In simple terms, call center services refer to various services delivered by a call center to clients. Call center services primarily involve managing telephone calls by human operators. To understand call center services better, we first need to understand the definition of a call center.
A call center is a physical workplace wherein human agents receive or make telephone calls to existing or prospective customers. Call Centers can be classified into various categories depending on their process and ownership.
Depending on operational processes, call centers are classified into two parts — ‘Outbound’ and ‘Inbound’. An outbound call center is a call center process, wherein agents make outgoing calls. In most cases, such calls are intended to sell a product or service, conduct market research, collect debts or generate leads. On the other hand, the function of an inbound call center is to receive incoming voice calls. These calls could be related to product or service information, technical support, reservations and bookings amongst others.
Call centers are also classified on the basis of their ownership. The in-house call center operated by a company is called a captive call center, while a call center managing operations for an external client is called a third-party call center.
For many years, organizations have been availing call center services from an external vendor to effectively run their business. However, business models have evolved over the years with advancements in technology, telecommunications, and globalization. Offshore outsourcing and near-shore outsourcing have revolutionized the business models for not just leading global corporations, but also of small and medium enterprises. Call center services have evolved too, from a transactional services provider to a more value-based service provider, driving demonstrable business impact.
The origins of the call center industry can be traced back to the 1960’s. According to documented history, the Birmingham Press and Mail was the first organization to successfully operate an early version of a modern day call center facility at their office using Private Automatic Branch Exchange (PABX) technology. PABX was a new technology of that era and allowed organizations to handle multiple calls at the same time by re-routing calls to several extensions within an office with the help of a human operator.
PABX technology was succeeded by a more sophisticated technology called Automatic Call Distributor (ACD) developed by US firm Rockwell in the year 1973. ACD was a computer led automated technology that made it possible for incoming calls to be distributed automatically to multiple extensions without the aid of a human operator. It significantly reduced waiting time for incoming calls as instead of a single human operator managing and diverting one call at a time, ACD diverted these calls automatically to agents. Continental Airlines of the US was the first user of this technology. They used it to manage their ticket bookings.
Modern day global call centers emerged with the advent of the internet and the dot com boom of the 1990s. Internet and advancements in the field of telecommunications made it possible for call centers to be operated from far off remote locations at reduced costs without eaffecting process efficiencies. It led to the rise of a new global multi-billion dollar industry, and that continues to grow till date.
Organizations today are grappling with multiple challenges. Shrinking product life-cycles, inconsistent customer loyalty, and the constant onslaught of technology that disrupts existing business models are putting immense pressure on already wafer-thin profit margins. Therefore, it is critical for organizations to streamline their existing business operations in a cost-efficient manner so that they can retain an edge in the competitive marketplace.
Outsourcing call center requirements to a third party business process outsourcing (BPO) company can help organizations increase operational efficiencies, reduce operational costs, and lead to an increase in overall sales and profitability. In an era, where customers are spoilt of choice, a good customer relationship program is an effective tool for organizations to retain and attract new customers.
Partnering with a renowned call center service providers helps organizations to avoid capital required for setting up physical infrastructure. It also gives them access to skilled resources without incurring costs on hiring and training of resources. Plus, third party call centers possess experience of managing clients across industries. Their deep domain expertise helps clients to identify process inefficiencies and re-engineer their business operations according to the latest market dynamics.
The size of global IT-BPM outsourcing industry is estimated at USD 2.3 trillion annually, according to a 2015 report by National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM), India’s leading trade body of IT and ITES companies. India accounted for USD 146 billion, in which the BPO/BPM industry contributed approximately USD 18 billion. Another report in the same year conducted by the trade body in partnership with McKinsey forecasted the Indian BPO/BPM market to reach annual revenues of USD 50 billion by the year 2050.
