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Call center outsourcing: Everything you need to know

Jen Jackson

VP of Customer Experience

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Table of contents

In the lifespan of a company, there are several moments where significant milestones are reached in its development, adoption, and growth.

The big ones are obvious—the day of your first sale, first hire, first repeat client.

But what about the day when your business has grown so much that it receives too many support requests for its internal teams to manage?

When you reach this major business goal, it’s time to start thinking about scaling up your operational readiness to meet your business needs more efficiently as you grow. This is where contact or call center outsourcing can help.

👉 Dialpad tip:

Today, call centers have evolved beyond the call—to become contact centers that cover not only the phones, but also live chat, social media, and other channels. Many folks still use one or the other interchangeably, as we will below, but pay attention to whether they’re actually referring to one of these specifically!

You don’t have to be a huge business conglomerate or established company to consider business process outsourcing (BPO). Anyone that’s struggling to meet the challenge of providing cost-effective customer support (and at some point, that’s likely to be every business) can benefit from an outsourcing solution.

Whether you’re a startup, small business, or experienced entrepreneur, contact or call center outsourcing will allow you to focus your energy and resources on the goods or services that your company specializes in.

By instantly expanding your workforce, an outsourced call center provides a productive and profit-maximizing customer care solution.

Let’s take a closer look at what call center outsourcing is, how it works, and how it can help your business.

What is contact or call center outsourcing?

Simply put, call center outsourcing involves contracting a team of agents that work outside of your company.

It helps your business prioritize what’s important (not that customer support isn’t, of course) by freeing up your workforce to supply the services it’s best at. Meanwhile, a proficient and high-quality team of call center agents will handle the rest.

You wouldn’t attempt to install your office’s electrical circuits by yourself (we hope—that’d just be dangerous!), so why try to provide other services that an expert with years of experience can do better?

Call center outsourcing can improve the customer experience by optimizing your business’s functionality in key areas. As part of business process outsourcing (BPO), call center services can provide a range of resources from customer service to help desk support, technical support, human resources, marketing, talent acquisition, finance (customer billing/AR/procurement), appointment setting, and telemarketing.

Wherever your company needs to lower costs or improve quality of service, an outsourced contact or call center can help.

And choosing a good cloud communication platform to handle your call center solutions will make it easier for you to manage both inbound customer interactions and outbound interactions like sales and services.

For example, with modern contact center software, agents can handle calls from anywhere on their desktop or mobile phones—while still showing the company's phone number:

Change Caller ID

Making a call from a personal device using Dialpad's app

How does outsourcing work?

Contact center outsourcing services work to minimize your organization’s costs but maximize profits, all while maintaining and often improving customer satisfaction. (Sounds like a win-win.)

The outsourcing solution you choose will depend on your own business expectations, objectives, and goals. Before picking a service, assess your expectations and make sure you’re choosing an outsourcer that can cater to your unique business needs.

Say you’re looking to offload your company’s entire customer engagement departments. You’ll want to delegate customer calls in a flexible way to suit your personal workflow and SLA requirements.

👉 Dialpad tip:

See how PadSplit, an affordable housing marketplace, outsourced their contact center team effectively to provide a seamless answering service for their customers.

Outsourcing works best when it can be tailored to your needs—while following the call center trends that users have come to expect.

A quick case study in contact center outsourcing

For PadSplit, their ideal call center operation had to have the ability to record calls, have multiple agents staffing phone lines (both internally and at their new third-party contact center), and integrate a phone tree template with several phone numbers.

They also needed to manage an outsourced team in the Philippines from their domestic USA headquarters. They used Dialpad's cloud contact center platform to manage all of this, and one of the features they found particularly useful was reporting.

Here, the PadSplit team could constantly track metrics around how their third-party contact center was performing and make sure their outsourced agents were keeping up with their domestic center. They could manage multiple contact center teams from one dashboard in Dialpad (see that little dropdown in the top left that toggles between contact center teams?):

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Their supervisors also used Dialpad’s sentiment analysis feature to identify whether a live call was going south—in real time:

Listen in on Call sentiment analysis blog size v2

And because Dialpad Ai transcribes calls live, these supervisors could read the transcripts for calls in real time before deciding whether they needed to jump in to help. (Being able to train and coach remotely like this is huge, especially for outsourced call centers like Padsplit’s.)

