In-House vs. Outsourced Call Centers: What to Choose

January 21, 2016
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Business has always been about interaction. The better you are at engaging with your clientele the more money you are going to earn. It’s a pretty straightforward rule. In today’s world of fast-paced business, engagement is done via many channels; some prefer the old school buying from the shop, some like purchasing things off the Internet while some call the vendors to buy what they want.

Business has always been about interaction. The better you are at engaging with your clientele the more money you are going to earn. It’s a pretty straightforward rule. In today’s world of fast-paced business, engagement is done via many channels; some prefer the old school buying from the shop, some like purchasing things off the Internet while some call the vendors to buy what they want. Even after the sale has been made there is still customer interaction that supposed to be maintained to make sure that your customer keeps being satisfied with the purchase even after he has paid the bills.

Call centers handle the interactions between a company and its clients via a phone line. Just like the businesses they cater to, call centers come in all shapes and sizes: big and small. It is up to the organization to decide what kind of call center operations it needs and to choose an establishment that best suits it.

While in the past when digital technology was still in its infancy, call centers were pretty simple. Somebody called your company and an agent picked up the call. If all the agents were busy, the caller would have had to wait. However, that is no longer the case. With computers now an essential part of our day to day lives, call centers can do a lot more.

The Internet has also provided the option to outsource the call center services. This frees the company from managing an in-house call center staff and focus on other parts of the organization. Outsourced call center service providers are becoming really popular these days. Still it’s not a decision that can be taken lightly. While these outsourced centers are more affordable, they often end up being negligent in quality control so many companies are staunch believers in having on-site call center staff even if it becomes cost ineffective, not willing to risk their brand’s reputation.

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However, choosing whether to opt for outsourced or in-house call centers is a decision that is based entirely on your organization, the clientele it is catering to and the business goals you want to achieve.

Here we discuss the key deciding factors of both of the call center types: Outsourced and In-house as well as the pros and cons of each so that you can make an informed decision about what kind of service will best suit your company.

In-House Call Center

An In-house call center is a tried, tested and approved of maintaining an efficient communication channel with the customers. It involves having a dedicated team of calling agents that receive or make calls for the company to facilitate interaction with existing or potential clients.

Call centers are directly responsible for customer loyalty, so having an In-house contact center might be a better option for many companies especially those with complex internal workings. There are quite a few advantages of In-house call centers:

  1. Better communication: In-house agents can provide a better communication as they are better connected to the core team of the organization. Any problems or queries outside of their normal workings can be forwarded to the staff responsible for it in a much faster and efficient manner. This impacts the customer experience in a highly positive way.
  2. Integration of call centers with organization’s resources: Having the calling staff working from the office premises promotes better integration of resources. This way agents can directly access features or data that is needed to make the customer’s interaction smooth and productive.
  3. Important insights from the customer interaction: Interacting with the customers is the best way of gaining insights into both the positive and negative parts of the company. This helps in making the business plans and strategies a much more customer-centric one.

These advantages are highly beneficial to any company that wants to succeed in today’s competitive market. However, success is achieved by many factors and a major role is played by proper allocation of budget. Housing your calling staff on premises has a few negative aspects as well which are as followed:

  • Requires a much higher budget
  • Training of employees
  • Infrastructure issues

Outsourced Call Centers

Outsourcing has become a market trend these days. Getting affordable alternatives to their needs can help businesses allocate their operational budget in an efficient and productive manner. The money that they would be spending in running a successful contact center can be employed in other fields like advertising and R&D.

Outsourcing your call center needs to a 3rd party service provider has got its own advantages as well:

  1. Cost and time saving in hiring and training of staff: Outsourced contact centers take care of all the staff related issues and can help your company start its operations in no time.
  2. No need to invest in high-end infrastructure and technology: If you opt to choose a 3rd party service provider you are free from the added cost of buying and maintaining the infrastructure. This frees your budget for being invested in other parts of the business.
  3. Well-trained workforce: Unlike your own business which has many things that need attention, 3rd party call centers have only one job. Dealing with clients over the phone. Therefore, the staff that is deployed to handle all the calls for you consists of highly trained professionals capable of providing excellent interactions with the customer.

Again outsourcing too has it demerits which are listed as followed:

  • Risk to brand integrity
  • No loyalty of the staff towards your company
  • The communication gap between the technical and calling teams
  • Lack of a personal touch in the customer-agent interactions

In a Nutshell

Choosing between either of the two services is not an easy decision and totally depends on the needs and the financial constraints of each individual company. What works for one company may not work for another. Have a detailed discussion with your marketing team, get to know about your target clientele and understand your budget limits. An efficient call center can make or break a business so make sure that the option you are choosing is the one that is best for you.