Statistics clearly demonstrate the strengths of every call center in India and their leadership position in the market. The call center outsourcing industry that emerged in India in the late 90’s, witnessed tremendous growth in the early 2000s with improved telecommunications, technology and conducive policies introduced by the government.
India offers several unique advantages which draw the attention of global companies towards this country. The country is home to a sizeable young qualified workforce. Also, human resource costs in India are lower as compared to western economies. The technical skill-sets of the workforce is exemplary, and they possess good language skills in English which act as an added advantage.
The biggest advantage of Indian call center outsourcing companies over their counterparts in other countries is their deep domain expertise across multiple industry verticals. As a pioneer of the offshore outsourcing model, Indian BPO firms possess years of experience in successfully managing customer relationship functions of leading global corporations, across a wide spectrum of industries like banking and finance, insurance, technology, telecom, travel, healthcare, legal, manufacturing, media & entertainment, retail, utilities, shipping, logistics amongst others.
Outsourcing to India is no longer a question for organizations to rethink on. It is an accepted fact that outsourcing to India offers multiple advantages for businesses to retain a competitive edge in the current economic environment.
Our call center services are delivered over cloud telephony to ensure minimal upfront investments by clients.
As a CMMI Level 5 and ISO certified company, we follow high data security standards and protocols to ensure maximum data security of our client data.
Our delivery team comprises seasoned call center professionals, who have years of experience in managing large scale BPO projects.
We offer customized solutions to clients depending on their industry, size of their business, and process requirements to ensure maximum return on client investments.
As a pioneer of the offshore BPO industry in India, we possess in-depth knowledge and expertise in working across multiple industries.
We offer multiple pricing models to help our clients choose a pricing plan in accordance with their budget and business requirements.
Our client list includes Fortune 500 global firms, large corporates, small and medium enterprises as well as start-up businesses. By engaging us as a partner to manage call center operations, each of our clients has registered strong business growth.
Today’s business world that is influenced by advanced technology and seamless communication is also impacted heavily by the customer service division.
Your customers aren't going to tolerate the slightest deflection in their expectations. If you aren't able to render quick, precise, and satisfactory answers to your customers' queries, complaints, and grievances, it means you are accepting the exodus of your patrons to your competitors.
None of you would want that, would you?
However, SMBs often face financial and resource-associated challenges in the meeting the expectations of customers in pace with the promptly changing business climate.
Small and medium business owners who dare to provide full-time call center services internally are often faced with a challenge of maintaining a fine balance with the internal support division and the core tasks of the company. This trims the performance level of the company along with extra monetary load.
Also, it becomes heavily irritating for startups, and SMBs to regulate their working hours if they are targeting an international audience. This means that if you are customers are raising a query at midnight, you are obliged to send a quick response.
If you oversee this factor, the chances of your customers stop doing business with your increases heavily. And if you somehow try to face the issue, it would end up with you paying extra resources to hire rotational shift agents.
Considering all these hindrances, hiring an external vendor for call center services makes a perfect alternative for your business.
A call center is not just a place where merely customer calls are handled. Instead, it is a place where the call center services provider delivers first-string customer experiences.
Whether it is about offering stupendous customer support or offering an unparalleled help desk assistance or about conducting surveys or collecting feedbacks, an outsourced call center can do everything for your business.
These call centers charge a minimal amount for the solutions and are also experts in providing omnichannel support to businesses.
Benefits of hiring a competent outsourced call center service provider:
Are you familiar with the difference between an answering service and call center service?
An answering service is support offered to the organizations that need a virtual receptionist or a virtual agent who can address the calls of prospects and customers during the after-office hours.
Companies prefer hiring an external service provider for their call answering requirements owing to the advantages like A-Okay quality of delivered services, experienced agents, around-the-clock assistance, and affordability.
Generally, answering services are availed by the organizations that are small in size and that try to look for a cost-effective option.
Hiring a full-time in-house expert for the same won't make much sense for the business owners who look out to cut their overhead expense yet look to tap every opportunity each call brings along with.
