What are the differences between ‘bureau’ and ‘dedicated’ services?

Customer Service: Making the right decision

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Do you know the difference between Bureau and Dedicated Services?

New technology and operational developments are making big changes to both the contact centre itself, and the services clients are offered. This tends to bring with it a whole bunch of new terms and tools to wrap your head around.

We want to take a step back and help clarify some terms which are often banded around in the communications outsourcing sphere. We will aim to define some of these common terms and help you understand what they mean for your business.

This blog is focused on the differences between ‘Bureau’ and ‘Dedicated’ services. These terms relate to the way the operation is delivered and how the man-power is deployed.

Bureau Contact Centre Services

In a bureau, agents are continuously available to answer calls for multiple clients. They have been trained on the processes needed to handle a range of different calls and can go from one client to another seamlessly.

Bureau services are most suited to simple enquiries which can be dealt with fairly swiftly. An example of this would be transactional communications, such as where customers call in placing orders or giving donations to a charity.

Bureaus offer an incredible amount of flexibility as staffing numbers can easily be scaled up to suit call volumes.

They can also serve as an excellent overflow system. In this scenario, we take calls that can’t be handled by another party and direct them into the bureau. This can be an excellent way to serve your customers as it will reduce queue times in very busy periods and ensure lower abandon rates.

Complex enquiries makes delivery in a bureau environment a bit more difficult. This tends to be the factor which moves a client to a dedicated service instead.

Dedicated Contact Centre Services

A ‘dedicated service’ is pretty much what it says on the tin. A team of agents are dedicated to servicing a single client and handle communications just for this organisation.

The teams will often cover multiple channels from phone to email, web-chat and social media. The enquiries dealt with are usually far more complex and regularly require investigation from the agent. An example of this would be where a customer calls asking for the whereabouts of an order. Here the agent may need to speak to a courier to find out more, and relay this information back to the customer.

For organisations with high volumes of customer contacts, dedicated teams can often prove to be the most cost-effective way to provide customer service.

They also mean that the outsourced team can easily become an extension of the business itself, as they can live and breathe the products and services of their client.

Takeaways

Hopefully this brief insight will help you feel more equipped to make decisions about the outsourcing future of your organisation. Whether you are better suited to a bureau service, or would prefer to work with a dedicated team, both types of delivery will allow you focus on providing a quality service to your clients.

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