About 30% of UK business owners say they plan to outsource more services and functions by 2022, according to a study by PA Consulting.
Outsourcing certain parts of your business can have some great results.
It can be a cost effective way of bringing in expertise to your company, without the long-term costs or admin of hiring full-time members of staff.
And many companies already outsource parts of their business, whether it’s accounting, marketing or recruitment – outsourcing is a popular model in business.
But outsourcing services isn’t something to be taken lightly.
There’s a lot of research and planning that should go not only into who to outsource to, but which services or functions to outsource in the first place.
Before you start to outsource parts of your business, here’s some essential questions you need to ask.
- What am I looking to achieve?
There’s a lot of things you can achieve by outsourcing some functions.
Whether it’s saving time so you can focus on other parts of your business.
Saving money on recruitment and training by bringing experts in.
Expand your range of services without having them in-house.
Whatever the reason, make sure you know what you’re hoping to achieve by outsourcing part of your business.
Not only will it help you choose the right functions to outsource, it will help you figure out the success of outsourcing that service in the long run.
- Is it simple enough to outsource?
Outsourcing a part of your business should take the hassle and administration off your hands.
But some parts of your business will be harder to outsource than others – particularly if you’re looking to outsource a very specialist or niche skill.
Once you’ve figured out what part of your business you want to outsource, the next task is to work out how easy it will be to outsource it.
If the time and cost to find the right supplier outways the cost to hire the service in-house, it will be a good investment.
- Will it cost more or help the bottom line?
While the issue of cost is still an important factor when deciding whether or not to outsource, the value of outsourcing isn’t so much judged on the pure expense of the service.
Today, outsourcing is measured more by how it can help the growth of a business and improve access to a wider talent pool.
Take phone answering as an example.
Hiring a full-time receptionist to answer the phone can cost a minimum of £18,000 a year (plus time in staff administration).
Compare that to hiring a phone answering service, which not only costs less, but can also help you generate more revenue by answering all new business calls when they come in.
- WIll it improve your service?
It’s likely that if you’re looking to outsource a service in your business, it’s because you don’t have the expertise or experience in-house.
But not every outsourced service will give you the results you need.
Before you outsource, make sure you do your research and due diligence on your potential provider.
Can they prove their level of service?
What results can they show?
Do they have references?
These are all things to ask.
- Can I monitor and manage it?
How you manage and monitor your outsourced services will be key to understanding the ROI you’re getting.
For services like marketing, monitoring is simple as you can judge success based on new leads and business.
Whatever service you outsource, make sure you can understand what impact it’s having on your success.
- What will it need in terms of preparation?
One of the common downsides of outsourcing resources, is that whoever you bring in won’t have the same understanding of your business, and how you operate, as someone who works within your business.
But this can be easily overcome with the right preparation.
Will you need to run workshops with your service provider, do they need specific instructions on how you expect them to operate?
For example, if you outsource your call handling, you can work with your provider so they know how you want your calls to be handled.
This can include everything from what information you need from messages, any types of calls you always want to be sent direct to you, or even calls you want to be blocked – like unsolicited sales calls.
- What would my customers think?
Anything you outsource needs to be done with the consideration of your customers in mind.
You should always look to make improvements within your business that will help you deliver better customer service.
Again, how you outsource your call handling is a prime example of outsourcing that can be highly beneficial to your business if you do it right.
For instance outsourcing your call answering to a call centre, where agents do nothing but answer calls generically and take messages, can harm your customer service if customers become frustrated because they can’t get answers.
On the other hand, outsourcing your call handling to a specialist provider can enhance your customer service.
You’ll never have to worry about calls being dealt with in a generic manner as they’ll always be dealt with as they would be by you.
You can rest assured that while you’re providing services to paying customers, your calls are being dealt with professionally and giving your business a reputation for high levels of customer service.
Outsource your call handling with Face For Business
The right outsourced call answering service can not only help improve your customer service and save you money on the costs of a full-time receptionist, it can also help free you up to concentrate more on your business.
Get in touch with us today to find out more about how our telephone answering can help you grow your business and take the stress and hassle of missed phone calls off your hands.