Published Thursday 16th May 2019

Many major businesses have used third-party call centres over the last few years for certain aspects of their external communications – such as marketing or customer queries. However, there have been varying levels of success for different companies across a range of industries. It’s important to consider all the potential positives and negatives before implementing a change in your system. Here, we take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages that should be considered.

The Advantages of Outsourcing Call Centres

Many major businesses in the UK already use a third-party organisation for part or all of their call centre responsibilities. In the majority of cases, the primary reason for outsourcing such tasks is the cost savings incurred. Often, outsourcing such tasks costs significantly less than doing them in-house. The cost of employing people to do these roles would often outweigh the cost of outsourcing on its own. However, once the costs of infrastructure, technology and training are factored in, running an effective operation can become an expensive venture.

Therefore, outsourcing can release more financial capital for businesses. However, outsourcing does not only save on money but also time. By passing these responsibilities to a trusted third party, employees that may have had to support an in-house call centre will be freed to focus on more essential duties. This extra time and money can allow businesses to concentrate further on corporate growth.

Unfortunately, many of us have had bad experiences with call centres which can put some businesses off from outsourcing. However, it is worth noting the great strides that have been made over recent years, particularly in terms of the technology now available to call centres. Multi-channel communications allow customers and callers to interact across social media, email and via telephone seamlessly, leading to substantial improvements in customer service. Meanwhile, many call centres now use ingrained analytics systems to measure performance further. Technology is enabling call centre services to deliver better service with measurable results, making the idea more appealing to more businesses.

The Disadvantages of Call Centre Outsourcing

It is true that call centres are now able to offer more consistent customer service thanks to advancements in technology. However, there is no denying that outsourcing communications will lose some of the business’ personality. In some situations, this may be an acceptable trade-off; for example, a company may wish to outsource the marketing of new products or services to previous customers. However, when dealing with scenarios such as customer complaints or potential sales, businesses may wish to talk personally to their clients.

Some companies may wish to have total control over how they communicate with their customers, something that is often lost through outsourcing. Having an in-house call centre provides more flexibility regarding how customers are interacted to daily, allowing businesses to react to changes more effectively.

For some companies, there are also issues regarding security when outsourcing internal tasks to a third-party. For an outsourced call centre to perform effectively on a business’s behalf, they will often need access to potentially sensitive information. This data could include details about customers or confidential information regarding the internal behaviours of the business. Depending on the nature of the information shared, substantial time and effort may be required to ensure its confidentiality between the two parties, which can reduce the cost-effectiveness of the operation.

Of course, these points all assume that the third-party call centre can provide a perfect service which, in the real world, is often not the case. Modern customers are knowledgeable when it comes to the use of external call centres, and some will dislike businesses that do not make the time to communicate themselves. Companies should understand their customers and how they are likely to respond to specific procedures or risk a decrease in customer satisfaction that could impact profitability.

Achieve Cost Savings Through Outsourcing

Whether using an outsourced call centre service will work for your business depends on a lot of factors. These factors include the procedures currently in place, the potential for savings and potential effects on customer satisfaction from such a move. Here at ERA, we are experts at helping businesses achieve corporate cost savings in a range of areas. Our industry specialists will work with your business long-term, analysing your internal strategies to help refine your procurement strategies.

Many businesses can reduce their expenses through business process outsourcing. So, if you are interested in seeing what capital we could unlock in your business, speak to our knowledgeable team today.