Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Call Center Services

Advantages and Disadvantages of Outsourcing Call Center Services

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There are advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing call center services. Outsourcing is a business practice used by many companies to reduce costs, improve efficiency or when outsourced correctly both. This is accomplished by using external third party vendors to do tasks normally done by internal staff.

How does a company decide whether call center outsourcing is right for it? Each company should create an advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing list. Put advantages on one side, disadvantages on the other and see what’s best. Sometimes you will find that you should outsource all call center services. Sometimes you will see an advantage in keeping certain processes in house and outsourcing other processes. Each company needs to decide what’s best for it based on their circumstances and business targets.

Here are a few Advantages and Disadvantages of outsourcing call center services. Its important to keep in mind that what is an advantage for one company could be a disadvantage for another:

  • Outsourcing enables companies to focus their attention on their core competencies.
  • Outsourcing saves money. When calculating the cost of management, overheard, technology, training, space, payroll, hiring, firing, taxes incidentals and more, outsourcing to a call center lowers the overall cost of operations.
  • Outsourcing to a call center that specializes in certain tasks allows for operational efficiencies. This will not only save money, but increase customer satisfaction, revenue and the like.
  • Outsourcing call center services to a legitimate company, allows the benefit of using up to date technology. Technology is constantly changing and legitimate outsourcing companies have IT management on staff to keep up with the changes.
  • Since the main resource of outsourcing is people, outsourcing service providers focus their attention on recruiting, training and maintaining good people. This allows companies the flexibility to scale quickly and to focus their energy on other tasks.

It’s important to have a proper strategy in place to minimize disadvantages of outsourcing call center services such as:

  • Sharing company data with an outsource provider
  • Losing control of daily activity that is being outsourced
  • Partnering with a call center that does not adhere to the same standards in terms of quality of service, adherence to policies and other sensitive aspects of the business
  • Being a small fish in a big pond. Since the call center has other customers, there is the need to make sure that the business receives the proper attention from the management and staff to meet and exceed expectations
  • Lack of cultural understanding of the customer and even lack of understanding the culture of the business being represented can alter the image the company is trying to project.

From my experience, the majority of disadvantages are due to poor site selection and lack of planning. Though there are advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing services, the many benefits that outsourcing brings far outweigh its disadvantages.

Once you have decided on outsourcing call center services, it’s important to decide on the correct call center for your company. There is outsourcing onshore, nearshore and offshore. There are advantages and disadvantages to all three such as cost, cultural affinity, ease of understanding and quality of service. Learn more about choosing a call center here: http://guatecall.com/how-to-choose-the-right-outsourced-call-center/

If bilingual skills are important, it would also be a good opportunity to select a location that can handle the language without a need to increase labor wages. An example would be if needing bi-lingual English Spanish call center services, it would be best to outsource nearshore where the Spanish language would be readily available.

My biggest advice when choosing a call center would be to partner with a management team that shares the same vision as you and understands the needs of your company. Together you can create an action plan and constantly fine tune it to meet and exceed the company’s targets. Feel free to reach out to me to speak more in depth about this or other outsourcing topics.

This article is written by Perry Silber. Perry Silber is one of the founders of GuateCall. GuateCall is a nearshore contact center located in Guatemala Central America/ Latin America. Our contact center solutions offers multi-channel bilingual English and Spanish call center services. If you would like to learn more about GuateCall and its services in voice, chat or email in both English and Spanish, please reach out to me at 713-474-2222 or by e-mail perry@guatecall.com .

Call Center Scripting

Call Center Scripting

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A call center “expert” was just explaining to me why call center scripting has no place in the customer service environment. I mentioned that only BAD scripting and POOR delivery of the script has no place in the customer service environment. We agreed to disagree.

Call center scripting is a valuable tool. When used correctly, it helps a call center agent deliver the correct message, consistently and with confidence.

I know that call center scripting gets a bad rap. We’ve all received telemarketing calls from agents that are clearly reading from a script or have called a company for service and had to deal with a scripted customer service agent that could only say canned responses that where totally useless.

Is that a scripting issue? I think it’s most likely a training issue, a management issue or a mix of both.

When actors deliver their “scripts” in the movies, we sit and watch for two hours without once thinking to ourselves, wow, he really followed the script well. This is because good actors are professionals. They hone their skills so that the script sounds natural. As though the words where theirs. Same with a call center agent.

A scripted sounding agent is a product of lack of training, lack of desire or a mix of both. Usually caused by poor management or a client that does not want to pay for training and believes that agents can just be thrown into the deep end and learn to swim as they go.

Call center agents that sound scripted need more training. They need to understand the business they represent, their customers and the call flow. They need to memorize their scripts. They should know that script inside and out. They need to understand where the emphasis needs to be placed and the pace necessary in delivering. They should practice it until people believe it’s their own words coming out of their mouths.

But what about customers questions? What about building empathy? I have scripts for that too haha! I’m just kidding but just partially. I do find that most customers questions tend to repeat themselves over and over. For this I would suggest creating FAQ (frequently Asked Questions) scripts and you guessed it, have the agents know those just as well as the other material.

In coaching customer service, listening skills are key. There are many opportunities within a conversation to build like and trust with the customer. Even though we have a script for agents to follow, if agents are trained well, they can find “bonding opportunities” with their customers. In fact, it should be encouraged that agents find these opportunities within the call if only for a moment.

A script takes agents on the road from start to finish of the call in the most efficient way possible. Learning how to take a quick detour on the trip to bond with the customer is the icing on the cake for great customer experience.

Call center scripting is designed to scale a great message across a large group of agents. When used correctly, it offers consistent and measurable results and most importantly, great customer service!

