Staffing Leads List of Contact Center Challenges

According to Contact Center Pipeline, contact centers are facing a whole new set of challenges in 2021. In their survey of more than 250 leading contact center managers and executives in the financial services, consumer products, healthcare, non-profit, and utility industries, the top 3 current challenges are identified as:

  1. Not enough staff to handle workload 
  2. Supporting home agents 
  3. Increasing contact volumes 

A look at workforce statistics lines up with these concerns. There are currently more than 10 million vacant jobs in the United States alone. Combine that with an unprecedented move towards remote work and consumer preference trending towards virtual contact with brands over in-person, and it’s easy to understand why contact centers are in the midst of a “perfect storm” of factors that impact customer satisfaction and the ability to meet demand. 

Many organizations are turning to outsourcing to address this perfect storm, and for good reason:  

  • In the contact center space, a qualified Business Process Outsourcer (BPO) will take responsibility for many fixed and variable labor costs to improve the customer experience while allowing companies to focus on what they do best. 
  • A BPO will manage the operational heavy lifting related to hiring, training, attendance, attrition, compliance, and more.
  • Forrester reports that 67% of organizations expect to continue with remote or hybrid contact center jobs post-Covid. This is in large part due to employee preference and is something that all organizations need to adapt to attract and retain talent. The right BPO will already have the systems, tools, and procedures in place to manage remote agents, preventing you from having to build this critical function out yourself.

Once looked at as simply a cost reduction strategy related to routine back-office functions, the industry’s evolution allows companies to become more agile, efficient, and effective by tapping into highly complex and innovative technologies and services provided by BPOs. In fact, Deloitte recently reported:

Organizations are recognizing that disruptive solutions can revolutionize the way they do business and that buying capabilities in the marketplace is generally faster and more scalable than developing capabilities internally. Outsourcing is about collaborating with partners in the marketplace to integrate services an organization cannot quickly build on its own to innovate, transform, propel its growth, and unnerve its competitors.”

While outsourcing is being used to address current labor issues, it should not be viewed as a short-term solution based on that need alone. The right BPO will offer many additional long-term benefits, including:

  1. Strategic Impact: While you’ll still maintain control over outsourced functions to ensure that they align with your strategic objectives, you’ll be able to continue doing what made you successful in the first place…focus on your core business.
  2. Business Impact: The right BPO will be a champion of flexibility and agility, offering custom and innovative solutions that address and improve a known business need within your organization.
  3. Financial Impact: While cost is no longer the primary driver for most businesses who outsource, it remains a significant benefit. You should expect reductions in both fixed and variable costs, most notably IT and labor.
  4. Relevant Knowledge: The right BPO will have “walked in your shoes.” In other words, they’ll bring years of experience within your industry to the table. Instead of a drawn-out learning curve, they’ll offer advice and solutions based on that experience…right out of the gate.
  5. Scalability: Many companies in hyper-growth modes choose to partner with a BPO. Building out entire internal teams or adding new functions and capabilities is a costly and arduous process, at best. Outsourcing will allow you to drive continued growth faster and with lower costs.

If you face contact center staffing challenges that affect your ability to meet customer demand and improve customer satisfaction, we’d love to talk. Drop us a line at sales@servicingsolutions.com.