6 services you can outsource to help your business thrive

Samuel Howieson
Samuel Howieson
Business owner with outsourcing and contact centre options

Other businesses are already doing it, but you plan on a more sensible approach to ensure your business benefits from outsourcing. Good thinking! You are starting your outsourcing journey the right way.

In this article, we help you get started on your outsourcing research by explaining the basics of outsourcing and giving you options on what business functions you can outsource. If you already did your homework, you could jump straight to our list of outsourced services.

A Brief Look into Outsourcing

For many business owners, the decision to hire specialists from outside rather than hiring and training an in-house team likely involved hours of careful consideration. The idea of taking your “hands off” certain aspects of your business seem daunting but also necessary. Outsourcing can give you the freedom and productivity to focus on the essential functions of your business.

In a nutshell, outsourcing refers to the act of hiring a third-party individual or firm to perform auxiliary or non-core functions for your business. Emerging as a popular business strategy in the 1980s, outsourcing is a combination of the words “outside” and “resourcing.”

With an estimated global market size of about $392 billion (in Australian dollars), the outsourcing industry is a financial juggernaut. And this figure is just from the last seven years. It’s no wonder why businesses of all sizes turn to outsourced services.

But as the outsourcing industry grows, finding the right partner with the right services at the right price can be more elusive than ever.

To guide your outsourcing decisions better, we prepared a list of the 6 most competitively outsourced services in the market today.

6 Services Your Business Can Outsource

1. Phone Support

Frustration can easily loom when customers are made to wait long in call queues with their concerns unattended.

According to a customer care report in 2022, Australian customers spent about 96.5 million hours being put on hold. The study further details what customers look for as signs of good customer service – speed and quality.

Business owners today are faced with the increasing pressures of delivering excellent customer service while managing the steep labour costs of hiring a full-time customer support team. Hence, outsourcing with a contact centre partner makes for a great alternative.

What can a contact centre partner offer your business in return?

Firstly, it can help mitigate your customers’ frustrations with 24/7 answering services. This 24/7 availability not only addresses the issue of speed, but also goes beyond by taking customers’ calls during after-hours, seasonal peaks, or holidays. This way, you can easily manage high call volumes even during your busy periods. Imagine the benefits to the thousands of Aussies who are constantly put on hold.

Another good thing about outsourcing your customer support to a contact centre is that you can customise call handling procedures to fit your business’ needs. This ensures that your customers' enquiries are handled in both a timely and professional manner.

Aside from handling inbound enquiries, contact centres also provide outsourced outbound services such as appointment booking, telemarketing, lead generation, and customer surveys. We will discuss more on outsourced outbound services further down this list.

2. Live Chat Support

Sought after by customers yet often overlooked or less appreciated by businesses, live chat support is one of the most cost-effective and value-adding services you can easily outsource.

But what makes live chat support so appealing to customers? The answer is the power of choice.

Consider these data from a survey conducted by a software company to give you some insight:

  • 41% prefer live chat support.
  • 32% prefer phone support.
  • 23% prefer email support.
  • 3% prefer social media support.

More customers are turning to online support channels, particularly to live chat as their first point of contact with your business. Live chat support meets the demands that classic, offline support channels can’t – immediate solutions, personalised interactions, and efficient resolutions. But perhaps most importantly, it eliminates all the hassle of dealing with awkward phone conversations.

Often, this convenience of choice makes all the difference.

Aside from being the top choice among customers, live chat can also bring more competitive advantage to your business. Want more repeat customers? Provide a live chat feature on your website. According to the same study:

  • 51% are more likely to become repeat customers when a business offers a live chat feature.
  • 63% of repeat customers are willing to spend more monthly (between $300-$700 dollars) on businesses that provide a live chat option.

As you plan your outsourcing strategy, keep in mind that there is no one-size-fits-all solution to meeting your customers’ demands. But a good way to make your customers feel that their choice matters is by providing them with multi-channel support such as live chat.

Aside from live chat, there are other support channels that you can easily outsource. You can continue reading this list for more options.

3. Email Support

While not as popular as its phone support and live chat counterparts, outsourcing your email support services remains relevant.

Here are some good reasons why:

  • Email support provides customers with a paper trail of their concerns.
  • Email support provides context-rich communication, especially for complex issues.
  • When done right, email support provides highly personalised and accurate resolution of customers’ concerns.

Haste often makes waste, and the advantage of email support is its asynchronous style of communication (or two-way communication that is not happening at the same time).

Unlike phone support, customers can avoid wasting their time while on hold. Meanwhile, this flexibility enables your outsourced customer support team to come up with carefully thought-out solutions, thereby lessening the occurrence of faulty or unsatisfactory responses – which are common drawbacks in live chat support.

