Outsourcing to Spur Innovation

Ongoing innovation is a necessary part of every modern business strategy, but you may be missing an important avenue to help create a culture of innovation within your company. Outsourcing customer support and other non-core competencies focuses your internal teams' skills on what they know and love. Sometimes the best way to drive innovation is to streamline your company's departments as much as possible.

Improve Operational Efficiency

When you're the head of a rapidly growing company, improving your operational efficiency is a key part of your strategy. You maximize the resources you have available by having internal employees wear multiple hats. In some cases, an employee may have 3 key duties or more essential to the day to day operation of the business. Multi-tasking decreases overall efficiency, even if having employees do more looks good on paper and the hiring budget. However, an employee who has to handle several non-core duties on top of their focus area is unable to take the time to establish ways to innovate. Instead of employees doing a juggling act, removing the necessity of handling non-core business operations frees up mental energy and improves operational efficiency.

Another way outsourcing customer support provides operational efficiency is the amount of overhead you eliminate from your business workflow. You no longer need to worry about the technology infrastructure of customer support working properly with other departments. In fact, you can cut out those infrastructure worries and requirements entirely.

Focus on Key Competencies

Look at the average workload of one of your internal customer support employees. Are they dealing with problems that require a specialized touch by someone deeply rooted in the company culture, or are they handling basic inquiries and easily fixed problems? For many companies, the high volume customer support tickets need help with low level inquiries. Your in-house customer support staff doesn't need those coming across their desks, as it pulls their attention from critical tickets that are actually related to core business issues.

You also reduce the amount of ongoing maintenance and management for customer support departments. Your IT staff can focus on development instead of user support tickets, your management team doesn't have a full department to worry about and you have those resources available to drive innovative products instead of getting bogged down in day to day support tasks.

Flexible Customer Support Structure

A flexible customer support structure provides you with the best of both worlds. It provides welcome relief to employees or entire departments who don't have the resources to spread to effective customer service. They get bogged with important administrative tasks or other time intensive duties, such as phone support, that are well suited for outsourcing. The outsourced customer support becomes a part of your brand and business culture while providing value, especially as they develop an ongoing relationship with your business. Back at the home front, your in-house customer support team is free to deal with specialized problems, VIP accounts, and other mission critical issues requiring a personal touch. This flexible support structure also provides your in-house team with additional help during heavy demand periods, such as product launches and seasonal demand spikes.

Innovation is difficult when you're bogged down in details that have nothing to do with what your company is about. Outsourcing customer support puts your customer experience in knowledgeable hands, supplements your specialized in-house support team and allows you to focus your employees on one or two specialty tasks, not an entire barrel load.

Sources:
http://venturebeat.com/2013/08/15/smart-scaling-what-you-need-to-know-before-you-outsource/

Michael Buenaventura

May 13, 2015