Published on 17th May 2023 by Gemma Harding
For new businesses trying to get up and running, money will always be tight. You might think you simply can’t afford to outsource any services. But for critical things like customer services, outsourcing could actually turn out to be a really good investment.
Read on to find out how customer service outsourcing could be a smart decision for your SME.
Can small businesses outsource customer services?
Small businesses and startups need to carefully consider the practicalities of outsourcing a service like customer support. There are a few key factors to get into perfect balance, such as:
- Brand reputation
It’s only natural that SMEs will be concerned with keeping overheads to a minimum, especially if they’re a new business. Outsourcing involves ongoing costs, but so does recruiting, training and retaining an in-house customer service team.
There’s also your brand reputation to consider. But choose the right specialist to outsource your customer services to, and you’ll be confident that your customers will have a high quality experience.
Lastly, there’s efficiency. Startups end up juggling so many tasks at once, which could mean a low level of efficiency and quality when dealing with customers. Outsourcing allows you to provide a consistently high quality service and scale up when you need to.
Why should SMEs outsource?
Still not convinced? Let’s run through five of the most compelling reasons to invest in outsourcing customer support services.
Specialist services guarantee professionalism
Choose the right agency to partner with, and you’ll be guaranteed a professional and consistently high quality service. Always look for a customer service or call centre specialist, not a company that does absolutely everything.
With the right solution, your customers can benefit from a 24/7 service, and the option to speak to a real person (not a chatbot). This, along with high levels of training and perhaps even multilingual proficiency, can help to boost customer satisfaction.
Outsourcing customer support is a weight off your shoulders – from a cost perspective, as well as when considering time, skills and resources.
How much would it cost you to recruit, train and pay a full team of customer service experts? On top of these overheads, you’ll also need to shell out for office space, equipment and software.
These costs all start to add up, making outsourcing a much more attractive option. It could end up costing you less, while offering the advantage of improved efficiency, higher call volumes and better customer satisfaction.
Access to expensive equipment and software
Leading on from the previous point, there’s also the cost of purchasing and maintaining customer service infrastructure. An in-house team will need access to the right equipment and software to deliver an efficient and high quality customer experience. But as an SME or startup, it’s unlikely that you’ll be able to afford the latest equipment. This could leave you lagging behind your competitors.
But by outsourcing to a customer services specialist, you’ll be able to make use of their sophisticated technology. And when new software or systems come in, the third party can invest in upgrading – so that you don’t have to.
Room to grow
A big problem SMEs and startups have is knowing when to scale up – and how to do it. If your call volumes and customer base increases rapidly, is that the right time to invest in new customer support staff and equipment? It could be a risky move, especially if your company experiences ebbs and flows in customer demand.
Outsourcing lets you flex when you need to. With virtually unlimited capacity, a third party specialist can adapt to your needs. They can cope when it’s busy, or you can scale right back down during leaner periods.
More data secure
Lastly, there’s data security to consider. SMEs need to tread very carefully when it comes to customer data processing and GDPR rules. So, it can be a smart move to have someone else shoulder the responsibility. Again, it all comes down to choosing the right company. In this case, look for an agency like CallCare, which is ICO regulated and GDPR compliant.