The data is clear: the majority of companies—59%—outsource some elements of their operations as a cost-saving tactic.
But how does outsourcing actually save you money?
To some degree, it depends on what you outsource. But one of the most cost-effective outsourcing options is using a call center, as opposed to managing customer service and call center operations in-house.
In this article, we’ll show you seven key ways using an outsourced call center can save your business money.
Reducing Labor Costs
Of course, one of the main ways outsourcing cuts costs is through labor costs and employee salaries and benefits.
When you hire and manage employees in-house, not only do salaries tend to be higher, but you’re also responsible for benefits, bonuses, and other expenses related to maintaining, hiring, training and managing staff. For example, you’ll need to manage an in-house HR team, as well as managers, QA agents, team leads and so on—and of course, all of the salaries and labor costs associated with those roles as well. When outsourcing, you can pay a simple per-agent hourly rate that both simplifies and reduces labor costs for your business.
Outsourcing also allows you to move your call center operations to a lower-cost location through nearshoring or offshoring. Doing so enables you to pay competitive salaries while also reducing your business costs by hiring in areas where the cost of living is lower. What’s more—outsourcing also makes it easier to scale up and back as needed, allowing you to optimize staffing levels to accurately match your call volume and demand throughout the year.
When managing a team in-house, hiring new team members is a significant expenditure and time commitment, making scaling up difficult. However, the reverse is also true—scaling back on team members is also a big decision that’s hard to reverse, so many companies with in-house teams end up paying for staff they don’t always need. With outsourced operations, you can scale up and back accordingly so you always have an effective—and cost-efficient—team size.
Enhancing Operational Efficiency
Team size isn’t the only thing made more efficient by outsourcing—outsourcing can also improve operational efficiency through streamlined processes, workflows, automation and more. For example, consider that outsourcing can provide resources to:
Streamline call handling processes. Outsourcing teams are experts in customer service and 100% focused on call center operations. As a result, they generally have highly optimized processes and workflows they’ll bring to your company that will make agents more efficient and effective—maximizing your investment and results.
Improve call routing and queue management. Whether through optimized workflows, advanced technology or other resources, outsourced call centers can help you improve call routing and management to provide better service and make processes more efficient.
Leverage technology for automation. Modern call centers know how to leverage technology to make processes efficient and effective, often through automation and AI solutions. This can look like automating data collection or analytics, call logging, audience feedback, and other repetitive processes.
Creating additional self-service options. Self-service is much more efficient than requiring human agents to manage every interaction. After all, a self-service solution can serve a near-infinite number of customers at once, speeding up processes and reducing time to service for customers.
All of this creates fewer agents needed as well as more productive and satisfied agents, reducing turnover, improving efficiency and saving on costs from multiple fronts.
Minimizing Infrastructure and Equipment Costs
Outsourcing also saves businesses significantly on infrastructure and equipment costs. When you’re managing your call center internally, you need to purchase and manage:
- telephony systems
- VoIP softphone, IVR systems and auto-dialers
- call recording and QA software
- physical hardware and servers
- CRM databases
- office / storage space
- workforce management software
- physical equipment like laptops and headsets
- and more!
An outsourced call center allows you to access best-in-class technology and already-existing infrastructure and equipment without paying for licensing, setup, maintenance and so on. You’ll also be able to bypass expensive setup fees and share resources with an already-established call center—allowing quicker startup, scaling and significantly reduced overhead costs.
In addition, many outsourced call centers use cloud-based contact center solutions, which further reduces costs significantly by using pay-as-you-go models that allow you to pay for only the features, seats and licenses you’re actively using. Cloud-based solutions also require less maintenance and upgrades, increasing savings that are then passed along to you through the call center.
Improving Customer Satisfaction and Retention
Working with a good outsourced call center also improves customer satisfaction and retention.
“But wait,” you may be thinking. “That’s great, but how does that save me money?”
Actually, in lots of ways. Better customer satisfaction and retention:
- reduces customer churn, thereby creating more valuable customers
- reduces customer acquisition costs, by creating more loyal and valuable customers that stick with your brand longer and spend more over time
- improves customer lifetime value through enhanced satisfaction and loyalty
- increases brand loyalty, which in turn improves positive word-of-mouth, further reducing acquisition costs and making your marketing more effective
- increases average customer spend, as satisfied, loyal customers spend more and purchase more frequently
Ready to perfect your CX?
Call centers can collect and analyze data in a number of both direct and indirect ways, such as:
- customer data provided directly from the customers
- customer behaviors, preferences and desires, either shared directly or inferred from the data
- gathering customer feedback, indirectly or directly
- analyzing customer feedback and reviews
- monitoring CSAT, NPS scores and other customer experience metrics
- analyzing call data for process optimization
- performing outbound market research
With all of this data comes expanded customer insights which can help you better cater to customers and grow your business, as well as improve processes and reduce costs. For example, analysis of large amounts of call data can allow your call center to optimize processes and introduce automation to repetitive processes, saving you time and money.
Analysis of call data and customer preferences can also allow call centers to more accurately identify relevant cross-selling and upselling opportunities, which allows your team to make the most of every phone call. Implementing cross-selling and upselling is another way in which your call center can help you improve sales and make money, rather than just saving it.
Mitigating Risk and Ensuring Compliance
A call center also can significantly reduce risk and help ensure call center compliance when it comes to processes, customer data and so on.
With an outsourced call center managing risk and compliance, your company not only saves on legal costs, but also on mitigation strategies, risk management and compliance verification. All of this creates a significant cost and time savings for your internal team. In addition, working with an outsourced call center reduces the risk of data breaches and security incidents, since call centers typically have significant processes and regulations in place to protect client and customer data.
All of this reduces headaches for your team, certainly, but also protects your business reputation and avoids fines and penalties. These can range from minor hiccups to catastrophic business interruptions—but either way, working with a call center helps eliminate the risks.
Scalability and Flexibility
Finally, an outsourced call center enables significantly more scalability and flexibility, which creates costs-savings by allowing you to efficiently manage your team size, workload and needs.
For example, the scalability of outsourced call centers allows you to adapt to fluctuating call volumes and business demands, reducing “non-productive” agent hours and keeping your team lean. Using hybrid or blended teams can further improve flexibility and reduce costs. For example, a blended team might make use of some domestic call center agents as well as some offshore agents—reducing the overall cost of your team while using the best talent both home and abroad.
Outsourcing also allows you the flexibility to access specialized services and expertise on-demand, without having to hire in-house or “commit” to these services or skills long-term. For example, say you have a short-term marketing or market research project to complete. Rather than hiring in-house or reallocating your team’s resources to complete the project, you can simply add team members or services to your outsourced team, pay for what you need, and then drop back down to your standard team when the project is complete.
This level of scalability and flexibility is common when outsourcing—and can save significantly on costs—but is almost impossible to achieve in-house.
How to Start Saving Your Business Money with a Call Center
Ready to start saving your business money with a call center?
Work with a trusted partner from the start—our team at Global Response has 40+ years of experience with customer service, customer experience and all aspects of call center operations. With teams stretched across the globe, we have the experience, scalability and flexibility you need to scale operations while still reducing costs for your company.
We’ve helped our clients achieve results like:
- 25% increase in online sales
- 130% increase in service level performance
- scale affordably to meet an 80% increase in call volume
- save 84% on social media monitoring while increasing coverage 110%
See how we’ve helped clients like ASICS, Rack Room and FILA save money and improve service levels with our call center teams—and then reach out to a Global Response expert today to see how we can help scale your team affordably.