Outsourcing - Call Centers

Outsourcing - Call Centers

Call centers serve and extremely important purpose for businesses.  The ultimate goal of the call center is to satisfy the customer through closing sales.  Depending on the type of product or service that the call center providing, the steps in covered by the call center can include:

  • Gathering lead information for later follow up or to establish mailing lists
  • Quoting prices and delivery services on products offered
  • Scheduling service visits or resource allocations if needed
  • Answering sales and/or technical questions regarding products or services that are offered
  • Product or service availability and inventory levels based on the customer’s location and delivery requirements
  • Up-selling or cross-selling additional products and services if applicable or available
  • Special offers or sale item communications, or complimentary subscriptions and offers relating to the products or services
  • Escalating calls to upper management or technical support when necessary or if requested
  • Fielding customer complaints or issues then documenting resolutions when possible
  • Order tracking and lost order research work
  • Survey processing
  • Documenting resolutions or issues discovered during calls
  • Operating online chat features on business websites
  • Referencing web sites or downloadable documents and other data files if needed

There are a variety of businesses that use call centers, and at least one or more of the above tasks are performed.  The challenge for some businesses is, can the call center be outsourced and still provide the same level of service or better than an internal call center?

The good news is, outsourced call centers have come a long way in recent years, and today these call centers can provide extremely good customer service for almost any type of business.  Outsourced call centers can be less expensive, when compared to internal staffing, benefits, office space and other costs.  Businesses can also offer 365 day/year services at round the clock hours with an outsourced call center, if desired.  And as an added benefit, outsourced call centers can also provide comprehensive reporting and call tracking to give businesses detailed information about customer habits and product or service issues.  This reporting information could be utilized in a variety of ways including inventory forecasting, geographic deployment of resources, and potential new product introductions and enhancements.

Businesses should negotiate with their call center provider to establish a service level agreement to insure continued customer service and to meet the business and customer expectations.  In the agreement consider time zones, connectivity to software and servers, and language barriers that could inhibit service levels.

Outsourced call centers have become a serious consideration for many businesses as they reach office space capacity or need to leverage their internal resources for other tasks.  With the right service agreements, outsourced call centers can be an extension of your company that can continue to provide superb customer service at levels that are equal to or better than your internal operations could provide.

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David Peterson

David G. Peterson is a business consultant and author of Handling the Remedy. He has extensive international experience managing projects and operations for large financial institutions. He has worked in North America, Europe, Middle East and Asia skillfully managing business and technical requirements, core systems enhancement and support, merger and acquisition integration's, business process reengineering, off-shoring and outsourcing.