Contact center outsourcing: Friend or foe?

Last updated:August 2014

Editor's note

Companies have been looking to save money by outsourcing some or all of their contact center operations to an outside entity. But the crucial questions in executing a move this big go beyond a company's bottom line.

Outsourcing brings concerns about the security of customer data. Oversight is difficult as managers strive to make sure their agents are committed to the company's goals. As a general business practice, outsourcing is controversial and is receiving governmental pressure to slow its march. Social media also plays a role in day-to-day operations, while automation and self-service software can be good in theory but potentially hurt customer experience.

This essential guide examines the challenges and benefits of outsourcing contact center operations. Beyond the obvious cost-saving potential, a move such as this is fraught with peril if not handled properly.

1Changing attitudes in the contact center industry

Contact centers deal with much more than phone calls in today's business world. They also handle social media and new innovations in infrastructure and technology. In general, outsourcing is a controversial practice that is being criticized in today's harsh economic climate. Attitudes are changing, not only in how outsourcing is viewed but in the fundamental way in which contact centers operate.

2How to avoid pitfalls in the modern contact center

Practices such as automation and self-service have, in some cases, improved efficiency and further developed relationships with customers. However, this software is not a cure-all, and the human element is still needed. For a company looking to outsource contact center responsibilities, security is already a big concern. In implementing these practices, managers also need to worry about customer experience being negatively affected.