The Evolution of Outsourcing

For some, the word outsourcing used to be a shudder-inducing word, invoking images of cost-cutting, poor quality services, mass redundancies and more. Traditionally, outsourcing relationships focused on cost reduction and providing back-office services, often with very little focus on quality.
Those days are long gone. Outsourcing has been quietly evolving for many years, both to keep up with an increasingly competitive market and to accommodate the incredible pace of digital change, creating seismic shifts across most industries.
What organisations want and need now from outsourcing is strategic partners, experts in their fields, who will have quality as a top priority, delivering value-add services, but remaining cost-efficient. They need their outsourcing partners to enable them to secure an edge on their competitors.

Share the risk and reward

At go-centric we believe in sharing the risk and reward with our partners – with contracts based on outcomes rather than outputs. If our goal is to help your business grow and thrive, it makes sense that we agree the right targets and measures and that we’re incentivised to make that happen.

So, when looking at your strategic partnerships, are you measuring the right things? Are your partners truly incentivised to do the right thing for your business, or just hit volume targets regardless of outcomes?

We believe in doing the right thing for customers. Sometimes that means identifying an improvement to the customer experience that is not necessarily profitable for go-centric in the short term. But that is the strategic difference in our approach to partnership. We need to care as much if not more about our clients’ customer experiences.

Make use of technology

What business doesn’t have cost pressures? Cost to income ratio is the key to competition in many industries. But to remain competitive you need to be agile and using cutting-edge technology and digital innovations.

The right strategic partner will hold the expertise and tools and technology to keep you ahead of the game. They’ll also carry the pressure of keeping up with technology and digital developments.

At go-centric we consider it a key part of any partnership to share our best practice and industry knowledge with clients, to help them develop their customer experiences. Our agility means we can offer completely flexible solutions to any size of business – from a sole trader, SME right through to key corporate brands.

We know we can add value to any size of business. The omni-channel technology and 24/7/365 service we offer can utterly transform the service of a small business, providing access to technologies that would ordinarily be out of their reach, as well as providing unrivalled service access for their customers, something they could not achieve internally without significant investment in office space, technology and people.

Our tailored solutions also add value for our national and international corporate clients, through dedicated teams of brand ambassadors. Services that can flex throughout the year to cope with the peaks and troughs of seasonality, as well as offering multi-lingual omni-channel services, making the customer experience completely seamless.

Leverage the flexibility

Outsourcing used to be about off-loading your non-core activities to a partner to make a significant cost saving. But what companies now realise is that cost should not be your number 1 priority. If you don’t make quality and customer experience your top priorities (after looking after your people), you will never compete in today’s marketplaces.

Outsourcing contracts used to be long and hideously difficult to get out of regardless of the service you were receiving. Nowadays, partnerships are completely agile, outcome focused and, in some cases, you only pay for the actual service received on a month to month basis.

For an agile organisation the length of contract shouldn’t matter – because the outcomes are what’s important. If you’re delivering as promised, your partnership will last.

Flexibility is key to successful partnerships. At go-centric we have partnerships based on a ‘pay per call’ basis, ensuring that our clients are paying purely based on that service they are using. Others prefer a fixed-fee arrangement, to ensure they can budget ahead for the year. We have partnerships where we ensure we are incentivised to get the right outcome for our client – and we share the reward of that outcome.

Ultimately the flexibility is being focused on our clients’ needs, what their business challenges are and how we can add value and support in the right way. That conversation takes place regularly, through a close working relationship, to make sure we adapt our offering as the business develops.

You need trust

Like any successful relationship, a strong outsourcing partnership requires trust and honesty. It’s a leap of faith to hand over parts of your business to a supplier, but the rewards and benefits are clear. So, getting the partner right is the big step.

Investing the time in getting to know your partner and their team is worth every minute. We love to visit our clients and we encourage them to visit us at every opportunity. It’s brilliant for the relationship, engaging and motivating for the team and is really productive in helping us to progress the relationship.

To truly be brand ambassadors, our team must be immersed in the client brand, live and breath it. They feel just as important as the in-house team, they’re true advocates of the brand and they care passionately about their customers.

