Should Advisers Remain Neutral Re: Call Center Outsourcing?

The concept of neutrality dates back to the 15th century. To maintain neutrality, one “has a neutral opinion” and “takes no part in a contest between others.” Diplomats instituted laws concerning rights to neutrality, which allowed nations to remain impartial in situations of war or conflict. The laws provided invaluable protection when nations wanted to maintain certain integrities and operate in the best interest of their people. 

Fast forward to centuries later, when neutrality extends beyond international affairs to business matters, including consultant-client relationships. Let’s take a closer look at how this concept applies to call center outsourcing.

A Guide for Call Center Outsourcing

Companies have a lot of options when it comes to outsourcing their customer service. Google searches might get the ball rolling, but ultimately, the ball tends to slow to a halt on the uphill battle of due diligence. That’s typically where someone solicits the help of an expert who knows the path to least resistance. 

Then, the options become the routes of a broker or adviser. Both have experience and relationships with call center providers and profess to make connections based on the client’s needs and interests. Alongside their similarities, however, it is helpful to note the differences between call center brokers and advisers. 

What Is the Difference Between Brokers and Advisers?

Compensation Model

The most commonly referenced distinction between brokers and advisers is the compensation model. Like some other broker models, companies may enjoy working with a call center broker because most are free to their clients. That’s because they are paid by the outsourcing partners. 

An adviser can leverage this broker model (commission-based), but they don’t rely upon it exclusively. Advisers use a fee-based model with their clients. In some cases, they will use a hybrid model where they can charge less per house for the consulting engagement by receiving a commission. 

Brokers do not use an adviser model, which can encourage them to steer clients toward providers that are more lucrative to them but not necessarily more beneficial to the client.

Available Solutions

The differences between call center brokers and outsourcing advisers continue into what we consider even more important: the available solutions. 

Brokers have relationships with providers (of BPO, technology, etc.) and make recommendations only to those providers. Their services are limited in this way. Advisers, on the other hand, have more options available to offer clients. They can work closely with clients to understand their business comprehensively and recommend the solutions that best suit their requirements.

How Do These Differences Affect the Client Experience?

When you enlist the help of a broker or adviser, the goal is for an expert to guide you in the decision-making process. No one wants to feel pressured into a decision or manipulated for someone else’s gain. 

To revisit our initial concept of neutrality, laws don’t regulate how a broker or adviser guides a client. We must take ownership of the integrity of our work. The broker model prompts clients to question the broker’s motives in their recommendations. The broker is responsible for sending business to their partners (i.e., not a neutral position). 

Alternatively, the adviser model allows clients to develop a higher level of trust. Advisers are free to recommend what is best for the client, which may be to use an outsourcing partner or not (a more neutral position). 

Advise: It’s in Our Name

At the risk of being superfluous, we assert our approach as advisers by fixing “advise” right in our business name. We explain the advantages of call center outsourcing without withholding alternative solutions when they are better for your particular situation. We don’t have to nudge you toward a single decision because we have a collection of strategies in our toolbox, like optimizing your current contact center operation and leveraging AI tools. This form of neutrality is essential to your business achieving exceptional customer experiences that drive business results.