What is outsourcing and how does it work?
Outsourcing is the process of hiring an external service to perform a task or provide a product in place of a product or service that was traditionally provided in-house.
When you first start your own business, one of the first things you have to decide is how to provide customer support. You could do it yourself, but that can be time-consuming and expensive. So, you could outsource customer support to a third party, but it can be difficult to find the right company.
Outsourcing can take many forms. The most common are accountants, account staff, and legal advisors. However, there are many other roles you might need outside the everyday functions of your business. Things like data entry, web design, copywriting, accounting and payroll. If you need help doing any of these roles, then you can contact an outsourcing agency or find a part-time expert who can do it for you.
When you run a small business, you’ve got a lot on your plate.
Outsourcing support tasks like answering emails, scheduling appointments, and running errands can make your life a lot easier.
Outsourcing Customer Support: What You Need To Know.
If you’ve ever run a business, you know that customer service is one of the most important aspects of success.
Of course, you’ve got a great product or service. You’ve got customers or clients. They’re satisfied, or at least they’re not complaining.
But you’re stuck doing the customer support. What if you don’t have the resources or the know-how to provide great customer service?
I’ve been there. In the past, I’ve had to rely on the help of family and friends to provide customer service for my business.
I know how you feel.
I’ve been the one answering the phone, or the one responding to the email, or getting on the Skype call. I’ve been the one talking to the customer.
But I quickly realized that I was taking too much time away from my business and that I would never be able to grow it to its full potential.
That’s when I decided to start outsourcing customer service.
Outsourcing for entrepreneurs:
Entrepreneurship is not always easy. Running a business, even on the side, can take a lot of time. Unfortunately, time is the one resource that entrepreneurs are never guaranteed to have enough of.
Outsourcing is the answer. It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo entrepreneur or a business owner with a team, you need to know about outsourcing. Outsourcing is an inexpensive option that can significantly reduce the stress and time required to run a business.
Who should consider outsourcing?
One of the most difficult things about growing a business is hiring and managing employees.
You can handle everything yourself for a while, but eventually, you’ll need help.
Outsourcing can be a great way to grow your business without the added responsibility of managing employees.
Outsourcing is for everyone who’s not entirely sure about how to run their business and who needs to outsource certain functions to a professional organization or service provider. Whether you’re a startup founder or a business owner with a team, you’ll benefit from hiring external help for your business.
It’s become an unfortunate reality for many small businesses who face a variety of issues when trying to find qualified individuals to fill open positions. As a solopreneur, it can be difficult to find qualified candidates to apply for a variety of positions.
Why should you outsource customer support for your business?
Outsourcing is becoming increasingly popular, especially in the business world.
This is due to several factors, including the increased need for specialization and the high cost of in-house labor.
If you are a business owner, hiring an outsourcer for your support services is a perfect way to reduce costs and grow your business.
First of all, you don’t need to spend hours each week interacting with people. Whether you run an online business or an offline one, everyone can find value in the fact that they don’t have to deal with another person daily. Outsourcing your support gives you back the time you need for more important business activities, like managing your business.
It’s not uncommon for solo entrepreneurs and fresh-faced startups to experience high levels of stress as they navigate their way through finding their feet and establishing themselves as entrepreneurs. A strong support network is power in your favor.
How to find the right support provider?
Finding the right outsourcing partner is the first and most crucial step in building and running a successful business. Getting the right partners is crucial to your success because outsourcing differentiates each entrepreneur based on the skills they bring and the proficiency they have in doing the work.
As an entrepreneur, choosing the right contracting partner is an essential part of your entrepreneurial journey, which prepares you for the challenges ahead. Work smarter, not harder.
Once you’ve defined the outsourced project, you’ll need to find a suitable provider to call when your work is complete. Handling all of the details such as pricing, financing, and location is going to take time and effort.
But you’ll get the project done and be on the right track faster than juggling multiple tasks and communications with contractors and agencies. Once you’re familiar with the ins and outs of the job, finding the right outsourcing partner is as simple as reviewing the contract terms and adding in a few additional questions and comments.
What should I look for in an outsourcer?
Many business owners turn to outsource to deal with the customer side of the equation while they work on their business.
The first thing you should ask yourself is what skills you’re looking for. Then you should look for an outsourcing company that specializes in your service industry. What does the company do? You should ask the company the following questions:
How long will it take for me to receive my outsourced service?
How will they dispatch my service?
How will they make contact with me?
How will I be alerted of any issues or when my services are due to be delivered?
When will I be paid?
