Why You Should Outsource Your Customer Service
We dig into how outsourcing your customer service can give you a competitive edge.
July 3rd, 2017
Believe it or not, outsourcing your customer service could be one of the best business decisions you’ll ever make. Customer service (CS) – and customer experience (CX) – are integral to any good company. Fantastic CS can help improve your customer base, boost your sales, and increase your positive reputation. So why would you want something so vital in the hands of another company? Let us tell you exactly why.
Impact on Costs
Outsourcing your customer service is cheaper
One of the main reasons you should consider outsourcing is as simple as it being cheaper than maintaining an in-house CS team. To set up your own CS team, you’ll have to consider the training your employees will require, the technology you’ll have to provide them with, and even something as simple as the building they'll work in. These things can cost a lot of money. And that’s just to get yourself set up.
Contact centres have already done all this costly work for you. Because they have established teams, they can offer your business variable prices that will keep your CS ticking over nicely, at a much lower rate. Don’t believe us? According to a survey by Deloitte, 59% of their respondents believe that outsourcing can reduce costs.
We can offer a cost per conversation model that allows you to pay based on what your company is currently handling. We don’t hide costs and we don’t punish you for contacts you couldn’t forecast. If you choose to manage your own CS team, these costs are taken on by your own company. And having contingencies for peak periods isn’t always as easy as you’d think.
Focus on what’s important
All too often, setting up a new department can mean that your current workforce gets stretched too thin. People usually have to be sourced from other departments to set up a new one. That means smaller teams taking on the work of those who have moved. They end up working longer hours to continue hitting the same deadlines, which leads to burnout. Your teams can become stressed and their productivity suffers. Even if they’re still hitting productivity targets, the work they’re producing may not be of a high enough standard. And this costs your company money.
On the other hand, by outsourcing your CS, you can give your teams a little breathing space. CS can be a huge department within any business. It’s vital to maintaining a good customer experience and keeping your customer satisfaction high. By putting your trust in an outsource provider, you remove that stress from the shoulders of your employees. They can focus on other important things and keep your company running at the peak of its performance.
It might not be something we often talk about, but outsourcing can actually help improve your sales. By letting an expert team handle your CS, you’re allowing them to improve your overall CX.
Outsource providers focus on tangible targets – like first call resolution and contacts per hour – to make sure that their CS teams are always giving 100%. We make sure our employees are flexible and cross-trained so they can make decisions in the moment. This means that any particularly disgruntled customers can be helped with ease, leading to fantastic CS all round.
But how does that affect sales, right? Improving your CX can help increase your revenue by up to 15%. Happy customers are repeat customers. Repeat customers are loyal customers. And loyal customers are 4 times more likely to refer your brand to someone else. If you're interested in how improving your CS can affect your sales, our blog here dives into more detail.
Small businesses and outsourcing
You may think that your company is just too small to consider outsourcing. Maybe you already have a CS department and it seems to be running fine. But there are still benefits to outsourcing, no matter how low your contact volume is.
Outsourcing allows you to make the big decisions
In smaller businesses, you tend to find that everyone mucks in together. And that’s great! But it can also be a drawback for your business leaders. If the head of any department is too busy dealing with a particularly bad complaint, other things may be slipping under their radar. And it takes them away from the work they need to be doing.
CS is such a fast-paced environment that leaders can very quickly become bogged down as they try to keep up with demand.
They can find themselves in a never-ending loop of CS issues and queries from employees. But it’s important for your company leaders to have a general overview without comprising the projects they have in motion. That’s a difficult balance to achieve. Outsourcing allows you to take the pressure away from your decision makers. We can give them the bigger picture so that they can make the judgements they’re trusted – and paid – to make.
Customer service experts
This is as simple as it gets. The CS operators within outsource companies are experts at what they do. Outsource providers have years of experience within the industry. Their operators receive thorough training and their supervisors are always there to step in for any complicated interactions. If you give your CS to a provider like us, you know you're in safe hands.