Apparently, you cannot think of missing a business opportunity because of the time constraint.
Individual professionals like doctors, lawyers, healthcare experts, and similar are often busy and unavailable to pick calls of clients.
To avoid business loss, these professionals also choose answering service from a competent provider.
On the other hand, call center services is a much wider term used to define the umbrella of a number of solutions like:
Inbound call center services
This includes customer support, order taking, phone answering, and help desk solutions
Outbound call center services
This range of call center solutions includes appointment setting, lead generation, survey conduction, and market research services.
In today's world, when customer preferences are the basic focus of corporates, offering prodigious call center services becomes the main weapon of the business owners.
Now, if you own a large enterprise, maybe you can think of setting up and running an in-house call center even though you still will be faced with a number of bottlenecks.
Handling an in-house call center is usually expensive and tiresome for business owners. Despite the size of a company, it is always advisable and feasible to select a specialized service provider for your call center requirements.
Outsourced call center solutions are affordable, customizable, and a much better alternative for your business growth and prosperity.
Every business, be it small, medium or big, requires call center assistance at a point of its operation.
A small business may face the necessity for call center support at the growing stage when the number of customer inquiries is rising exponentially.
Similarly, a big organization that is already established and holds an impressionable turnover may look to expand its operations in the new market. For this, they may need a proficient telemarketing and lead generation team.
This said the need for call center services is inevitable for businesses today. However, there have been arguments that state that running up an internal call center makes much more sense for your business.
Let's look at the argument rationally.
So, holding an in-house call center is expensive, tedious, and it significantly curtails your focus from the tasks that drive the revenue stream for your business.
Hiring an external vendor for your call center requirements eradicates all of these issues remarkably.
For instance, you pay less, you get access to an already trained and experienced workforce, and the service that will be delivered will of above-par standard. Also, you would have all the time to work on your core competencies.
So, getting an outsourced call center isn't just viable but also the most profitable option for your business.
As a business owner, ensure to be very specific while selecting your call center service provider.
So, your business has come to a point where call center solutions become an essentiality!
You know how expensive and stressful it is to run an internal call center so you have made up your mind to hire an external call center service provider. That's good!
But if you hold no experience in the call center sector, how would you decide what look in your vendor? Today, almost every vendor will promise to deliver an impeccable service standard.
Sadly, only a bunch is able to meet the expectations of business owners.
So, while on the pursuit to recruit a call center keep these aspects in mind:
The world of outsourcing has become bigger and more tech-savvy. However, a few things never change.
For example, the debate of whether hiring an American call center is better or whether contracting a service provider overseas is much feasible still fires up.
For business owners in the USA, the task of getting call center services isn't easy.
Getting outsourced call center solution is agreeable but who should be the vendor? A lot of debates regarding' outsourcing is taking away American jobs' has put the corporates in the USA into a dilemma.
A lot of nation's patriots will tell you to outsource your call center requirements to American call centers only.
However, as a business owner, you should look out for feasible options.
Maybe that's why the top outsourcing American companies like Apple, Microsoft, Amazon, etc are still outsourcing their call centers to nations like India, Philippines, etc.
But why is partnering up with an overseas call center is much better than an American call center?
However, there are some advantages of getting outsourced call center solutions from American call centers too:
To eradicate these issues, a lot of call center services providers have also started deploying the concept of 'reverse outsourcing'.
Typically, two types of call center services exist in the outsourcing sector' Inbound call center service and outbound call center service.
Inbound assistance means your business requires call support for handling all the incoming queries from the customers.
The inbound call center assistance includes:
The outbound call center assistance includes:
Organizations that look to hire an outsourcing partner or provide call center services on their own have to be clear about what sort of solutions are available.
A lot of business owners that complain about outsourcing are the ones that hire external vendors without matching their requirements with the providers.
Hence, it becomes quintessential to first find out what sort of call center requirement your business has.
