Call Center Services – BPO Outsourcing

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Call Centers are the most preferred field in outsourced services, and obviously the most successful ones since the beginning of this phenomena. Big companies have taken advantage of this department shifts from their country of origins, to the most important hosting country, with the best price bids. In addition, this is the most preferred service to go offshore because companies see the huge spending on such departments as their investment blame. This sector requires large numbers of employees who together with tax payments, health insurance, wages, training, building expenses and technical staff to work with, can turn into a devastating structure of the company, vis-à-vis the monetary profit it could possibly generate.

Company benefits of Call Center Services

Most of the companies need to become international with their brand development and strategy, but what they need most, through the process, is finding the target groups in potential countries. Becoming international requires a lot of effort and obviously a lot of market directives why or where to grow your next company products. Some of the main services, which turn into immediate short-run benefits for outsourcing businesses, in call centers are:

  • Telesales and customer services 24/7 in all possible communication methods, SMS, voice calls, email, fax, online chat, and telephone.
  • Retention and complaint management
  • Technical and professional support, great added value in back-office services
  • CRM integration, customer services of all possible channels
  • Consulting and marketing promotions through interactive communication
  • Inbound and outbound call center services

Sometimes there is a lot of confusion when we try to distinguish the possible outsourcing services from each other, because call centers, for example, can provide different services that overlap the idea of separated services of one another. Following the same logic, a marketing campaign could be developed inside a call center outsourcing company by telemarketing process, customer services department could also be developed through call centers that offer inbound and outbound services.

However, call centers are a vital decision for businesses because they can build fast, productive and cheap relationship with customers all over the world, no matter the time or the place, there is somebody who will give you the immediate support, this is the core of outsourcing services.
Language is another key factor and it makes call centers extremely efficient to provide service in all corners of the world, but most importantly, speaking their native language.

The most outsourced Outbound Services

• Chargeback handling services
• Consumer Response
• Customer Services
• Dealer Locaters and Referral Services
• Direct Mail /TV Response
• Directory inquiry services
• Email Management Services
• Help-Desk Solutions
• Inbound Tele-Sales
• Insurance claims processing services
• Job dispatch services
• Medical Call Services
• Online customer support
• Order entry services
• Payment in Online services
• Technical Information
• Product recall management
• Real-time inventory services
• Rebate processing services
• Registration of event participants & prospects
• Scheduling sales demos services
• Subscription services
• Ticketing sales services
• Toll-Free Response/Services
• Virtual Receptionist Services
• Warranty registration services
• Website Response

Call center outsourcing services are the most important trend in displaced companies, obtaining huge numbers of contractors and ensuring numerous real-time action. Multilingual call centers helped a lot the diversification of the market and also invested their human capital in adding values for the internationalization process of country-based companies.

The ability to grasp the best talents around the world is an opportunity that outsourcing companies bring in the table for call centers’ best workforces.

Even though a lot of propaganda is done against this shift of domestic employment focus, call centers, and contact centers are on the move toward the best bid possible, with no barriers whatsoever!
It is partly true that the whole process impoverishes the job rates within the company country headquarter, but in this dynamic free-market economy at the end of the day, nothing counts more than economic profit, being them companies or individuals!

BPO and Foreign Languages in Albania

First, it is important to say that Albania is not a member of the European Union (EU) like the other Eastern European countries listed in international BPO indexes. It is an EU candidate country waiting for the opening of accession negotiations. This said the country offers a lower cost compared to the EU members and especially to its main competitors in the Balkans. During the last 15 years, Albania was established as an international destination for outsourcing and nearshoring, especially in the BPO sector. However, progress was made in the KPO/ITO sectors.

Albania’s population: 2.8 million
Tirana’s population: 0.8 million
Median age: 32.9
Total number of pupils and students in all levels of education in 2017: 0.6 million
Total number of graduates: increased by 11 percent in 2017

The top study programs in Albanian universities in 2017:

  • Business administration
  • Law
  • Healthcare and wellbeing
  • Engineering
  • Information and communication technology
  • Arts and human sciences
  • Social sciences, journalism, and information
  • Sciences, mathematics, and statistics

Foreign Languages:

  • 60 percent of the population aged 25-34 speak a foreign language
  • 55 percent of the same age group speak English and about 60 percent speak Italian

Foreign Languages served by the Albanian BPO Industry, from most spoken to least:

  1. Italian
  2. English
  3. German
  4. French
  5. Spanish
  6. Greek
  7. Turkish
  8. Russian
  9. Arabic

The Albanian education system defines that a foreign language is part of the school curricula. Albanian pupils start to learn the first foreign language in third grade and then the second foreign language, which is optional, in the sixth grade.

In the meantime, pupils in national minority schools also study the Greek and Macedonian languages since the first grade in primary school.

Foreign language is one of the mandatory national exams for the secondary education system. High-school students can choose one of the following languages: English, French, Italian, and German.

