Business

How to choose an outsourced call center: pricing, features, staff

Almost every company, independently from the sphere it works in, needs to communicate with the customers. It can be phone calls, emails, or just messages, but in this or that way, professional conversation with clients is one of the most important parts of the marketing and business processes. The main problem here is that some companies, especially small ones or startups, are not able to hire the staff of people dedicated only to client support. In this case, the best option is to find an outsourced call center.

On the one hand, this approach seems quite easy: the company pays money and gets the client’s support service without any extra fees, recruiting processes, etc. But on the other hand, such a decision may cause problems. Let’s take a look at a brief list of the pros and cons of the outsourced contact center services.

The first advantage of a choice in favor of outsourced call center solutions is a low price. Of course, running a customer support department inside the company will be more expensive than just hiring a service supplier. Moreover, outsourced call centers are paid only for the factual time they are working with the particular clients of the particular company.

Outsourced call center companies: wins and risks

One more plus of the remote call center is a possibility to get innovative and technological approach to the customer support and to provide the clients with better and more professional services. External call centers specialize in creating dedicated techniques and methods that may help to deal with different kinds of customers, their behavior, and mood. In the case of internal call centers, this expertise probably will be missed.

Among other pros, it’s also possible to mention that the outsourced call center company will free up a lot of time and capabilities inside the customer company and provide the services any time inside the chosen and agreed plan, including nights and weekends.

Despite all the obvious wins of the outsourced call center, there are still some disadvantages that are better to know and estimate beforehand. First of all, it’s security. When you collaborate with another company, you have to share some information. If your data has to be stored only in some particular way, it’s better to clarify this at the very beginning of the collaboration to avoid unpleasant situations or even fines.

Sometimes remote collaboration with the call center may be difficult also because of the language barrier. Especially if it’s a foreign company. Choose the language of your communication before making any agreements. Usually, companies stick to English.

One more thing you should probably worry about is a lack of control and productivity. The call center team is not a part of your company. As a result, employees don’t work together and don’t have any relationships with each other. This can lead to a less level of productivity. Customer companies also may not influence the hiring processes and selecting specialists that will communicate with the clients on a daily basis.

Outsourced call center solutions

Before searching for and hiring a company that will be responsible for customer support, it’s highly recommended to choose the particular type of service you will need. There are different types of outsourced call center companies available on the market. Some of them provide the whole spectrum of services, others concentrate on just some particular things.

Inbound and outbound call centers

Companies that offer inbound service, are responsible for handling already existing customers, they take care of the technical support, process orders and are partially involved in the operational process by transferring calls and requests, connecting customers with the right people in the company, etc.

Outbound services are more dedicated to lead generation. On top of that, they may control the appointment’s schedule in the company, improve brand management and tone of voice.

Usually, one outsourced call center is able to provide both types of services or mix them depending on the customer’s needs. You can find out more about inbound and outbound outsourced call center services with an example of SupportYourApp that works with both solutions.

Onshore and offshore outsourcing

Collaborating with the outsourced call center may take place not only inside one city or country (domestic or onshore outsourcing) but also mean hiring a supplier somewhere else in the world. Thanks to modern technologies, it’s quite easy and also cheaper. Among the pros of onshore outsourcing, one can name no cultural differences and barriers. At the same time, offshore outsourcing may be more effective and innovative but less control is possible.

Outsourced call center regarding the paying model

Different call centers offer different payment methods and models according to the services that will be provided. It’s possible to pay for the time actually spent on your project, for the performance, and for both of them. Normally, call centers accept hourly rates. This is the most common and popular approach. Payment for performance can cause some risks. Sometimes customers and call centers agree to use both types of payments to ensure that the needed results will be achieved.

Outsourced call center pricing: where is cheaper

It’s obvious that every company wants to find cheaper service but keep the appropriate quality level. So it’s a good idea to compare outsourced call center costs in different countries. The highest resit is offered in the Western European countries and Australia (from $40 per hour and higher). The average price is widespread in the USA, Eastern European countries, and Africa (around $20-30 per hour). The lowest price is available in Asia, Latin America, and India (from $6 to $18 per hour).

So, how to choose the outsourced call center and don’t get crazy

. Probably, it’s the main part of the article you were waiting for. Here there are some tips that may help you with this difficult decision.

  • Сompetence

When you choose a call center to work with and to entrust your client’s requests, choose from the companies that have knowledge and experience in your particular area. For example, if you are a SaaS service provider or a tech startup, ask the candidates whether they can work in this sphere.

  • Feedback

If you hire an outsourced call center, don’t take the first offer you get. Check the web for some feedback about the company or even ask partners for some recommendations. This will be a kind of guarantee that you won’t lose money and clients.

  • Reports

Before signing a contract, you should agree about the way the outsourced call center will report you about the results, performance rate, the number of calls, etc. You as a customer should have a full understanding of tasks that were fulfilled during the period of time, what situations occurred, and so on.

  • Staff

Trustworthy outsourced call center vendor should be ready to provide the staff with regular development sessions and be ready to teach the team additionally in case it’s needed.

  • Clear methodology and worldwide presence

An outsourced call center should be ready to share with the customer company all the techniques and approaches it will use while proceeding with the calls and text requests. Also, it’s better to point out companies with departments in different countries. That is a good sign of stability and qualification.

And last but not least. Don’t hesitate to make big research for choosing the right outsourced customer support company. Spend a bit more time, request some online or offline meetings and cost calculations to take a look at. This will not only save your money and keep the clients but also will allow you to increase the number of people loyal to your brand.

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