Why would a large company with an in-house call center outsource some of its customer communications when they have the resources and access to excellent talent? In what use cases would they trust their brand and customer satisfaction to a third-party contact center when they already have one? Enterprise business operators need to consider these questions because, in many cases, the reward for partnering with an external call center outweighs the risks. With the right partner, many large businesses scale exponentially while being capable of handling that high level of growth. In this article, we’re going to shed light on these questions and share some of the benefits of partnering with an external call center.
Large company decision-makers often realize that in order to excel and get ahead of the competition, it can be beneficial to set up Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) for various non-primary functions of the business, like human resources (HR), accounting, payroll, customer service and even sales.
Subcontracting to a third-party answering service can be trickier than other BPO categories though because sales and customer communication connect directly with company growth and customer experience. For this reason, it’s important to be highly selective when choosing a partner. Large businesses are extremely complex and the partner they choose needs to understand the nuances within their operations, meet certain expectations and act as a seamless extension of the existing teams. Some of the benefits of setting up a successful BPO partnership include:
- Limiting the need for in-house services such as onboarding, training and hiring
- Reducing the amount of physical space a company needs to operate
- Taking advantage of the lower costs of labor in outsourced markets
- Leveraging the expertise of a third party who specializes in their field
Beyond these direct cost benefits, BPOs help businesses indirectly as well. They free up internal resources to focus on core competencies and business strategies, allowing companies to improve employee satisfaction along with the quality, speed and efficiency of their products and services, giving them a competitive advantage.
Think of it as an extension, not an outsource.
Customers need an extension of their customer service and sales team, rather than an outsource. Outsourcing implies that an external entity remains on the outside — i.e. you do your thing, and we’ll do ours, separately — whereas extending implies an internal, collaborative relationship and an active partnership.
One of Slingshot’s biggest advantages is that our industry-expert agents can cover all customer communications and resolve their issues after-hours and on weekends so that you never miss a single lead. But we realize, however, that our larger enterprise clients need more than just that. They need us to participate in a deeper and more connected way. Not only do they need agents to pick up their overflow, but they also need to work together actively and in conjunction with their in-house team to ensure that we are an extension of their sales team.
Truly being an extension of a company’s sales team doesn’t just mean picking up their calls and using a call script; it means participation in their weekly sales meetings, understanding the ins and outs of the organization, sharing in the performance of each group and more. To be a true extension of a team, you need to take the time to understand the intimate details of each company and the customers they serve.
Scale, but on your desired time.
The busy season is a precious opportunity to scale, but there’s no doubt that companies often struggle with the balance of having enough support to make this time as profitable as possible. Imagine hiring one group of already-trained agents to take overflow calls, rather than training 100 new temporary (and salaried) employees. Larger businesses with in-house call centers use third-party contact centers as extensions of their sales team flexibly, when they need, adding or shaving off minutes as they’d like. It’s the ultimate way to save time and money, especially considering the significant overhead costs of recruiting, training and setting up equipment and software tools for just one additional call center employee. Working with Slingshot can be the key to maximizing your business during peak season.
Seconds on customer phone calls can add up — not just in time, but in money and resources. When you can have more customer service representatives (CSRs) taking more customer concerns and sales calls, recording all of their details in the user-friendly dashboard and evaluating agent performance on a regular basis — every second of talk time matters to your bottom line. You need a partner who has the sophisticated infrastructure to measure each metric accurately and reliably.
Larger companies often have goals of acquiring other businesses and it’s important that your contact center has the ability to flex and change as your business needs and goals change. You need a partner who understands how acquisitions work and helps service the additional volume instantly, without a drop in service or quality assurance (QA), all while supporting your growth, protecting service levels and maintaining your customer satisfaction.
Reporting, customization and flexibility — the secret sauce.
Okay, the secret’s out — we’re ready to get into the nitty-gritty of why a company with an existing call center would extend some of its operations. Third-party answering services like Slingshot have the expertise and infrastructure to create winning customer service strategies, but they can also follow the direction, expertise and focus points of the company they are working with to help reach their goals. Slingshot is a dynamic platform with advanced routing capabilities to work with clients in a myriad of ways. A client may want Slingshot to handle only customer calls or customer cancellations, or perhaps just new sales, step up after the queue is too long, or even a specific outbound campaign.
A successful workforce management relationship is key. In order to execute this, both the internal and external call centers need:
- The ability to anticipate and project future needs
- To protect a high-quality service level
- Excellent communication and synergy
- Serious willingness to fine-tune operations
At Slingshot, we treat each of our partnerships with our enterprise clients as extremely unique, each with its own customized QA forms, customer surveys, trained agents and representatives who nurture this living and breathing relationship. One reason Slingshot is not your average answering service: our specialty-trained agents can work within your CRM in much the same way that your internal agents can.
Our development team is ready and able to create initiatives that will drive success in your business. We recognize that business is constantly evolving, and we’re flexible to adjust and make any necessary changes right along with it. The bottom line is that you say jump, and we say how high.
It’s important to note that our agents are evaluated the same way as in-house agents. This helps us get a consistent gauge on quality levels on both our agents and yours. Slingshot has robust reporting that is capable of recording any metric you would like to monitor or assess. From cost per call, to calls handled, to call arrival rate, to peak hour traffic, to average call length, to more granular metrics like the age of the query, we have you covered. Many of our clients appreciate these metrics because they wouldn’t typically have access to them. When evaluated properly, they can indicate which areas need improvement in order to become more profitable.
Let’s wrap it up.
To get back to our original questions: Why would an enterprise company with an in-house call center outsource some of their customer communications when they have the resources and access to excellent talent? And why would they risk their reputation and customer satisfaction by hiring a third-party answering service to cover some of their sales and customer service operations?
While these concerns are valid, we hope we’ve scratched the surface of why working with Slingshot is different from choosing an average third-party contact center. Our flexibility, reliability, customizability and profitability set us apart from the others. We are ready to become an extension of your sales team and all that entails.
We look forward to going deeper into the topics discussed in this article, but in the meantime, please reach out to us if you have any questions or would like to explore the possibility of working together!