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Contact center

Definition

What is a contact center?

A contact center is a form of customer service where a team uses different channels aside from calls for customer interaction. They match customer demands with the latest technology to provide the best service as quickly as possible. 

It has an omnichannel or multichannel approach depending on client needs. Some centers handle 11 channels while others have the most common ones: VoIP calls, email, live chat, and website support. All interactions from different channels are tracked using a customer relations management (CRM) software for easier management and coordination.

a woman with headphones
What is a contact center?

Contact center vs call center

When it comes to customer service, there are two basic types: Call centers and contact centers. Both call centers and contact centers are customer service centers but they are not the same. However, many people interchange the two terms.

Here are the call centers and contact centers main differences:

  • A call center handles all incoming and outgoing phone calls, while a contact center handles all customer support channels other than phone calls.
  • Call centers utilize telephone-based communication. Contact centers can use a variety of communication methods, such as email and social media.
  • Using advanced analytics, contact centers can build more detailed client profiles. Unlike the traditional call center who gets the client’s profiles directly to their clients.

Benefits of outsourcing contact centers

Many successful companies are considering contact centers as their business expands. The advantages of leveraging contact center to your company include the following:

Offers a self-service option

Contact centers use a multi-channel approach which makes them excellent in providing self-service. As a result, customers can deal with their own minor issues before calling an agent. 

Self-service features use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to help customers solve their problems without reaching out to an agent. This method also avoids bottlenecks to your call department.

Better customer experience

Customers may prefer to contact you by phone, but more and more people are contacting you via live chat, email, or social media instead. 

Fortunately, omnichannel experiences are supported by several cloud-based contact center technologies. It means that your agents can communicate with consumers in a way that is convenient for them, whether it’s via phone, email, video chat, text, or Facebook message.

Empower business growth

Customers expect their contact centers to have the channels they need. Many businesses invest in software that makes it possible for their contact centers to offer better service to their consumers.

Integrating contact centers to companies reduces the risk of falling under customer expectations and being overtaken by better-equipped rivals.

a woman with a headphone infront of the computer
Benefits of outsourcing contact centers

Contact center services

Customers mostly expect a business to be open on several working channels. This is what contact centers aim to do, such as in a call center, where they offer inbound, outbound, and mixed services.

Live chat, email, and inbound calls can be used to handle customer concerns like in a traditional call center. The same channels can also be used for billing reminders, delivery updates, and promotions for lead generation and sales conversion.

Outsource Accelerator provides you with the best contact center companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs. We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 900+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, contact center outsourcing.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is an Outsourcing Company?

What is an outsourcing company?

An outsourcing company handles various supporting processes of contracting companies. These supporting processes are activities that are not central to the company's business but cannot be done away with. Examples include payroll, customer service, accounting, IT, etc.

A great outsourcing company is someone that has proven expertise in the process to be outsourced, that has access to resources and technology not otherwise available to the contracting company. For a contracting company to fully leverage the advantage of outsourcing, it is preferable that the outsourcing company will have it's own key performance indicators to help drive innovation and growth for the contracting company.

Outsourcing companies in the Philippines

Outsourcing evolved a lot during the past decade, it is no longer all about customer service outsourcing. Nowadays, it is very common to outsource other functions such as finance & accounting, lead generation, software development or digital marketing. Outsourcing is also applicable to any industry and any business size, as long as the job can be done in front of a computer, then it can be outsourced.

Outsource Accelerator's directory lists over 700+ outsourcing companies in the Philippines. All of these are carefully selected for innovation, expertise, and technology that will benefit our clients. We also provide you with guidance on how to maximize the potential that such expertise gives you in growing your business.

What is a Call Center?

What is a call center?

A Call center may refer to a physical center where an outsourcing company conducts various customer contact services that act as a front liner to customers. Call centers comprise of a team of agents who are trained for the product or service being offered. A call center may also refer to a type of BPO setup where a client gets a remote team to handle its customer service hotlines and attend the client’s customers in its behalf.

