Many businesses and organizations believe that the only way to provide outstanding customer service experiences is to handle all their call center operations in-house. This is particularly true if you already have a team in place to manage customer interactions and a flexible and, most importantly, easily scalable call center software solution that can quickly adapt to the growing needs of your business. In this case, expanding your call center operations basically comes down to hiring more agents and scaling up or entirely upgrading your call center infrastructure.
For other businesses, call center outsourcing seems like a better strategic move to consider. It lets you avoid the trials and tribulations of running your in-house call center. Plus, it’s often a more budget-friendly option that still allows you to maintain a high level of service provided to your customers.
In this blog, we’ll cover everything you’ve ever wanted to know about call center outsourcing, including the pros and cons of outsourcing your call center operations to BPO call centers, a brief overview of the top call center outsourcing companies, along with some best practices on how to outsource your call center operations effectively.
What is Call Center Outsourcing?
Call center outsourcing means hiring a third-party BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) call center service provider that will handle your call center operations on your behalf. That allows companies to refocus their time, efforts, and resources on other aspects of running or improving their business, like product development or sales and marketing.
Outsourced call center services are actually becoming increasingly more popular as more businesses are starting to recognize the value of BPO outsourcing. No wonder the Contact Center Outsourcing Market size is expected to grow from USD 100.93 billion in 2023 to USD 132.92 billion by 2028, according to a report by Mordor Intelligence.
Services You Can Outsource to BPO Call Centers
Inbound call center operations
When it comes to inbound call center outsourcing services, these could involve simply answering customers’ questions about a company’s products or services, processing orders, scheduling appointments, providing customer support services and technical support, handling customer complaints, or resolving customer issues. When you outsource inbound call center services, you literally outsource an entire customer service department to a BPO call center.
Outbound call center operations
Even with the most advanced outbound call center software, running high-volume outbound calling campaigns might be challenging, especially if we’re talking about cold calling. That’s why outsourcing call center outbound services – whether it’s outbound lead generation or telemarketing – is also common practice for businesses. When you outsource outbound call center operations, a BPO call center will handle the lead generation, outbound sales, or proactive customer outreach on behalf of your company.
Benefits of Outsourcing Your Call Center Operations
It’s more cost-efficient than running an in-house call center
Obviously, cost-efficiency is one of the primary call center outsourcing benefits, which makes it an attractive choice for businesses. Outsourcing your call center operations to offshore call centers located in areas with lower labor costs ultimately means that you can significantly cut down on your overall operating costs. The Philippines, India, South Africa, Eastern Europe, and Latin America are some of the most popular destinations for contact center outsourcing that allow you to leverage call center services, often at a fraction of the cost involved in staffing and running an in-house call center.
It enables you to provide global customer support 24/7
Another clear benefit is that outsourcing your call center operations can enable you to provide customer support across various locations, covering all time zones and multiple languages, which is an excellent option for businesses operating globally. On top of that, it means that you can offer your customers round-the-clock support (something that has become highly expected by today’s consumers). And that could become a significant contributor to improved customer satisfaction and overall customer experience.
You can gain access to specialized skills and expertise
Call centers offering outsourcing services typically have highly skilled agents specifically specialized in handling inbound or outbound communications (and experienced exactly in that). It means you can gain access to a diverse skill set and knowledge pool, so you don’t have to invest time, resources, and effort into hiring and training staff in-house.
You can gain access to advanced call center tools and technologies
In addition to highly skilled call center agents, BPO call centers invest heavily in cutting-edge call center technologies and infrastructure to meet the needs of their clients. These include VoIP call systems, an auto dialer software for call center, advanced reporting and analytics tools, workforce management platforms, and AI-powered solutions. Partnering with such providers means that you can also benefit from the latest call center technologies without having to invest in upgrading your own call center tech stack.
You can benefit from increased flexibility and quick scalability
Outsourcing call center operations to third-party providers offers an unmatched level of flexibility and scalability that might sometimes be hard or nearly impossible to achieve in-house without burdening your budget or burning out your team. E.g., in times of seasonal call volume spikes, you can quickly and easily scale your operations up without having to allocate more staff and upgrade the current subscription with your call center software provider to be able to handle an increased call volume. Outsourcing allows you to scale your operations up or down when needed almost effortlessly.
