Now, more than ever, companies must place a high priority on cost-efficiency, productivity, and the people who matter most: their customers. Often, they could benefit from professional support to achieve these goals but may not think that their business or industry “is right for” outsourcing. A recent article on ContactCenterWorld.com compiled a list of 10 types of businesses that could gain value from using third-party live agents, or outsourced contact center services. Some may seem obvious. Some may be surprising.
1. Urgent Care Facilities
Whether it’s a sprain, eye irritation, or another non-life-threatening emergency, urgent care facilities are a godsend and alternative to an emergency room visit. With over 9,000 urgent care facilities in the United States, these businesses have seen growth every year since 2013. Providers are also seeing a high volume of patients. Many centers are also sought after for COVID-19 testing. Higher than normal patient volume puts a strain on staff, making it impossible to handle calls and take care of administrative medical office tasks. Outsourcing these crucial calls can lift the burden and allow all medical staff to concentrate on the timely needs of patients with urgent concerns.
Transportation systems need to keep people moving. These systems also need to be prepared to take on questions, complaints, or reports. Even during times of smooth travel with no accidents, or delays, public transportation organizations must be prepared to handle inquiries from customers. The goal is to keep people safe, but make sure the public’s voice is heard.
3. Home Services
Home services are a broad category that may include (but not limited to) plumbing, electrical, painting, moving, and cleaning. Some of the service businesses offer 24-hour emergency service. Imagine a pipe burst in the basement, or no hot water in January, or a sewer system backup. Homeowners need an immediate response, even when it’s late at night or on the weekend. The professional who services the home can put customers at ease by knowing their call will be answered by someone who is trained to answer with care, but also with a sense of urgency.
4. Medical/Patient Care Facilities
Unlike urgent care facilities that see patients unexpectedly for non-life-threatening situations, medical/patient care facilities may treat individuals for wound care, kidney care, or cancer care. These facilities certainly treat patients, but also offer counseling, case management, support groups, and educational workshops. Because of the specialized care given at these facilities, expect that patients and caregivers will call often to check appointments, ask questions, and get details about payments. An outsourced contact center can ensure that patient needs are addressed all while protecting their privacy.
5. Health Insurance
If you’ve ever shopped around for a health insurance plan, you know that it can be a complicated and tedious process. Even after settling in on a plan and getting coverage, there can be lots of questions to ask as a customer. From an insurer’s point of view, it’s necessary to handle member inquiries for claims, requests, medicines, and other health matters. With health care spending increases, it means more interactions between providers and patients. Insurers can benefit from outsourcing because it can help them improve customer call experience and prepare for higher-than-normal call volume.
6. Home Alarm/Home Security
When it comes to home alarms and safety, customers require trained professionals who can quickly process calls. It could be a customer calling for alarm reset instructions. Call agents may also have to dispatch police and fire agencies. This type of business needs to ensure little or no hold time, a calming, professional voice, and immediate action. Outsourcing, even as a temporary measure for home alarm/home security businesses, keeps customers, their property, and their belongings safe and sound.
Utility companies that provide electric and/or gas service to regions owe it to their subscribers to be available, even after hours. Citizens may need to report an outage, or request service be turned off in case of an emergency. Other calls may include questions about rebates, rate plans, payment, and incentives.
8. Member Associations
Member associations provide perks and a level of access that non-members don’t receive. It could be credit card rewards, access to financial planning resources, or identity protection that are offered to members. As an association, there is a constant battle to differentiate yourself and your business model from other organizations. One way to show uniqueness is with direct access to a call agent. Member associations can use outsourced call center services to engage members and reduce in-house organization costs.
9. Commercial Office Cleaning
The commercial cleaning industry is very competitive. There are companies, large and small, that enter the marketplace and offer similar services; however, they need to be responsive to new customer leads and repeat business. If you’re in the cleaning business, your focus is on performing the best service possible, quickly and safely. You shouldn’t have to worry about keeping up with inbound calls. Instead, consider farming out your call center so your business is not bogged down by heavy call volume and customer requests.
Not every eCommerce business can afford to hire a staff of live agents who can be available coast-to-coast across multiple time zones. In many cases, electronic retailers are operating on razor-thin margins. Sometimes, it doesn’t make good financial sense to hire agents directly. A contracted third-party service is a sensible solution to addressing the needs of customers who have questions, concerns, and want to give feedback about the service.
Just because you’re a new business or a business that’s been in operation for a while doesn’t mean you shouldn’t explore ways to combat the challenges you’re currently facing. Businesses like yours must stay resilient, focused, and strong by making choices that produce a positive impact.