Long-term sales, customer retention, and ultimately, profitability, hinge on customer experience. Positive customer experiences keep customers loyal to your brand, boosting sales revenues by 2-7% and profitability by 1-2%. Negative customer experiences have the opposite effect, curtailing sales and leading to a flurry of social media complaints.
Call centers are often at the heart of the customer experience. Many customer queries and complaints, as well as new sales leads and market research, still come through a traditional contact centre rather than web chats or e-mail. How can businesses deliver a first-class customer experience if they don’t have the resources to support a dedicated call centre?
Enter the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) call centre. Establishing a relationship with a BPO call center can open up access to more experienced staff with the skills and tools required to meet your customers’ expectations. Call centre quality assurance software, a critical aspect of BPO, gives way to better time management and in turn, happier customers.
What is BPO?
BPO is where a business contracts a third-party vendor or service provider to operate certain processes or functions on its behalf. It’s not unique to call centres. Often you’ll see departments such as IT support, finance, or even internal audit, partially or fully outsourced to firms with the necessary expertise.
In a BPO call center, you contract a vendor to provide experienced agents to handle incoming or outgoing calls, or both, on your behalf. Though the terms of the contract may vary, you’ll retain overall responsibility, particularly for any data passing through.
What Types of Providers Are There?
The technology, tools, and exact setups can vary across providers. Some BPO call centres operate virtually, domestically or overseas. Providers may offer a variety of channels such as video or web chat. Essentially, they handle two core functions:
- Inbound calls
- Outbound calls
Some businesses experience high volumes of inbound calls from their existing customer base. Consumers may be ringing up to place an order, make an appointment, or resolve a technical issue – all of which can be handled by a BPO contact centre.
Service centres make it their business to get up-to-speed quickly and efficiently, which means that from the customers’ perspective, you and the BPO call centre are one and the same.
Outbound calling, or cold calling, remains a key technique for business development. Success pivots on call volumes, but some businesses do not have the resources to dedicate to outbound calls.
BPO call centres train individuals in persuasion skills. As they’re dedicated to this line of work, they can be more effective in turning leads into actual sales at scale.
What Can BPO Call Centers Do?
Under your direction, outsourced contact centres can take on a host of different activities often at a fraction of the cost than if you were to host the function in-house.
Sales and Telemarketing
Often scripted, telemarketing and telesales are two operations that can easily transition to an outsourced call centre.
In telemarketing, agents usually call prospective customers to raise awareness of your offering. With their powers of persuasion and quick thinking, dedicated telemarketing agents can help to generate leads more effectively than generalist customer service teams. They then hand over hot leads to the sales team.
Telesales differs from telemarketing in that agents call prospects to encourage them to buy a product or service and close the deal over the phone. Specialised outsourcing providers will have access to CRM and sales platforms that your company may not have, nor want to invest time or money into.
Though online and mobile orders are more popular than ever, telephone ordering is still commonplace, especially as an accessible alternative.
BPO call centers can be contracted to undertake the full end-to-end process, from inputting customer data and creating the order to taking payment and initiating order fulfilment, as well as well as a comprehensive automated call centre compliance checks . Outsourcing order processing can be advantageous. Not only may a designated call centre be better equipped to handle volumes, but your resources can be released for other business activities, such as marketing.
Customer service covers a wide spectrum of activities, from tech support to dealing with complaints. It’s often a customer’s first human touchpoint after purchasing your product, so it’s crucial to make a good first impression.
Call volumes can make it challenging for companies, particularly smaller companies, to deliver consistent customer service. Through the use of scripts and knowledge bases, BPO call centre agents can be trained to resolve issues exactly as you would in-house.
Ultimately, however you choose to engage a BPO call center, the outcome should be a great customer experience – the customer shouldn’t be able to tell whether they’re dealing with your company directly or with a third party.
With Evaluagent, you will be able to evaluate all conversations across channels to coach, train and increase your call center agents’ motivation to provide consistently outstanding experiences. Book a call with us to discover the difference we can make with a free 14-day trial.