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As companies continue to be challenged by talent acquisition in a post-pandemic world, more businesses are exploring contact center outsourcing as a solution.
According to Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey 2022, 50% of executives “identify talent acquisition as a top internal challenge in meeting their organization’s strategic priorities.”
Contact center outsourcing, often called Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), has existed for decades.
In today’s landscape, it’s a rapidly growing market that offers opportunities to increase efficiency and streamline costs for large and small companies. Revenue in the global Business Processing Outsourcing segment is expected to reach $0.35 trillion by the end of 2023.
Contact center outsourcing offers advantages such as increased flexibility and scalability, access to expertise and advanced technology, and more.
Despite many companies having first-hand experience with successful contact center outsourcing, many myths exist about why it isn’t a practical solution.
Let’s look at some common myths to understand why contact center outsourcing might be the right solution for your business.
Myth #1: It’s More Expensive than In-House Operations
One of the most common contact center outsourcing myths is that outsourcing will cost more overall than keeping the operations in-house.
The reality is that outsourcing is a much more affordable alternative to in-house operations and can save companies up to 50% on costs. An outsourced provider takes care of everything you need to manage and cover expenses, such as staffing, payroll, agent scheduling, and even building maintenance.
Think about the economies of scale. An outsourced contact center already has the resources, technology, and infrastructure to handle a large call volume efficiently. Those costs are spread across all clients, creating a more cost-effective model.
The cost of technology for a contact center can be one of the highest costs, so choosing to outsource means a company can access the latest tech and software without having to make that investment upfront.
Another advantage is the flexibility and scalability offered by contact center outsourcing. They can staff up or down quickly, allowing agility with scheduling you may not have in-house. That can quickly translate into lower workforce costs.
When your business is in a downturn, the ability to scale down with your outsource partner can mean not having to lay off in-house employees.
Conversely, when your business experiences an upturn with contact center outsourcing, you can scale up quickly and not scramble to recruit, hire and train new employees quickly. These events allow your organization to maintain its reputation by not creating a hiring-firing cycle.
Outsourcing also means the partner absorbs the cost of the new hire and changes to product or policy training, while overseeing the day-to-day management of employee performance.
In most cases, contact center outsourcing will reduce your operating costs, leaving you more time to focus on your core competencies and growth.
Myth #2: It Hurts Employees and Company Culture
It’s not a secret that the global pandemic we experienced drastically impacted the labor market. The market hasn’t rebounded since 2020, and according to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, there are currently 1.8 million “missing workers” in the current market.
This shortage has created an increased difficulty in finding qualified labor, which impacts not only a company’s ability to operate effectively but also its existing employees.
Labor shortages mean the work often gets distributed amongst current employees, creating more stress, burnout, and employee dissatisfaction — all of which can contribute to attrition and employee satisfaction rates.
When you consider your team’s role is to deliver best-in-class customer experience, the last things you want are staffing shortages or unhappy employees.
Outsourcing helps relieve the strain on your existing team and can positively impact employee morale.
For example, in a contact center environment that follows the sun having other resources that can cover less desirable hours, work holidays, or boost coverage during high volume periods can go a long way to improving your employee satisfaction.
Myth #3: Outsourcing Hurts Customer Experience
Your customer experience is a top priority, so why wouldn’t you leverage the expertise of organizations that only focus on CX?
Outsourcing gives you access to a pool of experts with extensive experience dealing with customer interactions, making it easier for your customers to get their questions answered or issues resolved quickly and efficiently.
Another thing to consider is how extending hours might improve your customer experience. When relying on in-house resources, you only have so many staffing hours you can use.
Outsourcing offers the possibility of extending your hours of operation, making it even easier for your customer to get assistance when needed — even outside of regular business hours.
Offering support in multiple languages is another benefit of contact center outsourcing. More customers can communicate in their native language, creating better outcomes and overall customer satisfaction. For companies that operate in the global market, this can make an enormous difference to your CX.
Remember that Average Speed of Answer (ASA) and Average Handle Time (AHT) impact customers’ feelings about your company. Key metrics such as FRT and AHT can be improved with contact center outsourcing. With a more flexible and agile workforce, issues are often resolved faster and with more accurate and consistent customer responses, enhancing overall CSAT.
A final consideration is that the more you can streamline your operations via call center outsourcing, the more time your company can focus on the core business and other initiatives that improve your customers’ experience.
Myth #4: Outsourcing Sends Jobs Out of the Country and is Bad for the Economy
One of the most common things people think about BPO is that those jobs are leaving the country. However, contact center outsourcing doesn’t automatically mean the work goes offshore. Many onshore (US) options are available that enable you to reap the benefits of outsourcing.
Something often missing from the conversation about outsourcing is the recognition of how it frees up resources to drive growth in other parts of the company. Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey reported that 65% of respondents said: “outsourcing helps them focus on core functions.”
The cost savings of outsourcing often is reinvested into areas such as research and development, product design, or marketing, creating different jobs within the organization.
Also contact center outsourcing can also be a benefit to the economy due to creating jobs in other industries. For example, as more companies choose to outsource, additional services pop up to support the outsourced operations. This creates more jobs in areas like logistics, IT, or consulting.
Myth #5: You May Lose Control Over Your Operations
This myth is one of the most common points of concern for companies exploring contact center outsourcing options.
When exploring outsourcing, knowing you can maintain control is essential. Much of that comes down to your selection process and ensuring that you choose a BPO partner aligned with your expectations and business goals.
You can negotiate a comprehensive Service Level Agreement (SLA) and there will be KPIs or scorecards with agreed-upon thresholds and metrics to hold them accountable. As part of your agreement, a Statement of Work (SOW) will clearly outline their role.
Ultimately, you’ll remain in control and can hold your partner accountable for exceeding or missing the agreed-upon KPIs and SLA. For exceeding, bonuses can be provided as a reward, and for missing, penalties can occur.
An unexpected benefit of outsourcing is that you can get more control over your operations as you can scale up or down based on fluctuating needs.
Plus, agents who work within a contact center outsourcing agreement are trained extensively on your branding, processes, tone, and voice to offer the same — and often better — experience than an in-house operation.
Myth #6: Outsourcing is Risky
Many of the risks that exist with contact center outsourcing are the same risks that exist with keeping those operations in-house. However, with the right partner, you’ll benefit from their additional expertise in onboarding, training, customer experience, and more.
This myth stems from the belief that it’s difficult to predict the future of a company’s operations and determine if your investment in an outsourced partner will pay off.
The reality is that fluctuations in business are easy to navigate with contact center outsourcing. Outsourcing partners have the infrastructure to keep operations running smoothly even during peak volume without bringing on more talent or technology.
Plus, if volumes decrease, you’re not responsible for an entire department of overhead fixed costs, which helps mitigate risks to your CX and overall business operations.
Contact Center Outsourcing Solutions Can Help You Invest in Your Growth
Contact center outsourcing can be cost-effective and efficient for companies to thrive and scale. By understanding the realities of outsourcing, your company can decide whether contact center outsourcing is the right fit.
BridgepointeCX has worked with some of the world’s biggest brands for outsourcing strategy, BPO identification, vendor management office and more. The result? Our clients typically experience a 15-20% reduction in operation costs and a 50% savings in new employee training expenses, thanks to outsourcing.