With the increased set of services demanded from the businesses by the market, companies with limited services are struggling in having an edge over their competitors in delivering the best customer experience. In order to counter that, businesses are now looking for ways to incorporate greater services in their accounts to satisfy the needs of their customers with the best quality expected.
However, in retrospect, it has not been possible for most of the companies to focus on each and every element of customer service despite having a dedicated department for it. If by any chance, a company is successful in executing all the required tasks, it usually comes with either high hosts or inferior quality, pertaining to the labor costs and management in play.
Delivering the best customer experience to their customers is very difficult, especially for new businesses or the ones experiencing an exponential growth in their business considering the rapid changes and investment needed to provide for the growth.
The best possible way to counter this problem is to outsource the business. This might help the business to curb costs and simultaneously deliver the required customer service.
According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, 59% of the businesses surveyed said that outsourcing works as a cost-cutting tool for them. 57% of respondents said that outsourcing enabled them to focus on their core business. 47% outsourced to solve capacity issues.
Outsourcing to an in-shore company is sometimes beneficial as there are no communication barriers and monitoring is easy. However, there is a rising popularity in the global market for outsourcing services. The basic reason for the preference of offshore outsourcing is that the labor cost is very low in countries like the Philippines and India. Moreover, the large talent pool is the main attraction for companies to outsource their businesses to these offshore countries.
Taking the example of the Philippines, it is one of the most preferred nations by businesses for outsourcing after India and has grown by 43% since 2006. The reason for the inclination is that loyalty, honesty and hard work is ingrained in the culture of the Filipinos with their higher standard of education and its cultural diversity to adapt to the likings of any business. Moreover, English is the official language being spoken there which reduces communication barriers for companies across the world.
Businesses are happy with their outsourcing relationships, as shown in Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey that:
“78% of the businesses all over the world feel positive about their relationship with their outsourcing company”
With the boom in offshore outsourcing, one might consider outsourcing their businesses right away; nevertheless, it’s not a good idea to do such without considering alternatives and questions to be answered such as “Why do I need to Outsource?” or “ Does my vendor delivers the type and quality of service that is required by my company?”. Here are some things to consider.
THINGS TO CONSIDER
Before diving right into outsourcing the customer experience to offshore companies, there are a few things to consider. You must choose a business that is reliable, a cultural fit for the company and provides excellent customer service according to the requirements of the business.
Tonichi Achurra-Parekh — a renowned professional in the Customer Service Industry with experience of around 22 years, spoke on a podcast of Voxpro Studios regarding points to consider while looking for an outsourced partnership;
“… You look for cultural fit. You need to make sure that you have almost the same vision, strategy and the values …, because how I look at my customer is very different than how my potential client will look to our customer…”
The business needs to ensure a “good partnership fit” in order to consider a collaboration. Following are the 3 key elements described by Tonichi to consider a partner firm,
- One of the first things to consider is that the partner is as passionate in taking care of the business and/or customers, no matter the size of business they’re in.
- Secondly, the partner should fill in for the weaker spots of the business such that the partnership complements the business
- The last two things are flexibility and agility. You have to look for a partner who’s flexible to the business’ needs and is able to move with its pace. This will ensure increased productivity and effectiveness for the business.
THE OFFSHORE LEVERAGE
There are numerous gains for the companies considering outsourcing to offshore companies. Here are some of the advantages of offshore companies upon which a company can leverage.
The main reason for offshore outsourcing is the cost-benefit a business gets. Countries like India and the Philippines can provide a great advantage in terms of direct savings that are made due to cost differences in benefits, salaries, wages, and operational expenses. Data suggests that businesses can save up to 50% by outsourcing to offshore firms as the labor cost and infrastructure is inexpensive.
Yet, as a business, one shouldn’t consider costs as the only factor. Businesses need to ensure that their partnership won’t compromise on their brand or the customer experience it ought to deliver.
“Good customer service costs less than bad customer service.” — Sally Gronow
A Global Talent Pool
Sometimes it is very difficult to develop a talent pool within a company skilled enough to be the best in providing customer service. Sometimes the skillset is not provided by the In-shore companies due to their lack of diversity.
offshore firms in the Philippines, Pakistan, China or Brazil have the edge of cultural diversity, which helps them create a talented pool of individuals who are hardworking, passionate and they speak as the voice of the brand. Furthermore, they reduce the need to invest in the training of individuals or to develop a competitive team.
One of the main reasons for outsourcing to offshore firms is that it provides a powerful infrastructure to a business for its human resource management and enable it to transfer the burden of hiring staff and training of employees to an external provider.
Moreover, with a leading outsourced partner, a business can easily scale-up its customer service and ensure a smooth flow in times of rapid growth of the business. In this way, outsourcing saves the company from getting overburdened by the additional costs of scaling up its customer service department.
Increased Productivity and Work Efficiency
Outsourcing helps businesses to focus on their core activities such as finance, marketing, and supply chain. Customer service being the non-core activity helps a company to build a relationship with the customer over in the long-run. However, it is a very tedious task to build and maintain this relation over a short span of time. Therefore, this would only burden the company with additional responsibility, hampering not only the productivity but also diverting the attention from the main task.
The advancement in technology has brought digitization, automation, and Artificial Intelligence. Businesses are looking for outsourcing firms that can engage customers over digital platforms with the use of cutting-edge technology. Technology helps processes to move faster and helps in providing customer experience most effectively.
A KPMG Global IT-BPO Outsourcing Deals Analysis identifies America as the major outsourcing buyer region, at a whopping 42%, followed by Europe and the African region with 35%, leaving the Asia Pacific at 23%. The statistics show a heightened demand from American companies to outsource their business processes to offshore companies with Customer Service being one of the most preferred outsourced services.
All the data and statistics point to the fact that outsourcing your customer service to an offshore company is the best way to help your business grow rapidly as you only have to focus on your business goals while your outsourcing partner takes care of your customer. This not only helps the company to increase its productivity but also gives it an advantage over its competitors and helps to grow its market share.