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Why Setting Up an In-House Call Center is Not a Good Idea for Start-Ups

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For start-ups, every decision regarding resource allocation and cost management is critical. Even the smallest of wrong decisions can hamper their workflow and often cripple them to the point of no recovery. One such decision is whether to set up an in-house call center or outsource customer service operations.

While an in-house call center may seem appealing initially, it is often not the best choice for start-ups. From high operating costs to keeping up with the latest technological developments, start-ups are bound to face a lot of challenges when trying to operate an in-house call center.

In this article, we will explore some of the most common yet important reasons why setting up an in-house call center is not a good idea for start-ups.

#1 High Costs

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One of the primary drawbacks of establishing an in-house call center is the substantial upfront and ongoing costs involved. Start-ups typically operate with limited financial resources, and investing in infrastructure, technology, hiring and training staff, and maintaining the facility can place a significant strain on their budgets.

The expenses associated with hardware, software, telecommunications, and employee salaries can quickly escalate, making it unviable for many start-ups.

According to a Blue Valley Marketing breakdown of the costs associated with running a call center, an in-house cost center can cost you between $125,000 and $300,000. In-house call or contact center services can cost even more if you consider other costs like training and attrition. Because of these high costs, it becomes difficult for a start-up company to invest in other areas or sectors of the business.

#2 Lack of Scalability

Start-ups often experience rapid growth and unpredictable fluctuations in customer demand. In-house call centers are designed to handle a specific volume of calls and may not be easily scalable to accommodate sudden spikes in call volumes.

Scaling up an in-house call center requires additional investments in infrastructure, technology, and human resources, which can further strain the already limited resources of start-ups. In contrast, outsourcing call center services allow start-ups to scale up or down as needed without the burden of fixed costs.

#3 Limited Expertise

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Running a successful call center requires specialized knowledge and expertise. Start-ups may not have the necessary experience or resources to manage and optimize call center operations effectively. Building an in-house call center requires hiring and training staff with the right skill set, implementing quality assurance processes, and continuously monitoring and improving performance.

These activities demand time, effort, and resources that start-ups may not have readily available. By outsourcing call center services, start-ups can leverage the expertise of professional call center providers who specialize in delivering exceptional customer service.

#4 Time-Consuming

Establishing an in-house call center can be a time-consuming process. From setting up the infrastructure to hiring and training staff, the entire process can take several months, if not longer. Time spent on non-core activities like building a call center can divert attention and resources away from the core business objectives of a start-up.

Outsourcing call center operations allows start-ups to focus on their core competencies, such as product development and market expansion, while leaving customer service to the experts.

#5 Technological Advancements

Source: roicallcentersolutions.com

The customer service sector is constantly changing. With new technologies and tools emerging in the scene regularly, it becomes vital for businesses to keep up with these developments. Start-ups also need to be in on this, or they will lose relevance in the industry and fail to cater to businesses.

An in-house call center requires continuous investments in upgrading hardware, software, and telecommunication systems to stay competitive. On the other hand, outsourcing call center services provide access to state-of-the-art technology without the burden of managing and maintaining it internally.

#6 24/7 Support

In today’s globalized business landscape, providing round-the-clock customer service is often a necessity. However, for start-ups, it’s incredibly difficult to manage an in-house call center 24/7. Hiring and scheduling staff for night shifts and weekends can be logistically complex and expensive.

On the other hand, outsourcing call center services enable start-ups to provide 24/7 support without the need to manage staff rotations and associated costs. This allows new businesses to provide continuous support to their customers right from the start, which is always appreciated by the customer base.

Alternatives to In-House Call Centers

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One alternative is outsourcing call center operations to a third-party service provider. Outsourcing allows start-ups to leverage the expertise and infrastructure of established call center companies. These providers specialize in customer support, have trained agents, and employ advanced technology to handle calls efficiently. By outsourcing, start-ups can access a pool of skilled agents who are well-equipped to handle customer inquiries, resolve issues, and provide a positive customer experience.

Another alternative is utilizing cloud-based call center solutions. These platforms offer a virtual call center environment that can be accessed remotely by agents. Cloud-based solutions eliminate the need for physical infrastructure, expensive hardware, and maintenance costs. They provide flexibility and scalability, allowing start-ups to easily adjust the number of agents based on call volume. Additionally, these platforms often come with built-in features like call routing, call recording, and analytics, enabling start-ups to track and improve their customer support performance.

Furthermore, start-ups can explore chatbot and AI-powered solutions for handling customer inquiries. Chatbots can provide instant responses to frequently asked questions, freeing up human agents to focus on more complex issues. AI-powered solutions can analyze customer interactions, sentiment, and behavior to provide personalized support and recommendations.

The above-discussed reasons clearly highlight the drawbacks of in-house call centers at start-ups. It also sheds light on how call center outsourcing is the better option for start-ups and even businesses that have been around for a while. Therefore, if you run a start-up and want to provide excellent customer service right from the get-go, avoid setting up an in-house call center operation and instead opt for outsourcing.