Outsourced Contact Center Review

When does it make sense to outsource?

By Ryan Ayers
Updated: April 08, 2011

Contact centers have become commonplace in business today and are essential tools in the customer service arena. Without the proper contact center protocols in place, your company could wind up with dissatisfied customers and/or be missing opportunities to cultivate relationships and expand revenue. As businesses have expanded and technology and service models have adapted, outsourcing contact centers or the technology to manage them has become the most efficient and effective solution for many businesses.

Why Outsource?

As with anything in business today, there are options available in contact center management that can make it easier and more effective to outsource a large volume contact center than it might be to manage it in house. Customer service needs are extremely high and consumers expect higher levels of service and attention than ever before.

Contracting with a service provider that specializes in customer service and contact center needs can alleviate some of the hassles associated with management of a contact center and add a higher degree of efficiency and efficacy to your contact center operations. There are two distinctly different methods in approaching contact center management through outside providers.

Outsource calls

Most everyone is familiar with the concept of outsourcing contact center operations to a staffed contact center provider. This arrangement essentially allows you to dictate the specifics of your needs and have a third party provider answering and making the calls on behalf of your company.

  • Advantages – This generally provides businesses with a cost effective way to have a fully staffed contact center without having to manage or employ the staff. This can be a huge benefit in that your company has the ability to connect with customers using live attendants, but alleviates the financial and management burdens associated with large contact centers.
  • Disadvantages – There may be certain issues with process control and system compatibility dependent on the specific provider that you are contracting with and their capabilities. Generally speaking, there are limitations based on the technology that is present with your provider and the requisite features and compatibility with your existing systems may not be ideal. There can also be a disconnect when it comes to absolute control of processes as these providers generally have their own processes and systems in place.

Outsource technology

Another approach to this issue can be to outsource the technological side of your business’ contact center management. This arrangement would leave your business with control over the management of the contact center itself, but would allow for a separate entity to oversee the systems associated with it.

  • Advantages – Your business would retain more control over actual process and operations associated with the contact center. If changes become necessary at a future time, the technology can be replaced and/or augmented with relatively little trouble.
  • Disadvantages – There may be limitations placed on your internal processes because of incompatibility with features and options available. While you retain more control over the processes, there may be different capabilities associated with different providers, and finding the right match for your business could prove difficult.

Generally speaking, many companies find that outsourcing at least a portion of their contact center operations is more efficient and cost effective in the long run. Choosing the correct method of outsourcing for your business is usually a matter of deciding on the specifics of your contact center operations and finding the option that allows you the most flexibility.

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