How to Develop an Outsourcing Strategy
For the past 15 years, businesses have integrated an outsourcing strategy into their development plans. Outsourcing has proven to be an effective process for reducing business costs without compromising revenue generation programs. It has become the go-to strategy of businesses during time of uncertainty and unpredictability because outsourcing allows their modeling to become more flexible.
It is no wonder global outsourcing industry has been on an upward trajectory for the past 15 years. Changes in political leadership, globalization and unstable equities markets will continue to make business volatile and further increase demand for outsourcing services.
Businesses that want to outsource usually start out with non-essential tasks such as administrative work and back office support. Some businesses outsource more specialized tasks such as customer support and telemarketing. Then there are those that outsource technical services which don’t require large manpower. These technical services include transcription, translation, graphics design and content marketing.
If you want to maximize the full power of outsourcing, you should take a synergistic approach to process design. Outsource services that are complementary to one another and seamlessly flow from one process to the next. Synergy creates greater efficiency which maximizes return while reducing cost per output.
The first step is to contract the services of a reputable and reliable outsourcing services provider. You don’t have to go to the large outsourcers. In fact, the smaller outsourcers are a better option because they are less centralized and are more open- minded when it comes to customized services.
Next, identify the departments and related tasks that you want to outsource. For example:
- Chat Services
- Inbound Calls
- Social Media
Back Office Operations:
- Information Technology
- Human Resources
Outbound Calling Services:
- After- Sales Services
- Social Media Marketing
- Content Process Marketing
- E-mail Marketing
- Lead Generation Services
These services can be categorized between “Push” and “Pull” services. Push services are those that reach out to customers. The agents are working to move leads down the sales funnel by using e-mail marketing and telemarketing strategies.
Agents can also reach out to new and current customers and find out how the experience was, if there are pressing concerns, update them on the status of their accounts and to solicit input on how to make service better. The outsourcer can do this by conducting after sales or customer surveys.
These strategies are a proactive way to stay involved with the market. You are showing the customer that you will not forget them even after the sales transaction has been completed. It is an effective way of building long- term customer relationships.
Pull services are intended to bring prospective customers toward your business. You want to give them reasons to patronize your business over others. Pull services combine online marketing strategies with sound customer support practices.
Here is an effective way of categorizing the services:
- Digital Marketing
- Customer Support
- Outbound Calling Services
Back Office Support plays a crucial role for both services. In Pull services, back Office particularly accounting, can provide updates on account balances, discounts and term payments.
The number one reason people contact customer support is to update their account status. The problem with some outsourcing set ups is that customer support has no immediate access to accounting. Sometimes, departments are in separate locations such as customer support in the Philippines and accounting in India.
Thus logistical issues can affect the rate by which issues and concerns are resolved. It makes perfect sense that customer service must have a lateral connection with back office support.
In Push services, back office support can give outbound calling services an update on the status of an issue. Instead of waiting for the customer to follow up, the outbound agent can reach out and give the customer the latest news on his or her account.
One of the most common complaints by customers is they have to keep following up on the status of their concern. They end up talking to another agent who puts them through the entire process: identification, summary of the problem plus the usual clichés. This type of system makes for a frustrating experience for the customer.
By creating synergy between customer service, back office support and outbound calling, you can reduce the turnaround time and enhance the experience for the customer.
To support your synergistic outsourcing services framework, you must have the proper infrastructure. It is absolutely important that you are accessible by at least 5 avenues of communication:
- Inbound Line
- Chat Services
- Regular Mail
Then you should set up the ideal technological profile. Customers do not like waiting on queues nor will they appreciate being put on hold. You should invest in a good and reliable PBX call distribution system to ensure calls are properly routed to the next available agent. It should have the following features:
- Automatic Attendant and Dialing
- Automatic Call Distributor
- Automatic Call Ring Back
- Call Park and Transfer
- Call Waiting
- Caller ID
- Report Generation
For outbound calling, you should have a programmable predictive dialer which will make dialing more efficient. It should have the following features:
- Automatic Call Recording
- Caller ID
- Reports Generation
- Call Forwarding
Synergy can also be created between back office operations and digital marketing. A major component of digital marketing is website development and management. Time consuming tasks that take some expertise.
The pages have to be optimized and IT has to make sure all the features are functioning properly. It is also very important for the website to be mobile responsive and quickly downloaded. Digital marketing may also want copy to be revised and some pages to be re-designed to conform to the campaign strategy.
There will also be important synergy between digital marketing and outbound calling. One of the primary objectives of digital marketing is to generate leads. These leads are valuable assets which will be used for telemarketing and e-mail marketing activities.
As you can see, if you want to outsource services, you don’t just limit yourself to one function. You can outsource many functions and with the correct strategy- design you can create a holistic, synergistic framework which will reduce your costs and improve the overall value proposition.