Customers have always been important to businesses, but the customer experience is also becoming an increasingly big factor. Whatever the service or product, customers have come to expect it is backed up by high-quality customer service that are available, sometimes around the clock, to deal with any issues they experience. Naturally, providing such a high level of customer service comes at a price, leaving businesses with the challenge of how they can remain profitable while satisfying ever higher expectations. Outsourcing to call centre services has been a way that many businesses have utilised to balance their competing demands.
“At its most simple, the decision to use call centre services is simply a recognition of a contact centre’s experience and expertise in customer acquisition, management and retention, and their ability to focus on providing the best customer experience. While it is always possible to establish an in-house operation, using a highly specialised third-party outsourcing provider will be better,” says Ralf Ellspermann, CEO of PITON-Global, a leading mid-sized outsourcing provider specialising in high-performance call centre services for SMEs.
One of the benefits is that outsourcing providers have better staff, partly because those staff are attracted to the industry, but also because they have benefited from the training and development opportunities that working for a specialist provider can provide. And because there are more opportunities within a large provider, they have lower staff turnover and higher staff morale, which brings benefits for customers. And, on a service level, because they have larger operations, they can more easily scale to meet the demands of clients. Whether it’s a product launch or rapid business growth, call centre services can respond quickly to changes in demand.
“Businesses can also expect lower costs. Because of the economies of scale, call centre services can leverage, whether it’s the infrastructure, technologies, processes, or the costs of management and support services, the savings rapidly become compelling. As a starting point, an onshore call centre, offering a better customer experience as delivered in-house, would typically be 10-15% lower,” says Ellspermann.
And the benefits go beyond the savings and better customer service. Many businesses have found that, after outsourcing to call centre services, they have increased capacity by freeing up leadership and support capacity that was being expended on ancillary functions. In some cases, the renewed focus and extra energy has had profound effects.
Outsourcing is an old idea. But often many consider it only for the savings. It can offer considerable savings; domestic providers are typically 10-15% cheaper and offshore options offer even more savings. The Philippines, now the world’s largest call centre outsourcing destination, thanks to the English proficient agents if offers, is a popular choice for Australian businesses. This is partly because of the geographical location, but mainly because call centre services can be between 40-50% cheaper than in Australia. When combined with the additional benefits of better customer service and the additional capacity for businesses to focus on their flagship products and services, outsourcing becomes an obvious business strategy.