Call center co-sourcing is when a company has some call center agents working in-house and some working for an external service provider. The external service provider oversees the recruiting, hiring, training, staffing and managing of their call center agents as well as the day-to-day operations for which they were contracted.

Thus, call center co-sourcing is a lower risk alternative to outsourcing and more cost-effective than maintaining an entire in-house workforce of call center agents.

Companies often decide to co-source for strategic (customer segmentation) or operational (call volume uncertainty) reasons, or both. Below are the 4 main use cases of co-sourcing:

  • Handle overflow calls
    Outsourcing some call center agents to an external service provider in order to handle overflow call volume can be an excellent way to increase customer service and to make sure no customer is left behind.
  • Handle after-hours calls
    When you hire an external service provider to provide after-hours support, you can offer round the clock service for a fraction of the price.
  • Disaster recovery
    Whether your office is prone to bad weather, power outages and natural disasters or your call center software and computer infrastructure isn’t the most reliable, contracting an external service provider to handle calls in the event of an emergency can be an effective way to ensure business continuity.
  • Handle specialized calls
    Co-sourcing a specific department (like IT) to an external service provider can be an excellent way to provider amazing support, without breaking the bank.

These use cases touch on some of the advantages that co-sourcing call center agents can bring. Below are the top 7 advantages of co-sourcing a call center workforce:

1 Reduced costs

Co-sourcing can be a more cost-effective solution to hiring and maintaining an entire call center workforce in-house. It reduces costs associated with staffing a segment of call center agents (as the external service provider handles their own agents). It also reduces infrastructure and overhead costs as external service providers utilize their own call center software, servers and telephony. Finally, it turns a significant fixed cost into a variable cost: skilled labor is there when you need it, and not costing you a pretty penny when you don’t.

Taken together, these can add up to huge savings and significantly improve your bottom line


2 Improves call quality during peak hours

Having a staff of excellently trained and knowledgeable off-premise call center agents that can handle calls within a moment’s notice can significantly improve service quality during peak hours.

Overflow calls can be routed to them, reducing wait times and customer frustration. Additionally, both your in-house agents as well as your outsourced agents won’t feel rushed when talking with customers during peak hours as they know there are plenty of qualified agents to field all of the calls that come in. This will dramatically improve the quality of customer service and decrease wait times during peak hours.

3 Decrease call abandonment

When you contract out your overflow calls to an external service provider, long wait times and high caller abandonment rates will be a thing of the past.

Every call will be answered in a timely fashion and your customers will love the expedited service. Never again let a customer slip through the cracks or lose them to long wait times.

4 Increase service levels

If service level is a metric you are looking to improve, co-sourcing your call center workforce may be the solution you need.

When call volume increases and service level is declining, you can outsource the overflow calls to contracted agents. This will decrease wait time and increase service level.

5 24/7/365 support for a fraction of the price

Hiring an external service provider to handle calls when your in-house agents aren’t working can be an excellent way to provide round the clock service, without having to maintain a 24/7 workforce of in-house agents.

 External service providers can answer calls after business hours, on the weekends and during holidays. Your staff will appreciate the standard schedule and your customers will love the dedicated service.

6 Ensure business continuity

Hiring an external service provider to handle calls when your call center software goes down, in the event of a disaster or emergency and your in-house agents can’t make it into the office, when there is a power outage or when your computers go down can be a cost-effective solution to ensure business continuity.

Never again lose a call due to factors that are beyond your control or that you didn’t anticipate.

7 Increase customer satisfaction

When you co-source your call center workforce, your agents will be able to more effectively handle peak call volume and can spend more time meeting the customer’s needs.

You will also lose fewer customers to call abandonment due to long waiting queues and declining service levels. Shorter wait times and better customer service translates into more satisfied customers.

Co-sourcing can be an extremely effective tactic to enhance customer service, increase efficiency and reduce risk without sacrificing your bottom line. It could be exactly what you need to propel your company ahead of the competition.