Businesses Turn to Outsource Contact Centers to Meet Escalating Customer Service Expectations

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Business Process Outsourcing provider, ePlanet Communications, discusses how cost and efficiency remain key considerations while customer satisfaction and retention are becoming increasingly important factors in the decision to outsource essential customer service functions.

Asad Khan, CEO of ePlanet Communications, comments on the benefits of contact centers.

Outsourcing the entire process to the right partner can streamline operations, reduce costs, and significantly enhance customer satisfaction.

In a recent global study of customer contact centers, 96% of surveyed organizations said they expect to expand their contact center operations to support business growth and customer experience demand. Seventy-two percent of surveyed organizations said they plan to transform their contact centers over the next two years, with emphasis on consolidation, outsourcing, and/or the establishment of new contact centers.1

“Of these options,” said Asad Khan, CEO of ePlanet Communication Inc., a leading global business process outsourcing firm, “outsourcing is increasingly the favorite, both due to its cost advantages and because it’s the most effective way to rapidly scale customer service capability while maintaining—and, in fact, improving—customer satisfaction.”

The reason for this, Khan explained, is that meeting today’s skyrocketing customer expectations requires extremely high levels of expertise, technological capability, and data coordination. Agents in the contact center should be able to handle—quickly and accurately, and on a 24/7 basis—both inbound and outbound communications via telephone, email, chat or social media, with full visibility into customer history, order tracking, inventory availability, and any other data that might be required.

“Meanwhile,” Khan continued, “it has to match or exceed the customer experience being offered by the firm’s competitors. Building and maintaining an internal organization that can do all of this becomes both a resource and a governance issue. It needs to be created and housed, and it needs a reporting structure—all in support of a set of activities that—however important—are tangential to the company’s core business. Outsourcing the entire process to the right partner can streamline operations, reduce costs, and significantly enhance customer satisfaction.”

After conducting their own cost-benefit analysis, major organizations increasingly agree. Reasons given by Fortune 500 corporations and government agencies for the decision to outsource include:

  • Reduced Cost. Setting up a call center requires major investments in staff and infrastructure. Outsource contact centers allow these costs to be spread across many clients.
  • Flexibility and Scalability. By serving multiple clients, outsourced contact centers reduce the severity of call volume peaks and valleys. They can quickly scale up to handle a client’s peak needs without adding to client overhead for quieter periods.
  • Specialized Industry Knowledge. Outsource suppliers can develop a specialized understanding of contact center needs in certain industries.
  • Expert Management and Support Staff. Because the contact center is a core business area, outsource companies can offer the kind of career path that attracts and retains highly-qualified people—something most in house centers cannot match.2

All of this leads to increased customer satisfaction and a better overall customer experience—which, per Khan, will become increasingly important over the next five to ten years. As markets become ever more price-sensitive, and as the duplication of available goods and services becomes more and more widespread, customer engagement is overtaking price and product as the key brand differentiator for corporations.3

Market studies bear this out: recent research shows that 70% of satisfaction in customer buying experiences is based on how customers feel they’re being treated. Turning to specific industries, retail banking customers who are fully engaged bring 37% more annual revenue to their banks than do customers who are actively disengaged. Fully engaged policy owners purchase 22% more types of insurance products than actively disengaged policy owners, while fully engaged hotel guests spend 46% more per year than actively disengaged guests.4

“To any organization considering an outsource contact center solution,” Khan said, “I would say that, first of all, it’s a great idea. Allowing the organization to focus on its core business helps to enhance profit, growth and job creation. Second—and most importantly—know your partner. Any successful contact center operation will keep a painstakingly close eye on quality assurance, based on metrics such as first-call resolution rates, response times, average handling time, customer satisfaction, service level, and net promoter scores. At ePlanet, these metrics are baked into every service agreement. Our clients trust us with a vital aspect of their businesses. We specify—and document on a regular basis—exactly how we continue to earn that trust. I wouldn’t be in this business, nor would my staff, if we didn’t know for sure that we’re making a net positive contribution to our clients, the industries in which they work, and the economies served by those industries.”

About ePlanet Communication Inc.:

ePlanet Communication is a global business process outsourcing provider with extensive experience in call center operations, digital media solutions, and direct response solutions. By using its integrated channel management capabilities and highly-trained staff, ePlanet develops and deploys inbound and outbound customer support fully integrated with its clients’ marketing campaigns. Digital media solutions include website design, digital franchising, fully functioning eCommerce operations, and the creation of interactive, immersive and responsive social media campaigns across different platforms. ePlanet is also highly experienced in the area of direct response trial, consistently delivering improved customer satisfaction, increased customer retention, and better order value. To learn more about ePlanet and its capabilities, please visit http://www.eplanetcom.com.

1.    “Contact Centers Face Growth Challenges,” The Wall Street Journal, July 21, 2015. deloitte.wsj.com/cio/2015/07/21/contact-centers-face-growth-challenges.

2.    “Top 10 Reasons to Outsource Your Call Center,” Call Center Insights, August 21, 2015. datamark.net/call-centers/blog/reasons-to-outsource-your-call-center.

3.    Customers 2020: The Future of B-to-B Customer Experience, Walker Consulting, 2016. walkerinfo.com/customers2020.

4.    Brown, Celia, “44 Facts Defining the Future of Customer Engagement,” Forbes, October 6, 2014. forbes.com/sites/sap/2014/10/06/44-facts-defining-the-future-of-customer-engagement/#7292336cfa26.

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