Even amidst pandemic-related slow-downs, the auto loan industry remains one of the biggest in the U.S. Overall, American consumers have $1.4 trillion in auto loan debt outstanding, and that equates to a significant workload in servicing these loans and leases and responding to a wide range of borrower inquiries. Customer service is an essential, albeit demanding, aspect of managing a loan portfolio. This is why call centers are seeing unprecedented call volumes. The quality and cost of customer support is just one of five primary reasons for outsourcing call center operations that every lender should consider.
5 Reasons for Outsourcing Call Centers
Running a call center in-house is often fraught with challenges for businesses. Managing training, expenses, customer service, and more on top of core business needs is no easy task. For that reason, many lenders choose to outsource these operations and enjoy these five key benefits as a result:
#1: Eliminate Staffing Challenges
Call center turnover rates are high, ranging anywhere from 30 to 45% across industries. Any organization that runs one will face a constant struggle to hire, train, and retain talent. When customer service is not the business’s core offering, this takes a lot of attention away from more critical tasks.
Call center outsourcing eliminates this staffing issue by placing the burden of hiring, training, and retaining on someone else. The organization outsourcing their call center won’t have to worry about staffing, as it’s done seamlessly by professionals, behind the scenes.
#2: Focus On Core Business To Enhance Performance
The core business of a lender is lease and loan originations, not customer service. Many of the questions borrowers have are relatively easy to answer—it’s just the sheer volume that creates problems. Eliminating the need to manage customer inquiries in-house allows companies to focus on their core lending activities.
#3: Improve Customer Service
One of the major benefits of call center outsourcing is expertise. With a focus on customer service, there’s constant training and strategies on de-escalation and dispute resolution. This single-minded strategy allows a lender to enjoy the benefits of improved customer service without having to invest in training themselves.
Improved customer service pays dividends. The auto loan industry is one built on customer trust and loyalty. Sixty-nine percent of customers report that customer service drives a significant part of their commitment to a brand. Working with a provider that focuses on customer service is the best possible way to take advantage of that demand.
#4: Avoiding Market Volume Fluctuations
Call center volumes fluctuate over time. That leaves lenders with one of two choices when they provide customer service in-house. They can either understaff the call center and overburden servicing agents during periods of high demand. Or, they can overstaff the call center, adding to their operating expenses.
Call center outsourcing is far more scalable. The call center provider continually evaluates call volumes and resolution time and adjusts resources up or down as needed. There’s no need for emergency hiring events because the staff with experience in lease and loan servicing is already available.
#5: Greater Operational Efficiency At Lower Cost
Staffing, training, and maintaining a call center is expensive. Aside from the cost of personnel, companies also have to invest in technology infrastructure and systems, office space, and insurance. Meanwhile, every moment spent on these tasks detracts from the lease and loan business focus.
Outsourcing call center operations allows the company to delegate those responsibilities to a provider that has the experience and resources to deliver services far more efficiently. With years of experience in hiring, training, technology investments, and continuous innovation a competent provider enjoys economies of scale, allowing them to provide call center services at lower cost. Meanwhile, the lender gleans all of the benefits of enhanced customer service and can focus on lease and loan originations.
Choosing the Right Call Center Outsourcing Provider
Lenders can only enjoy the benefits of call center outsourcing if they choose the right provider. This isn’t always an easy task, as there are so many options out there. It’s an industry estimated to be worth nearly $500 billion by 2027. A few things to look for when seeking a call center outsourcing provider include:
- Brand alignment: Your brand is unique to your lending business, and it’s something the call center provider should understand. The right provider will ask extensive questions about the brand’s values, vision, and philosophies to ensure customer service matches these ideals.
- Data-driven decision-making: Call centers should carefully monitor their call volume, handling time, quality, and overall success. These metrics provide valuable insights that allow them to improve their service continuously. Any lender seeking call center outsourcing should ask about the metrics they collect and how they’re used to drive business decisions.
- Feedback opportunities: An excellent call center provider doesn’t just look at the metrics from borrower inquiries. They seek opportunities to improve their service for their clients. They should regularly follow up and distribute surveys to borrowers to provide feedback and proactively address any concerns.
- Supportive technology: The backbone of every call center is the supportive software used to streamline operations. Integrated, intuitive software that makes it easier to service loans leases and answer customer questions is a vital part of any good operation.
There are many reasons for outsourcing call centers, but the most compelling equate to improved call center efficiency at a lower cost. Lenders can streamline their operations and focus on lease and loan originations while reducing the expense of handling customer service. With the right call center outsourcing provider, they can enjoy enhanced borrower loyalty by putting their questions and concerns in the hands of customer service experts.
defi SOLUTIONS provides a wide range outsourced managed servicing for banks, credit unions, and fincos to help streamline customer service and account management. If you’re looking to improve your ability to handle call center operations, our services might be the right choice for you. Contact our team today or register for a demo.