For example, does your business requires dedicated agents or shared agents?
Then who needs shared agents?
Also, businesses can opt for a mix of these services if required.
People often exchange the two terms 'contact center' and 'call center' with each other.
To an extent, considering the present scenario, where every renowned call center services provider is updating infrastructure to meet the fluctuating customer preferences, it seems right also.
However, as a business owner, you should understand the difference between the two.
Let's start with call centers.
A call center is a specialized vendor that is solely dedicated to providing call handling assistance to businesses.
There are two kinds of call centers available' Inbound and outbound call centers. Inbound call center services incorporate solutions like customer care, order taking, phone answering, help desk, etc.
In contrast to this, outbound call center services include lead generation, telemarketing, surveys conduction, market research, etc.
A call center is known to only offer support to your business that involves handling calls; be it inbound or outbound.
A contact center, on the other hand, is a much-upgraded version of call center outsourcing company.
Seeing the current scenario where customers are not just using the phone medium to reach the businesses but also tapping channels like emails, SMS, chat support, social media, live chat, etc, new contact centers emerge.
These are the specialized service providers that offer omnichannel support for businesses. It means if the customers are trying to reach you on Twitter, contact center agents will provide the response promptly.
Along with this, a contact center also provides a wide range of other services that include web development' maintenance, digital marketing, content writing, SEO, application development, etc.
Basically, a modernized contact center would act as an extension to your business offering you best return on your investment.
What should you choose?
If your business experiences comprehensive assistance, like a little support in customer service along with a push in your digital solutions and a bit of look out of your web hosting, a contact center would be your best choice.
Similarly, if your business requires support only in call handling functions, a call center would be appropriate.
However, with the drastic changes in the digital medium and wavering customer preferences, partnering up with a proficient BPO contact center would be recommended for businesses today.
Let's take a quick look at what kinds of call center services are available for you to avail for your business in the current environment:
Your business requires a consistent growth model with no friction at all.
With globalization becoming more prominent, availing call center services from a reputed name can really solve all your business problems in a jiffy.
Maintaining a credible image
Today, almost every company is offering a one-and-the-same product, so the point of distinction for customers is the kind of service you are offering.
If your business is facing the difficulty of handling a trustworthy image in front of customers, partnering up with an eminent call center outsourcing company can offer you relief. These vendors have a diligent team of agents who hold vast industry experience and possess skills needed to satiate your customers with maximum satisfaction.
Whether you own a startup, which is looking to manage your incoming calls or a medium-sized business owner that needs to manage its seasonal customer requirements or a large enterprise owner that is looking to promote its brand in new territory, call center services can lift your brand image to an apex position in the market.
Saving your expense
Need customer care support? Don't worry about all the expense needed to offer the same.
Call centers present an excellent opportunity for business owners who are looking to cut back their expense without compromising on the delivered services.
Your call center services provider will use its own infrastructure that is laced with ultra-modern tools and technologies. Also, you will be getting access to an adept team of agents without you bearing up the hiring or training cost.
This saves a lot of your overhead cost that you can put in other core tasks of your business.
Raising your business's performance
Are you too consumed in handling your in-house call center? Is your company facing low productivity due to the divided focus of your team?
Availing assistance from a well-known call center outsourcing company can free you up from the stress of handling such tasks. The call center agents are so dedicated and excellent in their responsibilities that you or your team would no longer need to manage such functions.
As a result, the entire focus of your workforce would be on the core competencies. This increases the overall performance of your company significantly.
When running a business, a number of risks arise. You cannot expect to start or run a business without handling the risks like the financial, market, human factor, and legal.
Outsourcing doesn't weed out these risks but yes, it does minimize them tremendously. When you tie up with a top-notch call center company, you are agreeing to a mutual risk-sharing contract.
These specialized BPO contact center solution providers are known to offer a helping hand to businesses if a challenging situation arises.