The Benefits of Outsourcing to an Agency
Thursday 9th November
by Beth Perrin
The Benefits of Outsourcing to an Agency
Thursday 9th November 2023
Have you ever considered outsourcing some of your brand’s reputation management processes to an external agency? If you’re struggling to keep up with your incoming customer service requests, reviews and social media comments - or if you’re too busy to monitor your online sentiment or conduct a digital audit - it could be time to partner up with a dedicated team of experts who can carry out these services on your behalf. Almost 80% of brands that use outsourcing say they are happy and satisfied with the relationship they have with their outsourcing partners, so you can rest assured that if you decide to join forces with an agency, you’ll be in safe hands and will achieve some great results. Let’s take a look at the main benefits of outsourcing below.
Cut Costs & Grow Your Business
During periods of growth, companies often find that they would benefit from having more staff on hand - but they can’t always afford the expenses that go into hiring and supporting more full-time employees. The average cost of hiring just one new team member here in the UK is £3,000 and it takes an average of 27.5 days to find and recruit them, so if you’re looking for a more cost-effective option, outsourcing could be the perfect solution for your business. In fact, 63% of respondents in Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey mentioned cost-cutting as a key benefit of outsourcing.
Agency Teams Are Specialists
Simply put, agency teams are experts at what they do - because they’re trained in specific areas that you and your internal staff members may not be 100% familiar with. Here at 3sixfive for example, our community managers and review managers know how to confidently handle a wide variety of customer service interactions and have a comprehensive understanding of every social media and review platform, making it quick and easy for them to submit responses and manage conversations.
Additionally, our account executives can easily navigate the behind-the-scenes parts of social media that inexperienced users may not know how to access, such as Meta’s Business Manager; as well as CRMs (Customer Relationship Management platforms) such as Sprout Social that are excellent tools for managing customer interactions in one place.
Reduce Your Workload
Having an excessive workload is one of the main reasons for staff burnout, with 73% of employees citing this as their biggest cause of stress at work. So, outsourcing to an agency can benefit your team’s wellbeing too, as it can help reduce the amount of tasks on their to-do lists, leaving them to focus on what they do best and enjoy most. This can lead to improved job satisfaction, a positive work environment, a better work-life balance and less strain on your employees’ mental health.
Outsourcing also means they can take breaks and annual leave without worrying what might happen while they’re away, as they can find peace of mind in the knowledge that the work is being handled by someone else. Time off is essential for staff wellbeing, and if they know that everything is under control during their holidays, they’ll feel happier and more focused when they return - therefore increasing the overall productivity of your business.
Another benefit of outsourcing is that you can leave it up to your agency partner to take care of any interactions that may occur outside of your team’s operating hours - such as early mornings, evenings, weekends and national holidays. Here at 3sixfive we’re proud to offer year-round services that include Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and Easter Sunday, which not only allows our clients to relax and take breaks during these events without having to worry about missing any incoming messages from their customers, but also means that their customers will still receive prompt responses to their enquiries and reviews, ultimately increasing their satisfaction and our clients’ reputations.
The writers of this study regarding after-hours email expectations confirmed that: “An ‘always-on’ culture with high expectations to monitor and respond to emails during non-work time may prevent employees from ever fully disengaging from work, leading to chronic stress and emotional exhaustion”. Plus, with 76% of employees feeling like they need to check their work emails after finishing a shift, it’s clear that enlisting some out-of-hours support from an external agency could benefit many businesses and individuals.
Out-of-hours support is especially useful for crisis management. On social media, a crisis could involve an outburst from an unhappy former employee, a food poisoning outbreak in your restaurant, animal ingredients being found in food products labelled as vegan or vegetarian, or allegations of racism, homophobia, sexism or ableism in your store or location. If an online crisis occurs when your team is out of the office, it can easily spiral into something much bigger as it gains traction and more and more users join the conversation. That’s why it’s essential to have a team of people monitoring your brand mentions around the clock who can step in and take control of any negative situations before they go viral.
Outsourcing Reduces the Need for AI
In today’s digital age, it’s hard to escape the wide reach of bots and AI, so it’s unsurprising that many businesses are resorting to this type of assistance for tasks that their internal teams are too busy to carry out. However, here at 3sixfive, our ethos is firmly rooted in the human approach. We strongly believe that the majority of marketing services and customer support processes are best carried out by people, not robots, which often leave customers feeling disappointed and frustrated - and, in the case of sentiment analysis, can lead to inaccurate data, due to their inability to understand real human language.
86% of consumers prefer interacting with a human over a bot and around 50% of people believe that companies use chatbots to deflect responsibilities and intentionally prevent customers from being able to contact live agents. So, if you’re finding it hard to keep up with your incoming live chat requests on your website, consider outsourcing this process to an agency team instead of installing an unreliable chatbot.
Unbiased, Third Party Audits
If you’re not sure how your brand is perceived online or if there are any areas in need of improvement, it’s a good idea to get an unbiased opinion from an outsider. This can be achieved by enlisting the help of an external agency to conduct an audit of your social media pages. This will give you access to expert skills and insights that you and your team might not possess - after all, you may be doing something that is negatively affecting your brand’s reputation without even realising.
This could include unknowingly breaching GDPR laws by asking customers to publicly share their personal information, accidentally posting copyrighted images and graphics, or publishing inappropriate content that is damaging your online image or is full of spelling and grammatical errors (43% of consumers say they would be influenced not to purchase a product or service because of poor spelling online!).
We also know how to examine aspects that may be missed during a ‘surface-level’ audit, such as claiming and deleting unofficial pages, removing and reassigning page roles, applying age gates to pages promoting age-restricted products (such as alcohol), and viewing performance metrics for your posts. Additionally, due to our specialism in community management and customer service, we can quickly identify any missed opportunities for engagement and interaction with your social media audience.
If you’re struggling to get things done, your employees are feeling burnt out and your customers aren’t receiving the standard of care they deserve, it’s time to outsource. Here at 3sixfive we offer a wide range of brand reputation services including community management, review management, social media customer service, live chat and more - and our team of specialists would love to support your business. Will 2024 be the year you join our fantastic family of clients? Learn more about how we can help your company grow and improve its customer relationships by getting in touch today.
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