Customer service is a crucial part of any business, and call centres and help desks are integral components.
The reality is that poor customer service costs businesses $75 billion annually, as 33% of customers will consider switching to a competitor after just one instance of poor customer service. On the flip side, if a customer’s problem is resolved on the first call, only 1% will consider moving to a competitor.1
However, not all businesses have the resources to provide the kind of in-house customer service that reduce customer churn and the associated costs.
Which is where call centre and help desk outsourcing comes in.
By outsourcing their customer services to a dedicated professional call centre, businesses can ensure they are able to fulfil their customers’ needs in an efficient and cost-effective manner, while still maintaining their core values and unique tone of voice. Call centre and help desk outsourcing has proven to be so effective that spending on outsourced services in the global market has grown in the last two decades, from $45.6 billion in 2018 to $86.6 billion in 2020, and was expected to reach $407.1 billion in 2022.2
Companies not looking for ways to reduce costs, improve customer satisfaction or increase sales by outsourcing call centre and help desk operations are missing out on a material business opportunity to gain a competitive advantage.
To find out how call centre and help desk outsourcing can revolutionise your approach to excellent customer service, read on.
How does outsourcing actually work?
The primary aim of outsourcing is to gain access to a level of functionality that you can’t replicate in-house — moving the responsibility for a certain function from an in-house team to a different company that takes responsibility for that function on your behalf.
In reality, not everyone knows how to outsource customer service and there’s a little more to get the best out of call centre and help desk outsourcing.
- Goals: The first step in assessing the need for outsourcing is to analyse your business expectations, objectives and goals. Once you have those expectations, objectives and goals clearly defined, you can check them against what customer service outsourcing companies are offering to make sure the service you’re buying matches up to your specific needs.
- Provider alignment: To make sure that a potential outsourcing partner provides the kind of service that fulfils your need, you’ll need to spend some time researching their services to find the best fit for your business.
- Security: Since you’ll almost certainly be allowing a 3rd party to access customer information, you’ll also need to take the legal and security risks into account, especially the legal ramifications of potential data security breaches under data security laws such as GDPR.
- Brand protection: Customer service outsourcing, in particular, requires that businesses make sure that any external call centre is expressing your brand values and specific tone of voice. The best way to do this is to establish clear brand voice and tone guidelines that can be easily transmitted to an outsourcing partner. That way, when a customer contacts your outsourced customer services, you can trust that the outsourced agent behaves like a member of your team and is embedded in your company values.
Once you’ve found the outsourcing service that works for you, you need to allow plenty of time in advance for implementation and training, as well as have plans in place to deal with any initial teething problems.
Why would you outsource your customer service?
The first and most obvious benefit of outsourcing is that it allows you to accept volumes of calls that you otherwise wouldn’t be able to field, decreasing queue times and increasing your level of customer service without investing heavily in new staff and facilities.
However, the benefits of call centre and help desk outsourcing don’t stop there. Compared to in-house facilities, outsourced call centres and help desks are:
- Cost-effective: Outsourcing allows you to improve your customer service without the added costs of hiring and training new staff and building out new call centres. It also reduces the administrative and maintenance burden you have to deal with. So your business can boast a cost-effective customer service function.
- Improved resolution time: Your in-house agents will always have a better grasp of your technical operations so are best placed to resolve complex issues. However, if they’re always backed up with simple requests, they can’t do what they do best. By outsourcing you can free up the time of your in-house staff, knowing that your customers are being appropriately taken care of by exceptional frontline support staff from your outsourcing partner.
- Improved quality and standardisation of service: Instead of an ad hoc approach to customer service, dedicated call centres provide dedicated agents with an unparalleled capacity to handle any and all frontline support queries. Their expertise and proficiency in customer support can quickly and significantly improve the overall quality of your customer service function.
- Scalable to meet demand: As you might expect, companies who provide dedicated customer service outsourcing solutions have access to large and distributed talent pools that can provide a scalable response to rising demand, usually on a 24-hours basis.
Flexible customer service support: An outsourcing partner should support you where you need, and leave you to master what you can on your own — you shouldn’t be boxed in by strict plans or premiums. The right partner will work with you to build a solution that suits you, not one that tries to upsell unnecessarily.
What features to look for in your outsourced partner
Choosing the right partner for your needs is vital, and while the specifics will change with each business, there are some common features to look out for.
To decide which of those features you really need, you first need to nail down your motivations for outsourcing. The most common motivations are cost reduction and flexibility, but you may have specific needs which will make one service more effective than another.
Other factors to consider include:
- Do they cover the channels your customers use? Just over half of all consumers, on average, use three to five different communication channels to contact customer service and you need your outsourcing partner to be able to handle all of those channels.3
- Do they offer quality agents? Agent quality is inextricably linked to the quality of your customer service, so establishing that your potential outsourcing partner provides quality agents is paramount.
- Onshore or Offshore outsourcing? Outsourcing doesn’t have to mean offshoring, in fact, many customer support operates on an onshore distributed model — accessing high-quality agents to represent your brand from their own living room!
- Do they provide flexible solutions? One of the primary advantages of outsourcing is that dedicated call centres have access to a larger talent pool and should be able to provide flexible and tailorable solutions to suit your business’s specific needs.
Odondo can help you grow as a business
In comparison to the traditional call centres, Odondo offers a wider and more experienced talent pool, on-demand flexibility, and a rapid deployment model that can have our staff providing your customers with an excellent customer experience in as little as 48 hours.
When you partner with us, we give our agents brand and campaign-specific training that combines with their industry-specific experience to ensure that your customers are getting the best quality assistance in your specific tone of voice.
Our scalable model is there to help you deal with fluctuating customer demand and our pay-as-you-go contracts mean you’ll never have to pay for unused spare capacity.
To find out more about how we can revolutionise your approach to customer services, get a quote today!
Odondo has been recognised by DesignRush as one of their Top Call Center Companies
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Aamir is one of the Co-Founders at Odondo, where he obsesses over the details to deliver a strong and compelling proposition for each of his clients.
Prior to Odondo, he was CTO at one of the UK's largest price comparison websites, with contact centres in the UK and India. In his spare time, he loves reading, politics, tennis, and playing the piano (badly).