It doesn’t matter whether you’re selling products or offering professional services of some sort. If you’re running a business, your customers or clientele will run into problems with your products or services at some point. Even if they’re not facing any problems, they might have questions. That’s just how a buyer-consumer relationship works.
To make sure that your customer queries aren’t left unattended, you must make sure that you do whatever you can to help them out and attend to their queries. For that, you need to have a customer service or support team in place.
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Why Customer Service is Crucial to Businesses
From answering basic queries to offering technical support, customer service is integral to all types of businesses. Without customer service, businesses will rapidly start losing customers and fail to grow.
Here’s a list of reasons why customer service is so important for businesses.
- Good customer service helps build a solid rapport with customers. This helps them trust you more, which is great for long-term customer relationships.
- By ensuring high-quality customer service, you can significantly enhance your company’s reputation and brand image.
- Excellent customer service means your customers will always be satisfied with your participation in attending to their queries. That, in turn, will improve customer loyalty.
- Good customer service will almost certainly always improve your sales.
Having established all that, it’s evident that good customer service is vital to businesses, and for you to ensure such good customer service, you need good call center services and agents.
Why Call Center Agents are Integral to Good Customer Service
Call center agents are the ones who attend to your customers on your behalf. That’s why they are integral parts of your customer service.
Here are a few reasons why call center agents are indispensable to top-notch customer service:
- Ensuring a human touch
- Answering queries straight to the point
- Gaining experience over time to deliver more expert service
Call center agents can also help you generate leads. They do so by reaching out to potential clients or customers and trying to sell your products, services, or brand to them.
Given their importance, many businesses opt for setting up in-house call centers to provide customer service. However, it’s been observed that such in-house services are not ideal for businesses. Rather they’re extremely difficult to maintain.
Why In-House Call Center Agents Are So Difficult to Maintain
In-house call center agents are difficult to maintain for a lot of reasons. However, one of the most important reasons is that they’re not cost-effective.
When you calculate the costs of maintaining an in-house call center, you’ll find that even with a low hourly wage, you still have to invest a lot of money in this team. This covers everything from personnel to equipment, resources, and training.
Things get more difficult and costly when you have to hire new agents constantly, especially if there’s a high turnover rate at your office.
The Actual Cost of Hiring a New Call Center Agent
In the United States, call center agents can cost you anything from $20,000 to $60,000 a year in salaries.
In most cases, these positions offer performance-based commissions. Call center agents have KPIs they must fulfill. This could be by generating a certain number of leads, by making a certain number of sales, or through customer feedback once they’ve helped said customer with their problems.
Those without KPIs are usually paid $30,000 to $70,000 a year, depending on their experience or workload.
Hiring a new call center agent means you have to spend money on a few additional resources or areas apart from the recruit’s salary.
Here’s how that breakdown looks:
- Cost of the New Hire = Average Daily Pay X No. of Days
- Trainer Costs = (No. of Employees X Their Average Pay) X Total No. of Training Hours
- Costs of Training Systems = No. of Months the Systems are Used X Monthly Subscription Cost
- Total Costs for Hiring a New Agent = Cost of the New Hire + Trainer Costs + Costs of Training Systems
Hiring a new agent when replacing an old one can cost a lot of money, as you can tell from the breakdown provided above.
To put things into a better perspective, let’s break down the cost of hiring a new employee in the following sections:
Suppose your agent’s salary is around $10,000 a year. Once they leave, you’ll have to hire a new agent. Their yearly salary will also be around $10,000. This is the initial recruitment cost that you have to keep aside every year for your new agent. However, you also need to train.
For the training, you have to spend an additional $15,000 to $20,0000. This sum of money is for the training system and the trainer. That means the final sum of money you have to invest in a new call agent, at least during their first year at the job, is around $25,000 to $30,000 (including recruitment and training costs).
It’s been found that employers have to spend an average of 33 percent of a worker’s annual salary on replacing an employee. That means you’ll have to spend $12,000 to replace someone who’s making $36,000 a year, $20,000 for someone making $60,000 a year, and $50,000 for an employee making $150,000 a year.
Hiring a new agent, therefore, is not only a tedious task logistically, but it can also become a financial burden.
Why You Should Outsource Your Customer Service to a Third-Party Call Center Service Provider
To avoid the high costs associated with maintaining an in-house call center, you should consider switching to a third-party call center service provider. These call centers take care of lead generation and customer service for you. They have all the manpower and resources necessary to make sure that your contact center needs are properly fulfilled.
Third-party call centers also offer scalability, meaning as your business grows, they will adjust their resources and people accordingly to meet your business’s growing needs. Doing the same with an in-house call center would mean that you have to spend a huge amount of money just to hire new agents.
Most importantly, you should outsource your customer service to a third-party call center service provider because it’s more economical. Let’s break down the costs for you.
In-House Call Center Costs
Here’s the breakdown of the cost of running a four-person in-house call center team, including a manager to oversee the operations:
- Salaries and benefits for all four employees in a year: $141,284
- Salary of the customer service manager in a year: $45,726
- Agent hiring costs: $20,645
- Renting an office space or adding an additional office space: $48,000
- Cost of software (yearly subscription) and hardware: $3,600
- Total in-house call center cost: $259,955 per year
Outsourcing Call Center Costs
On average, an outsourced call center will cost you $3,400 at max per agent per month. For four agents, the total cost comes to $163,200 a year. That means you get to save around $100,000 a year by outsourcing your call center needs. If that isn’t a good enough reason to outsource your contact center services, we don’t know what is.
If you’re looking for a contact center service provider that can help you with your sales and customer service, reach out to us at Blue Valley Marketing. Our inbound and outbound call center services cater to all sorts of businesses. We provide omnichannel services for a more dynamic approach to customer service.
We also operate contact centers only in the U.S., meaning that all of our agents are native speakers. Your customers will feel very comfortable and at ease as they communicate with our agents.
Most importantly, we offer 24/7 support to your customers, which would’ve become extremely costly should you have done it with an in-house team. Contact us at Blue Valley Marketing today and see what other ways we can help your business grow and develop better relationships with your customers.
Last Updated on November 20, 2023 by Ronen Ben-Dror