Contact centres are an essential part of any business that wants to deliver an unrivalled customer experience.
Whether complaining, praising, or just asking a question, we all know that customers want their problems solved quickly, and the type of experience a customer has with a contact centre creates a long-lasting impression. In fact, research shows that 70% of buying experiences are determined by how the customer feels they have been treated by a brand.
Outsourced contact centres are leading the way in gold-standard customer service management. Offering increased flexibility and versatility, improved cost-efficiencies and unparalleled expertise, it’s easy to see why.
Dino Forte, CEO, Ventica, shares some key reasons why you should outsource your contact centre and take your customer service management strategy from zero to hero.
1. Prepare for peak more effectively
Whether it’s Christmas, Black Friday, Valentine’s Day or Mother’s Day, preparing for peak demand is challenging for any business, but especially for those in the retail sector.
Achieving the flexibility needed to scale customer experience teams up and down based on seasonality or new product launches is difficult to achieve with an in-house contact centre that doesn’t have the infrastructure to recruit and train new staff in a flash.
On the flip side, outsourced contact centres have dedicated, trained and skilled teams ready to deploy at short notice, if needed. With these teams behind you, high volumes of customer contacts can be handled in a short space of time, contributing to an overall positive customer experience.
As well as preparing for seasonal peaks, outsourcing your contact centre can also help you to respond to a crisis effectively, such as a data breach, or simply add extra Customer Service Advisors as the business grows.
Why is this important?
80% of businesses expect to compete mainly based on customer experience this year, so business agility, especially when it comes to delivering exceptional customer experience, is essential. A static, unresponsive customer management strategy will quickly see customer satisfaction levels decline and encourage them to switch over into the welcoming arms of your competitors.
2. Utilise wide and varied industry expertise
The expertise in an outsourced contact centre – in both customer experience and specific industries – is highly valuable for any organisation looking to outsource.
Outsourced contact centres gain expertise as they grow, with different client teams facing different situations, customer expectations and technology requirements.
This expertise provides great versatility, with shared learnings between teams keeping their approach fresh and innovative – a stark contrast to the approach often found within in-house contact centres who are prone to working within their industry-specific bubble.
Outsourced contact centres have the benefit of analysing what worked well for one of their customer experience teams, eg a team working for a chain of cinemas, and applying relevant learnings as recommendations to clients from a different sector, eg a supermarket chain.
Whilst most contact centre activities are transferable across all industries, the advantage of working with outsourcers who have certain sector expertise cannot be underestimated either. Some outsourced contact centres will already have a team of advisors who are experts in retail, finance, property, FMCG and more who are ready to go.
Tip: provide advisors and customer experience teams with training specific to your business, tours of your premises and product/service demonstrations to establish industry experts who are well-versed in your specific products, services and company ethos – a sure-fire route to delivering outstanding customer experience.
3. Deliver multilingual support more efficiently
It’s clear that outsourced contact centres are ideal companions for growth, but when it comes to expanding into international markets, they’re a perfect match.
Outsourced contact centres are able to provide multilingual advisors efficiently, making it easier for you to expand your business overseas and serve international customers more effectively.
With multilingual advisors at the ready, outsourced contact centres can quickly help you turn a UK-focused customer experience strategy into a global success. This enables you to both tap into new markets and better communicate with your existing multilingual customers.
4. Take advantage of the latest customer experience technologies
Outsourced contact centres and best-in-breed customer experience technology go hand-in-hand.
We all know that consumers have come to expect resolutions to their queries not just in an instant, but also on a channel that suits them. These expectations have made it imperative for all organisations to have an omni-channel CX strategy, ready to fulfil customer needs.
Outsourced contact centres are continuously innovating and bringing new technology solutions into the mix to best suit client and consumer needs.
For example, robotic process automation (RPA) can help encourage higher levels of self-service and the use of data analytics tools can provide vital insights from contact resolutions, enabling you to make positive strategic decisions backed up with data.
Whatever your requirements, outsourced contact centres have a reputation for developing their technology offering to keep you ahead of the game in meeting ever-evolving customer expectations.
5. Install robust compliance and data security practices
In an era of heightened data protection requirements, it’s essential for all contact centres, both outsourced or in-house, to have robust compliance and security policies in place. It’s well-publicised what the repercussions are for not handling customer data correctly, and it’s something that no business wants to have to deal with.
Because of this, there is far more at stake and with a wider variety of client-specific regulations to adhere to, outsourced contact centres often have stronger precautions in place to prevent fraud and comply with regulations such as PCI DSS.
From rigorous background checks during the hiring process to prohibited mobile phone use on the contact centre floor, outsourced contact centres are extremely diligent when it comes to data security and compliance, so both your company data and your customer’s data are in very safe hands.
6. Enhance your customer experience strategy
Outsourced contact centre teams are more than customer experience specialists, they’re strategists too.
Customer service management should be at the heart of your omnichannel strategy and outsourced contact centres are in the best position to help you build that, whether it’s from scratch or enhancing your existing plans.
We’ve talked about the variety of expertise that outsourced contact centres add to the mix, but they also bring a fresh perspective that might be missing from your in-house operations.
Whether it’s adding in a social media strategy or defining the right tone of voice across all customer communication channels, an outsourced contact centre will partner with your internal teams to help create a strategy that meets ever-changing customer expectations.
7. Improve contact centre cost-efficiencies
The cost of running a contact centre and delivering the best possible customer experience will always be a matter of importance for senior decision-makers and something that CX Directors must consider.
Cutting costs at the expense of customer experience is never a good idea, but improving cost-efficiencies by working with customer experience specialists who know how to efficiently deliver exceptional customer experiences makes perfect sense and will resonate with any FD, CEO or Board members.
Working with an outsourced contact centre helps save significant costs by reducing operational overheads, resource and infrastructure expenses. This leaves your internal teams to focus on your core business, ie making your products and services the best they can be for your customers.
In addition to streamlining costs, your outsourced contact centre can recommend strategic customer experience plans that improve processes and enable you to scale up and down quickly in response to the often dreaded peak periods. With a more manageable and strategic approach, you can feel confident that your customers will remain satisfied and loyal to your brand.
Altogether, this ultimately prevents your contact centre from being perceived as “a cost to the business” and instead understood as “an investment in delivering the best possible customer experience”.
Dino Forte is CEO at Ventrica,
Ventrica is an award-winning, outsourced contact centre business that delivers omnichannel and multi-lingual customer service for blue chip brands, listed at #63 on the Sunday Times Fast Track 100. Continual investment in globally leading technology allows Ventrica to provide a truly omnichannel customer experience that encompasses calls, email management, web chat, instant messaging and social media into one integrated and unified solution.
The company is headquartered in Southend where it operates from spacious, hi-tech and modern offices, placing significant emphasis on the comfort and well-being of its staff. Ventrica shares the same passion about its customers’ business as it does for its own and continually strives for quality and consistency of service delivery.
Ventrica has significant experience of providing customer management and sales across an array of industries, including, Retail, Insurance, Finance, Health, Transport, Real Estate, Leisure, Hospitality, Construction and Publishing. Ventrica is well-known for its eCommerce expertise, particularly within fashion retail.