What is Call Center Outsourcing?
Call centers are where companies handle a large volume of calls — whether they’re inbound or outbound. Having a call center is essential to many businesses’ operations because call centers provide customer support, generate leads, offer technical support, and much, much more.
Because call centers require a lot of resources to be efficient, many companies choose to outsource to a BPO (business process outsourcing) company that specializes in voice services.
Outsourcing is when a company hires an external service provider to manage and execute certain business processes. In doing so, companies are able to use their internal resources to focus on primary business functions.
Call center outsourcing, therefore, is a great way for growing businesses to expand the services they offer, provide a better customer experience, all while lowering their operating costs.
This guide outlines everything you need to know to outsource your call center operations.
Table of Contents
Looking to hire a call center for your business? Clutch has compiled a list of the leading call center outsourcing companies in the world. Search based on price, location, and customer review ratings to find the perfect partner for your business.
Benefits of Call Center Outsourcing
- Lower costs
- Improve customer service
- Shorter waiting times and round-the-clock support
- Provide multilingual support
- Easy to scale
Many companies outsource because it’s a great way to minimize costs. To house an in-house call center, companies need to hire vast teams, train them, provide the tech they need to operate efficiently, and find an office space to support them. All of this adds up, creating a hefty bill.
Service providers, however, already have the infrastructure — such as trained staff, space, and technology — needed to run a call center efficiently and effectively. Additionally, by outsourcing to companies in countries where labor is cheaper, many companies can save money in their budget.
Because of this, it’s estimated that companies can reduce costs by 50%–70% by outsourcing their call center needs.
Companies can reduce costs by 50%–70% through call center outsourcing.
Improve customer service
Call center employees have been trained to provide top-notch customer service. Whether customers have a question about a bill, are struggling with a piece of equipment, or just want to check on the status of their order, having an available customer service representative is essential for customer retention.
By answering customers’ questions, customer service representatives ensure customer satisfaction, making it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers. Additionally, by providing quality support, they can enhance their brand image.
Outsource call centers have also been trained to remain professional even when working with difficult customers. They can de-escalate situations, taking a negative experience and make it a positive one.
Additional reading, ‘Answering Services: Professionalism in Customer Service.’
Shorter waiting times and round-the-clock support
Outsource call centers can provide a robust team, ensuring that no customer is left on hold for hours on end. When they call, they usually won’t have to wait more than a few minutes to speak to a company representative.
Many call centers also provide 24/7 support because they have call centers in different time zones around the world or because they’re able to stagger staff’s schedules so there is always someone available.
This means that even if a customer needs to reach someone late at night, or they simply weren’t able to call during normal business hours, their needs will be met.
By providing full-time support and reducing wait times, many companies can improve the perception of their brand or their brand image, resulting in better company ratings and better customer satisfaction.
Provide multilingual support
For international companies, or companies looking to reach a wider audience, a multilingual call center can help them grow their business. Only 17% of the world speaks English — without providing alternative forms of communication, companies are restricting their potential customer base.
While having a multilingual team is particularly valuable in customer service, it can also be a valuable asset for cold calling, technical support, and market research.
Easy to scale
Call centers can reduce or increase the size of a team at the drop of a hat. This is because they often have dozens, if not hundreds of call center agents who are already trained. They simply move them from project to project depending on where they are needed.
When call volume is greater, companies can scale up the number of call center agents working. For example, around the holidays, many retail companies adjust staffing by increasing the size of their call center team. You can imagine that at this time of year, more customers call with complaints or have questions about when their gifts will arrive.
Then, when the holiday season passes, and the call volume decreases again, they can scale their team down once again.
Additional reading, ‘Call Center Training: 5 Tips to Boost Customer Satisfaction.’
Types of Call Centers
Looking to hire a call center? The first step in hiring a call center is to determine the type of call center you need. There are 3 types of call centers: Inbound, outbound, and blended.
Inbound Call Centers
Inbound call centers handle incoming calls, often from existing or potential customers. These types of call centers often provide customer support, deal with issues, handle complaints, and answer questions.
