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Saturday, 20 July 2024

Call Centre Outsourcing: Why it Makes Good Business Sense

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Amelie Hall
Amelie Hall
Amelie Hall is a reporter covering business and entrepreneurial topics. Originally from the US, Alelie is a local journalist based in Melbourne. She has a master’s degree from the University of California at Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism, and she studied French and Latin American literature at the University of California at Santa Cruz.

Call centre outsourcing takes some courage. Many businesses hesitate, fearing that by using an external provider for something as important and sensitive as customer service, they are taking a risk. But when well-managed, outsourcing does not just offer savings — often the main motivator — but maintains, and frequently improves, the standards of service offered. The reasons might seem obvious: using an expert provider generally means a high-quality service. “There are several factors that make call centre outsourcing a good choice. Not all these factors are relevant to every business, but combined, they make outsourcing a simple decision,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, an award-winning call centre outsourcing provider.

At the heart of the decision is that call centre outsourcing means using a partner whose core function is customer acquisition or management. This means that at every level they are set up to provide a better performance or enhanced customer experience. Leading providers almost always operate from custom-built facilities, avoiding the situation faced by many in-house agents of having to be crammed into unsuitable — and sometimes morale-destroying — facilities. This also means they have the best, and most suitable, infrastructure available. Modern call centres are more than just desks and phones but also include integrated AI. They manage everything from call routing to providing voice-recognition assistance to the agent while they are on a call.

“And contact centres have better staff. While any business takes pride in their staff, call centres invest heavily in training and developing their teams for customer service. They have a single focus, so training and development are not shared across multiple functions and don’t face other teams demanding higher priority,” says Ellspermann.

Call centre outsourcing can also result in significant savings. At the lower end, using an onshore provider is likely to be around 10-15% cheaper than running an in-house operation. These savings are the results of call centres having multiple clients; the costs of those better facilities and infrastructure, as well as the overhead costs of supervision, management, and support services are shared.

But perhaps the biggest benefit, and one that can be hard to quantify, is the additional capacity that call centre outsourcing can create for a business. If call centres offer a great service, at a lower cost because they are focused on their core function, what happens with a business that has outsourced its call centre? However important customer service might be, it is not — expect for those specialist operators — the core function of any business. By outsourcing, a business doesn’t just save on costs, but the staff that remain can focus on their core product, without the distraction of managing an ancillary service.

Outsourcing is an old idea, although many have resisted it and the benefits are obvious. The savings can be large, using an onshore provider will be around 10-15% less and going offshore often more than double that. “The Philippines, for example, has a high level of English proficiency, with the best providers offering accent-neutral agents, at up to 40-50% lower costs than in house operations. In both cases, though, the customer service level can be expected to be maintained or even enhanced. And with the additional capacity and focus it can offer a business, call centre outsourcing is a clever business move,” concludes Ellspermann.

 

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