Impacts Of Call Centers On Business Commerce Essay


Call center has tremendous impact on business. Call centers for selling goods and services, as well as call centers for providing customer care, is going to become a familiar part of the business of virtually every person. Although they are part of almost all the businesses but they have become so common in telephone, broadband, electricity, and gas provider companies and now they are flourishing in banks also. Call centers also pioneered the developed of self-service via the telephone, using interactive voice response technology. It is providing a friendly environment for self-service transactions than the tone telephone.

Previously call centres were considered to be a part of company where 4 5 people are be seated and providing assistance to the customers over the phone. But now this concept has been entirely changed. As it's a separate part of the company consisted of a full team and its members who are always updated about their company, products, services, and campaign, and problems also and because of this, they can provide assistance to their customers, which really save the time. The assistance providers are called as either, Customer Support Representative (CSR), Customer Relation Officer (CRO), etc. Previously people were not accepting it as a proper carrier and was used to known as student or temporary job but now it has become a proper profession. Today's technological advancements allow call centres to address your needs beyond expectations. This affords you many options in working with call centres.

1.0 Types of Call Centres

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There are several kinds of call centres like inbound, outbound, domestic, international, in house and out sourced. We will define all these types but as our topic is related to outsourced call centre and its benefits with examples so our main focus and point of elaboration will be this type.

1 In bound Call Centre

In bound call centres are those call centres to whom the customer calls himself for any guidance, assistance, to buy any product or any service. Usually these call centres are operated by service providers as the customers always need assistance if there is any problem.

2 Out bound Call Centre

Out bound call centre are those call centres from where Advisors makes calls to customers and do not receive calls from them. Usually these kinds of call centre are sales call centres who call the target market and let them know about their product or services and make a sale over the phone and then if its a product then certain people deliver that or if its a service then relevant company starts providing services.

3 Domestic Call Centre

Domestic call centres are kind which receive or make calls only in their home country like all its operations are limited to the country in which they are operating and don not receive any call or do not provide any services over the phone to the customers of other countries.

4 International Call Centre

This is a type of call centre in which the companies provides products and services to more than one country but the helpline or customer service number is same world wide and the user of service or product from any country will call on the native country of the organization that means that company is running an international call centre.

5 In-house Call Centre

An in-house call centre is one where the work done is performed for the company itself-that is, internally-and is generally secondary to the main function of the company and the products or services they produce. An in-house call centre is a department or division of a company, that provides call centre services for that company; they do not do work for other companies. The chief advantage of having an in-house call centre is that direct control can be given to the call centre, the agents, and what say and do.

6.0 Out Sourced Call Centre

An outsourcing call centre is in business to provide call centre services to other companies. At outsource call centres; processing calls is all they do. Therefore, they must do it well and cost-effectively if they are to remain viable. As those agents are attending calls on behalf of their host company or you can say them as client also so they really need to be careful and vigilant also as their payment is based upon fulfilling the KPI's of the company. They also enjoy an economy-of-scale that is not feasible for the in-house operation. As such, their margins allow the client to save money and the outsource call centre to make money. In out sourced call centres both the countries have benefits as the 1 country is paying good amount of money to the other from whom they are taking services and in return then out sourced call centre gives better services, customer satisfaction and also get the good job opportunities in while staying in their home land.

6.1 Operations in Out Sourced Call Centre

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Outsource call centres are very similar in design and function to their in-house counterparts. There are, however, a few important distinctions. First, while an in-house call centre can be either a cost-centre or a profit-centre, the outsource call centre is always a profit-centre and often provides the company's only source of revenue and the best services of course. Second, the outsource call centre must continually search for and find new clients, requiring an external sales and marketing aspect not needed at in-house call centres. Lastly, in-house call centres service their company's customers, whereas at the outsource call centre it is generally their clients' customers who are served. Therefore the agents at an outsource call centre are working for their client's, but work with their clients' customers or prospects. And usually of course the customer never know when he makes the call that either his is been routed in house call centre or out sourced because the level of dealing and information is always same or we can say that KPI's followed are always same in both centres.

