University call centers are becoming an essential part of campus life as they help students and their families navigate the complicated process of enrolling, attending, and paying for college when they can’t make contact in person. As more schools expand into online education and the number of non-traditional students increase, reliance on campus call centers also increases, making cost control even more important. Utilizing call center outsourcing for your campus call center needs is a simple solution with fewer headaches and several cost-saving benefits. Here’s six of them:
Increased flexibility and scalability
With outsourcing, there’s less need to worry about hiring seasonal staff or losing money when call volume reality doesn’t match up with your forecasting. Outsourcing vendors can ramp up or wind down staffing quickly to manage volume fluctuations more efficiently. They can also provide the extra support to run major outbound communication campaigns.
This increased flexibility isn’t just seen in staffing numbers. These vendors can often offer flexible rates because they’re able to spread out costs for facilities, staff, and equipment across multiple clients. With per-call pricing, for example, you only pay for active talk time versus a full shift (plus benefits and overhead) for your own employee.
Decrease delinquencies with proactive outreach
Outsourcing your call center not only lightens your daily workload, but it also provides extra opportunities for special projects, particularly those aimed at reducing delinquencies down the line. For example, outsourcers can leverage data platforms to help you identify students who are more at-risk for missing payments or paperwork deadlines and then make outbound calls to those individuals ahead of potential issues.
Streamline service and increase first-call resolutions
Most call center complaints stem from long waits and holds or receiving inaccurate information. All three often result in the student or their family calling in multiple times. That’s not seamless or hassle-free. Ensuring that you have the right number of agents on-hand is important here, but training also plays a crucial role. A good training program doesn’t just focus on accuracy of information, but on other critical factors like consistency in information delivery and ease of access, as well as other key items like demeanor, financial counseling, and active listening. All of these help create positive experiences for callers while resolving issues quickly and with confidence.
Robust data collection and analysis
Many in-house call centers simply don’t have the time to evaluate big data, but it is a crucial step to ensuring your call center remains cost-effective by being as helpful and responsive as possible. A good outsourcing vendor shouldn’t just answer calls for you. It should act as a continuous improvement partner and uncover your call centers’ strengths and weaknesses. They have the technology and analysis platforms already available to unlock powerful insights for improving processes, retooling training, and improving the overall caller experience.
This extends to your quality control and monitoring programs, as well. Outsourcing vendors have sophisticated ways to capture compliance and quality control data to help identify topics for additional training to boost call center performance and satisfaction.
Many institutions take on the overwhelming task of managing a call center themselves because they want to create a customized call center experience for their students. Though, many schools who take this route risk overspending as they piece-meal their own call center solution together. It’s not just the costs of owning the technology or overhead (as we discussed in #1). Experience and an efficient implementation timeline can also boost cost savings.
Detailed configurations and complex implementations that come with onboarding call center and workforce technology can bog down your IT teams and take extra time to complete. For outsourcers, these processes are routine, allowing them to establish services on your behalf much faster. They can also help you steer clear of expensive add-ons that sound nice in theory but that you’re unlikely to use in practice.
Have call center management experts in your corner
Similar to #5, call center management is a skill in its own right. While you and you staff are undoubtedly subject matter experts when it comes to your students or campus policies, outsourcers understand how to build effective and successful call centers. They know how to recruit, hire, and train the best people for your call center environment. They’re experts in root cause analysis and linking together insights that most would probably not even pay attention to. They know which technologies or processes to onboard to improve particular service and satisfaction benchmarks, thereby wasting less time with trial and error testing. All of these skills provide short- and long-term benefits for your campus call center.
Outsourcing your campus call center can be a scary and overwhelming proposition. Whether you need to supplement your existing staff or need help managing your call center completely, outsourcing can help reduce costs and improve performance. Taking the steps to find an outsourcing vendor that fits your needs and will act as a partner you can lean on is key for getting the most return from your call center investment.
Not sure how to pick the right outsourcing partner? Check out our Campus Call Center Outsourcing eBook to get started.