In call centers, agents often does inbound or outbound call handling. The former talks about customer service, order processing or technical support. The latter focuses more on telemarketing, promotions or selling. In this setup, it is the call center agent who initiates the call to potential customers.

Call center outsourcing

A call center employs agents who act as representatives of their client’s behalf to deal with questions, concerns, and complaints of the customers. Aside from that, call centers can also function as sales hotlines and telemarketing teams. Outsource Accelerator provides you the best call center outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up-to 70% on staffing cost.

What is Customer Service Representative?

What is a customer service representative?

A customer service representative (CSR) is an individual who interacts with customers on behalf of the company, usually to address their concerns.

Customer service reps are the front lines of service providers in customer support. They know first-hand how satisfied and dissatisfied customers are with the services they receive. Most importantly, CSRs prevent delivering poor customer service as much as possible.

A good customer service rep possesses a lot of skills they need to effectively deliver customer service. This includes good communication and problem-solving skills, quick wit, and interpersonal skills.

Customer service representatives are also called customer service associates and customer service advisors or consultants.

Duties of a customer service representative

Customer service representatives typically aim to maintain customer satisfaction and answer questions regarding a company or product. Their duties depend on what type of customer service they handle, whether inbound or outbound.

Inbound customer service representatives are the ones who handle incoming customer inquiries and concerns. More so, they are responsible for the following tasks.

Do basic troubleshooting Process orders Pull up customer accounts Handle and resolve customer complaints Help determine solutions for each problem

Outbound CSRs, meanwhile, are the ones who reach out to customers either through cold calling or emails. They deal mostly with the following aspects.

Lead generation Billing reminders Appointment confirmation Market surveys Key skills of customer service representatives

Most customer service representatives enter the industry with a high school diploma. However, a good customer service representative should have the following key skills and traits needed to be competitive at work.

Good communication. Customer service representatives must have good communication skills, especially since they will talk to customers all day. They have to listen carefully to their clients and be able to speak with them at the same time. Problem-solving. A good customer service representative should be able to analyze customer inquiries correctly and provide the best solutions for their concerns. Time management. Customer service representatives work in a fast-paced environment, handling volumes of calls and workload each day. This is why they need to manage their time properly so they can accommodate their target calls in a given period. Empathy. Most importantly, they must be able to handle their customers in a professional manner and with empathy. Customer service representatives should be able to place themselves in their client's shoes and understand their situations at hand. How to become a customer service representative

Anyone can ace a customer service representative job by doing the following steps.

Complete at least a secondary education. Many customer service representatives enter the industry with a high school diploma. This is since they have developed basic communication and interpersonal skills needed at work. Develop necessary skills. As much as possible, customer service reps should work on developing other necessary skills, including those mentioned above. Consider getting certifications. Lastly, a certification or license from institutions can be used as strong proof of their proficiency and skills. This is why getting certifications is most recommended, especially for CSRs looking to advance their employment. BPO customer service

BPO customer service means hiring a third-party service provider to handle inbound and outbound calls and other non-verbal communication with customers. In most cases, customer service outsourcing teams are part of a call center service.

For businesses, partnering with an outsourcing company is an ideal option to offer the best possible level of service to clients. After all, the more positive the experience is, the more it drives loyalty and brand recognition.

To find the best partner for your customer service tasks, you have to be open to assessing new and innovative service providers — either nearshore, onshore, or offshore

Be diligent in searching for the right fit for your company.

Remember that it is critical to choose a partner that understands the latest market demand to help you grow your business, maintain clients and gain new patrons.

 

Customer service representative in the Philippines

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to great customer service representatives that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour. By doing this, you can save up to 70% on staffing costs.

We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about and engage with customer service outsourcing.

To get started with customer service outsourcing, take a look at our list of the Top 40 BPO Companies in the Philippines.

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include:

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

What are the different types of BPO?

The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

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About OA

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

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

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.