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Labor Crisis Management: Contact Center Strategies to Curb the Crunch

Labor Crisis Management: Contact Center Strategies to Curb the CrunchKeeping call centers adequately staffed in 2022 has been, to put it lightly, a challenge. Keeping them staffed without incurring additional costs? Next to impossible.

Welcome to the new reality.

Call center wages have been on the rise for some time now, and even when you’re ready to pay more for employees, they’re becoming harder to find. While few companies are foolishly embracing a “wait it out” attitude, many of the others have yet to move past a reactive approach to the labor crisis.

It’s time to stop stomping down individual flames and start putting out the fire. Here are some outsourcing strategies that will provide lasting relief.

Move Internal CX Support to Outsource Call Centers

Maintaining cost-effective, fully-staffed internal contact centers is becoming next to impossible, especially for companies in the United States and Canada. Even if you win the hiring battle, you’re probably losing the cost control war. Sometimes, the only winning move is not to play.

The fastest way to ease your call center agent hiring and retention struggles is to simply pass the burden to an outsource call center partner. Attracting and retaining exceptional talent is the undisputed top priority within these organizations, so they’ve developed efficient, competitive systems to get the job done.

Certainly, BPOs are not immune to hiring challenges, but they’re typically in a better position to overcome them. Outsource call centers know what to look for in an agent, and they know what those agents are looking for in return. Their singular focus on creating incredible customer experiences naturally includes a finely tuned process for attracting and retaining the talent to provide it. This is what they’re built for, so let them do the work for you.

Find a BPO Partner that Isn’t Struggling with Staffing

Yes. They’re out there. You just have to know where to look.

While the call center labor shortage is a global issue, some areas are being hit harder than others. It’s a domino effect, with more established areas being impacted first as market saturation keeps kicking the can down the road. But there are still plenty of upright dominos in emerging markets like Africa and Eastern Europe. Many regions are holding strong in a sweet spot: they’ve developed exceptional call centers that still have access to a motivated, affordable labor pool.

Even in more established locations, there are BPOs who have managed to hold hiring challenges at bay. In particular, middle-market providers tend to carry less overhead in terms of marketing and operational costs, and can invest the savings into competitive salaries, better benefits, and an improved agent experience with a more welcoming working environment for their agents. Mid-sized providers also tend to be more likely to “think outside the box,” in general and apply this mindset as they seek out potential employees in new and unconventional ways.  As a result, they’re in a better position to attract and retain the best talent, even in a competitive market.

Hedge Your Bets with Multiple Providers

What’s better than a BPO partner with ample capacity? Multiple BPO providers with ample capacity.

There’s never a wrong time to diversify your outsourcing footprint. Spreading support across multiple providers in different geos creates a built-in backup plan when an individual provider experiences some kind of disruption. It also creates healthy competition between your BPOs, incentivizing top performance. But it’s a necessary strategy when the call center industry is facing a collective challenge.

The call center labor shortage is, to say the least, a developing story. It’s a fluid situation that changes every day, and the best way to prepare for the unknown is to hedge your bets. Partnering with several BPOs will insulate your company from fluctuations in hiring trends, putting you in the best position possible to maintain a consistent, uninterrupted customer experience. If one call center experiences a labor squeeze, another one can pick up the slack.

We’ve Got You Covered

Outsource Consultants is in constant communication with hundreds of top-performing BPO providers across the globe. They’re providing unfiltered feedback about their current staffing levels, so we know who has the capacity to provide the service you need. To get started, request your free call center cost proposal.