Decades ago, outsourcing was considered a dirty word. The distain for robo-calling mixed with ineffective vendor choices made outsourced calls a major point of friction for customers. Today, outsourcing looks much different. The industry is led by customer-focused vendors concentrating on driving quality to increase lifetime value and taking proactive measures to prevent customer strife.
Still, myths about outsourcing persist. Whether you need help answering your inbound customer support calls or outbound calls to collect past due accounts, outsourcing isn’t as scary or difficult as you might think. Check out these common outsourcing myths and why you shouldn’t believe them.
- Strangers can’t be trusted with my customers
A solid training program can create a seamless, frictionless experience for customers. Quality programs include instruction on your company’s culture, products/services, and CRM. There should also be investments from the vendor in hiring subject matter experts that truly understand your industry and correct terminology. The goal is to bridge the gaps between your two companies and create a customized solution that leverages the vendor’s outsourcing experience while addressing your business and retention challenges.
- Outsourcing means offshoring
Often, the terms “outsourcing” and “offshoring” are used interchangeably, but they’re not the same thing. Outsourcing simply means turning to a third-party to assist with a service. Offshoring is when you outsource to a vendor outside of your country, particularly if you don’t share a border with that country. Offshoring is just one form of outsourcing, and U.S. based-only vendors are available.
- It’s too expensive
Cost is a main reason why companies look to outsource. Floor space. Recruiting and hiring. Keeping up with technology. Unpredictable call volumes. Keeping your inbound and outbound calling programs strictly internal gets pricey. Outsourcing vendors have all of this at the ready and can scale their staff and technologies with ease and minimal cost. With flexible per call or per agent pricing, your costs are far more predictable and a fraction of what you’d pay to do it all yourself.
- My data isn’t secure with another company
Comprehensive data security is an expensive infrastructure investment to take on yourself, and it’s even harder to do well and manage in the long-term. Because many outsourcing vendors service a variety of clients in different industries, they often have heightened protocols to meet the standards of those varied industries. These enhanced settings, protocols, and technology are often leveraged by other clients like you, bolstering protection without incurring all the costs yourself. Plus, there are many means through which you can verify a vendor’s security. Site visits, testing, and reviewing certifications are just a few.
- I’ll lose control of my accounts
Any reputable vendor understands the value of transparency. They understand that everything they do and say reflects on your company and your brand. Often, they can work directly from your system, giving you full access to what they’re doing and when. Their activities should be followed up with full reports outlining successes and areas for improvement. Together, you and the vendor can devise agreeable solutions to address the issues.
- Outsourcing means contributing to unemployment
That’s only true is you’re not using U.S. based outsourcing and if you plan to abandon your internal call centers completely. Though, many companies use outsourcing to supplement their existing staff. Plus, revenue increases associated with outsourcing outcomes (like greater customer satisfaction and loyalty, for instance) are usually reinvested back into the company leading to more growth and job opportunities.
- Only big companies outsource
The right partner can scale staffing and program needs to fit your company, size, budget, and call volume. By outsourcing, small companies can afford to stay competitive without incurring the costs and duties of overseeing an entire additional department. Any size company can use outsourcing to bring in subject matter experts to fill service gaps. New companies turn to outsourcing when they’re not sure what support their customers need or how to deliver it properly.
At the end of the day, all these outsourcing myths really boil down to are two key thoughts. First, outsourcing, like anything, is the product of the effort you put into it. If companies invest a little extra care and time upfront to find the right vendor for their business and customer needs, that effort will be rewarded later.
Second, companies need to oversee outsourcing vendors like they would any partner. The goal is not to suffocate vendors and prevent autonomy, but rather to ensure alignment and calibrate if, and when, necessary.