According to FierceVoIP, United Airlines was forced to make a key customer-service
2002. A major restructuring forced the company to consider outsourcing its call
center to slash operating costs. United chose a hybrid model,
linking both in-house and outsourced call centers. The final result: 75 percent
of centers were outsourced, with three major centers remaining in-house. The
that drove these changes: where is the work done best?
Is Outsourcing Your Call Center the Right Call?
Early-stage businesses may very well have the people-power to handle infrequent
calls from clients and customers. In-house help desk professionals typically
know the ins and outs of the business well enough to provide front-line call
center assistance, eliminating the need to train new employees. But what
if sales begin to skyrocket?
What if company execs find themselves fielding calls instead of directing
daily business operations?
When a business demands product service support, IT or help desk support,
or telephone/Internet sales support, and these requirements are viewed as a
distraction from primary development, the situation might warrant an outsourced
call center. The Financial Post also explains that each seat in an in-house
call center can
be very expensive--think telephone equipment, computer terminals, and call
Call Centers by the Numbers
Theres little doubt that call
centers are earning a well-deserved second look
by businesses and organizations on a global scale. The prospect of simplifying
operations and refocusing resources seems just too good to pass up. The numbers
reflect new attitudes. A report by Milwaukee-based asset management firm
Robert W. Baird andamp; Co. sheds some light on the growth of call
centers in terms of percentages and dollars spent:
- 20 percent of the $300 billion spent worldwide on contact centers in 2006
went to outsourcers.
- Projected growth is expected to reach a $60 billion-a-year
market to $104 billion in five years.
- Expansion is expected to hit 26 percent
of a $400 billion market by 2011.
- For retail and consumer services, spending
will grow by 14 percent a year from 2006 through 2011.
Making Maximum ROI From a Call Center
The essence of a call
center is its return on investment (ROI). The ability to
improve sales and retain customers must be greater than the expense of hiring
professionals to man those phones.
Internet Retailer offers three key benchmarks for making the most out of this
- Monitor. Examine such statistics as time per call, resolved versus unresolved
issues, and other performance-based metrics, making tweaks along the way
Create achievable goals in every aspect of call management that will serve
as guidelines for success (make CRM data a part of the equation)
Instill pride in operators and supplement their skills with a rich training
program to ensure proper handling of a wide range of issues.
Businesses that see seasonal spikes in business, such as retail, can turn
to an outsourced call
center for a pick-me-up during those busy times. Dealing
with that ebb and flow is just one more way outsourcing some or all of its
call center functions can make sense for a busy firm.