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Home » Articles » Call center outsourcing: What you need to know

Call center outsourcing: What you need to know

Call center outsourcing What you need to know

With the rise of globalization and digitalization, call center outsourcing has become a popular and viable option. Companies reduce costs and focus on their core business by entrusting customer service operations to third-party providers. 

Picture a bustling hive of activity where voices from around the world converge in a harmonious symphony of customer service. Call centers, once relegated to the confines of company headquarters, are now dispersed across continents, bridging gaps and transcending borders. 

Call center outsourcing is a logical solution to thrive in this era of globalization and digital connectivity. 

Join us as we shed light on the many facets of call center outsourcing, uncovering its transformative power and the essential role it plays in shaping customer-centric enterprises. 

What is call center outsourcing?

Call center outsourcing involves contracting customer service operations to external service providers. Instead of managing them in-house, companies entrust them to an external organization, often located in a different region or country. 

These external call centers are staffed with trained agents who interact with customers through various channels to:

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  • Address inquiries
  • Provide assistance
  • Resolve issues

According to ReportLinker, the global call center outsourcing industry is foreseen to reach over 100.93 billion USD in 2023 and up to 132.92 billion USD in 2028. 

By leveraging the expertise and resources of outsourcing partners, businesses can streamline their customer service processes and enhance the overall experience. 

What is call center outsourcing
What is call center outsourcing?

Call center outsourcing services

Call center outsourcing services encompass a wide range of offerings (usually customer support activities) to address the diverse needs of businesses in managing their customer interactions. 

These services can be divided into several important categories:

Inbound customer service 

Inbound customer service is one of the most common functions that call center outsourcing providers offer. This service includes managing customer inquiries, complaints, and feedback through various channels, such as:

  • Phone
  • Email
  • Chat
  • Social media

Inbound providers also handle order processing, which involves order taking, order tracking, and ensuring a smooth transaction process for customers. 

Outbound calling

Outbound call centers initiate calls to potential customers for sales, lead generation, market research, data collection, and product promotions. 

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They also set appointments with leads or existing customers for sales meetings, consultations, or service appointments. 

Technical support 

Technical support outsourcing handles technical inquiries through different communication channels. This service is typically used for IT support or software-related queries. 

Agents may assist with troubleshooting, installations, upgrades, and system maintenance. 

Multi-channel sales support 

This service is used to provide pre-sales and post-sales support activities, including lead generation, appointment scheduling, and follow-up calls. 

Multi-channel sales support can take several forms, including: 

  • Live chat support – Agents engage with customers in real-time.
  • Email support – Email support representatives handle customer inquiries, concerns, and requests through email communication.
  • Social media support – Agents monitor and engage with customers through social media platforms and manage the brand’s online presence.

Back-office support

Managing back-office support is essential for smooth business operations. This includes services such as data entry, order processing, payment processing, and data verification activities. 

Multilingual support 

Call center outsourcing provides agents with a range of language skills. Businesses can cater to a diverse customer base and international markets. 

Call center outsourcing services are tailored to meet the specific needs of businesses. Companies can choose the combination of services that best aligns with their customer service objectives, budget, and operational requirements.

Benefits of call center outsourcing

Call center outsourcing offers several benefits to businesses, making it a strategic choice for customer service and support. 

Here are some of the most common advantages: 

Cost savings

Call center outsourcing provides a cost-effective solution for businesses as it helps significantly reduce their overhead costs. Outsourcing providers have established infrastructure, technology, and staffing, removing the need for businesses to invest in those resources. 

Tip: Get a clearer idea of your outsourcing savings by using Outsource Accelerator’s very own Outsource Calculator.

Increased efficiency

Call center outsourcing providers are specialized in the field of customer support. They have established processes and best practices to improve efficiency and lower handling times. 

A large part of this success is due to trained and experienced customer service professionals. They ensure high-quality support and efficient issue resolution. 

Many also offer round-the-clock customer support, which is crucial for businesses serving customers in different time zones and for handling urgent inquiries. 

Adoption of advanced technology

Call center outsourcing companies invest in cutting-edge technologies, such as chatbots and artificial intelligence. These improve the efficiency and effectiveness of customer interactions, enabling businesses to stay at the forefront of customer experience innovation. 

Adoption of advanced technology
Benefits of call center outsourcing


Call center outsourcing partners can quickly adjust staffing levels to accommodate fluctuations in call volumes. This ensures that businesses can efficiently manage peak periods and scale down during quieter times. 

This benefit also extends to readily adapting to changing market conditions and technological advancements. 

Global reach

Outsourcing allows businesses to serve a global customer base more effectively. Companies can leverage multilingual support and cultural understanding to enhance international operations. 

Improved customer satisfaction

Call center outsourcing partners are trained to provide excellent customer service, including using KPIs to monitor customer satisfaction.

They’re also equipped with advanced tools, leading to quicker response times, enhanced service quality, and increased customer fulfillment. 

Reduced employee turnover

Managing in-house call centers can be challenging due to high turnover rates. Outsourcing can mitigate this issue, as the provider assumes responsibility for hiring, training, and managing agents.

Risk mitigation

Outsourcing providers have contingency plans to manage crises, such as natural disasters or technology failures. This reduces risks associated with business continuity.

