High-quality customer care is a key contributor to the service sector’s growth. That is why inbound call center outsourcing has augmented exponentially in the past decade.
This surge in demand for inbound call center outsourcing is predicted to increase even more in the next five years. The industry has an expected growth rate of 6.6%, reaching $496 billion in global market value and revenue.
In the information technology industry alone, 74% of companies outsource inbound call center processes.
Some businesses argue that inbound call center outsourcing may lead to a significant service quality decline. In contrast, others say differently and that it is a practical solution to trim customer care costs and boost productivity.
This article aims to shed light on the topic by laying out both sides of the same coin. This way, you can decide if inbound call center outsourcing is the path to go for your organization.
Table of Contents
What is Inbound Call Center Outsourcing?
Inbound call center outsourcing or inbound business process outsourcing (BPO) refers to subcontracting a third-party entity that is entirely outside of a company. It involves delegating a specific process to an external call center service provider instead of creating an internal call center department.
Its services can range from technical support, and customer service to promotional marketing and debt collection, among others.
These are the industries that benefit hugely from inbound call center outsourcing services:
- Travel, hospitality, and tourism
- Banking and Finance
When Should You Outsource Inbound Call Center Services?
Running a startup or developing a small business will require you to take incoming customer inquiries. You should provide excellent quality customer service to make a good impression on callers, boosting your brand’s credibility and integrity.
The question of whether you should outsource inbound call center processes arises when your enterprise begins scaling up and expanding. You will experience the rising expenses of hiring in-house client care specialists. Finding the right professionals will also require time and bigger funds.
These are the indicators that your company may need to outsource the inbound call center:
- Increase call volumes
- Inability to run your call center unit
- Budget constraints
- Scarcity of technological facilities
- The need to concentrate on core business areas and competencies
- Staffing concerns
- Business expansion plans in terms of the target market, niche, or location
Benefits and Challenges of Inbound Call Center Outsourcing
Inbound call center outsourcing is not without a flaw. However, it does not mean that the system could not be valuable to your organization.
You can weigh the following pros and cons of outsourcing to help you decide if employing the services of a call center provider will be favorable for your enterprise.
Inbound Call Center Outsourcing Advantages
You can opt to outsource an inbound call center if you intend to save money and maintain or increase your bottom line. It can be more worthwhile to work with an outsourcing agency than invest in labor, training, and infrastructure.
2. Scalability and Adaptability
Call center services are typically available in multiple languages. This means you can sell your products or services internationally minus the need to continuously hire new customer support employees.
In addition, it is a flexible solution that works effectively in a dynamic business environment.
Fluctuations in the customer database and call volume will require a shifting workload for your client care team to handle. In this case, you can ask to adjust your agreement with your call center contractor—you do not have to lay off staff members or employ new ones.
In-house support specialists will require extensive training on customer service standards and your products or services.
In contrast, external support staff members are well-acquainted with the best practices in client care. They are equipped with encompassing knowledge of problem-solving and case resolution.
When you find the right partner agency, you will enjoy the convenience and hassle-free services. You would not have to worry about recruitment, onboarding, training, and upskilling.
4. 24/7 Support
Inbound call center outsourcing can include a phone answering service that guarantees your customers receive support outside regular office hours.
Regardless of the client’s location and time zone, this on-demand service ensures service delivery.
5. Customer Satisfaction
35% of customers prefer obtaining a resolution to their concerns in one interaction with support agents. Functioning on an around-the-clock basis, your partner outsourcing company can deliver an immediate response to client issues.
Callers do not have to be in the phone line for longer wait times to speak with a customer service representative. This helps lessen frustration and boost client experience.
Moreover, you can raise customer satisfaction further by evaluating your service provider’s performance based on call center reporting.
Inbound Call Center Outsourcing Disadvantages
1. Cultural Barriers
While several outsourcing companies hire client service representatives with full proficiency in their specialized language, there is a cultural aspect to consider. Despite an agent’s fluency, cultural barriers can result in miscommunication.
Values, norms, and linguistic expressions vary from one culture to another. For instance, an employee may be focused on problem-solving and unintentionally come across as impolite to the client.
2. Limited Product and Company Knowledge
Outsourced call center representatives may be unfamiliar with your organization's practices, values, and culture. They may only have basic know-how on your product or service offers and end up providing subpar services that are not aligned with your standards.
There is a chance that outsourced agents may have outdated knowledge or miss certain information when performing their tasks.
3. Less Collaborative Work
Not all outsourced staff members work on the same premise. With limited communication means and collaboration, they may not operate on and prioritize the value of teamwork.
4. Hidden Costs
When employing inbound call center outsourcing services, you may overlook undeclared fees that can impact your profits and bottom line significantly.
5. Security Concerns
Outsourced call center agents may not be subjected to strict background checks. You may suffer the risk of a confidentiality breach.
In a Nutshell: Weighing Whether You Should Outsource Inbound Call Center Services
Ultimately, the decision to outsource inbound call center services is up to you. Do not choose the easy answer. Take the time to analyze how your business can gain from inbound call center outsourcing.
Note all the possibilities, including hiring partial outsourcing functions, and check available alternatives. These tips can bring you closer to an informed decision.