How much do they charge per service hour?
What terms of payment will I be given?
How much turnaround time does the company provide?
Are they licensed, bonded, insured, and more?
How to outsource customer support effectively?
Whether you are starting a new venture or looking to upgrade your existing services, outsourcing your business entails working with an outsourced provider.
This process has several steps aimed at streamlining the outsourced business process: specific questions to help define the project, a schedule to agree on the appointment of the selected provider, a budget, and, of course, various deadlines and a follow-up process.
When you’re choosing a provider, it’s important to get informed about all the terms and conditions. Questions that can clarify the project and pinpoint its completion will improve the project’s quality, speed, and overall quality.
Tying it all together, once you’ve answered these questions, establish a clear timeline and milestones. Finally, communicate clearly and concisely the terms of the contract to ensure the work gets completed on time.
The benefits of outsourcing customer support:
There are many benefits to outsourcing support. It doesn’t have to be limited to dealing with clients. It’s also a great way to reduce your overhead and save on time.
With well-informed decisions, you can provide quality, affordable, and highly effective support that fits your needs and demands.
Research your requirements. Decide the kind of support you want and choose a provider. Make sure the provider you choose provides the support you need.
The benefits of outsourcing are terrific. You can focus on what matters most, and your customers will be happier than ever.
Outsourcing saves your time:
Outsourcing is proved to save your time in doing various support tasks. Of course, you do not want to indulge in the hassle and technicalities of support functions. Outsourcing comes there as a blessing.
Outsourcing helps you grow your business:
If you have chosen an experienced and successful outsourcing company, for instance like HiredSupport, you probably do not have to worry about looking after your outsourced tasks.
Therefore, you have sufficient time to focus on the growth of your business and to finalize that deal which you have not been able to, because of constant burnout.
Outsourcing saves money and keeps cash flowing in:
We believe outsourcing support is one of the best ways to generate a healthy cash flow. It’s also a great way to test out new ideas and strategies without the commitment of hiring additional full-time employees.
Control and reduce frustration, stress, and wasted time:
Outsourcing provides you with the freedom to focus on other important business priorities — such as finding a new location, increasing revenue, growing your community, and building a team. It also frees up your time to focus on your personal needs.
Why Outsourcing is Fine for Small Biz?
Outsourcing is fine for small businesses for a few reasons.
Outsourcing helps decrease your workload:
First, it helps decrease your workload. There’s no reason that an office worker shouldn’t be doing this, but many small business owners need someone else to do it for them.
Event attendees, and companies that have an ongoing need for fast turnaround for online product offerings or tasks like email communication, may want to outsource to an outsourced tech support company.
Outsourcing saves you money:
Second, getting help from a third party can save you money. Rather than paying someone to view your latest proposed changes and figure out which ones you need, you’ll have an outsourced company run that day.
Third, because of liability concerns, it’s sometimes necessary for small business owners to outsource their customer support.
Outsourcing gives you autonomy:
Finally, outsourcing lots of small tasks for other people can give you more autonomy, meaning you can be more hands-on with your business and your company can grow much more easily.
For any of these reasons, outsourcing your support is a pretty natural step for small business owners.
What should I expect from an outsourcer?
Here’s what you can expect:
A trusted team of professionals that will:
Create a detailed proposal and do their due diligence to ensure that your project is a good fit.
Perform the assessment and service proposal.
Create and train competent support executives for the job.
Promote the product/service.
Help the client create and provide a successful launch to a broader audience.
Be available to answer questions.
Offer on-site support.
Flexible resource and work with your growth needs.
Can I choose the type of outsourcer I use?
Depending on your needs, you have a choice of outsourcers. They can be outsourcing agencies, consultants, virtual assistants, marketing and PR agencies, or more.
How to manage the process?
With outsourcing comes a lot of work and effort, and you have to plan accordingly. This is what you need to know about outsourcing support.
Step 1: know your role.
Outsourcing is not something you should do alone. You should learn all about what goes into it, how it can help you, and what you can do to make it work for you.
Step 2: a framework for choosing the right outsourcing partner.
What you can discuss with the vendor during the conversations with the right vendor you’ll discuss your operational demands, especially about how you want your increased efficiency and effectiveness to be reflected in contracts.
How they can improve contract terms are important questions you should discuss, too — for instance, how you’re able to control the work they do within certain timelines.
It’s also important to understand how they’ll communicate with you so you’re both on the same page. At the same time, don’t underestimate how important finding the right contract terms is because being well-informed about your business’s needs is crucial in finding the right backup solution.
