Pros & Cons of Outsourcing Your Customer Service Operation

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

At this point, you might be considering outsourcing your customer service center. Maybe you just started looking for a solution to reduce cost while increasing capacity and performance. On one end, you might have mixed emotions, concerns about leaving the country and what this might entail. On the other, you might be excited because of the cost-saving opportunity; however, you need to think about customer service outsourcing's following pros and cons.


By considering what's more important to your core business and the end goal, you can maximize and take advantage of the pros minimizing the cons. The main thing to keep in mind is that the service providers are so broad that their service level may vary. It will ultimately impact the customer experience and the overall partnership.

 

Pros of Outsourcing

Lower Costs

Outsourcing companies can offer lower costs because of their location, expertise, or business model. For example, in Mexico, an agent's wages compared with the United States are much lower, and recruiting a significant volume is more cost-effective. Lower labor costs don't always come from cheap service.

Tip: When requesting a proposal, review what includes and understand their business model and their locations' advantages.

 

Eliminate Staffing Issues

Contact center outsourcing can eliminate staffing issues such as; expensive recruitment campaigns with no results, high turnover rates, understaffing, etc. Outsourcing companies can recruit for you, won't charge you for terminations, offer you a considerable volume of agents in the desired time, and invest in retaining them.

Tip: Ask about their H.R. processes and numbers, what is included in the price, and what SLAs are in place.

 

A Larger Talent Pool

Offshore and Nearshore centers are mainly located in countries or regions with a large talent pool of call center agents. In many cases, English speakers get closer to contact centers regions for the opportunities and culture they find, just as in Little L.A. in Mexico City. This gives the value of looking for specific skills and fulfilling recruitment needs on time.

Tip: Learn about the English-speaking population of the region and their skills and ask about the center's recruitment capacity.

 

Shorter Response Times

With a lower cost, eliminating the staffing problems, and a larger talent pool, you can have the exact agent headcount you need to offer exceptional customer service.

Tip: Calculate a correct estimation of how many agents you need and the outsourcing contact center's service level.

 

Language Options

Outsourcing companies are located outside the U.S. where the native language usually isn't English. Agents are bilingual and can handle client calls in 2 or more languages to serve a larger market.
For instance, many nearshore contact centers offer English and Spanish, making it convenient for companies that sell to the Hispanic market.

Tip: Analyze your market demographics to see what languages are more convenient for your business.

 

Cons of Outsourcing

Language & Cultural Barriers

When English is not a native language for an agent, this might result in language and cultural barriers with the customers. Agents may not be familiar with slang language or understand U.S. customers' problems and feelings if they haven't experienced something similar.

Tip: Look for cultural alignment, locations closer to the U.S., speak with some agents before choosing an outsourcer, listen to their English accent, and know their background.

 

Reduced Customer Satisfaction

What's cheap might end up being expensive. When customers can identify that the agent is from another country by their accent or the communication isn't clear due to misunderstandings, it will significantly impact customer satisfaction. Poor English and cultural differences can drastically impact service levels, customer experience, call resolution levels, and the customer perception of the company.

Tip: Again, look for cultural alignment, good English but also, the control you'll have on the operation to help them with training and performance. Also, ask for references, case studies, and reviews.

 

Indirect or Hidden Costs

It's not just about the low rates; you need to consider travel expenses and additional personnel, training, software, bonuses and incentives, and the outsourcing team's learning curve.

Tip: Review the contract carefully and calculate all additional expenses you will need to manage your outsourced operation.

 

Security & Privacy Concerns

If you outsource your customer service operation, you will need to allow access to your customer database, contact person, and credit card info in some cases. You need to verify the service provider has an up-to-date process and the certifications for user information to guarantee your customers' security.

Tip: Look for outsourcing companies with security certifications and policies in place and send an RFP that includes security information questions.

 

Bad Quality Control

Distance and different time zones can cause you to lose control of the operation because this can initiate miscommunication issues and feedback problems.
The lack of a dedicated quality control process or specialist can significantly diminish the service-level control.

Tip: Ask what reporting the outsource center offers and what involvement you will have on the operation.

 

Outsourcing is an excellent opportunity for companies to reduce costs, improve performance and focus on what adds value to the business. But your customers are an essential part of your company. It's critical to do your due diligence, properly evaluate the companies, learn about all the different business models available and visit their facilities.

At Call Center Services International, we don't consider ourselves outsourcing. Our model allows us to offer all the benefits of an outsourcing call center while giving you full control of the operation.
CCSI helps you to establish a Nearshore Contact Center in Mexico, fully managed by our administrative personnel, following your procedures and protocols. Discover more about our business model.

Visit our website or schedule a call.


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