Bilingual education programs in Albania

Bilingual programs in the primary and secondary schools in Albania operate in Albanian/French, Albanian/German, and Albanian/Italian

Albanian/French bilingual education programs

There are three Albanian/French education sections. Two are applied in the “Foreign Language Lyceum” respectively in Tirana and Elbasan (five years of education). The third program is applied in a general high-school of scientific orientation in Korca, (four years of education).

French language teachers and bilingual teachers of this bilingual section regularly benefit from internships in Albania, France, and other countries.

French in primary and secondary education:
French is the second foreign language taught in Albania.

French at the University:
There are two French-language departments at the University of Tirana and the University of Elbasan, and a French-language section at the Language Department of the University of Shkodra. They provide teaching of language, literature, didactics, and translation-interpretation.

Alliance Francaise
The Alliance Francaise network in Albania comprises five centers located in Tirana, Shkodra, Elbasani, Korca, and Durres. Offices of the French Alliance are also located in Berat, Lezha, Librazhd, and Pogradec.

Albanian/Italian bilingual education programs
This bilingual program operates in six high-schools Tirana, Shkodra, and Korca.

In the meantime, there’s a total of 40 private kindergartens, centers, and schools in the Italian language located across the country.

Students can pursue studies bachelor’s and master’s programs in the Italian Language at the universities of Tirana, Shkodra, Gjirokastra, and Elbasan.

Albanian/German Bilingual Education programs are a novelty in the Albanian education system. Sami Frasheri high school in Tirana started the bilingual program in the following subjects: mathematics and geography, physics and chemistry. Germany promotes scientific exchange between both countries. Three universities in Tirana cooperate with German universities in Bamberg, Bonn, Jena, Potsdam,

Foreign Language Certifications

The Italian Institute of Culture: CELI Certification
The Alliance Francaise: DELF/DALF, TEF, TEFAQ, TCF
The British Council: IELTS, Aptis
Goethe-Zentrum: A1-C2 certificates, TestAS, TestDaf, Test-Pro

Total enrollment quota in foreign language studies in Albanian universities in 2018-2019

  1. English: 808
  2. German: 268
  3. Italian: 358
  4. French: 331
  5. Spanish: 95
  6. Russian: 85
  7. Turkish: 85
  8. Greek: 110

Call Centers in Albania, Largest by Employee Numbers*

*Numbers are estimates

IDS Intercom Data Service: 2,617~ employees
Founded in 2005
Call center and among the largest employers in Albania
Operates in: Tirana, Vlora, Fier, Lushnja, Elbasan
Services: Inbound, Outbound, Back Office
Languages: Italian

Teleperformance Albania: 2,054~ employees
Founded in 2008
Services: CRM
Locations: Tirana and Durres
Languages: Italian, English, Spanish, French, and Greek

Albacall sh.a: 1,757~ employees
Founded in 2009
Locations: Tirana
Services: A Contact Center (Inbound, Outbound and Customer Relations) not only for the main Italian telecommunication companies but also for Air Carriers and companies present in the training field;
Document management in Business Performance;
Data processing;
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)
Languages: Italian, English, Spanish, French, Greek, Turkish, German, Albanian

PARR: 787~ employees
Part of PARR Credit and founded in Tirana in 2013
Services: Credit Management e Customer Operation Management
Offices in Tirana
Languages: Italian, English

Wearefiber: 700~ employees
Founded in 2015
Services: Customer Care, Data Entry, Outbound, Smartsourcing
10 Languages

Nethex BPO: 555~ employees
Offices in Durres and founded in 2009
Nethex Digital Marketing founded in Tirana in 2018
Services: Support for users in multi-channel mode
Proactive contacts in the Customer Journey of users, Welcome Calls, Customer Satisfaction campaigns, etc.
Advanced technical assistance
Social Customer care
Management of contacts in Logistics Service to Sales
Cross-selling / Up-selling
Activation of NPS Management projects
Machining automation
Languages: Italian

Fastcall: 366~ employees
Founded in 2009
Location: Tirana
Services: Front Office/Back Office, Consulting
Languages: Italian
Payment: Lek 350 per hour

Prodata Securities: 284~ employees
Founded in 2013
Offices in Tirana and Durres
Brokerage Company licensed by AMF
Staff and Vocational Training

Consulcesi: 262~ employees
Location: Tirana
Customer Engagement Center
Chat center
Click Center
Languages: Italian

Outsourcing Prices in Different Locations

You’re a European/US company considering an outsourced call center to handle your customer base? What you need to know is the price difference for inbound/outbound programs in a different location. Pricing along with experience and skilled workforce are among the key factors that increase the attractiveness of outsourced call centers to potential companies.

