The procurement process for seeking an outsourced contact center is naturally focused on the tangible functionalities, capacities, competencies and capabilities of a potential vendor. A buyer is looking for a partner who can deliver cost savings, improved profitability, and lower risk, not to mention exceptional customer service. These factors are essential, of course, but they do not represent the whole story. The truth is, behind those end results are robust advantages in terms of HR management. The hidden benefit of that behind-the-scenes framework is the lifted burden of HR processes and responsibilities.
When you provide customer support through an in-house model, it’s up to your HR team to attract top talent. And attracting talent takes budget – both hard dollars spent on digital marketing, job board subscriptions, creative services and design for attraction advertising, etc. – as well as the cost of the staff resources to manage attraction strategies and tactics.
But what about in an outsourced environment? The best contact center partner is already well-positioned in the market to attract great people, with the right HR resources available to build a strong employer brand and nurture its workforce. In the outsourced model, attracting call center agents is a fundamental piece of their core offering. In your world, hiring customer service agents is just one piece of the organizational requirement – and one that HR may look at as peripheral to your core offering. That means your investment in a great contact center isn’t only benefiting your customers; it’s also relieving the stress of HR responsibilities.
After attracting agents, the next step is, of course, recruiting them. That includes building a job description, profiling agent applicants, interviewing, reference checking and more. Again – is identifying and hiring the right agent for your team the top priority of the recruiters in your organization? With an outsourced model where you have engaged the right strategic partner, hiring the right agents is absolutely the top priority of the recruitment team.
At an outsourced contact center partner, the recruiting team exists for one primary purpose: recruiting the best contact center agents. Their attention is focused solely on profiling, assessing and hiring the top candidates for frontline positions. They are true experts in what it takes to hire outstanding agents. (And their expertise takes a load off your own shoulders.)
Great agent training is critical to the delivery of excellent customer experience. Conversely, putting an agent into production who hasn’t had adequate or effective training and testing will, in our experience, result in a poor customer experience, negatively impacting your brand. Here’s where customer service as the core offering benefits your team as well.
With more than 20 years in business, we have onboarded new clients bringing with them every imaginable training scenario. For many of those clients, training for call center agents was not core to their business . Some clients relied on peer mentoring and y-cording alone to train new hires. Others had corporate trainers but none dedicated solely to training customer service agents. Others relied on self-paced training to get new hires up to speed. This is where our clients benefit from partnering with us, leveraging our training teams who are experts in training customer service agents to be successful in the agent role. Training agents to be effective in production is literally our business. We have a robust model and team of people who are focused on achieving that goal and we have developed best in class testing for applied knowledge in the call center because that represents a competitive differentiator for us. Often we work hand-in-hand with our clients on training development and change management, but across the board, our clients value the benefit that our training provides - and the burden it takes off of their own resources.
If it’s not already clear that an in-house contact center produces a mountain of HR-related work, there are also issues ranging from workforce optimization to employment law management, and that burden is either going to fall on your program managers (who have other deliverables) or it is going to fall on your HR team – or it will draw both operations and HR into the mix. Outsourcing your contact center means outsourcing the need to manage the customer service team and all that entails.
Outside of the operational metrics and KPIs of an outsourced contact center partner, there are many indirect benefits of offloading the HR burden of hiring, training and management of an agent workforce. The question you must ask is, where is your time and energy best spent? Most likely, it’s better off spent on your core business objectives than it is on HR processes. That’s why customer service outsourcing achieves more than better customer service; it relieves the HR burden and lets you get back to focusing on your business.