This is a question that often comes up when businesses are trying to streamline operations, cut cost or the business or solo business owner are within industries that may outsource their calls to overseas call centers. Many situations are different, but most of the same foundations go into decision making on whether doing this will work for you.
Here are some questions to ask:
Will outsourcing my inbound or outbound calls free up more time?
What’s my time worth and will paying for a service be less than what my time is worth?
Am I missing calls that could lead to closing more sales?
Am I getting back to prospects quickly?
Will outsourcing inbound or outbound calls make me more productive and lead to more sales?
Outsourcing inbound or outbound calls can work depending on what industry you work in. If inbound calls typically are ones that are customer service related or taking an order, setting an appointment, taking a message or responding to offers sent via email/direct response mailings, or TV ads, then inbound call center outsourcing could be an option. One challenge is to find a call center that has sales or customer service reps with good English, and who can close sales, versus order takers. If a call comes to the call center and the rep has a heavy accent that will be a problem. The caller will get upset because they can’t understand the rep. But for easy tasks like those mentioned above, an overseas inbound call center could help and be cost effective.
Outsourcing outbound calls on the other hand can get more complicated.
When calling prospects on the business to business side or business to consumer side, and the person calling is from overseas with a obvious accent, many people do get upset and hang up. As they know the call is coming from overseas. Additionally, call centers that use certain dialers, will have less success. If you have gotten the “car warranty” calls from India, you often notice there’s a delay for the agent to get on the call. That delay is due to the software making sure a live body (you) has gotten connected, then they patch you to the agent. Some call center dialer options are below and should be considered when looking at outbound call centers overseas. When we use dialers in our organization, we will use a progressive dialer that dials one number at a time, while our sales reps are on the phone. It’s like you making a manual call on your phone to a friend. But what the progressive dialer does is weed out the disconnected numbers and busy signals allowing us to get more calls logged and more conversations.
The progressive dialers dial the next number on the contact list automatically and immediately after the agent wraps up a call. They initiate outbound calls as soon as the agent is available to handle the next call.
Modern call centers use progressive dialers to reduce wait time between calls. The progressive dialers even make agents more productive and enable them to handle more outgoing calls in a short amount of time.
The progressive dialers further make agents respond to only live calls. The agents even have the option to review customer information as the progressive dialer keeps dialing telephone numbers sequentially. Many call centers these days use progressive dialers to make agents handle outbound calls which are very similar in nature efficiently.
The preview dialers deliver contact records to outbound agents individually and automatically. But they allow the agent to review the contact details before calling a customer or prospect.
The on-time access to customer information makes it easier for the agents to personalize customer interactions and keep customers engaged. Also, the preview dialers dial telephone numbers automatically based on specific outbound marketing campaign setting.
The agents even have the option to skip specific telephone numbers on the list. Many call centers leverage preview dialers to deal with complex sales. As the agents can access the updated customer information, it becomes easier for them to conduct the research required to engage the leads and close complex sales deals. However, the call centers cannot use preview dialers to make agents initiate more outbound calls.
Unlike preview and progressive dialers, predictive dialers use dialing algorithm to decide when an agent will be available to handle the next outgoing call. They even dial telephone numbers automatically and sequentially based on the prediction.
Also, they have the capability to detect busy signals, answering machines, voicemails, and disconnected calls. The call centers these days leverage predictive dialers to improve agent productivity and streamline outbound campaign management. The cloud-hosted predictive dialers can be integrated seamlessly with ERP and CRM systems. They even help managers to assess call quality by monitoring live calls. But the call centers cannot leverage predictive dialers fully without deploying adequate outbound agents.
If no agent is available to handle the answered call, the call abandonment rate will increase (this is the silence you hear when a robo call hits you) significantly. At present, predictive dialers are being used widely by outbound call centers.
Unlike predictive dialers, power dialer or rapid dialers do not predict when an agent will be available to handle the next outbound call. They dial the next telephone number on the list automatically and instantly after the agent wraps up the previous call.
These automated dialers have the capability to detect busy, disconnected, and unattended number. When the power dialer detects a live call, it connects the customer or lead to a live agent automatically and instantly.
Generally, outsourcing you inbound and outbound calls can work, just as long as your business would benefit from it when weighing the challenges of having staff overseas. You will need to train them, give them very clear guidelines and work flows, and the time zone difference will need to be factored in for you when having update calls with your overseas vendor. You also give up some element of control, but also gain slower response times to fixing issues in a timely manner given the time zone differences.
Want to discuss your options? Give us a call.