Is hold music your brand’s theme song? Do consumers ever describe your customer service as a black hole? Is the DIY approach to CX leaving your audience MIA?
The ultimate goal for just about any business that wants to grow is increasing the number of happy shoppers. Loyal fans. Repeat buyers. Yet keeping consumers satisfied is a never-ending challenge for the vast majority of brands these days, and it’s often what sets the success stories apart from the … other ones.
If you’ve ever entertained the idea of outsourcing your contact center services, it’s time to start giving it more serious consideration. As Advisors who specialize in the customer its imperitive that we take a look at the reasons and motivations behind why more companies around the world are choosing to outsource their CX functions — and what they expect to gain from a partner-oriented approach to keeping customers eager to spend.
Outsourced Contact Center = Improved Customer Service
Outsourcing contact centers comes with some serious benefits — the kind of advantages that will positively impact your bottom line, give your brand a noticeable bump, and even improve morale and productivity among your staff. Let’s dive into what contact center outsourcing can do for your business.
One of the primary — and most impactful — advantages of contact center outsourcing is reducing your costs, and, as a result, increasing your profit. Establishing and maintaining an in-house customer service hub involves significant capital investments for infrastructure, technology, and staff recruitment and training.
Outsourcing, however, eliminates these upfront expenses as well as ongoing operational costs like payroll and benefits for contact center staff. One study found that cloud-based contact centers cost 27% less than their on-site counterparts, all while seeing 35% less downtime for their agents.
Access to Expertise and Advanced Technology
When you take your car to a mechanic, you expect their shop to be up to date with the latest technologies and techniques for keeping vehicles in optimal condition. You should expect the same from outsourced contact centers. They ought to have in-depth expertise in customer service best practices and be equipped with the most recent developments in tech and industry trends.
When you outsource, you can tap into this wealth of knowledge and tools without having to invest in either building it from scratch or updating it year after year (which can be prohibitively expensive). These enhancements include state-of-the-art call center software, artificial intelligence (AI) tools, and customer relationship management (CRM) systems, not to mention the ongoing training and quality assurance systems required for keeping staff up to speed.
AI itself offers a host of exciting developments for improving CX in dramatic ways. Artificial intelligence is being used to route customer inquiries more efficiently, detect languages in calls and chat boxes, gather a wealth of consumer insights, and even help agents increase sales. You can best take advantage of these game-changing functions when you outsource your contact center services.
Flexibility and Scalability
In-house contact centers are typically not very flexible when it comes to growth or seasonal fluctuations. While internal teams may offer a company greater control over the operation of your CX, they can be much more difficult to transition or pivot when the need arises.
If your company is experiencing rapid or unexpected changes in your customer service needs, are you prepared to invest in the staff and infrastructure needed to keep pace? Can you handle a sudden uptick in consumer demand or, worse, customer problems?
Outsourcing has you covered. Many contact centers are equipped to scale as needed, ready to add or reduce support with ease.
Focus on Core Strengths
Do you consider customer service one of your company’s core competencies? If your answer isn’t a wholehearted “yes,” you should bottle your model for success and sell it…we kid. The question you should be asking yourself is how much is our fantastic customer service costing us as a percentage of revenue – we are betting it will be an eye-opener.
You know what you’re best at, and you should be investing more of your resources into strengthening those key priorities. When you outsource your contact center, you unleash your team to focus on the strategies that grow your business. You reduce their workload and give them the chance to sell more and create better products or services. The result is simultaneous, measurable improvements in both areas — increased attention on the heart of your brand AND improved customer service. You can those win-wins to the bank.
Today’s global economy never sleeps. If you operate internationally, you must provide support to your customer base wherever they may be located. Outsourcing contact center operations is the most efficient and effective way to manage 24/7 customer service for businesses with consumers in other countries.
Consider this: Three out of four consumers say that a great customer experience is an essential factor in their purchasing decisions. But only half of them say companies provide a great customer experience. Outsourcing contact center services can help make sure your brand lands in the good half of that statistic.