Drawbacks and Challenges of Outsourcing Call Center Operations
There might be a lack of industry/ product knowledge
Despite all the benefits, outsourcing often comes with its disadvantages and challenges, too. Firstly, BPO call centers rarely specialize in a specific industry as they often handle operations for clients across various industries. And even if they do have deep expertise in your industry, agents would still be external workers, which means that even with training, they’ll naturally have less knowledge about your products, services, and your company in general than your internal staff.
You won’t get control over the hiring process
When you partner with a BPO call center, it’s up to them to decide who gets hired to handle your customer interactions, and you basically don’t have control over this process. You might discover that some agents aren’t perfectly suited for the role or aren’t a good cultural fit for your company, but you won’t have a say in this case.
You won’t be able to capture first-hand customer feedback
Many businesses rely on customer feedback to find out how they can improve their products, services, or processes in order to build better customer relationships and maintain high levels of customer satisfaction and customer retention. While your outsourcing partner might provide you with statistics, enabling you to track basic metrics and KPIs, you’ll most likely miss out on the opportunity to capture first-hand customer feedback and learn about your customers’ real needs, expectations, and pain points.
Top 5 Call Center Outsourcing Companies
With so many outsourcing providers offering call center outsourcing solutions available out there, it can be challenging to find the right one for your specific needs. The choice becomes even harder, considering the fact that your call center service provider is going to represent your brand and make a first impression on your customers. Let’s overview some of the top contact center outsourcing companies you can consider:
Headquartered in the USA and having call centers spread across four continents, Helpware is one the leaders in the industry. The company has offices in the U.S., the Philippines, Germany, Poland, Ukraine, Albania, Mexico, and Puerto Rico. Helpware specializes in inbound and outbound support, tech support, IT support, omnichannel support, back-office support, and other BPO services. Once serving startups, Helpware now has large enterprises among its customers, making it a great choice for businesses of any size. Major industries the company’s expertise covers include e-commerce and retail, healthcare, automotive, SaaS and software, FinTech, and others.
- Provides customer care solutions in 25+ different languages covering all time zones;
- Has dedicated technical support agents from various tech backgrounds;
- Offers tailored packages that cater to the specific needs of businesses of all sizes;
Originally founded in Ukraine, SupportYourApp now operates all across the world in 7 locations. SupportYourApp specifically focuses on providing professional customer support for tech companies. Core services include inbound customer support, technical support, IT support, live chat and helpdesk support, e-commerce support, and back-office support. What sets SupportYourApp apart from other similar providers is that they highly value client security, that’s why the company complies with all essential security standards, including GDPR, HIPAA, and PCI DSS, among others.
- Offers expertise in delivering 24/7/365 customer service in 55+ languages.
- Guarantees the highest level of data security so clients can rest assured their data is safe.
- Regularly provides detailed quality assurance reports to clients.
Founded in Bangalore, India, over 22 years ago, Invensis currently serves customers from across the US, UK, Canada, Australia, and many other countries worldwide. With a diverse clientele spanning logistics, retail, insurance, automotive, telecommunications, education, healthcare, real estate, and other sectors, Invensis excels in providing call center outsourcing services like inbound, outbound, and non-voice customer support solutions. The company serves Fortune 500 firms, mid-sized enterprises, and small businesses, solidifying its position as a trusted partner in the industry.
- Works with a wide range of industry verticals.
- Offers customer support services across voice and digital channels.
- Implements stringent security practices to ensure data protection and compliance.
TELUS International is headquartered in Canada but has a global presence and currently operates in Bulgaria, Germany, Ireland, Romania, Spain, China, India, Philippines, Brazil, the U.S., and other locations across the globe. It provides customer service outsourcing services to global clients in multiple industries, including technology, fintech, communications and media, games, retail and e-commerce, travel and hospitality, healthcare, and automotive. What’s distinctive about TELUS International is that the company has a strong focus on corporate culture and employee engagement.
- Provides customer service and tech support in 50+ languages.
- Offers flexible staffing options in offshore, nearshore, and onshore locations.
- Offers omnichannel customer support across voice and digital channels.
