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Call Center Outsourcing

Find out how call center outsourcing works.

Workers at a call center outsourcing firm answer questions. [©Jupiter Images, 2009]
©Jupiter Images, 2009
Workers at a call center outsourcing firm answer questions.

Call Center Outsourcing

Businesses of all sizes may opt for a streamlined approach to customer service and technical support by using call center outsourcing companies. These call centers are centralized locations that employ personnel who handle customer phone calls relating to things like technical support or product information. With call centers located both within the United States and in other countries, businesses have a multitude of options when considering outsourcing a call center. According to the U.S. Commercial Service, the call center outsourcing industry is one of the largest sectors in the Philippines.

Choosing to Outsource Call Centers

Although most businesses can utilize call center outsourcing, it is usually the small to mid-sized businesses that take advantage of this service. Larger companies generally have the time, money and resources to implement their own call centers on site. However, smaller companies generally do not want constant telephone chatter to interfere with the business environment. Therefore, they often opt for call centers to be located elsewhere. This lower-cost option allows businesses to focus on selling their goods and services, while utilizing the help of a third party to support customers with technological queries.

When most people think of outsourcing call centers, they tend to think of India. According to BusinessWeek, call centers represented 85 percent of the total internal business for India in 2000; however, this sector represented only 35 percent by 2006. In recent years, the Philippines, islands of the Caribbean and Mexico have offered cheaper call center alternatives for American businesses. Since labor tends to cost less outside of the United States, third-party call centers located in other countries are often used, a trend that will most likely continue in the future.

Benefits of Outsourcing

Operating a call center is a costly venture for a business of any size. When first opening a call center, the business requires office space, telecommunications equipment and IT software plus plenty of knowledgeable employees. These employees need special skills to effectively communicate with customers and to operate rather complex technologies. By outsourcing call centers, businesses gain access to specially trained employees skilled in call center operations. There is no additional training needed; nor is there a need to hire additional workers at the business location. Also, these state-of-the-art outsourced call centers are equipped with high-end communication technology, allowing them to make and receive more phone calls than a traditional business-run customer service center.

Outsourcing call centers allows hiring businesses to focus all their resources on company growth. By paying another company to take care of the dirty work, businesses can concentrate on ways to boost revenue and increase profits.

Concerns About Call Center Outsourcing

One of the major concerns when outsourcing call centers is the security of private business information. Using a third-party call center provides this group of people access to highly sensitive customer information, as they need this data to answer questions correctly and effectively. Although sensitive information can be protected through password encryption, misuse by the call centers employees is always a possibility. However, most outsourcing companies issue a verbal or written agreement that can address this concern. If the outsourced call center is located in another country, it is also difficult for the hiring company to physically check up on personnel for quality control. For these reasons, choosing to outsource a call center necessitates a certain level of trust.

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