With the current labor shortages in the contact center becoming the norm, there has been an increased interest in outsourcing. While some companies are looking to add to their current outsourcing model, there are many businesses considering outsourcing for the first time.
John Glantz, VP of CX Transformation & Outsourcing recently broke down the current landscape of outsourcing, trends, best practices, and more. Here are some of the key takeaways from his presentation covering outsourcing in the contact center.
Why Are Companies Outsourcing Contact Center Services?
Before we get into ‘how’ it is important to cover the ‘why’ of outsourcing. There are many reasons that companies benefit from outsourcing, some are unique to that organization. However, some of the universal reasons for outsourcing are:
- Service Delivery Cost: Agent wages are up 11% over the past three years in addition to rising costs of onboarding, benefits, support, technology, and general inflation costs.
- Labor Shortage: A recent search for open contact center representative positions on LinkedIn brought almost 100k openings (95,358). That is just one platform.
- Expertise: Outsourcing can give you access to unique skill sets that a company does not have available. Language, technical skills, and industry-specific knowledge are a few of the top examples.
- Cost Savings & Predictability: All-Inclusive pricing gives provides cost predictability. Offshore and nearshore offer cost-effective options.
- Scalability: Contact center outsourcing effectively handles business fluctuations such as seasonal or peak time periods.
- Risk Management: Outsourcing provides diversity in geographical locations which reduces the ramifications of natural disasters, power outages, etc.
- Reduced Operational Costs: In addition to calls and inbound traffic being outsourced, additional services like training, onboarding, QA and more can be delegated while still adhering to your operational standards.
Keys to Contact Center Outsourcing Success
When it comes to finding the right partner, it is important to understand your needs first. This is not an all-or-nothing equation, there are a variety of partners to choose from and a variety of ways you can utilize outsourcing. Some companies choose to outsource just email and written communication, some delegate overflow traffic, and others outsource tier 1 and 2 support calls.
While the combinations and options are endless based on your company’s needs, the top consideration we lead with at InflowCX is cultural alignment. This truly is an extension of the company and who will be the voice of the company to customers. Both parties working towards building a long-term strategic partnership that is mutually beneficial.
Having clearly defined goals and expectations creates accountability and should mirror the current expectations for your contact center. There should not be a separate set of guidelines. Having a clear expectation of the scope of work, performance, communication, and engagement requirements gives everyone a framework of what “good” looks like.
Internal ownership of the relationship with the outsourcer helps with clear and effective communication. Managing the relationship is extremely important for the overall success of the company. Having regularly scheduled meetings with clear agendas is a best practice for successful companies.
Outsourcing Can Expand Your Customer Base
One of the biggest hesitations to exploring if outsourcing is a good option is believing there isn’t a fit for a particular industry. There are contact center outsourcing companies that specialize in pretty much any industry, there are also generalists who are flexible and learn quickly. Whatever training is offered to new employees of the company can be duplicated and adopted by the outsourcing company.
For companies exploring new markets, adding multiple language options, or wanting to add a new product line, outsourcing is a great cost-effective option. Think of testing campaigns without having to train your entire staff on a new product or offer. Let the outsourcer handle that as a micro test and then adjust to make it more successful. Your domestic employees’ adoption rate and buy-in would increase because the initial trial and error portion was non-existent for them.
Outsourcing Works Best with A Dedicated Process
There is no “Match.com” for outsourcing your contact center services. AI and technology can accomplish a lot of great things, however, having a trusted process driven by human expertise is needed for a decision at this level. InflowCX has developed a three-phase process that ensures success for contact center leaders, and it starts with the most important factor, your business.
Phase 1 Discovery & Requirement Gathering
- Determine requirements, objectives and understand the culture of your organization.
- Discuss Outsourcer options based on similar core competencies like industry, culture, systems, and much more.
- Determine the interest level of outsourcers.
Phase 2 Outsourcer Interviews & Proposal Review
- Introductory call with interested contact center outsourcing companies.
- Proposals gathered from outsourcer and delivered to InflowCX with the best final pricing.
- Proposal review and recommendations from InflowCX
Phase 3 Selection & Implementation
- Selection of the right partner, site visits, and negotiation assistance for the best outcome for all parties.
- Executive Service Agreement and Kick Off.
- InflowCX to provide oversight of implementation and training.
- InflowCX’s ongoing award-winning customer success team continues to engage and ensure ongoing success.
- Access to the InflowCX team of experts.
Getting Started with Outsourcing Your Contact Center
One of the most significant factors holding some back from taking that first step is assumptions versus reality. Outsourcing sometimes has a negative connotation based on wrong or completely false myths. The most common one is that outsourcing is taking away jobs from employees or potential employees. With the nearly 100k openings we can safely say that is false.
One could assert that outsourcing raises the quality of work for current employees, being able to take on more challenging and fulfilling tasks. We have seen an increase in job satisfaction for current employees for that exact reason, the time they spend at work is rewarding and focused on what they came to do, providing an exceptional customer experience.
The best first step is to contact John and his team of contact center outsourcing specialists here at InflowCX. They are focused on transforming contact centers into customer experience centers leveraging the best talent and technology available. This is what we do here at InflowCX and we would love to hear your story and become a part of that transformation.