The Forgotten Secret of Customer Service Outsourcing: HR

by Patty Isnor in Customer Service Outsourcing, Patty Isnor

Buyers of Customer Service Outsourcing often look to outsourcers for the obvious ‘hard’ benefits including cost savings, enhanced profitability, and lower risk. It’s natural for many buyers to focus on the KPIs and end results. However, the end results can be tied back to ‘inputs’ put in place earlier in the process of managing a contact center workforce. Behind the scenes, a number of operational HR burdens are lifted off the clients’ shoulders. Here’s how that adds up to providing real dollars and cents benefits in the outsourced environment.

Attracting Agents
As part of building an agent workforce, countless hours should be put into branding the company to attract top talent. What does the contact center floor look like? Will you invest in lighting and office space to create an attractive, inspiring environment? Or do you look to the cheapest real estate in town? In our competitive world, there is intense competition for top agents who can deliver great customer service. There is heavy-lifting associated with attracting quality agents. Outsourcing customer service takes that burden off your HR and facilities management departments.

The benefits: Improved Agent Satisfaction and Morale.

Recruiting Agents
How do you profile potential employees to determine suitability? Do you have a dedicated team to recruit agents only? When internal recruiting teams are tasked with hiring agents and other higher profile positions, the chance of making a bad agent hire increases. Within the outsourced environment, a recruiting team exists for one sole purpose – ONLY to profile, assess, and hire the best candidates for talking with clients’ customers.

The benefits: Lower Agent Turnover and Improved Internal Recruiting.

Agent Training
For one particular campaign, we had a client that was adamant that agents would need at least three weeks of training. This is where the HR benefit took hold as a result of thousands and thousands of hours of administering training, we knew where to extract inefficiencies in the process. As a result, we derived at an eight day training cycle. Again, the end result was a huge cost saving for the client and it was a benefit directly correlated by the HR function. In addition, the refocused training regimen resulted in much improved customer service delivery.

The benefits: Improved Customer Satisfaction, Improved Agent Retention, and Increased Customer Loyalty.

Managing Agents
What workforce schedule will produce the greatest benefit? How do you deal with Sexual Harassment? Which bathroom should your transgender agents use? From workforce optimization to dealing with employment laws, managing an agent workforce of any size requires due diligence, time, and a huge responsibility. Typically, this means multiple dedicated resources accountable to the employees and the unique needs of each individual. Again, is this function best served in house or with an effective outsourced partner?

The benefits: Improved Workforce Management, Improved Customer Satisfaction, and Less Management Headaches.

So what’s the end benefit of HR within customer service outsourcing? Amidst the operational metrics and KPIs, the soft benefits play a huge part in complementing and contributing to the hard benefits of offloading the HR dynamic with your customer service. Don’t let the HR burden of running a call center negatively impact your customer service delivery. In considering the value of outsourcing your customer service, you need to ask yourself, “where is my time and energy best spent? Is it in attracting, recruiting, training, or managing agents? Probably not. You most likely would want to spend your resources and talent on your core business (i.e. How can we be the best at selling widgets? How can we be more competitive?).

Want to learn more about how HR can be leveraged in in the Outsourced Contact Center? Read our case studies: Be Nimble, Be Quick or Overcoming Outsourcing Anxiety.

Comments are closed.