Many organisations choose to outsource some or all of their customer service provision, and the question of when to outsource is critical.

If your business is ready outsourcing can offer a host of benefits, allowing companies to reduce costs, optimise productivity, boost flexibility, and deliver the best possible customer experience.

Is your company ready to outsource? And if you’re not sure, what signs would confirm that outsourcing is right for your business?

The main indicator that your business is ready to outsource is realising that you’ve got a need that you might not be able to satisfy easily. For example:

  • Costs might be going up as quickly as revenue
  • Your service performance might not be keeping pace with expectations
  • You might want to test a new business model but you don’t have the right resources to do this.

The following three areas could indicate when to outsource at the appropriate time:

When to outsource?

To reduce costs without impacting on performance

Prime focus for many companies is optimising profits and costs. However, customer service is a vital function in any organisation, and not an area to be compromised in order to reduce outgoings.

Bringing in a support partner should enable you to maintain a high level of service while also reducing cost. For example, through better utilisation of agents, switching to a work-at-home model that provides agents to work weekends or night-shifts, and removing or reducing internal costs such as rent, equipment, and other overheads associated with an internal support model.

If you have wondered when to outsource and already want to reduce costs without impacting on performance, your business may be ready.

To boost performance without adding cost

If your business needs to expand your agent team to improve capacity, or you need to improve specific skills such as languages or specialist technical expertise, or you’re diversifying your customer service provision into areas such as social media or online support, this naturally incurs a certain level of cost.

Many fast-growth businesses are based in large town or city centres, with associated costs, which means that finding and retaining a growing team, suitably skilled, becomes a challenge. Outsourcing focuses a lot of attention on delivering against agreed performance metrics and enhancing the customer experience while adhering to an agreed cost. The experience of the right support partner will define and deliver the best solution to support your business.

If you want to boost performance without adding costs, it may be time to outsource.

When you want to try something new

Many businesses are well-established and operate along well-defined lines. As markets change or competitive pressures grow, it may be time to diversify service offerings.

Introducing a new approach or aspect to your business can bring with it a significant risk, which may have a significant impact on your current customer service provision. Alternatively, testing out a new approach to customers in an “incubator” environment could provide real benchmark comparisons with established methods.

Outsourcing customer support to a partner can offer a variety of solutions to test your new business model without harming what’s already in place. This may address any lack of talent, sourcing the best agents and language skills for the pilot programme.

If you want to try something new, your business may well benefit from outsourcing, at least in the early stages when there is much that’s unknown.

If you have asked yourself “when to outsource?”, or to find out more about the outsourcing process, the benefits it can offer your organisation, and how to ensure your business is ready, please get in touch.

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