Disruptive outsourcing

There are high profile examples across many industries of the risk of ignoring progress. Blockbuster, Nokia, Tesco, Xerox, Thomas Cook and many more spring to mind.

You can’t ignore or delay acting on industry disruption. The disruption to outsourcing gives agile companies a chance to quickly drive positive change and gain competitive advantage.

Customer experience is about to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Do you think your customer experience is or will remain ahead of your competitors? Do you stand out enough?

Don’t let your customer experience risk you being left behind your nimbler competitors. Come and talk to us. We have the solutions, the expertise, the people and the technology. Our focus is the success of your business.

Call us for a free consultation today on 0333 014 4401

How Outsourcing Can Make Your Business Better

Invest your time, money and resources into doing what you do best. As businesses grow in size, they inevitably get more complex. More people, more space, more governance, more cost, more control.

As a fast-growing industry, outsourcing proves there are a number of reasons why it can be the right strategic choice, and make a significant contribution to the success of your business.

  1. You’re tapping into resource and expertise

You’re buying specialist services, with extensive knowledge and expertise in specific products, processes or services. Your outsourcing partner constantly builds on best practice, learning from what works and doesn’t work across multiple clients. You’re also buying the ability to run a 24/7/365 business, without the overheads.

  1. You’re mitigating your risk in terms of business continuity or disaster recovery

A good outsourcing partner will have robust business continuity and disaster recovery plans in place, to ensure your customers don’t take the hit if anything happens. They can provide you with overflow or emergency services, so if your system fails or the phone lines are down, your customers will continue to receive a consistent, seamless service.

  1. You can more easily offer 24/7 services in multiple languages

Recruiting a multi-lingual team is complex and expensive. A good outsourcing partner will help you go global, with skilled resources providing services across a number of languages.

  1. You can save money

The right partner will provide you with a cost-effective service, costing you far less than the recruitment and headcount, office space, technology, training and management costs you would incur delivering in-house. Their services will be flexible and scalable, to support the peaks and troughs of your volumes, without the need for costly headcount.

  1. You can utilise technological innovation

Keeping on top of digital development and trends isn’t easy, for any size of business. It takes significant time and investment. The Cloud enables your outsourcing partner to connect with your systems seamlessly, and their development team will constantly be looking for ways to innovate and improve your customer experience.

The one thing that outsourcing won’t do? It won’t harm your customer experience. At go-centric we’re committed to delivering an outstanding experience for you and your customers. From omni-channel customer services, through to membership services, administration, social media management and back office solutions, we can support your business and help you thrive.

Please come and talk to us about your business goals.

https://go-centric.co.uk/get-in-touch/

go-centric exhibiting at SFHA Housing Scotland Annual Conference

Next month go-centric are exhibitors at the Scottish Federation of Housing Association’s Housing Scotland Annual Conference. The event on the 11/12 June, at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow is one of Scotland’s highest profile housing conferences.

The Housing Scotland event provides the chance for people in the industry to build skills and network, along with showcasing who future customers will be and what homes and neighbourhoods will look like in 2040.

Kelly Arrol, Service Delivery Director at go-centric will be joined by Partnerships Director Matthew Griffiths on the exhibition stand, and commented, “Having worked with a large number of housing associations over the past 20 years, we consider ourselves as partners to the industry, with significant knowledge and expertise to support organisations in delivering an outstanding service to their customers. We’re delighted to be an exhibitor and to attend such an important event for the Scottish housing association sector.”

The conference also features workshops from the likes of NHS Scotland, Social Bite, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Shelter. Speakers at the event include:

  • Sally Thomas – Chief Executive at the Scottish Federation of Housing Associations (SFHA)
  • Andrew van Doorn – Chief Executive of HACT, a UK innovation charity, social enterprise and industry-focused think/do tank established by the housing association sector.
  • Professor Sir Harry Burns FRSE – Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Strathclyde
  • John Loughton – Chief Executive of leadership company Dare2Lead, and Founder of The Scran Academy – a business providing employment support to disadvantaged young people

go-centric as Commercial Associates of the SFHA, are looking forward to what we know will be a fantastic event.