7.0 Companies and Outsourcing Trend

As we started hearing about the call centre services about 7 8 years back at that time there was no specific concept about out sourcing at that time all the companies were used to keep the in-house call centres, but gradually out sourcing got started as it really save the money because to out source the call centre in a developing country first of save your pay scale, for instance in UK all centres must have to the basic rate to all of its employees which would end up around £1000 by the end of month per employee, if the same service is out sourced, to India, Pakistan etc, and the company convert that amount into Indian to Pakistani rupees in this amount the outsourced call centre can pay up to 10 employees, so no doubt its a big saving. Here some more benefits are discussed in detail.

7.1 Significant Growth

There would be a significant growth for the company (in terms of customer service). This happens when, for example, a company launches a new product or promoted an event. A volume of incoming calls would then stream in, even to smaller scale companies. Even if the company does not hire more employees to handle the sudden incursion of call, or spend much on upgrading equipment for operations, making the calls subcontracted to a service provider will certainly lessen costs here. And the company handling the calls will manage it in low cost. Organisations that consider cost reduction to be the sole reason for outsourcing contact centre operations are overlooking several other extensive benefits. In this assignment, I'll review the most compelling reasons to employ a third-party provider to manage your customer care operations

7.2 Save Cost

Outsourcing metrics can save the company from having high operating costs in maintaining a workforce of hundreds and thousands of employees and upgrading equipment. When there is a considerable need to upgrade the essential IT tools, turning to call centre or customer relationship systems is one way to save money. This is because the cost of operations in managing and handling calls is lesser and cheaper.

7.3 Call Volume Control

Call volumes are very flexible. If the company experiences calls that are more or less wavering, or maybe those that are a bit rushed or irregular in nature, then it is best to take advantage of the expanded features of call centre services. However, calls that is easy to handle, like those usual and expected ones can be directly handled by people within the organization. There would be much savings here as well.

7.4 Stress Free

Outsourcing gives a path for testing a plan and learning from it. As the company has defined all the rules and regulations to the out sourced call centre now this their responsibility to fulfil that, although the client company need to check all the details and KPI's off and on but still there is no regular or big hassle for them, like to handle with IT, employees, manning etc. For smaller scale business, they can begin with a simple telephone operation to test for the most appropriate and proper way to handle customers. When they have learned how to perform the operation, build up enough funds and everything they have to know about call centre operations, then they can initiate internal operations.

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In the same way, large scale businesses can also perform this testing and learning process for new programs or technologies. Rather than training in-house employees for this venture, the option of outsourcing is better, cheaper, and easier. Remember that you are dealing with a larger enterprise here.

7.5 Shift Flexibility

Flexible business shifts. The company can decide on the shift according to necessity. 24/7 technical support is the ideal shift since it is troublesome to have a 2- or 3-shift call operation. And if there are callers of various backgrounds, multilingual support must be provided.

Call centre outsourcing metrics also involves call routing in better handling the clients in the customer service department. As what has been mentioned to be one of the advantages, outsourcing saves money because the customer service representatives are paid lesser compared to in-house personnel.

7.6 Strive for the Best Service

All the out sourced call centres will definitely strive to provide the best services to customers over the phone no matter either it is an in bound call centre or an out bound call centre, as the out sourced call centre knows very well that their payments will be get paid if the quality level will be up to the mark, otherwise as per the terms and conditions the are several deductions in the payment and of course that is the lost for the company, so the host company's customers will have excellent services over the phone.

7.7 Specialized Skills

Outsourcing BPO services can help you get access to the specialized skills of experienced professionals as out sourced call centres are specialized in this field so they are more experienced, vigilant, and have more trained staff who can handle the over traffic of calls also.

7.8 Increase Revenue per Customer

Customer care was once considered a cost centre but today many organisations realise that investment in customer segments opens up new possibilities of revenue and return and that the people who deliver and directly support the customer interaction are ultimately most able to maximise the customer value. A good service provider can work with you to generate revenue through your customer care operations by improving metrics such as first-call resolution, average handle time, customer satisfaction (e.g. Net Promoter Score) and up sell and cross-sell results.

