The technology available at our fingertips has brought the world closer than ever. In and out of work, calls can be transferred or redirected right across the globe in an instant and with perfect clarity. Connecting with colleagues or clients from overseas is as simple and straightforward as buzzing through to someone in the same building.
But it’s this simplicity that has encouraged so many telephone answering service companies to outsource to call centres based abroad. The business model is clear – they outsource the work so they pay less and can offer lower rates to their clients, in the process, lowering their overheads and ridding themselves of the necessity to recruit, train and manage their own staff.
So, the question is, why is there so much negative press and so many horror stories about overseas call centres?
And the answer to that is that outsourcing call answering services delivers its own set of problems and is not the cheap, hassle-free alternative that many are led to believe. Here, we’ll look at why that is the case and why Virtually There answer all calls in-house.
Why Overseas Outsourcing Is A Gamble
When a telephone answering service provider decides to outsource calls, it is taking a gamble. One of the major issues with overseas outsourcing is that regulation can be different in other countries and many services will actually be completely unregulated. So, there is no guarantee they will meet the levels of service you or your callers expect and deserve. This can reflect badly on your business. And if that call is the first time a potential customer has tried to contact you, chances are you’ll never hear from them again.
Think about it. The selling point for the company taking on the outsourced contract is that they can offer their services at rock-bottom prices. But when was the last time you paid a rock-bottom price for a top quality service?
Exactly. It doesn’t happen.
Now, think back to how technology has transformed the way we communicate. Emails, chat services and other forms of communication have become the norm for some communication between B2C and B2B businesses. But very few customers want to deal with a 100% digital service. And if you’re looking for professional, personable call takers to represent your business on the phone, do you really want to rely on budget overseas outsourcing? It’s hard to imagine that the little you save is a good return for the impact of poor quality service.
Why Professional Human Interaction Is Crucial During Calls
There will always be a need for human-to-human telephone interactions. Getting each conversation spot on will remain important for all businesses. Upset the client, and you may never get a chance to put things right.
Similarly, a phone call may be the first contact a potential client has with your company, or at least the first human contact in which you’re reliant on an individual to represent your company in a professional manner. In such circumstances, taking a gamble is not recommended.
Receptionists from overseas may not have sufficient knowledge about how your business or industry operates in the UK. This means they are often unable to answer basic questions your callers have about your business or services.
Their focus is on taking as many calls as possible, not offering insightful customer service. But your customer, to all intents and purposes is speaking to a representative of your company. They don’t care that the call handler is in fact outsourced. And why would they? Think back to why you took on a call answering service in the first place. It was most likely because you were unable to offer the level of customer service your clients deserve. And if you’re paying for a high-quality service, that’s exactly what should be provided. A company that qualifies, hires and trains it’s call handlers, and doesn’t rely on unknown overseas receptionists, is a sure fire way to ensure high quality customer services.
Chaotic methods of answering calls leads to simple mistakes, background noise that may bother your client, and a high number of complaints. Once again, the call centre provider will fall back on its price point as a means of persuading you to stay. This, despite the fact that your customers are frustrated with the service. But in a world in which customer acquisition is an expensive process, and customer experience is crucial to retention, gambling with a call answering service that outsources to overseas means gambling with your professional reputation. Is it really worth it?
There is also the added issue that, if and when technical problems occur, they can take much longer to fix.
Why Lawyers Should Never Rely On Calls Outsource Overseas
When somebody calls a law firm, it’s fair to say it’s over a serious matter. It could be an important contract they want to discuss, a house sale, or something more distressing such as a divorce or other complicated legal matter.
Whatever the purpose of the call, it’s vital that the call taker gives them absolute confidence in your company to handle the matter. If a potential client is left with any doubts about the competency of your organisation, it’s almost certain that will be the last contact you ever have with them.
Their doubts could be brought about by uncertainty over the services offered, lack of compassion in handling their call or lack of knowledge about a law that doesn’t apply in the call takers country.
Why Outsourced Call Handling Service Are Poorly Monitored
When hiring a new service, one of the questions most business leaders ask is how issues or complaints will be dealt with. They want confidence that, should a problem occur, it will be rectified swiftly.
When call answering service providers outsource overseas, any alleged ‘guarantees’ are usually no more than vague promises. The truth is that the company doing the outsourcing is usually disconnected from the contractor they have carrying out the work. This situation leads to a lack of ownership over any issues that arise with both parties expecting the other to deal with problems. And while this game of responsibility tennis is in full swing, you’re left with an unsatisfied customer and a recovery mission to try to keep them on board.
Now, if poor service, chaotic background noise, lack of professionalism and high levels of complaints were happening right in front of your eyes, you’d probably do something about it pretty quickly. But when it’s happening on the other side of the world and you have other matters to attend to, it’s easily ignored. But that doesn’t make it go away and the damage it does to your customer relations is no different. Clients calling in expect a high level of service and will not care that anything less than that was offered by a third party. As far as they’re concerned, the person they speak to on the phone is a representative of your business.
At Virtually There, all our virtual reception services are handled in-house in the UK. Our virtual receptionists and virtual personal assistants have all been trained to high standards and display ultimate professionalism. We never overburden them with excessive clients to handle calls for. When they take a call for you, we make sure they have the time and knowledge to handle it in the way that you would expect if the client were speaking to your very own receptionist. They’ll use your script and you can always rely on them to take down relevant information and pass it on.
We pride ourselves on the quality of our service – but our prices are pretty affordable too.
To find out how our virtual reception services could bring an added layer of professionalism to your business and make sure you never miss another call, get in touch today.