Efficient customer support service is a highly imperative responsibility, and no company ever wishes to risk it at any cost. Outsourcing call centre companies mainly work hard on their in-house hiring and training as they aim to offer uninterrupted customer support service.
However, can BPOs outsource their customer service responsibility too?
Well, most of the outsourced call centres outsource their customer support to remote agents to handle high call volumes. Since BPOs work for multiple clients, thus outsourcing to remote agents is one option to avoid call abandonment and customer dissatisfaction at times when call volumes are at peak.
However, how safe is outsourcing to a remote agent?
With the increasing market competition and call centre outsourcing firms handling huge call volumes for partners, remote agents at help can be quite feasible. Coming along with some potential pros and cons, remote call centre agents are those who work from home or by gathering at one place on behalf of a call centre. At times, when call centres have fewer agents and high call volumes, outsourcing to remote agents can be a blissful experience!
Distributing the call centre responsibility to a remote agent helps to check loads and avoid call abandonment that leads to customer dissatisfaction. Call centres work for numerous partners, thus high call volumes are normal. Nevertheless, remote agents are not safe always.
As there are pros and cons to everything, outsourcing to remote agents has some perquisites and drawbacks too. Since remote agents require less investment than in-house hiring and training the agents, thus most outsourcing companies consider it to save expenses and avoid the ultimate partners’ unhappiness.
Since by outsourcing the business call answering service to a BPO company, companies expect BPO partners to be available at support 24X7. Thus, call centre companies at such times look forward to remote agents in case in-house agents lack the expertise to handle all incoming calls splendidly.
As hiring remote agents is easy, however before outsourcing, the pros, and cons of the same need to be considered.
Source - https://www.business2community.com/
Pros of Hiring Remote Agents for Outsourcing Call Centre
Cost-Effective for Call Centre Outsourcing Companies
The biggest advantage to draw from remote agents on-board is that BPOs can save a lot on investment. The money traditionally spent on IT equipment and infrastructural configurations are saved with remote agent outsourcing.
Call centres generally have a team of agents whom they regularly train to offer astounding customer service. However, getting remote agents, BPOs do not have to worry about the same, as remote agents are up-to-date with the latest trends.
Moreover, unlike in-house agents, BPOs do not have to pay the remote agents monthly. You only have to pay for the services enjoyed! Thus, these savings can be used later on re-hiring quality agents.
No Payment in Off-Season
As we talked before, the best part of having remote agents on-board is that companies do not have to pay them in off-seasons. When call centre companies hire in-house, it is obligatory to pay the agent monthly even in off-seasons. However, with a remote agent, this is not an issue.
BPOs can recruit remote agents based on a pay-per-call basis or when the demand occurs, thus the chance of extra costs is never a concern. With the advantage of remote agents on the business side, BPOs can handle high call volumes even on holidays or on festivals.
Outsourced Call Centres Get More Choices in Labour
When we talk about more choices when it comes to labour, we mean customers having more choices when it comes to selecting a candidate for a call. With remote call centre agents, call centre outsourcing firms are not limited to a particular area of employees, however, gain access to employees from around the world.
This way, BPOs do not have employees from immediate locations, however, they can choose remote agents who stay international and can talk fluently in different languages. For the BPO companies that handle customer support for multinational companies, having remote agents on-board with these perks can be of great help.
Remote outsourcing means getting professionals on-board from the cheapest labour-intensive countries. This is one more reason why American companies outsource their labour-intensive tasks to India, as they get cheap labour here. Hiring and training agents in-house can cost high, thus offshore outsourcing to remote agents can help.
Remote agents are the ones who work from their locations, thus the need not travel, which saves their time as well as the time of the outsourcing call centre company. With the remote agents working from home, BPOs can save the agents' time on travelling and cost on infrastructure that is a must when agents work from the office.
Such an approach not only saves expenses of the business but also saves the environment from gas and smoke emissions, which is natural when offices are open.
In-House Employees are Motivated
When outsourced call centres take the help of remote agents, in-house employees get motivated. This is because when the in-house agents have to work for extra hours and handle multiple calls monotonously at peak hours, they get frustrated.
However, with a remote agent, in-house employees get free time and they do not have the fear of working extra. This way, remote agents can help reduce attrition disputes and can help increase employee and customer satisfaction too.
By not allowing the in-house staff to feel miserable, companies boost morale and uplift the spirit of the agents to work better. Thus, remote agents can prove to be the best companions at times of high call volumes!
No Hassle of Handling a Huge Team
When BPOs manage all functions in-house including repetitive hiring and training, it is true chaos to handle such a huge team efficiently. However, outsourcing some responsibilities to remote agents can help to avoid the hassle of in-house service maintenance.
With the help of remote agents, the in-house staff does not have to waste time on technical problems too, thus saves time for other productive functions.
Cons of Having Remote Agents in Call Centre Outsourcing Firm
Special Equipment, Software Needed
In several countries, the remote agents ask for some special equipment, software, or maybe an internet connection. Such requirements increase the business costs, which the company thought of saving with a remote agent.
Such hidden costs ultimately prove to be expensive for the business when compared to hiring an in-house team of agents and providing the same to them. This is why it is highly significant to clear all minute details while hiring a remote agent, as regretting later is of no use.
Outsourcing call centre companies when looking forward to remote agents need to share customer information with them. This is where some potential security threats may arise. Sharing the customer details with a third-party partner is not good, as companies show trust in outsourced call centres when they share their customer information, and later call centre companies can’t misuse their data by third-party handling.
Since an external agent can’t be trusted on security maintenance, thus remote agents need to be avoided.
Lack of Monitoring
Among the most talked-about cons of a remote agent, lack of monitoring capabilities is the most genuine reason. When a call centre outsourcing company reaches out to a remote agent for customer support handling, the agent does not grant access for performance monitoring.
However, with in-house agents, it is easy to track their breaks, tasks done, faults, and answers to the customer. Conversely, these monitoring perks are not the same as a remote agent.
No Sense of Belonging
With a remote agent, you cannot expect the same sense of belongingness, as the in-house employees have towards the customer. The staff feels to be a part of the family when they get to communicate with the business leads, enjoy the perks given by the organizational system, and physically connect with the firm.
However, with a remote agent, you can’t expect the same dedication as an in-house agent brings to the business. As the remote agents do not have the bonding like in-house agents, thus they tend to refrain from giving their best shot.
Deteriorated Customer Satisfaction
Among the top limitations of outsourcing services to a remote agent, ending up with deteriorated customer satisfaction is the biggest concern. When a remote agent handles the customer calls, they may not deliver the same level of customer service efficiency as an in-house agent.
Since the agents on-board have an idea of the customer’s likes and dislikes, thus they tend to offer better customer support. For an external agent, it is hard to handle multiple calls all day sitting at home where several distractions might not allow offer splendid answering service.
Remote Workers are Hard to Train
When a company selects an outsourcing call centre company for customer support, the agents in-house can be trained repeatedly on the business requirements and changing market trends. However, with a remote agent, training, and updating with the business requirements time-to-time can be a nightmare.
As there are pros and cons to everything, so it is with remote agent hiring. Nevertheless, as there are several perks outsourced call centres enjoy with a remote agent on-board. The potential drawbacks are what pulls companies back from getting a remote agent at times of high call volumes.
The limitation of not being able to monitor the agents’ task, security threats, lack of a sense of belongingness, lack of customer satisfaction, communication hurdles, hidden costs, and lack of unity and spirit is what restricts most BPOs from hiring a team of remote agents.
However, a reliable agent who has experience working for multiple clients can be a good choice!