Outsourcing business services is a matter of achieving new levels of excellence and efficiency for some, a matter of competition and survival for others. Over the past two decades, the global outsourcing services market more than doubled, reaching $88.9 billion last year. While this number is down from a high of $104.6 billion in 2014, the global demand for outsourced services is still very strong. In most cases, outsourcing is cheaper and faster to implement than an in-house solution. Nearly any aspect of business can be outsourced, but here are a few of the most popular options.
Virtual assistants offering Live Chat support are nearly universal these days. It’s what customers come to expect. Why let leads fall by the wayside when an intervention from a trained support specialist can intercept and engage? Research reveals customers prefer Live Chat over email and social media as a way of connecting with companies. According to a FurstPerson study, 77% of people won’t buy online from a company that fails to offer live support. Another study by Forrester found a 48% increase in revenue per chat hour and 40% increased conversion rate from Live Chat leads. Outsourcing this task can help you focus on other channels, while resolving issues in real-time, 24/7, even on holidays.
Data mining looks for predictive patterns in behavior to guide customer/business interactions. A data mining firm might help with building historical customer profiles, assessing behavior, and fine-tuning marketing messages. Outsourcing data allows businesses the option to offer 24-hour service beyond the standard work day, guarantees expertise with dedicated employees trained around a specific task, and provides a budget-friendly alternative to building an in-house team.
For smaller businesses that don’t have corporate-level sales volume, outsourcing accounting gets rid of the most tedious aspects of running a business and allows for growth without the growing pains of number crunching. Outsourcing frees up in-house staff, ensures professional on-time tax preparation in accordance with the law, gets workers paid on-time, and helps with review and categorization of transactions to identify problems with revenue stream before they become expensive nightmares.
Marketing companies know how to get brands front and center. Professional writers are trained in how to educate, inspire, and persuade with higher-quality content that improves search engine results and drives more qualified leads to a company’s website. Social media managers seek to engage the community in more meaningful ways to create word-of-mouth buzz. It’s easier to hit deadlines, keep costs reasonable, maintain consistency, and grow an online presence with a little help from the outside.
These days, cybersecurity and encryption are paramount to managing IT needs. Businesses can outsource:
- Customer help desk functions
- On-site maintenance
- Hardware access
- Software updates
- Staff software training
- Strategic planning
- In-office fixes
- Managed hosting
- Database maintenance
- Data storage
Keeping up with technology is expensive and time-consuming. A study by Gartner found that outsourcing IT could save businesses 25 to 40% on their expenses. Outsourcing IT keeps costs predictable, lets business executives focus on core functions while the tech structure remains buoyant, provides access to the latest technology, reduces risk, increases flexibility, and decreases downtime.
Taking the leap can be daunting, as it involves giving up some direct control, but the time and cost savings could be well worth the partnership. Outsourcing done right – with a sufficient interviewing and onboarding process – can benefit businesses big and small.
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Founder Dinis Guarda
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