We examine four key benefits that companies can obtain from contact center outsourcing and then offer recommendations for aligning to an outsourcing model. The four benefits include:
- Ability to leverage state-of-the-art technology: One of the advantages of engaging with an outsourcing partner is the ability to leverage technology and experience across multiple customer channels. Customer experience partner organizations typically utilize state-of-the-art technology that their clients can opt to use in a hosted or semi-hosted environment. Having the necessary technology in place reduces the requirement for high capital investment entry costs and ongoing maintenance and support costs.
- Ability to scale: If a company is looking to ramp up its resources in a particular channel it is adding for support, an outsourcer has a deep bench that can help the company accelerate its rollout by leveraging the experience gained from multiple client implementations.
- The option to draw from rich resources: Companies can draw on a rich pool of resources from an outsourcing partner with specific skill sets to address channel, product, or customer communications-related requirements. The right outsourcing partner can also provide systematic recruitment processes and training capabilities that can enable an organization to scale faster and more effectively and with better quality than most companies are able to do on their own. Having access to high-quality and scalable resources can enable companies to engage in deeper and more valuable customer interactions. Companies with access to a deep pool of skill sets can also extend support boundaries and hours of operation for improved customer satisfaction. They can also reduce costs through the improved efficiencies and effectiveness gained from high-quality staff.
- Ability to leverage best practices: Outsourcing partners can also bring a wealth of knowledge and fresh insights into a client relationship that can be used to optimize operations and improve the customer experience and other key performance indicators. These ideas can be used to transform contact center operations (e.g., best practices for operating an omnichannel contact center) into customer experience centers. Utilizing outsourcing partners ensures that “what looks good” isn’t limited to your immediate competition, but extends to understanding “what looks great” from a customer perspective regardless of the product or service.
Aligning to an outsourcing model
Contact center outsourcing creates myriad benefits as noted, but to fully obtain them, it’s critical for the outsourcing partner to work closely with the client to onboard associates and properly indoctrinate them into the client’s culture. This includes training associates to fully understand the client’s products and their preferred language so that the associates are effectively acting as an extension of the client’s organization and representing the brand properly. Ideally, the front-line staff should feel and act like they’re an employee of the client.
Despite outsourcing all or parts of their contact center operations, organizational leaders are still accountable to their customers. As such, it’s critical for customer experience leaders and/or business unit leads to remain involved in the operations whether through regular communications with the staff or ongoing participation in customer experience initiatives.
Finally, outsourcing models should be based on results and focused on the outcomes that are most important to your organization. Choosing a proven partner ensures that you can count on them to manage the inputs and day-to-day details to drive the key outcomes that you’re looking for.
These outcomes can include customer satisfaction, changes in revenue/profit, first contact resolution rates, changes in Net Promoter Score™, etc. Utilizing a partner that specializes in customer experience management also allows companies the ability to focus on their core services or functions (e.g., product development, service provision, R&D, etc.).
However, to truly leverage the capabilities afforded from outsourcing, a partner should be encouraged and incentivized to achieve the desired key business outcomes. When that happens, both organizations benefit and succeed.
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