Four Good Reasons to Outsource to Optimize Customer Engagement
Nowthat we are the Age of the Customer, more and more companies have realized that how they engage with their customers is highly strategic and an important source of differentiation. As a result, fewer and fewer companies are outsourcing contact center functions purely to save money. Does this mean outsourcing is no longer a viable business strategy? Not at all! Eventus contact center consulting experts have identified four scenarios where outsourcing can help a company optimize customer engagement.
Today’s organizations want to hit the best margins to make their businesses viable while also delivering the right customer experience to satisfy and retain customers. Company leaders struggle with balancing these objectives with the pressures of time to market, costs, quality and service levels, and customer satisfaction goals – almost always with the mantra of figuring out how to do more with less.
Sourcing strategies can have a significant impact on the customer experience, service delivery, volume of work and ability to manage the day-to-day operations. Eventus has identified four scenarios where outsourcing still makes sense to optimize customer engagement, even in the Age of the Customer:
Companies need a multi-language or follow-the-sun service strategy
A business-to-business or business-to-consumer company may have an international presence with customers all over the globe. There may be language skill-specific services needed and, rather than try to hire or train in those particular areas, they source to areas with workers who are fluent in the language and needs of the callers.
Additionally, companies may have around-the-clock contact center services or specific back office functions that need to be delivered all hours of the day, requiring a “follow-the-sun” service strategy. This type of global workflow strategy provides 24/7 daytime service passed around throughout the day between contact center sites that may be in multiple countries, many time zones apart. Either way, it is important for this type of outsourced, global effort to be completely seamless and integrated.
Companies want to recalibrate their balance of cost vs. quality
The best companies understand that real value doesn’t come only from cheap labor, but also from quality services. It’s important to evaluate your organization, the types of products and services you offer and, of course, the customer profile and customer experience you’re trying to support. As an example, “lower cost per minute” for contact center services doesn’t necessarily mean lower overall cost per customer.
Regardless of shore, it is key to contract with a provider that can offer services at a low cost, but also deliver those services in a quality, end-to-end manner. Managing and supporting the complete transaction lifecycle and delivering a first contact, one-and-done customer interaction ensures that the sourcing investment made truly meets the target objectives. Don’t jeopardize overall quality of service for perceived lower costs. Lower costs are never truly realized when all is said and done. Once the appropriate balance is determined, the right outsourcers can be engaged.
Companies need more flexibility or ability to respond to seasonal growth
Some companies such as retailers scale up production or service during certain times of the year. During the rest of the year, they may decide to provide a core set of services focused on quality and a high level of customer service. Factoring in the costs for recruiting, hiring, training and managing the balance of both staffing up and staffing down, this is another strategic opportunity for the right outsourcing model.
Many outsourcing companies specialize in meeting interim or short-term explosive growth capacity expansion needs. To successfully deliver on such scaled growth, each outsource option should be assessed for availability of skilled labor force, facility and infrastructure capacity, and the ability to meet timeframes for delivery of quality service (not just “butts in seats”).
Companies are looking for specific expertise, capacities or infrastructure
Many outsourcers specialize in cost effective BPO services with expertise in particular areas and back office functions: collections, claims processing, finance and administration services, data entry and transcription services, or even shared services such as training, knowledge management, analytics or quality management and auditing programs. These types of services can be perfect functions for outsourcing on any shore.
Once again, it is key to ensure that selecting the right outsourcing solution is made with the end state in mind and the company values and goals are not jeopardized. There are many additional reasons to make the decision to outsource and deciding to outsource should be the easy part. With so many options across all shores, it is critical to invest in assessing what outsourcing strategy meets the right balance of cost, quality and delivery of service to satisfy customer expectations.
When you’ve analyzed all the factors involved, the outsourcing solution for your company may be a mix of offshore, onshore and near- shore. Many outsource companies may have the specific service strengths and core competencies that meet your strategic needs, while others are just not a good fit for fulfilling the desired outcome. It’s that careful analysis, however, that is going to give you a competitive advantage and help you make the right decisions the first time.
If you would like to learn more about developing a successful sourcing strategy for you contact center, click the image below to download a free copy of our whitepaper “Shoring Up Your Outsourcing Strategy”.
It can be hard to fathom a life without customer service in it. Before remote desktop support, live chat and other contact center solutions, there were complex phone trees and outsourced call centers and before that there were buggy IVR systems and telephone switchboards connecting you to the store you purchased the product from.
The past few decades have seen the business world sway multiple times between call center outsourcing and internal call center operations.