Technology has really been on the roll for a couple of decades now. What was supposed to be a difficult and challenging task 20 years back, can be done in a minute or so today. Apart from making the mundane activities easy, technology has also brought evolution to various business sectors.
One such industry that technology has impacted heavily is BPO. Business process outsourcing or profitable BPO services have transformed from being a cost-saver strategy to a value provider for organizations of all sizes.
A lot of outsourcing companies known as the call centers have come up and the entire business sector feels blessed.
Typically, a call center is a premise, office or a setup where a large volume of customer calls are received and made for the customer support and generating sales respectively. The call centers are known usually to keep their strict focus on the management of customer calls and hence stringent training is provided to the agents working in such premises.
Since outsourcing and the call centers have gained immense popularity, a lot of unknown facts about BPOs still exist. These aspects may be known to the industry experts and professionals working in the sector but the business owners who have just started outsourcing or are planning to delegate their tasks might be unfamiliar with these facts.
With the hope that these facts will intrigue your interest in the BPO services more, let me give you a walk through the different elemental aspects of the call centers and associated services:
1. Know the difference: Call Center and the Contact Center
I have encountered a lot of blogs and articles where the terms ‘call center’ and ‘contact center’ are used interchangeably. Well, this is not correct.
Call centers are simply the premises where customer calls are addressed and made. That’s it. The assistance is provided through a telephone call.
On the other hand, a contact center is known to offer assistance to the businesses on several platforms other than the telephone. For instance, a contact center can offer assistance to the customers on mediums such as email, chat, text, and so on.
2. Call centers are not always located overseas
This is quite common. Businesses owners often assume that outsourcing means handing over operations to a service provider in an overseas location.
This is absolutely rubbish. Outsourcing does not mean delegation of tasks to the overseas call centers only. Instead, BPO services can be availed onshore too. That means if you have a business in Australia, you can find a suitable outsourcing partner in your country only.
3. Big organizations and SMBs, both choose to outsource
Since outsourcing saves enormous operational expenses of the businesses, it is somehow assumed that only SMBs should choose the call centers.
But, surprisingly, a majority of big players also not shy to handover their business functions to the service providers. Companies such as Apple, Amazon, Ford, Microsoft, etc have been continuously outsourcing their business functions to overseas call centers.
Still, there are few companies that still manage their own call centers. The operational cost is obviously high but still, these firms rely more on the self-handling of customers’ call.
4. Varied sorts of call handling
The service providers that handle only incoming calls from the customers are termed as the inbound call centers. Similarly, the companies that specialize in only making outgoing calls to the customers with an objective to increase sales are known as the outbound call centers.
The inbound call centers handle the customer support, order taking, billing inquiries, help desk, and similar business functions. On the other hand, an outbound call center takes care of tasks such as lead generation, telemarketing, appointment setting, market research, and customer loyalty programs.
Apart from these two, there are multichannel call centers that handle both inbound and outbound calls.
5. Most engaging hours are between 10 am and noon on a Monday
Call center agents typically experience the heaviest call volumes on Mondays between 10 am and noon. After the weekend spending on family and friends, customers return to the business on Monday to get things done.
6. The people are the major expense
You will be surprised to know that 70% of the operational expense of the call centers is associated with the hiring and training of the agents. After all the biggest asset of these BPO services providers is their experts who offer an unmatched experience to the customers.