Outsourced call centers: still mere cost-savers or now much more?

August 30, 2022

While business process outsourcing (BPO) is renowned for being a bit of a “catch-all” – with responsibilities ranging from IT to HR – the management of call centers is one of the industry’s longest-standing specialisms.

And – like with other BPO services – companies are commonly driven to outsource their call center activities because of one key factor: cost

There is, however, a shift in the rationale why companies are choosing to work with BPOs – beyond just cost savings. According to a 2022 McKinsey report, the cost-saving approach “is giving way to a smarter one, in which companies can outsource to capitalize on more sophisticated provider offerings.”

But what do these more sophisticated offerings look like for the outsourced call center (or contact center)? Let’s take a look at a couple of real-world examples.

Going beyond: what SYKES did for Huawei

With over 60,000 employees in 60+ global locations, SYKES provides customer experience management solutions for some of the world’s biggest organizations.

On behalf of tech and telecom powerhouse, Huawei, SYKES provides customer & IT support for millions of customers across 21 countries.

While the service scope was initially email-only, SYKES saw an opportunity to provide greater value to Huawei and offer enhanced support levels via the capabilities of its third-party contact center software. This included their use of a dynamic ticketing system for swift issue resolution and customer email automation workflows covering everything from confirmations to billing reminders. 

What’s more, SYKES evolved this approach from email-only support to a more comprehensive “non-voice” approach whereby their agents could directly address customer comments on Huawei social media channels – therefore adding a new dimension to their customer service capabilities.

Overcoming limitations: ramping up Protocall

While not a global BPO player, Protocall is one of Hungary’s leading, outbound BPO contact centers serving more than seven million customers per year.

As the case with many smaller BPOs handling multiple projects, ensuring an agile resource management approach with limited agent capacity is pivotal in effective campaign management. Also, given the diversity of the campaigns – from telemarketing to debt collection – the tools to facilitate these activities are equally critical.

It was these two drivers; resource management and an injection of new capabilities, that drove Protocall to adopt a multichannel contact center software. And it was one of the many features available in their contact center software that made all the difference; predictive dialer

Using an intelligent predictive dialer, Protocall’s outbound call volumes are now automatically increased or decreased based on factors such as:

  • Agent availability and average wait time between calls
  • Volume and quality of customer contact data
  • The amount of time agents are spending on after-call work (ACW)

Through this automation-driven process, Protocall can now better balance a far higher volume of campaigns – even with a modest number of agents available.

What’s more, through making use of other available automation tools in their contact center software – such as voicemail detection – Protocall saved a combined 9 hours’ wasted call time in just the first two days of operation alone.

Choosing your BPO’s enabler

For BPOs wanting to offer a varied and sophisticated service portfolio to their customers, it’s important to partner with a contact center solutions provider that can support a comprehensive range of activities beyond mere call handling. This includes omnichannel capabilities, a host of integrations and, of course, a range of intelligent features.

Also, as noted in TPM’s Call Center Outsourcing Market Report, as the challenge of hiring and retaining agents remains ever-present, it’s worth investing in cloud-based contact center software as such solutions “enable call center agents the freedom to work from any part of the world.”

A cloud-based contact center solution ladened with diverse capabilities will not only help you exceed client expectations, but also acquire and retain the best agents.

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