Enhanced reporting 

Reliable outsourcing companies have robust reporting and analytics tools. Businesses can gain valuable insights into customer behaviors and preferences.

Quick implementation

Setting up an in-house call center can be time-consuming and resource-intensive. Call center outsourcing offers a faster and more convenient solution for immediate customer support.

Compliance and security

Reputable call center outsourcing firms maintain high levels of data security and compliance with industry regulations. They guarantee the safeguarding of sensitive customer information.

Customer retention

By delivering consistent, high-quality support, outsourcing can contribute to improved customer retention rates. Ultimately, this reduces customer churn and enhances brand loyalty.

Focus on core competencies

Businesses can redirect their resources and attention to core activities by delegating customer service functions to experts. Focusing more on processes like product development and market expansion ultimately drives business growth.

Overall, outsourcing is a strategic choice for those seeking to optimize customer service operations, reduce costs, and stay competitive in the ever-evolving marketplace.

Drawbacks of call center outsourcing

While call center outsourcing offers numerous benefits, it also comes with potential drawbacks and challenges that companies should consider.  

Loss of control

When outsourcing call center operations, the business may feel a loss of control over customer interactions. 

Since the outsourced call center is a third-party provider, the business may have limited visibility or influence over the agents’ performance, script adherence, or customer engagement. 

Outsourcing call center services can make it difficult for firms to maintain a strong brand identity.

Communication and cultural barriers 

Call center outsourcing to offshore locations may introduce language barriers and cultural differences, leading to potential communication challenges. 

Customers may have difficulty understanding agents or be dissatisfied with the interaction due to language or cultural nuances. 

Data security and privacy risks 

Sharing customer data with a third-party call center carries potential data security and privacy risks. It’s crucial that the outsourcing provider has robust data protection measures in place and complies with applicable regulations and standards. 

Quality variability 

Service quality may vary when call center operations are outsourced. It’s important to thoroughly vet and select a reputable outsourcing provider that aligns with the business’s values, goals, and quality requirements

Training and knowledge transfer

Transitioning from in-house operations to an outsourced model can be complex and time-consuming. Companies must invest time and resources into training and knowledge transfer to ensure agents understand products, services, and company values. 

It’s important for businesses to carefully assess their specific needs, industry regulations, and the capabilities of potential outsourcing partners before making a decision. 

A well-managed outsourcing relationship can mitigate many of these drawbacks and maximize the benefits of call center outsourcing.

Best practices of call center outsourcing

Implementing best practices in call center outsourcing is essential for maximizing the benefits while mitigating potential difficulties. 

Here are some key best practices to consider: 

  • Select vendors thoroughly. Conduct a comprehensive evaluation of potential call center outsourcing partners to ensure they fit with your business. 
  • Clearly define expectations and metrics. Establish clear and measurable objectives for the call center outsourcing partnership, aligning them with your long-term vision. Define Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in the contract if you must. 
  • Maintain open and regular communication. Transparent and regular communication includes frequent meetings and updates to discuss performance feedback and address issues or concerns. 
  • Provide comprehensive training and onboarding. Invest time and effort in providing thorough training and onboarding to your outsourcing partner so it can effectively represent your brand. 
  • Implement quality assurance measures. Implement systems for monitoring call center interactions to maintain service quality. 
  • Focus on a customer-centric approach. Emphasize the importance of listening actively, resolving issues, and delivering excellent customer experiences.
  • Continuously monitor and evaluate performance. Conduct regular performance reviews with the call center outsourcing partner to assess progress, address issues, and adjust strategies as needed.  

How to choose a call center outsourcing partner

When selecting a call center outsourcing partner, various factors must be carefully considered to ensure that the partnership aligns with your business goals and customer service needs. 

Here are some factors to take into account: 

  • Reputation and experience Look for a proven track record of successful call center outsourcing collaborations. 
  • Industry expertise – Industry-specific knowledge is crucial for understanding customer expectations, regulatory requirements, and product/service nuances. 
Industry expertise
How to choose a call center outsourcing partner
  • Service offerings – Ensure that your outsourcing partner can deliver the specific services that your business requires. 
  • Scalability and flexibility – Your outsourcing partner should be able to scale operations to accommodate fluctuations in call volume and adapt to your changing business needs. 
  • Technological capabilities – Evaluate technology infrastructure and capabilities to handle customer interactions sufficiently. 
  • Cultural fit – Effective communication, shared values, and an understanding of your brand’s culture are essential for seamless cooperation. 
  • Data security and compliance – Verify that your outsourcing partner follows stringent data protection protocols and complies with relevant regulations. 
  • Financial stability and pricing – Ensure the partnership remains cost-effective and aligns with your budget. 
  • Client references and case studies – Request references and case studies to gain deeper insights into your partner’s past projects and their ability to deliver on promises. 
  • Communication and collaboration Strong and effective communication channels and regular updates are important for maintaining a successful partnership. 

Securing success with call center outsourcing

Securing success in call center outsourcing requires following best practices and strategies that maximize the benefits and mitigate potential challenges. By doing so, businesses can significantly improve their customer service while managing costs. 

The journey may be challenging, but the destination—customer satisfaction, operational efficiency, and business growth—is well worth the effort.

If you’ve been convinced to begin your call center outsourcing journey now, you can browse our BPO directory of over 3000+ firms to find a partner that suits your needs. 

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Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

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About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.

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