A specific framework for choosing the right outsourcing partner emerged in 2017. It describes a comprehensive approach to reduce the risk of setting up and running a business before you even start. The framework consists of questions to ask before choosing the right provider for your project. For example, you can consider these questions as you prepare your project proposal:
Questions to ask from your outsourcing provider:
What is your pricing model?
How long have you been involved in outsourcing?
How many outsourcing years are you willing to provide in exchange for a fixed fee for an initial consultation?
How many outsourcing months would you be willing to accommodate during initial consultations?
What are your project scope and delivery dates?
How many hours per week would you be willing to provide at initial consultation for one-on-one support?
What are your blog, YouTube, Linked In, and newsletter profiles?
Why are you the right provider for the job?
What are your company’s biggest accomplishments?
What successes do you think other gatekeepers of your industry could learn from?
What are your biggest mistakes?
What changes do you anticipate will be most beneficial to your team and stakeholders in the next 12 months?
How do you tackle potential conflict situations?
Why do you think you’re the right solution?
How will you address legal and regulatory issues?
Do they usually fall under your particular area of expertise?
How will you keep prices competitive?
What has kept you motivated so far?
If you’re confident and enthusiastic about your ability to redesign and have the time and energy to spend on it, please consider outsourcing. To answer the first question, find out what the provider’s core business does and what it does for you.
Your answers to these questions will help you to define the kind of work they offer, scope the project, understand your budget and time restraints, and more.
A successful outsourcing partnership:
The outsourcing partnership should prove successful if it leads to:
You should have clear milestones set ahead for a successful outsourcing partnership.
Time-bound goals are proven for maintaining a good relationship as both of the parties knows the deadlines.
An agreed-upon process:
Of course, you may disagree with some of the outsourcing providers and their processes. Choose the one which has the right process for you.
Clear contract terms:
Clear contract terms help to avoid conflicts and confusion.
Clear payment terms:
Set clear payment terms to have peace of mind.
Responsibilities mutually agreed upon:
Of course, you do have some responsibilities when you outsource your processes. Mutually agreeing on them will create a successful outsourcing partnership.
A clear path forward:
If outsourcing is leading you towards increased customer satisfaction and a clear path forward, you have built a successful outsourcing partnership.
What is a good reason to engage a provider when outsourcing your business?
Let’s answer this question with research and practice! There are good reasons to outsource certain functions, so you should consider them before you choose a specific provider.
You might find that you need assistance in reaching new potential customers, overcoming obstacles in marketing, developing products, or solving problems, among other needs. Don’t be afraid to ask about these good reasons in your contract negotiations before you sign your agreement to outsource these functions.
Every outsourcing project will be different, and the same goes for the roles you’ll need to assume. However: If you’re short on time: Outsourcing projects are available as short or as long as needed by the client. The shorter the amount of time needed to fulfill the contract and get your project moving, the more you can save on the freelance fees.
If you’re short on resources: Outsourcing projects are available as many times as needed. This allows you to start faster and avoid any unplanned delays. You can do this both for a short- or a long-term project.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a solo entrepreneur or a business owner with a team, you need to know about outsourcing.
An awesome benefit is that your team can focus on execution instead of managing support functions. A business should always aim to have a healthy cash flow and contracting fewer employees so that you can operate more cost-efficiently.
Some people are more able to manage the support themselves while others are more responsive. As a solopreneur or starting up, outsourcing can be an excellent way to test out new ideas and new concepts without investing significant time in setting up support routines.
Outsourcing will allow you to focus on what’s most important for your business — running it successfully. This lets you focus all the energy and resources you have at your disposal toward running your business. Outsourcing gives you the ability to get all your personal needs met and many of your mundane daily tasks taken care of.
Supporting your customers is key to building trust and retention. If you are a startup or a small business, it is essential to support your customers effectively. But there is a simple solution — outsourcing. At one time or another, every entrepreneur will have to deal with the task of outsourcing support to a third party.
HiredSupport is one of the successful outsourcing agencies that I will recommend. They have more than ten years of experience and have helped hundreds of entrepreneurs in managing their support. They fulfill all the requirements for a successful outsourcing partnership and have top-rated agents ready to serve you.
HiredSupport is also offering you a free 7 days trial to experience their services free of cost. Their pricing structure suits well to small businesses at only 175$/month. Their support range consists of live chat support, eCommerce support, email support, SaaS support, and voice support.
With HiredSupport’s world-class infrastructure and trained agents, your business is expected to see heights of success.