By: Fraser Wilson, Global Head of Marketing, AnswerConnect
Fraser Wilson has accrued over 10 years’ experience working within small, medium and large businesses. He is currently Global Head of Marketing 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
Shifting to a ‘working anywhere’ model
It’s safe to say – since the pandemic – there’s been a significant shift in how we work and the operations put in place. The covid-19 pandemic compelled companies to transition from fixed-location to flexible working. In that time, there’s been a lot of conversation around where we should work.
But the idea of ‘working anywhere’ has also pushed us to consider who we work with. And part of that conversation includes working with third parties and the practice of outsourcing.
Why outsourcing is more crucial than ever before
In simple terms, ‘outsourcing’ is the process of contracting goods or services to an outside supplier rather than doing the work in house using your own employees. In the past, people associated outsourcing with cutbacks and layoffs. The term itself conjures images of removed and distant workers.
But in a fast-paced business world, outsourcing can offer a cost-effective path to increased capacity and stronger customer relationships.
If you’re considering outsourcing, you may be wondering how it adds value to your business. You might be asking what business activities you should keep in-house and what you could outsource to a third party without disrupting operations.
What do we mean by outsourcing?
The activities your business will outsource will depend on the type of business you run. For example, a lot of tech companies often outsource developer roles. The most common tasks small businesses and entrepreneurs choose to outsource are:
- Customer service
- Social media
- Website development
- Technical support
We live in an instant culture where consumers expect immediate responses. For SMEs, outsourcing can be key to meeting that expectation in their customer support. That’s why AnswerConnect’s live customer experience agents are available to answer calls 24/7. With the ability to respond around the clock, SMEs can build business continuity and earn their customers’ trust.
Why is it useful for SMBs/SMEs to outsource?
There are many benefits to outsourcing your customer service. And while the most obvious is financial, it’s by no means the only one. Most startups and small business owners don’t have the capital to hire an in-house customer service team. And every second spent dealing with customer complaints is time lost to other internal tasks.
Outsourcing your business’s customer service keeps costs down and time management up. It also provides your customers with a consistent experience. But there’s an often neglected benefit to outsourcing; it can give your business access to top tier customer service expertise. It’s in the best interests of the third party’s to represent your business to the highest standard. By outsourcing your customer service, you can improve your professional image. All these factors will result in an increased return on investment.
Finding the right time to outsource?
Of course, every business has to hire to grow. Hiring in-house is great for a growing business and it’s only natural to assume more staff means more capacity. But having the capital to take on more full-time employees isn’t always possible.
Outsourcing key roles in your business as your company grows is often essential to maintaining momentum. Seasonal spikes and parental cover are also key drivers for outsourcing. Many businesses would benefit from extra support during the Christmas period. But hiring seasonally takes time and requires resources. Plus, it means letting employees go when demand drops – employees you’ve invested time and money in training.
An answering service like AnswerConnect can support your business during a workload spike. Best of all, when demand drops, you can downgrade your plan without putting people out of a job.
Additionally, outsourcing can also help save money on your workspace. Why lease a large office with high rent when you can move to a smaller space and keep only essential business activities in-house? Outsourcing can afford you that flexibility.
And that flexibility has added benefits too. Not only does reducing your office space save on heating and lighting; with fewer employees ‘commuting and polluting’, you can lower your carbon footprint too. A study by Global Workplace Analytics argued that, allowing office-based US residents to work from home for just half the week, “would have the greenhouse gas equivalent of taking the entire New York State workforce off the road.”
Who are AnswerConnect and why are they the perfect solution for SMBs/SMEs?
AnswerConnect sees customer service not as a task to complete, but as a relationship to build and nurture. For AnswerConnect, care and connection are paramount.
AnswerConnect’s friendly, professional staff strive to ensure every caller is satisfied. Their focus on human-centred support stands out in an increasingly automated world. For AnswerConnect, customers should be answered with a ‘hello’, not a command to ‘press one’.
Things to consider
There is no right or wrong answer when it comes to outsourcing. Every business is unique and will have its own unique circumstances that determine whether outsourcing is a smart move.
In the end, it comes down to what will allow your business to operate more efficiently and achieve sustainable growth. To find out more about how AnswerConnect can help support your business with live call and web chat answering, visit answerconnect.co.uk.