Co-sourcing is when a business uses an external call center to handle their front end. The outside service provider will oversee your incoming calls, incoming orders, setting appointments, and mostly all day-to-day operations for which they are contracted to manage. Consequently, call center co-sourcing is a lower risk alternative than fully outsourcing. It is also more cost-effective than upholding an entire in-house staff of call center agents.
Companies often decide to co-source for strategic (customer segmentation) or operational (call volume uncertainty) reasons, or both. Below are the 4 main use cases of co-sourcing:
Co-sourcing can help handle overflow calls
Outsourcing your customer service representatives to an external service provider is an excellent way to manage your call volume overflow. It’s also the best way to increase your company’s level of service, and you’ll never leave your customer’s needs behind.
Co-sourcing will handle your after-hours calls
When you hire an external service provider to provide support after-hours, you can offer service around the clock for a mere fraction of the cost of in-house staff.
If your office is prone to drastic weather changes, natural disasters, power outages, or your CSM software and computer structure isn’t the most reliable, hiring an outside service provider to handle your call volume as backup will be an effective way to guarantee business continuity.
Handle specialized calls
Outsourcing or co-sourcing a department (like sales) to an outside service provider is an excellent way to provide amazing customer support, without going over your budget.
While we touched on some of the advantages that outsourcing your customer service agents will bring to your business, below we’ll cover 7 advantages of co-sourcing call center agents:
- Reduced costs
Co-sourcing is a more cost-effective resolution to hiring and upholding an entire call center staff in-house. It reduces expenses related to staffing customer service agents (since the outside service provider handles their own staff). It also reduces overhead and infrastructure expenses since the third-party service provider utilizes their own software system, servers and telephone agent. Lastly, it converts a substantial fixed cost into a variable cost: expert workers are there when you need it, and not costing you the bank. Calculating those factors together, leads to huge savings and expressively improves your bottom line.
- Improves call quality during peak hours
Having a virtual staff of exceptionally trained and educated third-party call center agents that can manage your calls within a moment’s notice can really improve your service quality during your company’s peak hours. Call overflow can be forwarded to them, which reduces wait times in addition to customer frustration. In addition, both your in-house staff as well as your co-sourced agents won’t feel hurried when speaking with customers during those peak hours since they know there are plenty of qualified representatives to route all the calls that come in. This will dramatically advance the quality of customer service you provide to your customers, while decreasing wait times.
- Decrease call abandonment
Anytime you outsource your calls or overflow to an outside service provider, you eliminate the long wait times your customers complain about along with abandoned calls. Every single call will be answered within a matter of a few rings and your customers will love the accelerated service. You will never have to worry about letting a potential customer slip through the cracks or upset them due to long periods of time on hold.
- Increase service levels
If your level of service is a metric you’re looking to expand, co-sourcing your call center agents may be the right solution for you. When your call volume increases yet your level of service is declining, you can subcontract the call overflow to virtual agents. This will reduce wait time and increase your customer service level.
- 24/7/365 support for a fraction of the price
Contracting an outside service provider to manage calls when your in-house staff isn’t working can be a great way to provide service around the clock, without having to maintain an in-house staff 24/7. Outside service providers can answer calls at all hours, including weekends and holidays. Your existing staff will appreciate the normal schedule and your customers will love the dedicated office service.
- Ensure business continuity
Employing an outside service provider to manage calls when your customer service software is down, like when there is bad weather or an emergency, is a less expensive solution in cases of disaster or another emergency and your in-house staff can’t make it to the office. Anytime you’re unavailable to conduct business as usual, your risk losing revenue, except if you have a virtual staff in place to take over. An effective and reliable back-up plan will allow business continuity to prevent you from losing customers. Factors beyond your control will come and it’s best that you have an existing plan in place for immediate resolve.
- Increase customer satisfaction
When you co-source your call center employees, your in-house workers will can be more competent with handling calls during your busiest hours, as you devote more time meeting your customer’s needs. You will also lose less customers to call neglect due to extended waiting queues and decreasing service levels. Shorter waits and improved customer service converts into more pleased customers.
Co-sourcing can be a very effective method to improve customer service, increase competence and decrease risk without forfeiting your bottom line. It could be precisely what you need to drive your firm ahead of the competition.