Why Startups Need to Look at US Boutique Call Centers

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Why Startups Need to Look at US Boutique Call Centers

So many huge call centers dominate the landscape. Thousand seat centers with locations that span the globe. When startup companies think of a call center or call center outsourcing, for many, these large companies are the first to come to mind. For many larger clients they do serve a great service. They offer high volume service and sales to major companies that need hundreds or even thousands to seats filled that they could never do in-house without incurring massive expense and management. I will say though, for startups there are other more relevant options.

Imagine a high end call center with all American associates, best in class client services and lower costs and more flexibility that utilize the newest in Omni channel communication channels and cater to companies that have the need to outsource 5-50 seats. These are your US Boutique Contact Centers.

I have operated in both environments and love the hands on attitude, quality and flexibility of the smaller center especially for youthful growing organizations that are looking to outsource for the first time. The ability to grow with smaller outsourcing clients and really have an impact on their customers and their bottom line is something that really drives the operators of smaller high quality centers and provides a great service to startup companies.

Some of the great qualities of a Flexible US Call Center partner:

1.Quality- When you go offshore or a large call center agrees to take a smaller program are you comfortable with your program being in a room with hundreds if not thousands of other seats that are catering to many other clients? When you are the small fish in the pond, the time and care for your program gets treated as such.

If you place that same 10-50 seat program in a 150-300 seat center the level of quality and care rises as the importance of your program to the outsourcer rises. I really believe that you should only outsource to a Contact Center where your program will take up at least of 3-5% of their seats. You know they are going to really work day in and day out for your business. When you are only .00001% of a large centers business do you really think they are maximizing your program….human and business nature tells a different story.

You get to focus on your core business while a professional US call center handles your sales and customer needs.

2. Pricing- This is one of the largest differences and most misunderstood pieces of outsourcing. For the most part (and speaking from my experience) smaller call centers are more entrepreneurial just like a startup. Their setup costs are less stringent. Their cost per hour or by the minute for the most part as well is very negotiable. They do not have the high overhead of other departments to have to bill to. I know at my center we can undercut all the big boys because of how lean we are, most of the smaller US centers think the same.When you are a smaller client you are at the will of the larger call center. They will charge you for everything because they can. You will pay setup fees, IT fees, and fees to setup reporting fees for scripting. The larger call center’s per hour or per minute rate will be set for you. Don’t even ask about changing a report or a script or god forbid the screen after the initial setup…you will be charged.

3. Client Service- This in my opinion is the biggest difference between the large and smaller centers. Many of the larger call centers have you call the operations person on the floor to have a production problem taken care of. They make you put in a trouble ticket for an IT change or call “creative” to have a scripting change done. I personally think that shows a lack of caring and empathy for a client. If the call center can’t show that to you, how are you to trust them with your customers!?

Most of the smaller call centers give you access to 24/7 client support with one person who understands your program inside and out. When you have a problem you get one point of contact for all you issues. You cannot put a price on that kind of peace of mind.

4. Partnership- Smaller call centers lend themselves to really partner with a client, something that cannot be undersold when dealing with startup partners. Try telling a large center you want to AB test a new product with just a couple associates next week. That would never happen and if it did would come with exorbitant costs. With a smaller center not only would it happen, they would bend over backwards to make its success.  these centers cater to the needs of a startup.

Smaller centers don’t just “work” a program and go home. They monitor, find improvements, scour reports to make every program a client brings a success. You get so much more then human making or answering calls.  I personally never stop thinking about my clients and their programs.

There are so many reasons why outsourcing to the right partner makes sense for your startup. There are call centers out there that cater to all companies no matter the size or budget. Do not think that the big boys are the only game in town.  Rethink how outsourcing is done, your customers will appreciate it!

Thomas Laird is a customer service and contact center consultant and operations professional with over 25 year of experience. Thomas is currently the CEO of Expivia Interaction Marketing Group, Inc.  and usacallcenter.net A 100% onshore multichannel contact center and lead writer for the Contact Center Muse Blog.