A testament to its enduring nature, email support provides a fail-safe way to resolve issues for both customers and business owners alike.

4. Telemarketing and Lead Generation Services

Aside from inbound support services, you can also maximise your profits and increase your sales team’s productivity by outsourcing your outbound call initiatives.

"Outbound calls" refer to calls proactively initiated by sales professionals to your customers. These calls are typically sales-oriented and include efforts related to telemarketing, lead generation, customer surveys, and call analytics.

A key benefit of outsourcing is how it acts as a complementary extension of your in-house resources.

For instance, by outsourcing certain aspects of your prospecting funnel to a contact centre partner, your in-house sales team can speed up its lead generation process. How does this work?

  • First, your outsourced support partner will help you filter through thousands of leads.
  • Then, your outsourcing partner will help identify quality leads,
  • Before turning over those important leads back to your sales team.

Your outsourced support partner will help you filter through thousands of leads, then identify quality ones before turning over those important leads back to your sales team.

This way, your in-house sales team can have more time to focus on the essentials: following up on quality leads, converting more prospects or closing deals sooner, and ultimately increasing revenue for your business.

Most contact centres also provide advanced communication technology with features such as CRM integration. This tool helps manage your customer information seamlessly and can track call interactions to optimise customer interactions.

With less time spent on guesswork and more time on connecting with high-value leads, outsourcing your outbound calls can be a win-win solution for everybody.

5. Administrative Functions 

How much time do Australian businesses lose to admin work? Too much time, apparently.

A 2017 study on productivity revealed that Australian businesses lose about 4.9% of their time on admin duties alone. If this figure is not enough to convince, that roughly translates to 81 working days of doing purely admin work or an estimated loss of 31.8 billion Australian dollars of productivity.

Organising paperwork is important. But for many business owners, this would entail hours and hours of precious time doing the following: setting appointments, managing emails, and returning calls.

Hiring an in-house receptionist was traditionally the answer to these woes. However, modern businesses must now adapt with “time zone-agnostic” capabilities. This means providing round-the-clock services such as calendar management for your customers and clients all over the world.

Here is where outsourcing can help fill the gap. Remote receptionist services can help your business save time, cut costs, and streamline workflows. Having a 24/7 remote receptionist on call not only gives your in-house staff an extra set of hands but also brings more flexibility to your business.

You can focus on your core business activities while a dedicated team handles your administrative tasks, especially for assignments as crucial as coordinating important dates.

6. Helpdesk and IT (Information Technology) Support

Finally, you can also outsource your technical and information technology (IT) support services to an expert partner.

With a global market size that is anticipated to generate close to $1.1 billion (in Australian dollars) by 2030, IT support are the runaway leaders when it comes to outsourced services.

Managing your customers’ IT and tech support concerns can be a pain, especially if you don’t have the expertise. You do have the option to hire and train your own team of tech support specialists, but this will entail a lot of time and resources for your business.

This is why outsourcing IT services can be a lifesaver for many businesses.

Outsourcing your helpdesk and IT support services to an expert partner can ensure that your customers have 24/7 access to IT and technical support, whether during business hours or after-hours.

Outsourced helpdesk and IT support teams can provide real-time solutions for a range of Level 1 IT concerns including logging incoming enquiries or service requests, troubleshooting basic IT glitches, providing answers to frequently asked questions, and even helping you triage more complex issues for escalation.

The competition for outsourced helpdesk and IT services is alive and booming. So you can compare your options and further tailor your partnerships to meet your specific business objectives.

With much of your IT concerns out of the way, your business can scale up faster for future growth.

Closing Note

In summary, outsourcing provides your business with a great alternative to in-house resourcing. Your business can scale up more seamlessly while keeping your labour and operational costs to a minimum.

Aside from the obvious cost-saving measures, outsourcing enables you and your team to become more productive by focusing on the most critical aspects of your business. It’s an efficient opportunity for your business to gain access to a broad talent pool without draining precious resources on repetitive and time-consuming tasks.

Any business strategy that allows you to achieve more by strategically reallocating resources for more important priorities is a sound and solid approach. We hope this article has given you more confidence to proceed with your outsourcing journey. As business personality Peter Drucker succinctly sums up with his now-classic mantra, “Do your best, outsource the rest.”

Let us help improve your operational efficiency

Alltel can provide contact centre and outsourced support solutions tailored to your business needs. We deliver a range of inbound and outbound solutions to help your business connect, engage, and operate more efficiently. To learn more about how our outsourced services can benefit your business, visit our page: https://www.alltel.com.au/contact-centre-outsourced-support/

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