GuateCall is a nearshore contact center located in Guatemala Central America/ Latin America. Our contact center solutions offers multi-channel bilingual English and Spanish services. If you would like to learn more about GuateCall and its services in voice, chat or email in both English and Spanish, please reach out to me at 713-474-2222 or by e-mail perry@guatecall.com .

Call Center Quotes – 10 Leadership Call Center Quotes – Call Center Motivational Quotes – GuateCall

Call Center Quotes – 10 Leadership Call Center Quotes – Call Center Motivational Quotes – GuateCall

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10 Leadership Call Center Quotes in Our Customer Service Training!

At Guatecall, we pride ourselves on our constant training. We believe very strongly in having consistent leadership training and one of our favorite things is having call center quotes given by our attendees during training.

The great thing about call center quotes during leadership training is it allows for an opportunity to research great leaders, read about them, their books and share with the class a little bit about the person and how they personify a leader. We also share  “call center quotes” from this person and explain how we can use these call center quotes as part of our call center speak on the floor with agents. This gives our agents some positive thinking moments throughout the day.

Our supervisors constantly refer back to training they are given and apply things from it like our call center quotes on the floor. We’ve learned that our call center quotes are a fun way to give some quick motivation to our call center agents. It helps put a smile on a call center agent’s face which gives the extra push to do good on the call.

Here are some call center quotes that we enjoy and we hope you enjoy them too!

1: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”
-John Quincy Adams

2: “Whatever the mind of man can conceive and believe, it can achieve.”
-Napoleon Hill

3: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

4:“The true mark of a leader is the willingness to stick with a bold course of action — an unconventional business strategy, a unique product-development roadmap, a controversial marketing campaign — even as the rest of the world wonders why you’re not marching in step with the status quo. In other words, real leaders are happy to zig while others zag. They understand that in an era of hyper-competition and non-stop disruption, the only way to stand out from the crowd is to stand for something special.”
-Bill Taylor, from article “Do You Pass the Leadership Test?”

5: “The Quality of a leader is reflected in the standards they set for themselves”
-Ray Kroc

6: “The very essence of leadership is that you have to have vision. You can’t blow an uncertain trumpet.”
-Theodore M. Hesburgh

7: “Leadership and learning are indispensable to each other.”
-John F. Kennedy

8: “A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.”
-Jim Rohn

9: “The single biggest way to impact an organization is to focus on leadership development. There is almost no limit to the potential of an organization that recruits good people, raises them up as leaders and continually develops them.”
-John Maxwell

10: “The pessimist complains about the wind. The optimist expects it to change. The leader adjusts the sails.”
-John Maxwell

We hope you enjoyed some of these call center quotes and can utilize these and others in your training. What are some of your favorite call center quotes? Here is to great customer service and experience for your customers!

 

It’s Not The Call Center – It’s The Company

It’s Not The Call Center – It’s The Company

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Companies are spending lots of time and money trying to increase customer engagement and sales.  There are new roles, departments, endless meetings.  There are new tools, new metrics, gamification, QA structures, bonuses, Multi-lingual service. The list goes on and on.

Yet with all of that, customers are generally dissatisfied with the service they receive when reaching out to companies via phone or chat.  More than that, customer service representatives are generally just as excited to give exceptional service as the client is to reach out to the company (a bit of sarcasm).

So why is this the case?  First thing that comes to my mind is Classical conditioning, think Pavlov’s dogs.  If you’re not familiar with this term, look up Pavlov’s dogs on the internet.  It’s a study done in the late 1800s by a Russian physiologist named Ivan Pavlov. (Pause here and read up on it if you don’t already know.) Customers today are conditioned to assume they will receive an uninterested, unknowledgeable, scripted customer service representative on the phone or web-chat and the customer service agent is assuming they will get more complaints, more issues and generally just wants to do good enough to hit his metrics, get good QA scores and make a living.

So what is a business to do?  How do we break this cycle?

From a call center operations perspective it’s nice to think that the reason that people don’t do what you need them to do, or conform to your standards, or make good choices is simply that they don’t know enough.  If the problem is a lack of knowledge than its easy to give more training, give them a couple of tests to make sure they got it and you’re good to go.

What about those dreaded employees who constantly show up a few minutes late to their station to log in? Oh, that’s easy you say. Just let them know that being late isn’t allowed.  Give a DP. Threaten to fire them if this happens. It tends to fix the issue.

The thing is all these and more are symptoms of a bigger issue. Your reps most likely view their job as a temporary necessity.  They want to do what is expected and get paid.  They don’t necessarily care about the same things that the company cares about and the reason they don’t care isn’t that they don’t know what you know or can’t figure out how to show up to work five minutes earlier.

The challenge for a company is to understand their call center IS their touch-point with the customer.  It is the key to customer experience and must be treated, not as a necessary evil that constantly gets budget cuts, but as a marketing opportunity that can be utilized to increase company revenue and customer satisfaction.

A great way to start making a change is to educate our people about our belief systems.  What is it that we care about as a company? What DRIVES us, what’s our PURPOSE  and WHY it matters.  This coupled with great training, good pay, fun atmosphere and a SINCERE caring for our people, not only in words but by action, will help drive a change in the culture of the contact center. Invest in the contact center and watch a truly measurable difference occur.  Not in your KPI’s, but  in your company’s bottom line.

This article was written by Perry Silber, COO of GuateCall. GuateCall is a Near-shore contact center provider of multi-channel bilingual English / Spanish services located In Guatemala, Central America. If you would like to learn more about GuateCall, please reach out to me at 713-474-2222  or by e-mail perry@guatecall.com