Outbound Call Centre
Credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/vitorcastillo/2994723741/

For a long time larger businesses were taking some of their divisions off shore in an effort to reduce their costs and stay competitive.  However with the advancements in modern technology this option has become increasing available to small and medium business and warrants some investigation for businesses of all sizes.

What Is An Outbound Call Centre

An Outbound Call Centre is for all intents and purposes exactly what it sounds like.  A team of telephone consultants that are trained to execute calls for a variety of different purposes.  Some of these purposes include:

  • Telemarketing and Appointment Setting – An important function for any business and unless you have a background in sales, it is a necessary evil that you likely detest doing yourself.
  • Fund Raising Calls – Many of us have received these type of calls giving us the opportunity to raise the inner philanthropist inside us.  For those of us with a entrepreneurial mind perhaps a possible use for us could be our own charity serving cross promotional and brand awareness opportunities?
  • Survey Calls – Want to know more about your customers or your marketplace?  Sending this job away to others to complete on your behalf might be a good alternative for you
  • Database Validation – Is your CRM data still relevant?  For most businesses their database is the most valuable asset of the business but all data decays over time and this could be an effective method of ensuring that you keep the edge over your competition.
  • Proactive Customer Service – Are you aware of any issues that your customers are experiencing with the delivery of your product or service.  Or is the first time that you hear about an issue when they have already jumped ship to your competition.  Remember an existing customer is much cheaper to retain then brining on a new one.

The On Sure Vs Offshore Debate

So when you are looking into this, it is likely that you will be faced with the dreaded decision of having an on shore team or sending this task to areas with much cheaper labor, most likely the Philippines.  The local guys have with them the benefit of proximity, you will likely be able to go and meet your team and this sometimes can make issues quicker and easier to resolve.  On the other hand, the offshore options bring about with them a far discounted cost – sometimes in excess of 50%.  So which way you tackle this question is ultimately up to your own personal preference with due consideration being given to exactly what you are trying to achieve.

What Are The Benefits Of Using A Service Like This?

There are many benefits to engaging a call centre workforce including:

1)   The systems and processes are already in place to monitor your workforce in real time as well as receive detailed monthly reporting so you can check you metrics against the KPI’s for you campaign

2)   The workforce is able to be scaled both upwards and downwards based on the success of your campaign as often you are not required to enter into long term agreements

3)   The process of screening and hiring applicants is taken care of you by the provider as well as replacement staff should one of their agents leave.  This is a great one because sometimes in these environments there is a high level of turnover.

What has been your experience in using these types of services?  I am interested to hear if they have been successful or a flop.

Call Centers For Dummies
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