There comes a time in every young business’s life where they need to figure out whether it’s time to get an outsourcing partner or not. For companies who already outsource, they may also reassess their partnerships’ direction and what to expect from them at some point.
Do you ever wonder what makes the outsourcing industry tick? Boldr’s Founder and CEO David Sudolsky and our ever-dependable super-advisor Suneet Bhatt, also the General Manager of Crazy Egg, took some time to discuss (and debunk!) some common myths on the outsourcing game.
Is outsourcing more than just plug-and-play?
Outsourcing entails far more comprehensive planning, contextualizing, and fine-tuning than any catch-all formula to a business’s success. The client-company relationship plays the most critical role in the direction in which the partnership goes. As the partnership grows and develops, the likelihood of further success also grows exponentially. In a world where everything has a solution and metric, the best partnerships are born out of building something organic: trust.
Do you have to be a big company to outsource?
You might not exactly need to be a Fortune 500 company to need outsourcing. However, you would need direct feedback and other customer information when developing a market fit for your offerings early on. As you outsource, staying in touch with your customer base can be made possible by robust support procedures to let them express their feedback and satisfaction.
While it’s found to be beneficial for the greater part of an entire industry’s big players, small businesses are also starting to turn to outsourcing. More than half of small businesses currently plan to outsource, on top of more than one-third of those who already do. Outsourcing provides great opportunities for startups to scale up rapidly, as business owners start to find themselves wearing more hats than they should.
Isn’t phone support irrelevant already?
Not everything needs to be a phone call nowadays, but that didn’t make phone conversations any less valuable. The voice channel has proven to be valuable for specialized jobs such as sales and retention. Moreover, the higher value conversations and more complex troubleshooting are done through phone calls. Voice support still strikes the perfect balance in a resolution that’s quick, thorough, but also personal. Other channels may have replaced the phone for quick fixes, but its decreased use only made room for more valuable functions.
Do Millennials/Gen Z-ers expect a lot from customer support?
Such as in workplace dynamics and many other areas, the bar being raised by the Millennial and Gen Z generations is also evident in customer support. With the tech-savvy millennials becoming the most educated generation in U.S. history, it’s no surprise that they’re redefining standards for customer service.
The Millennials and Gen Z-ers would tend to be more reasonable but also objective and output-based with the support they’re getting. This market looks at brands evenly and would hold accountability of anyone for the results they deliver. The younger generations’ desire to be conveniently self-reliant also necessitated social media support and virtual assistance.
Do you need to “wow” your customers?
The definition of the “wow” factor can be fairly ambiguous depending on standards and expectations. Given that most customers don’t even get their expectations met, even the grandest gestures can be a tad too farsighted without the fundamentals in mind. Sometimes all it would take to thoroughly impress a customer is to actually get them the help they were asking for. This makes for a solid foundation in going for that 110% effort.
In setting your targets to gauge your success with your customers, it is also important to combine implicit and explicit indicators of your performance. While metrics such as Customer Ratings and Net Promoter Scores present important numbers, you should go beyond what customers tell you and look into how they actually respond to your product. Hint: good customer service directly impacts sales revenue and customer trust.
Is negative feedback a dead end?
It can be as good as certain that a deeply unhappy customer is not coming back -- but it’s not the end. In fact, anyone who would take the time to leave any feedback for you, even a bad one, presents you an opportunity to learn as a business. The key is to catch the situation at the very heat of the moment and try to understand where it’s coming from. Being humble, perceptive, and compassionate while also being objective will open the doors to positive experiences from these unwanted situations.
Negative feedback doesn’t exist to be fixed, but to be learned from. Focusing on utilizing such information as lessons, rather than opportunities to undo it would allow these experiences to take you on more meaningful paths towards improving your business.
One of the few constants in the outsourcing industry is the tendency of its challenges to go beyond the surface level and require a holistic approach. The industry and the functions that it serves are constantly evolving, and it’s going to require a perceptive and adaptable attitude towards the job at hand.