Outsourcing is the business practice of hiring external resources or parties to perform services usually performed in-house by an organization’s employees or workforce. Related to “outsourcing” are the terms offshoring and subcontracting. The former is about having in-house services or functions located in a foreign country. The latter, meanwhile, is about hiring a third-party specialist to perform tasks or functions not available in-house. Depending on your location and timezone preferences, instead of offshoring, there is also nearshore outsourcing and local outsourcing. With outsourcing, you might want a nearer foreign country or an operation located within the country. (Know more about other related outsourcing terms and call center outsourcing, click here.)
Now, there are already a lot of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies out there to choose from. There could be a spread of BPO menu, but their service solutions can easily be categorized into two areas: front office and back office. Front office solutions include customer service, scheduling, appointment setting, help desks, market research, and surveys. Back office solutions, on the other hand, include HR, accounting, data management, quality assurance, billing, and purchasing.
Basically, business process outsourcing (BPO) is about hiring experts to do segments or all of your business processes for you. Outsourcing customer service through a BPO, for example, means hiring a contact center (BPO) wherein their team of experts and agents learn your products, services, policies, and brand voice to resolve customer concerns across various channels on your behalf. Learn more.
Call center outsourcing
It is already common, nowadays, to shift or outsource some business processes by hiring a BPO company. Customer service is among the top outsourced processes. With the pandemic causing chaos and uncertainty, the demand for better customer experience increased, along with the need for essential goods, family safety, and individual well-being. For businesses needing to deliver all these without delay, there came also an increasing demand for customer service and call center outsourcing. Outsourcing call center services has really become beneficial for businesses who decided they should count on them. It became beneficial also for customers who were counting on those businesses to deliver just when they needed them.
Below are the main benefits for businesses of customer service and call center outsourcing.
1. Communication Management
Learning the ropes of handling customer service and providing up-to-speed customer experience while juggling with other things needing management focus is hard, especially when your existing manpower is limited in number and in expertise. An immediately noteworthy difference of outsourcing customer service is their ability to hit the ground running for you.
Compliance with regulations
Third-party providers focused on providing customer service for client companies are already familiar with regulation requirements. You can expect them to have built their templates, systems, and processes with compliance with regulations in mind.
Data privacy and security
With regards to customer concerns on privacy and security, you can also expect they already have those covered.
Familiarity with metrics
Management and monitoring of customer service for further improvements could also be difficult if you don’t know what figures might be relevant and critical for these. Learn more.
Call center outsourcing companies already have the tools ready and can adjust according to your specifications. If a 24/7 customer service is what you need, then they’ll set up a team for you.
2. Access to Skills and Expertise
With changing customer demands and various companies setting eyes on niche markets, now, there are also very specialized skills for nearly any outsourced responsibility. Now, it is most likely that you can find the specialized expertise you require in a well-established BPO company.
Benefit from top talent
If your company is producing highly-specialized products or services, then you would also be needing manpower well-versed in these for your customer service. According to a Forbes article, though, the top talents in the market may have already been hired by the largest firms. However, “outsourcing agencies are capable of attracting top talent to ensure customer satisfaction and competitive results.”
Aside from tech or industry-specific expertise, customer service soft skills, especially nowadays, have become critical in defining the success or failure of a business. With the onset of the pandemic, customer service soft skills have become the basic ingredients to deliver a better customer experience. Learn more here: 7 Soft Skills Customer Service Representatives Should Develop.
Working with AI
The recent developments in AI and machine learning have also boosted the customer service capabilities of companies who have adopted early these technologies. There are various ways you can integrate AI with customer service for a quicker turnaround time of desired results. AI can help you learn deeply about your business processes and products so you can build a knowledge base. You can also integrate AI into a customer relationship management (CRM) software for continuous improvement of customer experience delivery. Agents in call center outsourcing companies are now also trained to work with AI to be more flexible in changing customer preferences in what specific channels they want to jump into or continue a customer service conversation at any given time. Learn more about how AI has revolutionized customer service, here.
People also expect a superb customer experience, i.e., being met with warm hospitality over an impersonal treatment. Of course, everyone prefers good customer service－and way better if it’s a personalized customer experience. If it isn’t, a customer either has just to live with it, or can just walk away. Now, with social media, a customer walking away could mean a lot of people avoiding the brand. While it’s easier now to market a brand, a brand’s downfall could also easily happen with just one unsatisfied customer. Take advantage of customer service providers’ developed personalization strategies so you don’t have to come up with them from scratch. For a peek into personalization, read more about it, here.
3. Resilience, Rapid Growth
Businesses faced a common dilemma as the economy plunged deeper into the pandemic. There is the need to grow rapidly amidst uncertainty in order to survive and not perish. But, to do this, there is also the need to build resilience to keep firm ground. People have been relying on product purchases for their essential needs for so many decades now. The pandemic has limited people’s movements and has made it harder to source even essential goods. Aside from these, there are also other concerns that could come up anytime from the customers’ ends. These include tech support, urgent troubleshooting concerns, assistance in using a product, delivery delays, cancellations, and repurchases, etc. These further surround businesses already grappling with the above-mentioned dilemma.
A way to overcome all these, as though in one sweep, is to trust a third-party customer service provider. Especially if you don’t have one yet, outsourcing your customer service could help you provide quicker customer support, scale up amidst today’s difficulties, and even increase global coverage.
Beyond customer service, you may want also to integrate other services from their list of offerings. Larger firms are better known as business process outsourcing companies. BPOs understand that what their clients want is to be able to develop new business quickly, scale faster while staying focused on what they think for their businesses as more important tasks. Learn more.
Maintaining company focus
Continue to deliver consistency with your products and services and let your employees continue to do what they do best. And, coinciding with those, a mirroring of such consistencies taken care of by your outsourced customer service partner. With a customer service strategy tailor-fitted to your expectations, you can be sure your outsourced customer service could well represent your brand image. As mentioned in a
Forbes article, some businesses often lack the ability to provide mass customer service. “Outsourcing this aspect of your business will give your company a more professional image.”
Increase brand loyalty
You can also take advantage of the staff training in BPOs or customer service companies. They have a highly trained customer support staff, backed by management with years of experience. You can expect their customer service teams to give your customers the type of service that keeps them coming back. “The professional services that an outsourcing company provides will leave your customers feeling cared for and appreciated.”
Grow more rapidly
Concerning business growth, what comes to mind is taking benefit from having more staff on hand. With this, though, you have to also think about the expenses that go into hiring, onboarding, and supporting more full-time employees. These limit the potential for growth and impede any momentum that your company has built. It would thus be more practical and more beneficial to outsource. “Because it’s more affordable to outsource the work than it is to build your own in-house team, and because you can cancel an outsourcing contract without having to put people out of work, it’s a great way to ensure that your company maintains a steady growth while keeping the core of your team focused on internal tasks.”
All things considered, outsourcing is a great way to optimize business processes while minimizing costs. Again, outsourcing, such as call center outsourcing for customer service, is beneficial not only for businesses but also for your customers. While it is sometimes viewed as transferring a company’s burden to a third-party provider, it could also be viewed positively. When done right, and especially with the clouds of uncertainty over us, call center outsourcing is just what is needed. This could show that your business is finding ways to deliver the needed customer service and preferred customer experience. Further, according to a Zendesk article, this could improve customer retention, increase customer lifetime value, and boost customer loyalty.
Should you need assistance in finding the right call center provider for your business, StratAccess could help you with it.