Improved Customer Service = More $$$
Everyone knows how vital customer service is to a company. Yet a surprising number of businesses don’t seem to understand the financial implications of providing outstanding service to their customers. Consider these recent statistics:
• When customers feel they’ve received value from their CX interactions, they’ll buy again 82% of the time.
• Among that same group, there’s an 86% chance those customers will spend more with you.
• Customers with greater CX experiences have a higher customer lifetime value (CLV).
• Over a five-year period, CX “leaders” — companies with the highest customer satisfaction ratings — experienced double the revenue growth of “laggards” (those with low CX ratings).
• Companies that increase their customer satisfaction ratings by 20% or more also improve their wallet share by 5 to 10%.
• Enhancing customer service has been shown to boost sales revenues by 2 to 7% and profitability by 1 to 2%.
Warren Buffett claims there’s a direct link between customer service and business profitability. “You will succeed if you have delighted customers. Don’t settle for satisfied.” The implication here is that success can be elusive if you don’t aim for the highest levels of customer “satisfaction.”
But Doesn’t Quality Diminish With Outsourcing?
The most common argument we hear from companies who hesitate about outsourcing their CX functions is that the quality of service declines. In the past, there certainly was some truth to that. And there continue to be contact centers that provide less-than-desirable outcomes today.
For some companies, keeping customer services in-house is an essential part of their business foundation. Brands like Zappos, who’ve built their entire corporate culture around the value of an extremely enthusiastic internal team, have so far resisted the clarion call of outsourced contact centers. Yet, after being acquired by amazon, who looks at cost of service as a percentage of revenue, they are not outsourcing many customer service functions.
The vast majority of companies, outsourcing contact centers can enhance and improve the quality of a brand’s customer experience. That’s literally why they exist. Some of the world’s most successful companies are outsourcing their CX functions and are better for it; Target, Bank of America, Google, Amazon, and Microsoft all use external partners to manage their contact centers and are better off for it. But it’s not just the behemoths who are benefiting from outsourcing; countless mid-size businesses use it as a direct path toward their growth plans and are never looking back.
Questions to Ask Your Potential Outsourced Contact Centers
If you’ve been convinced that outsourcing your contact center needs sounds like a great idea, your next step — and it’s a big one — is to find one that works for you. Here are some of the most critical questions you should be asking when considering an outsourcing partner.
Regarding their services, ask:
• What communication channels do you support? (phone, email, chat, etc.)
• Which languages do you support?
• Do you have experience with my industry or customer base?
• What technologies do you have in place?
• What levels of reporting and analytics do you offer?
When it comes to their performance, ask:
• What are your average call handling times and resolution rates?
• How do you measure customer and employee satisfaction?
• What are your service level agreements?
• How do you handle peaks and surges in call volume?
For security, be sure to ask:
• What is your disaster recovery plan?
• How do you protect customer data?
• Are you compliant with all regulations (domestic and international)?
• How do you protect against fraud and cyberattacks?
Perhaps most importantly, ask questions about their partnership style:
• What are your standard communication practices with your clients and exmployees?
• What’s your process for onboarding and training new clients and service advocates?
• Can you accommodate our company’s unique ________?
• How will you handle escalations with my customers?
• Are you open to adapting your services to our specific needs?
Why You Probably Need Help Finding an Outsourcing Partner
Those are a lot of important questions, and we’re just scratching the surface. Contracting with an outsourcing partner requires a deep level of commitment if you’re going to find the right long-term solution.
Let’s be honest: this industry is huge and complex. Businesses spent more than $100 billion+ on contact center outsourcing in 2023 alone, and that figure is expected to increase by around 50% over the next five years. The sheer number of contact centers around the world is estimated to be in the millions, with more than 32,500 of them in the United States.
That’s a heck of a lot of contact centers to choose from.
Thankfully, you don’t have to navigate that tangled jungle alone. CX consulting firms like AdviseCX exist to guide businesses through the process of finding and choosing the best contact center outsourcing providers. With our vast network of connections and partners across the globe, we take the time to analyze each client’s unique needs and narrow the field to find the right match.
If you’re serious about exploring your outsourcing options, let’s talk. The team at AdviseCX is ready, willing, and able to walk you through the process to make sure you find the best solution for your company’s contact center needs.