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Call Center Outsourcing: Customer Service Vendors Integrate CRM Data with Success

Companies across industries are searching for ways to break the mundane connotations of average customer service. How are they accomplishing such a lofty goal? Theyre leaving it in the hands of experts. Call center outsourcing is big and getting bigger.

With the addition of customer relationship management (CRM) to the strategic quiver, both businesses and prospects are hitting the mark with customer service outsourcing. Businesses are finding necessary to reduce costs and provide better service in a down economy--two things that might seem mutually exclusive; not so, thanks to customer service outsourcing services. Prospects enjoy a feeling of importance as problem resolutions and new offers are tailor-made to their consumer preferences.

Call Center Outsourcing Takes New Directions in 2009

Specialization in the call center industry is a key factor. If businesses could adequately handle their customer service duties, customer service outsourcing would be a non-issue. But as operating budgets continue to tighten, leaving such an awesome responsibility to expert vendors seems logical. TEAM International says to look for these call center outsourcing trends in 2009:

  • Nearshoring. The tendency of businesses to partner with call centers in Eastern Europe
  • Small-timing. Contract partnerships and short-term projects should become common
  • Expertise. Call centers will specialize in specific industry niches
  • Competition. Quality increases while costs decrease

CRM Holds a Presence in Customer Service Outsourcing

The customer relationship management process involves collecting consumer data at various customer touch points and using it to shape communications between company and contact. CRM is a fairly new entity, gaining most of its steam in the past decade. When a business utilizes CRM effectively, it creates a profile of the target market in a way that simply cant be duplicated by traditional selling models. CRM also allows for better handling of challenges by recognizing them before they become real problems.

Brent Leary, Partner of CRM Essentials, reveals several CRM directions in SmallBizTrends that companies considering call center outsourcing should keep in mind. They include reaching out to customers for new ideas, automating the data collections process at every turn, and providing rich content through social networking outlets. The CRM model that Leary describes is a connection function, with businesses interacting on a very personal level.

Call Center Outsourcing and Customer Service by the Numbers

Nothing speaks to the advantages of outsourcing like statistics. After all, ROI simply cant be ignored when considering a paradigm shift in operations. A recent survey by Hewitt Associates emphasizes the benefits of customer service outsourcing for the companies brave enough to take the plunge. Some of the highlights of the 2009 survey include:

  • Perceived Benefits. 82 percent of the companies surveyed have achieved benefits from outsourcing
  • Cost Factors. 62 percent of respondents who outsourced for financial reasons met their cost-saving objectives
  • Interest Peaks. 34 of respondents say theyre more likely to outsource than they were just two years ago

The bottom line is that the marriage of call center outsourcing and CRM can enhance the consumer relationship. And profitable partnerships just might be the catalyst needed to turn the economy from bear to bull sooner than expected.


Hewitt Associates (PDF)

Small Business Trends

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