Learn more about how you can use AI to improve your customer service.

5 benefits of outsourced call centers

There are numerous benefits to outsourcing your contact centers and other support services.

(There’s a reason Alexander Graham Bell hired a telephone operator mere days after his invention made its first call. Telephones are managed best when they are outsourced to someone else!)

If you outsource contact centers, these are just some of the improvements you’ll see:

1. It’s cost-effective

Outsourcing to a provider that specializes in high quality customer service operations is an excellent way to enhance your brand image and service capabilities—and minimize costs at the same time.

In-house teams can contribute greatly to your company’s administrative costs with the additional expenses involved in recruiting agents, hiring office space, and paying the required employee salary with benefits.

Using offshore call centers can be one way to control costs and free up essential capital for investment elsewhere.

2. It can improve your speed to answer and handle time

An in-house contact center can never match the output of call center outsourcing services. Top call center outsourcing companies will have huge talent pools of capable agents, ready to handle customer queries with a faster average speed of answering and handling time.

Whether you’re looking for agents to assist with tech support or respond to social media queries, transferring these services to a more experienced team can improve engagement efficiency and increase the likelihood of customer retention.

Specifically, call routing is a simple, but effective way to improve the speed with which your team picks up calls. In Dialpad Ai Contact Center, you can see a heatmap of how quickly phone calls are being picked up:

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With Dialpad, you can also customize your call routing in minutes with easy-to-set routing rules. All your incoming calls will pass through a routing engine and you can pick their final destination from a range of options.

👉 Dialpad tip:

One thing that not many other contact center platforms can do is allow your agents to be logged into multiple queues at the same time. (You can do this in Dialpad though!) If your goal is to staff more efficiently, this is a useful feature to have.

For example, you can route calls to agents that have been idle the longest, to a specific team member, or to a specialized department. This means that your callers will always reach the best agent to answer their query:

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3. It can help with quality of service

The primary benefit of outsourcing your contact centers to a capable third party is that you’re getting a qualified team that has the best and most specialized skills to help your customers.

If your in-house team doesn’t have the skillset to offer this kind of dedicated support, outsourcing can provide these resources at the flip of a switch.

For example, if you’re running a healthcare service, an outsourcing company can supply a team of trained nurses ready to respond to questions at a moment’s notice. Similarly, with financial services, outsourcing can provide on-hand experts in areas like money transfer, payments, and credit card transactions.

👉 Dialpad tip:

High-quality service begins with first-rate and unified training for call center agents. If you’re splitting your teams between international and domestic call centers, you need to maintain consistency and regular follow-ups.

When outsourcing your call centers, think about using a provider that offers remote training features. For example, Dialpad allows both agents and supervisors to shadow each other on calls, and supervisors especially can get a clear birds’ eye view of all live calls, the hold queue, agents’ statuses, and more—in one place.

4. It provides easier monitoring and analysis

Monitoring the quality of calls and collecting analytics are essential features for any contact center.

If you have outsourced agents, it’s especially helpful to have real-time metrics and call analytics so you can keep a close eye on how they’re performing and how you can help them. Monitoring on its own is fine, but using the info and metrics you’ve gleaned from monitoring for things like coaching is key. Set the right standard for agent coaching and process development by using features like call recording to monitor performance.

✨ Want to improve your contact center's performance?

Grab the Contact Center Playbook, which breaks down everything you need to know, from setup to improving customer satisfaction—with examples from real contact center teams across different industries.

Services you can outsource

Whether you work at a small business (more on small business contact center solutions) or enterprise, you can easily scale by outsourcing things like call center services.

Here are some ideas for what you could be outsourcing:

Inbound and outbound call solutions

You can outsource all types of customer contact, including both inbound and outbound call solutions. Customer service that supports multi-channel communication methods through a contact center will meet a wider variety of client needs.

Workloads vary between inbound and outbound services, and you can choose to outsource either or both.

An inbound call center typically focuses on customer service. By contrast, outbound call center services often focus on sales and must achieve practical targets in this area.

With Dialpad, you can create a cloud contact center in literally two or three clicks, and easily assign various agents between inbound and outbound centers:

Single Item Card Adding New Agents to CC Team v2

All you have to do is navigate to your Admin settings > Departments > Assigned Operators & Phones. From here, you can add people from your team with ease just by entering their email addresses.

