clarity to decide which option is best for you.

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