Fraser Wilson, Marketing Director, AnswerConnect
A whole new world
During the pandemic, businesses were forced to adapt to the ‘new normal’. While unfamiliar to begin with, this collective transition has shown we have the flexibility and technology to work from anywhere. This new way of working has shown we don’t all need to be in the same room to work efficiently and effectively.
As a result, there has been a shift in work culture post-pandemic. Outsourcing is set to fill the gap for many businesses wishing to embrace the ‘working from anywhere’ model.
Outsourcing and anywhere working
Every day, more businesses are discovering that there is a better way to work. By Anywhere we don’t mean ‘remote’; working ‘remotely’ has never been an accurate term for flexible ‘out-of-office’ work. As flexible working becomes a mainstream movement, it’s time we understand what we mean by this.
Working anywhere means more flexibility, more diverse teams and better ideas. When your location is untethered to a fixed-location, you can hire the best people, not just the closest to your office. Anywhere means saving on office rental, employee turnover and high operational costs.
This new work movement also gives businesses the added freedom to work with outside contractors or partners; or outsource key functions. The increased agility this affords presents a unique solution to businesses looking to expand their team quickly. Not only does it allow companies to conduct business more efficiently and effectively, it’s more cost-effective than hiring in-house.
Although it may sound like a simple solution, over the years, outsourcing has been negatively associated with layoffs, diminished corporate responsibility and ambiguous work ethics. However, in certain cases outsourcing is the best option — especially for SMEs looking to grow at scale without the added costs of hiring and training a dedicated team.
A focus on customer service
Customer service is critical to the success and everyday running of your business. From troubleshooting, to product enquiries, to feedback, to complaints, customer support encompasses a range of tasks. But, as your business grows, so do the challenges of tracking, managing and responding to your prospects and customer base.
With some companies turning to automated answering or bots to handle customer service, customers have been left feeling unsatisfied and overlooked. Often, these processes don’t resolve problems or queries, which could impact a business’ reputation. This is where the question of outsourcing comes in; is engaging third parties to provide people-powered customer service the solution?
The importance of offering consistently professional customer service cannot be underestimated. When done right, it can seriously boost a company’s bottom line and help maintain brand image. But when mismanaged, your customer service can cost you projects, customers and even your reputation.
Is outsourcing the answer?
This push for real human engagement for customer service can be delivered via the right outsourcing partner.
Outsourced customer service is the process of transferring management of customer-facing communication channels to a third-party service provider like AnswerConnect. Despite an industry-wide push to automate customer service with bots and AI, the pandemic has proven how much consumers still value real human interaction. That’s why AnswerConnect’s live customer experience agents are available to answer your calls 24/7.
Outsourcing your customer support can also offer greater flexibility to your business. With your customer support handled out-of-office, you may be able to reconsider your office space size and even location. With fewer people travelling into an office, businesses can reduce their carbon footprint and minimise their impact on the planet.
Outsourcing can also provide access to specialist expertise – by opening up a larger talent pool, particularly in new markets. For example, you may be looking to scale your business across different locations. By outsourcing to a company based in these new areas, your customer service agents will be able to speak to your new customers fluently in their chosen language.
The start of a better service
Hiring the right people for your team can be tricky, particularly if you need to bring new team members in quickly to maintain momentum of growth and sales, whilst maintaining quality customer service. As your organisation grows, you may come up against the dilemma of whether to keep teams in-house or outsource them.
With customer service in particular, remember that any outsourcing partner automatically becomes your brand ambassador – working on the front line to engage with your prospects and existing customers. Choosing a provider with experience and trusted reviews is a must.
The decision between in-house and outsourcing work should be based on several business factors. Be sure to consider cost, time, the complexity of the work required, technology requirements, experience, and flexibility.
Remember, the choice is always yours. You need to weigh the pros and cons of both approaches. And if you choose to outsource, make sure you find the right outsourcing company. To find out more about how AnswerConnect can help support your business with live call and web chat answering, visit answerconnect.co.uk.
About the Author
Fraser Wilson has accrued over 10 years’ experience working within small, medium and large businesses. He is currently Marketing Director for AnswerConnect; supporting the company in their provision of 24/7 live answering services to businesses across a variety of industries throughout the UK and North America.