By: Fraser Wilson, Marketing Director, AnswerConnect
Fraser Wilson has accrued over 10 years’ experience working within small, medium and large businesses. He is currently the Marketing Director 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.
The start of the journey
For startups to grow, they need the tools and systems to manage growing demand for their product or service. During the pandemic, businesses were forced to adapt to the ‘new normal’. While unfamiliar to begin with, this collective transition has shown we have the flexibility and technology to work from anywhere. Above all, this new way of working has proven we don’t all need to be in the same room to work efficiently and effectively. That revelation offers a solution for growing startups, both financially and operationally.
For those startups seeking the freedom to upscale quickly, outsourcing can fill the gap in their workforce.
Outsourcing and anywhere working
Every day, businesses are discovering that there is a better way to work. Rather than work from a fixed-location, they can work Anywhere. By Anywhere we don’t mean ‘remote’. Instead, Anywhere means the freedom to work from home, a cafe and – even sometimes – from an office. Essentially, working Anywhere means freedom and flexibility. What form that freedom takes will vary from startup to startup. As flexible working becomes a mainstream movement, it’s time we understand the benefits it can bring.
Working Anywhere offers more flexibility, increased team diversity and better ideas. When your location is untethered to a fixed-location, you can hire the best people, not just those closest to your office. Anywhere means saving on office rental, employee turnover and high operational costs.
This new work movement gives businesses the added freedom to work with outside contractors or partners; or outsource key functions. That increased agility offers a unique solution to startups looking to rapidly expand their team. Not only does it allow companies to conduct business more efficiently and effectively but it’s more cost-effective than hiring in-house.
Although it may sound like a simple solution, over the years, outsourcing has been negatively associated with layoffs, diminished corporate responsibility and ambiguous work ethics. However, in certain cases outsourcing is the best option — especially for SMEs looking to grow at scale without the added costs of hiring and training a dedicated team.
A focus on customer service
Customer service is critical to the success and everyday running of your business. From troubleshooting to product enquiries to feedback and complaints, customer support encompasses a range of tasks. But, as your business grows, so do the challenges of tracking, managing and responding to your prospects and customers.
With some companies turning to automated answering or bots to handle customer service, customers have been left feeling unsatisfied and overlooked. Often, these processes don’t resolve problems or queries, instead they anger customers, which can impact a business’ reputation. There are other options however – such as engaging with third parties to provide people-powered customer service solutions.
The importance of offering consistent, professional customer service cannot be underestimated as a startup. It’s not just essential to maintaining customer satisfaction, it’s key to winning new customers. When done right, it can seriously boost a company’s bottom line and help maintain brand image. But when mismanaged, poor customer service can cost you dearly.
Is outsourcing the solution for startups?
This push for real human engagement in customer service can be delivered via the right outsourcing partner.
Outsourced customer service is the process of transferring management of customer-facing communication channels to a third-party service provider like AnswerConnect. The pandemic has shown how much consumers still value real human interaction, that’s whyAnswerConnect’s real customer experience agents are available to answer your calls, live 24/7.
Outsourcing your customer support can also offer a significant saving in overheads. Those savings can then be invested back into the company – either for increased work benefits for employees, or to focus on new innovations to further improve the customer experience. With fewer people travelling into an office, you can also reduce your corporate carbon footprint and minimise the impact of your company on the planet.
Outsourcing can also provide access to specialist expertise by opening up a larger talent pool, particularly in new markets. For example, scaling your business across different locations. By outsourcing to a company based in these new areas, your customer service agents will be able to speak to your new customers fluently in their chosen language.
The start of a better service
Hiring the right people for your team can be tricky, particularly if you need to bring new team members in quickly to maintain growth momentum without sacrificing quality customer service. As your startup grows, you may come up against the dilemma of whether to keep teams in-house or outsource them.
With customer service in particular, remember that any outsourcing partner automatically becomes your brand ambassador – working on the frontline to engage with your prospects and existing customers. Choosing a provider with experience and trusted reviews is a must.
The decision to outsource work as a financial solution should be based on several business factors. Of course cost is important. But you should also consider time, the complexity of the work required, technology requirements, experience, and flexibility.
Remember, the choice is always yours and you need to weigh the pros and cons. However, if you choose to outsource, make sure you find the right outsourcing company. To find out more about how AnswerConnect can help support your business with live call and web chat answering, visit answerconnect.co.uk.