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Outsourcing your calls to a call centre: what to consider

Published in Callcentres

Your choice of an external call centre is an important strategic decision. In a previous article, we explained why many companies choose to outsource (part of) incoming customer contacts to a phone service or call centre. When you are thinking of using an external party, there are a number of things to consider. Below are some important factors if you want to engage a call centre.

  • Quality and reputation
    Which companies does the call centre currently work for and do they have high customer satisfaction ?
    References give a good idea of the quality delivered by the call centre. Call the customer service of one of the current clients yourself to experience the quality of service.

  • Opening hours and time zones
    Call centre opening hours will also factor into your choice of a particular call centre.
    For instance, many national call centres have multiple packages. Often offered are: office hours, office hours + weekend and the extension extended office hours, where you can be called as early as 06.00 until deep into the night.
    By programming time zones on your phone number, we can also deliver calls to other countries.
    If you want to be reachable early in the morning, it is smart to outsource to a country several time zones to the east. If you wish to speak to customers late at night, a call centre in the Antilles or India can help you.
    Some call centres work around the clock.

  • Cost
    That you will save money by outsourcing to a call centre is often a fact. But how much does this save in costs and what services does your new partner offer for this rate?

  • Capacity
    How many calls do you expect to offer ?
    Call centres can handle peaks, but there are limits to this flexibility as well. In addition, call centres work for several customers. The question is therefore whether your potential partner has the capacity to fully serve you.
    Of course, we can also spread the traffic over several call centres, this way the phone is always answered quickly and you can see which call centre performs best.

  • Service Level Agreement (SLA)
    Call centres make agreements with customers about the services offered, response time, opening hours, reporting and much more. SLAs allow you to measure performance and make timely adjustments when the service offered or benchmarks vary.

How do I find a call centre?

A Google search yields a lot of specialised call centres, but which one is the best fit for your business? It would be nice if you could create a 'shortlist' of potential partners, allowing you to efficiently schedule quote requests and introductory meetings.
If you have business partners who already outsource, ask them what their experiences are with call centres.

The future of call centres

Call centres have benefited from major technological developments in recent decades: the advent of service numbers and national numbers, smart routing systems, VoIP and web-based telephony. Call centres will experience many more changes in the coming years.

Thus, interaction with customers via social media will increase. Companies that enter into dialogue with customers through this channel can count on growing sympathy and loyalty. Smartphones, internet, social media, tablets ensure that consumers have access to more information and decide for themselves the channel for customer contact. For companies that respond to this in time, these are positive developments with unique opportunities.

It follows from this that call centres will increasingly be replaced by contact centres. The difference between contact centres and call centres is in the channels through which customers can contact them. A call centre only processes telephone calls, while a contact centre can be reached through other channels, for example e-mail and chat.

By activating a phone number with Belfabriek, you can transfer to any call centre and thus outsource (some) of your calls.

We cannot advise you which call centre is good or not, this also depends on the size of the assignment and the industry you are working in. Therefore, we do not have 1 fixed partner.

The advantage of having your own virtual phone number at Belfabriek is that you can try several call centres and always switch easily. So our tip is to get your phone number at Belfabriek and not at the call centre, then you will have optimal freedom of choice.

Good luck finding your call centre !

Frequently asked questions

I want to outsource incoming calls to a call centre, can you advise me on this?

The best advice we can give is to activate your phone number with Belfabriek. This way you can flexibly divide incoming calls between your own staff and an external phone service. This way, you always remain in full control and you won't have to move your phone number if a call centre stops working properly.

I want to use a call centre and have my phone number with you, what should I do ?

Ask your call centre what the phone number is to which you can transfer your calls. Give us this number and we will take care of this call forwarding. Also let us know whether we should forward all calls or a part of the calls (e.g. outside office hours).

Is outsourcing to a call centre something for big companies only?

More and more small companies start using a call centre to handle telephone traffic. With a phone number from Belfabriek, you can always easily outsource customer service and make use of features like call recording so you can monitor the quality of the call centre.

I need to outsource sales calls and outbound calls, can you help me with that?

We specialise in routing inbound calls to in-house staff or a call centre for perfect reachability. We do not know anything about telemarketing and outsourcing sales calls.

Can I outsource to several call centres to test the quality?

The advantage of a virtual phone number at Belfabriek is that you can flexibly forward calls to one or more call centres. This way, you can divide the traffic with large campaigns, or, as a small company, see who can realise the best reachability for you.

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