As a trend, outsourcing call center services has certainly brought about a paradigm shift in the way industries operate, and as a result, call centers have given way to new calls in customer service areas.
Over the years, companies have learned that providing good customer service isn't a necessity simply because they have customers. Rather, it is an opportunity to grow the business.
In this article, we will explain the fundamentals of call center services, types, and the future of call centers in 2022. Moreover, whether you should outsource call center services for your business or not.
What are call center services?
Customer service centers, or call centers Services are centralized offices that connect customers with the company. They receive and transmit a large number of requests via telephone and web technology. Here, a customer support services specialist responds to customer requests by phone or other mediums.
In simple words, a call center is a center operated by a company for handling inquiries from consumers and providing product support. As the industry grows, the services and size of call centers change, as well. Even small businesses utilize call centers in their operations.
Many companies and organizations use call centers to collect debt, market their products, develop a clientele, collect service orders, answer questions, and resolve complaints. It allows firms to solve doubts and complaints more efficiently and effectively, and reduce costs as well.
Call centers can operate independently or as a network. A simple call center has one group of customers and identical servers. Some of these come with large open workstations and provide facilities such as computers, telephones, and supervisory stations. They are usually connected to a corporate network, including a local area network, microcomputers, and mainframes.
What are the types of Call Centers?
Call centers have three main categories:
1.Inbound Call Center
2.Outbound Call Center
3.Automated Call Center
Inbound Call Center: Inbound call centers accept customer phone calls. In inbound call center services, agents handle transactions and customer service requests. It mainly includes services like chat support, tech support, handling queries related to loyalty programs, and email responses. It is also one of the most preferred and outsourced call center services among B2C businesses.
It can be situated within the company's office or at a central location where agents from several different companies work together at the same time, or at another place where agents from a variety of businesses work together at the same time. This type of arrangement is commonly referred to as outsourced.
Outbound Call Center: Outbound call centers make phone calls to customers to sell products and services. The purpose of outbound centers is to make promotional calls, generate new sales leads, and for market research. The agents can also call other businesses to generate leads. It is ideal for both B2C and B2B businesses.
Outbound calls also include making calls for appointments, product recalls, telesales, market research, conducting surveys, events registration, and a lot more.
Automated Call Center: Cloud-based call centers can perform inbound and outbound operations from anywhere, as the set-up is quite quick and easy. Many businesses are opting for virtual or cloud-based call centers that merge services of both inbound and outbound contact centers.
Businesses mostly use automated call centers for purposes like check-in reminders, online scheduling, appointment reminders, etc. In addition to being affordable, virtual call centers offer the advantage of seamless integration with your existing tools, such as CRMs and sales support systems.
All these types of call centers are further divided into domestic and international call centers. While domestic call centers operate within the same country, it is vice versa with International call centers
Type of Call Centers based on owners
1. In-house Call Centers: The company owns and operates its call centers. It means that company employees install, configure, and maintain it themselves with in-house software and hardware.
2. Outsourced Call Centers: A company that cannot or does not want to hire agents and invest in training, office space, and technology can use call centers outsourcing as they find it a cheaper alternative.
The pitfalls of adding a call center to a business' infrastructure and dealing with cost and set-up can be avoided by using a cloud-based call center, which does not require any programming or technical expertise.
To decide to choose between an in-house call center and an outsourced call center completely depends on the business, its preferences, and the budget.
In-house Call Center Vs. Outsourced Call Center- Which is better?
Choosing between the two services is a difficult decision based entirely on each organization's needs and financial considerations. What works for one business may not be suitable for another. To help you get started, below are some of the pros and cons of both in-house and outsourced call centers.
Here we go...
IN-HOUSE CALL CENTER
In this business model, the contact center is located within the organization. It entails having a dedicated staff of call center representatives who receive and make calls for the organization to facilitate engagement with existing and new customers.
Strong Personal Touch- More often than not, in-house call centers deal exclusively with a single brand, thereby increasing the possibilities of giving each customer the attention they deserve.
Better Communication- In-house agents are more closely connected to the organization's core staff, resulting in better communication. Any concerns or questions that arise outside of their job roles can be forwarded to the appropriate personnel considerably more quickly and efficiently, which significantly impacts the customer experience.
Enhanced Security- Since there is no third-party engagement, the risk of exposing client data is minimal. Moreover, customers also feel confident when they know they're talking directly with the company's representatives.