For more information and how to attend, please visit: https://www.sfha.co.uk/whats-on/event-details/sfha-annual-conference-2019

Creating Customer Loyalty – David Harper, Chairman

I am personally passionate about great customer service. Anyone who knows me will tell you, I notice all the little details in the service I receive, whether it’s a hotel reception remembering my name, a favourite restaurant seating me at my preferred table, or just the warmth in the tone of voice when I’m speaking to a customer service team on the phone.

I want to know people truly care about whether I’m happy as a customer. Because if I’m not, I will ‘vote with my feet’ and find a new favourite restaurant! (no matter how good their butter chicken is)

When you receive great customer service, you can see the pride of the people delivering it. Those people are generally more engaged, enjoying their role more. They create personal success for themselves not just for the business they work for.

I love reading WOW customer stories. In this digital age, your reputation can be built or destroyed in a flash, depending on what kind of story you send viral. So make them WOW stories. Give your people the ability to go above and beyond for your customers and take pride in what they do.

That’s what I want and expect for go-centric. That’s what we promise our clients and what we instill into our teams. Our people are our business – and your customers are our peoples’ business.

Here are my thoughts on turning customer satisfaction into customer loyalty.

Customer Loyalty versus Customer Satisfaction

Good is no longer enough. If customer satisfaction is a short-term win, customer loyalty is the long-term goal. Loyal customers are the ultimate goal of any company that wants to stay in business. Why? Because loyal customers spend more money than new customers. A survey by Bain & Company found that “a shopper’s fifth purchase was 40 percent larger than the first, and the tenth purchase was nearly 80 percent larger than the first.”

If loyal customers are your goal, you need to move from providing a good, transactional service to building and developing long term relationships with your customers. Here are three things we believe will help you begin that journey:

Reduce effort for your customers – 96% of customers who report high effort customer experiences become more disloyal to the company in the future. The easier you can make it for customers to do business with you and purchase from you, the more loyal they will be. Translating this to your customer service experience is offering a seamless choice of channels for your customers to engage, reducing handovers and maximising first point resolution. Support your channels with efficient processes,

Proactive engagement – don’t just react to customers, be proactive in how you communicate, engage and service them. You want to have more positive interactions than negative interactions. From a customer service perspective this means more proactive contact, using data intelligence to predict your customer’s wants and needs, ensuring a completely personal and personable experience that reflects the values of your brand.

Empower your people – anyone in your business, including your suppliers, who has direct contact with customers will have an impact on customer loyalty. They are ambassadors of your brand. Make sure they understand what customer loyalty means to the business, that your vision and goals are clear, train them well and empower them to deliver an outstanding customer experience.

We want your customers to be loyal, not just satisfied. We can help you deliver that through all of the above points, whether your customer service is in-house or supported by go-centric. We’d love to help you review and assess your current customer experience and understand how you can turn satisfaction into loyalty.

Let’s create some WOW customer stories together.

I’d be delighted to talk to any organisations who’d like to hear more about working in partnership with go-centric.

David Harper

Meet our new talent!

Introducing…. Graeme, our new Information & Resource Analyst. It’s Graeme’s job to help us ensure we have the right people in the right place at the right time, to maintain outstanding service for our clients and their customers. We asked Graeme a few questions to get a quick introduction….

What is your background/experience?

I’ve just come from a job within a pharmaceutical company as a data analyst and prior to that I worked in the business analyst team at another contact centre for 4 years.

What are your favourite things to do outside work?

I’m a massive music fan and listen to a pretty decent range of music although I have special place in my heart for 90’s one hit wonders. I can also play a few musical instruments but my real true love is playing the drums.

Tell us an interesting fact about you.

I run a gaming event in the Southside of Glasgow that focuses on retro gaming. I’m basically a total nerd.

What made you join go-centric?

It seems like a really exciting, forward-thinking company with lots of opportunity to develop.

What do you think of go-centric so far?

Everyone has made me feel really welcome, it’s really fast-paced and it’s been a crazy first week but I feel at home already!