Outbound Call Centers
Outbound call centers make outgoing calls on behalf of their business partners. Because of this, they’re often focused on sales or market research. For example, they can be used to follow up on inbound calls, conduct telemarketing calls, collect data from customer surveys, or verify leads.
Blended Call Centers
Blended call centers are call centers that deal with both inbound and outbound calls. By hiring a blended call center, companies can accomplish everything they need from a call center, whether that’s to provide customer support, conduct telemarketing calls, technical support, or just about anything else.
Contact Center Outsourcing vs. Call Center Outsourcing
In addition to answering or making calls, some companies cover other forms of communication such as live chat, social media, and email. These centers are known as contact centers rather than call centers, because they provide omnichannel support.
By providing multiple ways for consumers or other people to contact their business, companies are more accessible and can provide better service. Through contact centers, those who prefer not to talk on the phone can still get the service.
Call Center Outsourcing Services
Call centers can provide a variety of services. Here are some of the most popular services that are outsourced to call centers.
Call Center Outsourcing Services
Lead generation is the process of identifying and cultivating potential customers. Outbound call centers can support lead generation through cold calling and email marketing. By calling or emailing people who fall into the business’s target market, they can collect a list of potential leads and pass them off to the sales team.
Find a call center that focuses on lead generation here.
Whether a customer is trying to return an item, they have a question about a product, or are checking on the status of their order, customer service is essential.
Need to improve your customer service? Connect with a customer service training company on Clutch.
Telemarketing is the marketing of goods or services by cold calling consumers. Ideally, a call center making telemarketing calls will be able to make a sale over the phone. This process is also used to gather donations or provide information about different causes.
Find a call center that provides telemarketing services here.
Tech support is an important service that many companies have to provide for their customers. A call center can act as a help desk that is able to assist registered users with problems they’re having and answer questions. In doing so, they make it more likely for customers to become repeat buyers, stay with a company, and continue using their products and/or services.
Market research requires extensive data from a variety of different sources. Call centers can help collect this data by making calls. Then they can pull together reports for further analysis.
Find a market research company here.
Answering services can act as receptionists, assist sales, and improve customer support. They can either work during normal business hours to provide additional support, or can answer calls and take messages late at night to provide 24/7 support.
Find an answering service here.
Call Center Outsourcing Costs
Can your company afford to hire a call center outsourcing service provider?
The monthly price of call center outsourcing varies depending on the location of the call center, the number of resources available, and how many hours they work.
Usually, outsourcing call centers charge on an hourly basis. While the hourly rate for US-based call centers is $20–$30, offshore call center prices are much cheaper in parts of Asia, such as the Philippines and India.
Nearshore companies in South America also offer more affordable rates at $8–$18 per hour and are easier to work with because there isn’t a time zone difference.
|Region||Call Center Prices Per Hour|
US & Canada
|Africa & The Middle East||$15–$20|
|Asia & The Philippines||$8–$14|
If you’re looking to hire a call center outsourcing company, you can use these hourly prices to estimate the cost of call center outsourcing in a particular region.
However, some call center companies charge per minute, per hour, per call, or even commission per sale. When vetting potential call centers for your business, be sure to ask them about how they calculate cost and request a quote.
How to Hire a Call Center
Looking to hire a call center outsourcing service provider? Follow these steps to find an agency to represent your brand.
- Create a requirements list
- Reach out to BPO service providers to gather more information
- Consider the pricing of each vendor, as well as the services they provide
- After contracting a call center, keep track of KPIs
Learn more about how to hire a call center here.
Call Center Outsourcing: A Necessary Step for Growing Businesses
Call center outsourcing helps companies provide better customer service at lower costs. Because they can reduce wait times, offer round-the-clock support, are well-trained, and may be multilingual, call centers enhance the customer experience.
At the same time, a well-trained team of call center agents can add a lot of value to a business: by conducting lead generation, telemarketing, and other types of outbound calls, call centers can help businesses grow.
Find the best call center for your company on Clutch.