When's the right time to outsource?

      

When's the right time to outsource?

Adam -blog

As the recession rolls on, never before has budgeting and making the correct investment decisions been so important within a business.  In most organisations, the greatest cost is the provision of staff, when you consider training, sick pay, employer's National insurance, annual leave and so on - savings here are likely to have a greater impact. 

 

The reception, or inbound call handling teams, are areas that can prove to be particularly 'staff heavy' and therefore expensive.  But as the first point of contact and the 'brand ambassador', it is essential that it runs smoothly as it's an area that organisations can ill afford to get wrong.

 

But however efficient a business' reception endeavours to be, there are situations and times when call handlers will come under pressure and customer service may suffer as a result.

 

Most businesses experience higher call volumes at certain times of the day, but employing additional staff to handle calls during these peaks can prove costly.  Customers don't like to be kept waiting or, or even worse, having their calls ignored.  The option of diverting calls to an outsourced partner during busy periods may not only be a cheaper option, but will ensure that high levels of customer service are maintained as all calls are handled promptly and professionally, regardless of call volumes.  Equally, during periods of low call volumes, companies are not paying for unutilised staff.

 

Marketing campaigns can cause a headache for management with regard to staffing levels.  Typically, they generate a short-term glut of calls which may be difficult to manage efficiently in-house without taking on extra staff or moving people away from their usual duties.  Additionally, using an outsourced call handling team can provide businesses with excellent management information on the campaign and an insight into a customer's response to a certain call to action. 

 

Many businesses also outsource their product order lines giving them the added advantage of being able to offer callers an out of hour's answering service if required.  Equally, it means that busier call periods such as the run up to Christmas are managed remotely without disturbance to every day in-house operations.

 

Companies that are involved in operations with staff and/or clients abroad, particularly if they are across different time zones, also appreciate the round the clock option that using telephone answering providers offer.  Having a central call handling area can also bring consistency and assured quality to how customers are handled day or night or from across the world.

 

The advantages of outsourcing in these situations are clear, the effectiveness of the service is ultimately entirely dependent upon choosing the right outsource partner and developing a good working relationship with them.  With a suitable partner, who makes it their business to get to know and understand their client's business, a bespoke service is created which will become a seamless extension of a company's in-house operations.

Written by Adam Tilson at 11:00

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