Should You Outsource Your Contact Center? Ask Yourself 9 Questions
For many, the word “outsourcing” still conjures up images of overseas call centers full of workers with minimal product knowledge and even less emotional investment in your customers.
82% of large companies in North America, Asia, and Europe say outsourcing is essential for mature brands.
Outsourcing has drastically changed over the last 15 years thanks to technology. You can even outsource your contact center and other services to companies in your own backyard!
Just because you can outsource, however, doesn’t mean you necessarily should. How can you decide if contact center outsourcing is the right choice for your company?
9 Questions to Help Decide Whether to Outsource Your Contact Center
Today’s outsourcing companies are much more specialized than those of the past. Some organizations might find outsourcing more costly than cost effective. It depends on your unique needs.
1. Is Your Team Struggling to Manage Multiple Contact Channels and Platforms?
You never know where a prospect, lead, or existing customer might choose to engage with your brand. That’s why it’s so important to make sure you’re available on every channel:
- Role-based emails
- Live chat
- Social media messengers
- Texting apps
- Contact forms
40% of millennials and Gen Z used messaging – whether social, text, or owned media – to engage with brands for the first time in 2020, for example.
Contact center outsourcing ensures you can engage leads and customers on every channel they choose to reach out to – rather than pushing your leads and customers to use specific channels.
2. Does Your Team Complain About Answering Repetitive Questions?
Ask your sales or customer service team and they’ll probably say they spend a large chunk of their phone time answering the same questions – even if you have answers available on your website.
While this isn’t inherently bad, it does leave less room for your team to nurture leads and give more specialized attention to customers who require it.
Contact center outsourcing is customizable and scalable. You can unload some of the burden so your in-house team can focus on building meaningful relationships.
3. Is Your Social Media Engagement Lacking?
Most customers – whether B2B or B2C – demand an omnichannel experience across all platforms today from brands. Furthermore, if you maintain a page and post content on a social media platform, customers expect you to answer questions and reply to comments there as well.
If you’re struggling to give followers (and genuine customers) the attention they deserve on social media, contact center outsourcing can fill the gap.
4. Are You Struggling to Score, Hand Off, and Nurture Leads?
Buyers today spend 45% of their time researching independently and only 17% contacting sales teams – all sales teams. Each company’s sales rep might only get 3% to 5% of a buyer’s time.
Without a more integrated or fluid approach to contact engagement, the lead scoring, handoff, and nurturing process can get confusing. Outsourcing removes the conflict between marketing and sales since every rep is invested in growth and pleasing the contact rather than their own agenda.
5. Have You Neglected New Tactics Like ABM Due to Lack of Resources?
Account-based marketing is all but mandatory today for B2B companies – from small businesses up to enterprises. However, organizations of all sizes struggle to devote proper resources to planning, strategizing, and carrying out their ABM strategies.
Contact center outsourcing can free up your in-house marketing and sales team for more advanced tactics like ABM. Alternatively, an outsourced team that specializes in ABM can handle that part as well.
6. Do Your Contact Engagement Needs Fluctuate Throughout the Year?
So many industries and sectors still face unpredictable traffic and sales in the wake of the pandemic.
Expanding your in-house team after a successful quarter still means you were short-staffed during a busy quarter and doesn’t guarantee you’ll need those new hires next quarter. Plus, the mere act of expanding your team involves months of job postings, interviews, and onboarding.
Outsourcing your contact center makes scaling up or down seamless. Just dial your needs up or down as they change.
7. Have You Put Off Adopting New Technologies?
Especially where enterprise organizations are concerned, adapting new software or technologies is a massive undertaking. The costs alone are spectacular. Plus, you must consider implementation, training, and the learning curve for your team (along with any associated setbacks).
Many organizations forget that outsourcing their contact center also means outsourcing much of their technology budget as well – amounting to massive savings for most enterprise companies.
8. Are You Concerned About Branding, Culture, or Product Knowledge?
Despite the cost savings, many organizations are still reluctant to outsource their contact engagement because they’re worried about maintaining their brand or culture.
This is a valid concern.
Any reputable outsourcing company should ask questions about your brand’s culture and prioritize understanding your products – they should take an active role in this process.
You might be surprised how easy it is to find an outsourced team enthusiastic about your brand’s culture, mission, and values.
9. Do You Operate Across Time Zones?
Thanks to today’s technology and globalization, many organizations operate internationally. Expanding to a single country in Europe or Asia means operating in a time zone six to 12 hours different from your own.
Even operating across the United States poses a challenge when you factor in Hawaii, Alaska, and the continental east coast. Do you sacrifice certain hours of availability or hire more employees to fill the gap?
Outsourcing even some of your contact centers can ensure you’re available to customers 24/7 without hiring a night staff or opening a new location.
Contact Center Outsourcing Isn’t What It Used to Be
Today’s options for contact center outsourcing are much more specialized, localized, and invested in your company’s day-to-day operations.
Contact management has changed too. Contact engagement – whether leads, customers, or accounts – requires a holistic approach. Genuine leads prefer to research on their own and generally don’t reach out to sales reps until the end of the buying process.
That’s why so many companies consider contact center outsourcing vital to growth and success today – it offers a modern approach to modern challenges.