As an executive at your organization, you have been tasked to analyze whether customer/member interactions (call center services) should continue to be handled in-house or outsourced to a call center BPO (business process organization).
This is truly a million-dollar question. When you consider the costs associated with customer acquisition, churn and attrition, as well as the lifetime value of a customer/member, this decision can be worth millions.
All too often, the call center function ranks too low on the list of priorities. But upon further thought you realize that it is one of the most important areas of your operation. This team sits on the front lines and is the face of your organization as it communicates with your customers every day. Creating the best-in-class customer experience and engagement process is critical. No. It’s existential.
There are some key factors to keep in mind when making the decision to insource, outsource or both.
- Does my organization have the correct call center technology? Is there a willingness to purchase the correct technology?
- Telephony platform
- Call monitoring capabilities
- Help desk support
- PC/headsets, monitors
- Network infrastructure
- Does my organization have adequate capacity and bandwidth to properly set up or expand our in-house call center?
- If working from home, does the organization have the necessary experience to successfully set-up, support, and manage a team of remote agents?
- Do we have enough call center management/supervisor experience to understand how to recruit, hire, train, monitor, and manage call center teams?
- Do we know what KPIs to track?
- Do we know how to coach, train, and address problems?
- Can my organization create the necessary call tracking reports to manage performance?
- Are we willing to set aside enough budget for our call center needs?
- Do we understand the correlation between the number of customers/members vs. number of call center agents needed?
- Do we know the proper ratio of call center agents to supervisor based on the complexity of the business?
- Do we know what certifications the call center should hold to ensure they are secure and compliant?
How do I best vet call centers to ensure that they are:
- Compliant/Secure – What certifications should a call center have in order to support my business?
- Technologically solid
- Network security
- Telephony platform
- Reporting/real time KPI portal
- Experienced – How do I verify that a call center is proficient in programs we need?
- A culture fit with my company values
- Flexible with the ebbs and flows of our business
- Stable or financially robust to ensure they will be with us for the long haul
- Priced properly against other options?
- Within my budget? And how do I make that determination among the call center companies under consideration?
Like most things, there are pros and cons, and risks and rewards of each decision. But this does not have to be agony. The key is to flesh out as much information as possible and organize your findings in such a way to allow you to make the best decision and ensure success and create a great customer experience for your customers.