7.9 Improve Compliance and Security

To a third party organisation, however, a good service provider will have strong precautions in place to prevent fraud and assure compliance with regulations such as PCI DSS. From thorough background checks during the hiring process to restricted internet access and prohibited mobile phone use on the contact centre floor to paperless work stations, most service providers are far more hard-working when it comes to security and compliance than the average organisation.

7.10 Reduce Customer Churn

Every customer interaction is an opportunity to build your brand and strengthen customer relationships. A contact centre provider's core competency is customer care services. Some providers have been serving customers for decades and have learned how to maximise customer relationships using creative programmes, highly trained agents and cutting edge CRM techniques and technologies. By providing consistent and correct handling of customer contacts and incorporating strong tracking and reporting capabilities, contact centres can help you retain improve your brand loyalty and retain your most profitable customers.

8.0 Examples of Out Sourced Call Centres

If we generally look around the world all the developed countries especially USA and UK's businesses out sourced the call centre and now a days the best countries to out sourced the call centres are considered as India, and china and the up coming countries includes Pakistan, and Nepal, if we talk about UK we will see that majority of the telephone and broad band providers have out sourced their call centres to India, who's major examples are

BT (Technical assistance)

Lyca Mobile (Customer services)

Lebara (Customer services)

Talk Talk (Customer Services)

E.on (Sales brokers out bound call centre)

Opus (Sales brokers out bound call centre)

And now upcoming 3 is also in a process to transfer their customer services to Pakistan, as we have discussed few names of the big companies now if we see to the benefits to these companies first of all they will be saving millions of pounds, as they have to pay the collective amount to out sourced company in their native currency, and the pay scale will also be very low, as the amount these companies would be paying to their employees per hour it can be the salary of the employee in Pakistan or India for the whole day, so its really cost saving for them, secondly all these companies can better concentrate on their core business and no need to jumble up all the things together. And of course can save the company from any further unions, as just by paying some amount they can get almost the better services with no hassle.

If we look at the other examples of USA out sourced call centres we can see USA has almost out sourced majority of its services to India and Pakistan as the major examples are Dish Network, in fact this is business which was basically flourished through Pakistan as all the sales were made by Pakistan so it was an out bound call centre. As TRG, Ovex, Mind Bridge, Corner stone are the main examples of out sourced call centres who are providing services to international call centres with their proper trained staff.

According to McKinsey Global institute of the full $1.45 to $1,47 of the value created globally from off-shoring $1 of US labour cost, the US alone captures $1.12 to $1.14 of value while receiving countries like India capture on an average just 33 cents. A recent research study showed that 85% of Fortune 500 sales and marketing executives are outsourcing more key marketing services than ever before. When asked why they are outsourcing more today, 90% of these companies reported that the more they outsource the more competitive they become (source: Business Marketing, August 1994). A Bain Research study confirmed that a mere 5% increase in customer retention can increase revenues up to 125%.

Forbes, 1995 "Today, outsourcing is not just a trend; it is an integral part of how smart companies do business. But this was not always true; as business has evolved - from the vertical organizations of the '70s, to the horizontal organizations of the '80s and '90s, toward the virtual organizations of the next century - the scope and focus of outsourcing has changed. It can no longer be defined simply as a long-term contract with another company for supplies/services. The concept has matured. It now manages a strategic relationship between partners, with shared risks and goals - a relationship in which a company concentrates on its core business and relies on outsourcing partnerships to get the rest done. Unless managers periodically re examine how they make sourcing decisions - and how resources get allocated - they can find themselves... starving what is core".- Harvard Business Review


So from the all above discussion and given examples we can conclude that it self call centre has different benefits and advantages which really makes customer feel comfortable but as per our main discussion topic, about out sourced call centres we can easily end up the discussion by analysing that out sourced call centres are more beneficial and cost effective for both the countries as 1 is having good services and the other country in return get jobs and good amount of money. So its a win win situation for both of the countries