Triniter is one of the well-known names in the outsourcing industry, offering customer support, tech support, and back-office support services to SMBs, medium-sized businesses, and large corporations from across the globe. With offices in the U.S., India, and the Philippines, Trinity is a go-to outsourcing partner for companies looking to offer inbound customer support across voice, video, and digital communication channels. The company claims that around 85% of clients have been using their outsourcing services for over five years.
- Offers customer support services to customers in 30+ languages.
- Delivers 24/7 customer support and has a 98,7% client repetition rate.
- Provides advanced security and complies with various international security standards.
Based in Orlando, Florida, XACT has been providing outsourcing service solutions for 25 years, serving clients in a variety of industries like property management, healthcare, e-commerce, hospitality and tourism, and financial services. Key offerings include phone answering services, service and support dispatch, customer helpdesk, live chat and web support, and outbound survey services. XACT offers outsourcing solutions for businesses of all sizes. In the early 2000s, the company was a forerunner in pioneering the work-from-home model, enabling their agents to work remotely.
- Has advanced technology tools and solutions for streamlined operations and improved CX.
- Ensures service continuity with data centers distributed across several locations.
- Employs robust data security measures to ensure compliance and data protection.
Call Center Outsourcing Best Practices
How do you choose the best outsourcing partner for your business? While we’ve outlined just a few of the many options you can choose from, the reality is that there are hundreds of outsourcing providers across the globe. Here’s how you can narrow down your choices, making the selection process more straightforward.
Choose between onshore, nearshore, or offshore
One of the key factors to consider is a provider’s location, as that will determine the cost of the outsourcing services. Hourly rates may significantly vary, from $22-$35/hour in the U.S. and Canada, $12-$25/hour in Eastern Europe, and $8-$18/hour in Latin America to $8-$14/hour in Asia, including the Philippines, and $5-$9/hour in India.
Nearshore and offshore providers would usually cost less than onshore ones. However, partnering with an offshore company could lead to communication issues due to lower level of cultural and linguistic fluency (and you definitely don’t want that). So even despite a higher price, opting for a domestic provider might be a better option in some cases.
Opt for providers with expertise in your specific industry
When outsourcing operations to BPO call centers, you’d want your customers to feel as if they are interacting with your frontline employees, not outsourced agents who might lack industry knowledge. That’s why, apparently, if you want to ensure your outsourcing provider delivers superior service and consistent experience to your customers, ensuring high levels of customer satisfaction, look for a proven track record of expertise in your particular industry.
Look for advanced contact center technology capabilities
Another critical factor to consider is how technologically advanced a provider is. Whether you’re looking to outsource your inbound customer care or outbound lead generation or sales, consider outsourcing companies that use advanced inbound and outbound call management, AI, and automation tools to handle interactions with your customers or prospects in the most efficient way. Beyond that, of course, you should be opting for a provider that has high security standards in place to ensure clients’ data security and compliance with relevant regulations.
Running Your Call Center Operations In-house with VoiceSpin Call Center Software
If you think outsourcing isn’t the most reasonable option for your business, and you’d like to keep full control of your call center operations, having a solid call center software platform along with well-trained staff are the two key components to ensuring the success of your in-house call center. Here’s how VoiceSpin call center software can help you run an efficient in-house call center:
- With a full range of inbound call management features, including IVR (Interactive Voice Response), advanced call routing, queue callbacks, missed call alerts, and real-time call monitoring, you can effectively handle your customer service and support operations and deliver exceptional service experiences to your customers.
- With an AI predictive dialer, you can optimize the outbound dialing process for your sales team and ensure leads are connected to the best-fitting sales reps with the dialer’s built-in intelligent lead scoring and matching system to boost the efficiency of your outbound calling campaigns.
- By leveraging the reporting and analytics tools of our call center software, you can generate pre-built and custom reports and track all the call center metrics and KPIs that matter to your business. In addition, an AI Speech Analyzer can provide you with deeper insights into every call.
- Lastly, you can integrate your call center with the CRM system of your choice (VoiceSpin integrates with 50+ CRM systems, including Zoho, HubSpot, and Salesforce, among others) to give your agents more context for more personalized interactions and enhanced customer experience.
Book a demo call now to learn about VoiceSpin call center solutions and see if those are a good fit for running your in-house call center.