The call center industry undergoes continuous change. Failing to keep up with the rate of change doesn’t mean maintaining the status quo, it means falling behind. Yet implementing new ideas, projects, and initiatives require time and money. And there’s never enough time and money to get everything done. Even more critical, is finding the people with the expertise required to make things happen. Consider these three approaches to address the labor side of completing call center improvements in a timely and cost-effective manner.
The default assumption to address call center change is to tap existing staff. On the surface, this makes sense. They’re already on the payroll, and there’s no incremental cost for asking them to do more. Yet if your call center is like most call centers, your staff is already too busy. There are already things that must give because they can’t do everything they should. That means if you ask them to do more—to champion this new must-have initiative—more things are going to slip. And this will have a long-term, negative consequence on your call center operation’s success. And even if they can work on the project, how long will it take? They’re going to have to fit it in between existing responsibilities and management expectations. This might mean that a one-month project might take them one year to complete, or even longer.
As an alternative to in-house employees, who are already on the payroll but likely too busy, call centers look at tapping the skills of contracted employees. This provides advantages that don’t exist with in-house staff. A contracted employee has no legacy projects to maintain or ongoing responsibilities to continue. A contracted employee has none of these issues to deal with. In theory, they can devote 100 percent of their time to your project or initiative, moving from inception to completion. Then when the project ends, the contract ends, and you incur no more expense. Yet with contracted employees, you end up paying for their learning curve. They may not have a grasp of the industry, understand call center culture, or be familiar with the technology or process you want to implement. This means that the cost of the contract employee can balloon, easily doubling to what it should otherwise be.
To address the downsides of contracted employees, instead think of a contracted services provider. In this case, you tap the collective expertise of a call center consultancy. They’re ready to go because they’re in the industry every day and stay abreast of leading-edge developments and best-of-class services. They can start working on day one with no learning curve and minimal ramp-up time required. In the case of contracted services, you aren’t hiring a single person, but a group with a single focus on completing your project or initiative in the fastest, most economical way possible. This could result in various people working on specific aspects of the project according to their expertise. And, just as with contracted employees, when you tap a contracted services provider, once the project is complete, the contract is over. However, as an alternative, your contracted services provider can move on to the next project or initiative, thereby keeping your call center moving forward to embrace the latest ideas and practices of the call center industry. Not only are contracted services the quickest and most efficient way to go, they’re also the most cost-effective. When leading call centers need to get something done outside of their normal area of expertise and time availability, they seek a contracted services provider to get the job done.
Don’t let critical call center initiatives languish over not having the human resources needed to make things happen. Instead use a contracted services provider to get the job done, get it done quickly, and get it done right. This will speed you toward a successful completion and to do so at a fraction of the time and cost it would take to do in house. Call Center Sales Pro, a premier sales and marketing service provider for the call center and telephone answering service industry, helps clients grow their revenue and optimize their business. Contact Janet at firstname.lastname@example.org 800-901-7706. Peter Lyle DeHaan is a freelance writer from Southwest Michigan.