If your company has no dedicated CS department (or sometimes even if it does), the responsibility of handling CS queries and complaints can fall to employees that simply don’t have an appropriate level of training. Expert operators know how to respond to any query and can do it quickly and professionally. And that’s what customers want; 47% said that a fast response is a vital element to good CS. If you don’t have operators waiting for the next call – or your operators simply haven’t received competent training – you risk seeing your business suffer. Customers are infamously fickle; 62% of customers will stop spending with a brand because of poor CS.
All too often, if a small company takes on CS themselves, it can result in unanswered questions and ignored complaints. But even when your business is delivering a good CX, an outsource provider can still offer you that little boost you need and give you a competitive edge. Outsource providers have all the technology and resources they need to be at the top of their game – it's literally their job! By working alongside an expert team, with the best resources, you can sure that your CS will always be top-notch. This can help make your CX incredible and improve your business' reputation as a whole; it could be pivotal in making a good brand a truly fantastic one.
The experience of outsource companies
The need for customer service outsourcing
If we haven’t convinced you that outsourcing is a good idea yet, take it from everyone else. Outsourcing has become more and more popular in recent years. In the retail sector alone, spend on outsourcing more than doubled to £155.3 million by the first quarter of 2016. The outsourcing industry, as a whole, grew to £3.91 billion in the first 6 months of 2016.
Those are impressive numbers. And it's simply because customers demand fast-paced CS. Customers want to reach out on more channels than ever. Outsourcing companies can offer them and that, in turn, allow customers to get in touch with your brand whenever they want. For just one of our clients, FM handles over 4000 interactions a day, on average. That's over 180 interactions an hour. That's not too bad if you have a lot of employees to spare. But if you don't, outsourcing is the answer.
How outsourcing companies are leading CS
CS is an ever-changing, ever improving field and, with technology progression as fast as it is, companies in CS have to be pretty plugged-in to keep up with all the new advancements. And that’s how CS providers climb to the top of the pile – by making sure they’re always on top of anything new in the industry and always put their clients’ needs first. CS providers put a significant amount of money and resources into exactly this; it’s the best way to survive and excel in such a competitive environment.
Companies that have other priorities simply cannot assume that they will be able to keep up.
Even if you don’t want to cash in on trending technologies, CS is still changing in the background. The most basic of CS channels are evolving. Customers just aren’t as willing to call businesses anymore; that’s why channels like webchat have taken off. Just 16% of customers still choose telephony as their most favoured CS channel. That's in contrast to the 59% who prefer webchat and social media. And the advent of automation, through chatbots, is drastically changing the face of CS for the better. It's important to keep on top of these kinds of developments.
Customers want a cross-channel experience, across multiple devices, and they want it yesterday. We keep on top of the latest trends, demands, and technologies with the aid of our sister company, Gnatta. But that's not all we can do for you.
How FM Outsource can help your company
So thinking about outsourcing? If we haven’t said it enough, we’re experts. We’ll be there every step of the way to make sure every last interaction a customer has with your company is as great as it possibly could be.
Our dedicated teams are your teams. They work in their own client-branded offices and are trained to handle customers in the exact way our clients want, upholding their image and ideals at all times. They’re as much a part of our clients’ companies are they are a part of our own.
We’re also able to use real-time analytics to create by-the-hour reports for our supervisors so they can respond to changes throughout the day. If a team is suffering under peak hours, we’ll be here to help and make sure the quality never flags. And our nifty cost per conversation model means you won’t have to worry about overspending during those periods. We’ve got your back.
You only have to look at one of our clients to see that we’re telling the truth. When the client joined us, their TrustPilot score was below a 1, which is supposedly impossible. With our help, they’ve been scoring an average of 6 for the past year.
Outsourcing can really give your company a competitive edge when it comes to your CS. It can save you money and give your employees – and leaders – a well-earned breather. Outsourcing can also improve your overall customer experience and help to make your company truly great. And we even have a calculator to show you just exactly how much you could save with us. Give it a go. If you'd like to get more expert insights into the outsourcing industry, sign up to our newsletter below; we've always got something new on the horizon.