(To make sure call handling is delegated most promptly and efficiently, each department can also be handled by multiple operators.)



Few companies have substantial enough resources to cover an ongoing and successful telemarketing campaign. If telemarketing is the right approach for your business, outsourcing can sometimes be the most viable solution, especially when dealing with large call volumes.

👉 Dialpad tip:

Outsourcing doesn’t have to mean a loss of control over the marketing tools your business uses. Use a customizable sales pitch for your agents and monitor calls for consistency.

Lead generation

Lead generation focuses on creating demand and provoking consumer interest. Here, you need to identify the most likely prospects for future purchases.

Generating demand is made easier by following call patterns and collecting relevant sales call data and reporting. The right contact center solution can help you track specific data, identify keywords, and perform sentiment analysis.

This will help you identify new consumer needs—and produce more targeted campaigns.

Technical support

Need to take the burden off your in-house staff? Employ a company that specializes in support services to provide your technical support. Often, these experts will answer questions at a faster rate because they already have all the tools necessary for the job.

(This also means that your business saves the money that it would have had to spend on employee training and exams that require constant renewal with market trends.)

3 best practices for managing an outsourced contact center

Once you’ve decided to outsource a business function, you have to manage your contact center successfully to take full advantage of the benefits of outsourcing.

Here are some best practices for managing your new contact center:

1. Use the right tools


Manage your contact center through a platform that integrates with customer relationship management software (CRM). This will allow your agents to have a cleaner, more streamlined workflow.

For example, Dialpad Ai Contact Center integrates with CRMs like Salesforce and HubSpot so that agents can do things like have phone calls—right inside their CRM dashboard. Like this:

Salesforce Power Dialer blog size

Performance monitoring

When your services are provided off-premises, you’ll need a way to make sure that quality is maintained and the approach to sales or customer support is consistent from agent to agent.

Dialpad Ai makes it easy for contact center supervisors to monitor calls in real time. From the dashboard, you can view your agents’ live calls in progress. In this example, the supervisor can see that the sentiment is negative. They can view the real-time transcript of the call to see what’s going on:

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And then if they need to take over… they can.

A communication solution

A well-maintained, seamless, and efficient communication solution will make sure that your agents are effectively resolving customer concerns and are properly prepared and trained for the job at hand.

Technically, you could of course use any old phone system or solution that lets agents take phone calls and respond to online requests or questions. But that’s just the bare bones. A really good communication solution will allow you to consolidate all these channels in one place, help with coaching and training, reduce operating expenses—and more.

For example, being able to add and remove agents from a contact center in seconds rather than days or weeks will allow your business to be flexible, no matter what changes come up.

2. Clearly illustrate all processes and workflows

Whatever service your contact center is providing, it is vital to stay organized when handling a significant volume of calls and messages.

Help your agents maintain a structure to their workflows—it can keep errors to a minimum and allow for updates to be added with ease.

👉 Dialpad tip:

Have clear process documentation and workflow charts to help your agents assess the appropriate next steps more easily when they receive queries.

3. Keep the most important issues in-house

Ultimately, call center outsourcing will free up your time and resources for the most critical issues and opportunities—but only if you implement a call center solution that suits your unique business model.

For example, you could offer support on primary issues from your domestic hub and outsource more basic or common queries to offshore sites.

Call routing can help you customize the process by choosing which calls go to which agents. With Dialpad, it's easy to bring intelligent call routing to your contact center.

Not only does it have different routing options to choose from, it also stands apart from competitors for ease of use and customizability. It takes just a few clicks to change a call’s direction!

Call center outsourcing could be your key to a top-notch customer experience

Whatever you choose to outsource, whether it's a whole department or part of an existing in-house service, the most important thing is it shouldn't affect your customers' perception of your service.

With expanded workforces can come communication difficulties. If you opt for outsourcing, you'll need a cloud communication platform that can make sure you’re benefiting from all the advantages that outsourced call centers can provide.

Learn more about plans and pricing.

Want to outsource your contact centers, while maintaining control?

Book a demo to learn more about Dialpad Ai Contact Center, or take a self-guided interactive tour of the app on your own first!