Better Integration of Resources- In-house call centers allow for better resource integration. It allows agents to quickly access the features required to provide a seamless customer experience.
Flexibility- In-house call centers offer great flexibility to organizations. It gives them the freedom to make changes to their current procedure without experiencing a significant delay in implementation.
Costly Affair- In-house call centers are costly affairs. From infrastructure to staffing, businesses must look after every part of an in-house call center. An organization must shoulder a significant financial burden for all of these, as well as maintain a sizable reserve fund in case of unforeseen issues.
Demanding- Establishing an in-house contact center is only the first step. After that, you need to keep everything, from infrastructure to technology, up-to-date. You will need to hire specialized professionals to check and verify that no technical issues regularly arise. It is also vital to maintain the staff strength and see that infrastructure remains stable. All this just adds to the cost and nothing else.
Retention Issue- Keeping staff isn't simple, to be sure. Frequently, a firm spends a significant amount of money on employee training to have them quit and join another company, resulting in a substantial loss on its part.
OUTSOURCED CALL CENTERS
As we all know, Outsourced Call Center is a business model in which resources for the complete (or portion of) call center operations are sought outside of an organizational structure. Below are the pros and cons of outsourced call center services:
Cost-Effective Services- Cost-effectiveness is one of the key reasons why call center activities are outsourced. Businesses can save up to 50% by outsourcing to offshore companies, according to statistics. India is a chosen market because the cost of labor and setting up a call center are both affordable.
Focusing on Core Activities is Easier- Outsourcing a call center allows a company to focus on its core competencies, such as sales, production, and distribution. When employees are overburdened with new responsibilities, they lose focus, thereby impeding core activities and resulting in poor results.
Cost Saving- When you use a third party service provider, you save the additional costs of purchasing and maintaining infrastructure. This frees up funds to be invested in other areas of the company.
Trained Staff- Outsourcing call center activities eliminate the need to find and train people. A reputable outsourcing call center services provider will have a skilled crew able to grasp corporate objectives and consumer expectations and become the brand's voice.
Extensibility- A corporation can easily ramp up its customer service requirements by outsourcing to a reputable call center service provider without internally investing in extra staff or technology.
Lacks Brand Loyalty- More often than not, third-party outsourcing companies have many clients to serve. As a result, their concentration may not be solely on a single client, and they may lack strong brand loyalty. Besides, this can also lead to a reduction in the quality of client service.
Difficult to Maintain Confidentiality- Organizations are regularly required to share sensitive consumer data with outsourced companies. This puts the company in jeopardy on occasion. As a result, companies must guarantee that the outsourced firm's methodology safeguards their clients' data and that data security certification standards are adhered to regularly.
Lacks personal touch and complete control- Most outsourced call centers are located offshore, making human monitoring a task for an organization. That's why it's critical to find an Indian Call Center with the necessary credentials that can give transparency via technology solutions and is entirely reliable.
Future of Call Centers in 2022
Just like any other business, call centers too will be completely transformed with the adoption of the latest trends and technology in the coming years. According to Kearney, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotic process automation (RPA) solutions reduce the time spent by customer service agents on typical processes by up to 25% by 2022 and by as much as 40% by 2027.
These technologies will not be just cost-effective but help call centers deliver improved services and performances. Automated technologies are evolving so rapidly that today's providers have an opportunity to gain a first-mover advantage.
Human resources will be used more efficiently as the industry evolves, and organizations will have access to more adaptive and agile support models as human errors are eliminated. Increasing accuracy and quality, fact-based decision-making will be able to support a more accurate market.
To stay competitive, companies will need to invest in AI, a rapidly advancing technology based on advances in machine learning and natural language processing. AI in call centers will increasingly assist human agents while continuing to handle many standardized interactions independently.
Moreover, digitalization will result in increasingly automated processes for both the back end and the front end. Therefore, change in the business models of BPO providers should be implemented sooner rather than later.
Wrapping it up…
The decision to deploy an in-house or outsourced call center and adapt the latest technology ultimately comes down to the need and financial limitations of the company. Whatever is good for your rival company may not be suitable for you. As a result, it is critical that you properly explore both possibilities. Client satisfaction would be the major differentiator in either situation.
And if you find making the decision a chore, then contact us. We're the best Indian call center providing exceptional outsourced call center services. We have a team of seasoned professionals who can contribute to your company's bottom line. Connect to our experts today at firstname.lastname@example.org.