Inbound voice service/sales

USA/North America
Dedicated: $23-$28 per hour
Per-minute: 52-70 cents

Nearshore inbound $12-$17 per hour (Mexico)
$4-$6 per hour (India, Pakistan), other countries $7-$10

US/North America
$22-$28 per hour for standard tasks
$30-$50 per hour for advanced skills

$9-$16 per hour in Latin America and Western Europe
$5-$10 in India and the Philippines

Outsourcing Prices based on Location

United States/Canada: $22 – $35 per hour
Western Europe: $40+ per hour
Eastern Europe $12 – $25 per hour
Australia: $35 – $55 per hour
Africa/Middle East: $15 – $20 per hour
Latin America: $8 – $18 per hour
Asia/Philippines: $8 – $14 per hour
India: $5 – $9 per hour
Pakistan: $6-$10 per hour

The global BPO Industry in 2017 generated over $24.6 billion. Call centers in Europe are up to 40 percent less expensive than outsourced call centers based in the US or UK.

According to the Institute of Statistics (INSTAT) data, 804 call center companies operated in Albania in 2015. A total of 30,000 people are employed by call centers in Albania.
Three out of the top ten biggest employers in Albania are call centers and each of them has more than 2,000 employees. Intercom Data Service (IDS) employed 2,600 people or more than the Albanian Post, a state-owned company.

Why your company needs a Call Center?

Two great qualities to have in life are patience and wisdom, but experience has proven that customers of every type can’t tolerate delays.

Every business person knows the importance of time management when it comes to increasing productivity and reducing costs. Time is the same way important to the service provider and to the service receiver. If the latter has a question or needs customer support they will not sit down and write a long email. They will call you. Can you afford to spend a lot of time answering phone calls? There many companies that make the following announcement: ”Due to the high volume of work we cannot answer questions by phone.”
Maybe your company needs a call center. Indeed there are various industries that consider outsourcing call centers for handling their customers’ base. It is a guaranteed way to keep the existing customers satisfied and to attract prospective clients.

What type of companies need a call center

Two great qualities to have in life are patience and wisdom, but experience has proven that customers of every type can’t tolerate delays.

Every business person knows the importance of time management when it comes to increasing productivity and reducing costs. Time is the same way important to the service provider and to the service receiver. If the latter has a question or needs customer support they will not sit down and write a long email. They will call you. Can you afford to spend a lot of time answering phone calls? There many companies that make the following announcement:
Due to the high volume of work we cannot answer questions by phone.”

Indeed there are various industries that consider outsourcing call centers for handling their customers’ base. It is a guaranteed way to keep the existing customers satisfied and to attract prospective clients.

All the companies that have a large customer base or have an activity that requires regular communication with the customers or sell services and products consider call centers as beneficial options. They are either divided based on the type of industry or services offered.

By type of industry

  • Telecommunications
  • Banking and financial service, and insurance (BFSI)
  • Healthcare
  • Travel and transportation
  • Information technology
  • Governments
  • Public service providers
  • E-Commerce
  • Retail
  • Device manufacturers
  • SAAS (Software-as-a-service)

By Service
Telemarketing/telesales, market research, lead generation, collection reminders, appointment setting, insurance sales, billing reminders, event registration

Helpdesk, technical troubleshooting, inbound sales, customer service, order processing, dispatch, hotlines, medical answering, virtual receptionist, emergency, appointment management
Customer services

Besides the goal of delivering the best service to their customers, companies look for a call center for various reasons.

  • Cost-saving
  • Increased quality
  • Dedicated to low-cost service
  • Flexibility, they get support when they need it most
  • Growing and scaling faster at a lower cost
  • Lack of expertise in one or more processes

Where to find call center expertise?

There are countries like India in Asia, or Poland and Romania that have emerged as destinations for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), while new markets are growing. Therefore, companies have many options available to meet the needs of their customers base.

When looking for call center outsourcing you need to pay attention to the following factors:

  • Capabilities
  • Infrastructure
  • Workforce
  • Time zone
  • Cultural barrier
  • Dialect

Outsource call center services to Albania

Albania is an under the radar nearshore destination for European companies looking for outsourced call centers. The country is expected to enter the map of BPO destinations after the country joins the EU. Thus, why not take advantage of the opportunity. Albania’s population is younger compared to the other countries of the region. The country is safe and different from the other Balkan countries, has no record of ethnic conflicts. The skilled force is multilingual. Albania is an option for companies looking to diversify or enter new markets.

Call centers are the biggest outsourcing service in Albania even though the other services of the BPO industry are expanding. Italian companies were among the first that took advantage of Albania as an option where to outsource their call centers. The country has a young and well-educated population that is fluent in Italian, English and other languages. Albanians are known as multilingual people. In the meantime, the Albanian language has the phonetic elements that other languages lack and this makes them able to speak most foreign languages without accents.

The country has a strategic location, in the Mediterranean region and hence an open culture and mentality towards western culture.

Language education in Albania is fortunate in being able to depend on a cohort of well-trained and committed teachers, language teacher associations that have developed strong international links, and international partners who contribute generously to the teaching and learning of their languages in Albanian schools..”

– Council of Europe report on Albania’s Language Education Policy Profile 2015-2017.

Read also:
Outbound Call Center Services