For More information on how we at Expivia Interaction Marketing Group May be able to help your startup, please fill out the form below for more details!

The 5 Absolutes for an Amazing Call Center and Customer Service Culture

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You learn some things after running contact centers for 20+ years. The following are 5 tips or to take that a step further, absolutes on changing or creating a great contact center culture in your customer service center.

“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.” -Howard Shultz CEO Starbucks

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Good Morning!!! Why You Need to Control the First 30 Minutes in Your Call Center Every Day!

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We teach all our middle management that the first 30 minutes of an associates day must be totally controlled by the supervisor.  We believe it is one of the most important tips that we can give any call center manager. If you know what to do during this time and your supervisors are trained in this aspect it will allow every day get off to a great start and solve many problems before they even have a chance to start!

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Taking a Look at Why SOOOOO Many Companies Have Poor Customer Service

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Why is customer service done so poorly in so many service centers? There are many reasons for this, just look at all the books written on this subject. I would like to focus on 7 core reasons that I have seen in many different companies and have helped correct:

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In-house or Outsource, What to do?

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Post 5: In or out?

Keeping call center operations in-house or outsourcing call center operations and customer service is a topic that many organizations struggle with.  While you are giving up control of your customer experience to a 3rd party,  the perception that in-house facilities are ALWAYS better is in my opinion, false.  Just like post 3 in this series on “Self-Service”…if you are looking to outsource strictly to save money then you are doing it for the wrong reasons.  Yes that is an ancillary benefit but one that will bite you in the long run if you choose the wrong partner.

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10 Customer Service Stats and What They Mean for Your Contact Center

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This article was taken from the www.desk.com blog and written by Tim Pickard.  I thought it was so well done and interesting that I wanted my readers to check it out.

Businesses can pour money into elaborate advertising campaigns, but bad customer service can undo all that hard work instantly.

Excellent customer service can be as good (and often better) for your brand than a well-orchestrated PR campaign: get your customers to do the talking for you! Great service also determines whether your existing customers shop with you again and whether your potential customers get beyond just that –potential.

There are plenty of statistics that can give you an insight into the power of good (or bad) customer service. Here are ten facts and what they mean for your contact center.

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Multi-Channel Customer Service is The Only Option for Today

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Is your organization telling your customers how they are to interact with your company? Seems backwards doesn’t it? So many organizations make customers go through long drawn out IVRs, have no mobile strategy, Facebook pages with only company updates (thinking that’s a social media strategy). Worse of all though are organizations that hide their phone number on their website to try to force non-voice options because it’s cheaper (so they think)! I don’t understand this; your customers should be telling you how they want to interact with your company. We should want to talk to our customers if they want to talk to us, why are we pushing them away or funneling them to one or two channels when that is not what they want?

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Call Center Best Practices for Video Customer Service 

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The technology for video customer service is here now.  To be honest that was the easy part.  The more difficult one is how do we now harness this technology to make it a useful channel for our customers and a profitable channel for our organizations.

The Muse wants to dig deep into this over the coming days and weeks.  In the first segment here we want to delve into associate best practices that we have learned here at Expivia on our journey onto the new and exciting field of video service.

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Want a Great Day in Your Call Center? Control the First 30 Minutes of the Shift

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We teach all our middle management that the first 30 minutes of an associates day must be totally controlled by the supervisor.  We believe it is one of the most important tips that we can give any call center manager. If you know what to do during this time and your supervisors are trained in this aspect it will allow every day get off to a great start and solve many problems before they even have a chance to start!

Continue reading

5 Tips For Creating a GREAT Customer Service Call Center Culture

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You learn some things after running contact centers for 20+ years. The following are 5 tips on changing or creating a great contact center culture in your customer service center.

“You can’t expect your employees to exceed the expectations of your customers if you don’t exceed the employees’ expectations of management.” -Howard Shultz CEO Starbucks

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