Before the coronavirus wreaked havoc across the world, the global outsourced customer experience market was foreseen to reach 81.5 billion dollars by 2023. The pandemic impacted the outsourcing industry and consequently, all the organizations that outsourced services. At the same time, it confirmed that the past was not perfect. Lockdowns and other measures exposed the vulnerability of supply chains, weaknesses in the existing outsourcing model, and fragile ecosystems. In countries like India or the Philippines where the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector is the main driver of the economy, the virus killed hundreds of jobs.
However, despite disruptions, the COVID-19 forced the small and big actors in the industry, even the reluctant ones to embrace or accelerate trends that were already in progress. As Peter Drucker said, the greatest danger in times of turbulence is not turbulence itself. It is to act with yesterday’s logic.
2020 caught the outsourcing industry out of the guard, yet despite connectivity problems, data safety issues, infrastructure, and housing issues, many companies were able to keep their clients and even gain new ones. It was common to see two main groups of businesses during the lockdown, those who increased their customer base and were overwhelmed with orders (groceries and sportswear) and the companies that saw a decline in orders (hospitality and travel industry).
There were also startups that seized the moment and thrived during 2020. Health care apps, video games, remote meeting apps, streaming services, pet product marketplaces, skincare, and personal and home care products started flying out of the shelves.
No matter what the situation of existing or new companies was during 2020, they went through two main stages to stabilize the companies while sailing through the crisis and growing the business. This meant they had to focus on financial stability, employee health safety, and customer satisfaction at the same time.
Those who managed to succeed also considered outsourcing their customer service and other processes. Good customer service is not about handling angry customers. It’s a crucial structure that depends on a balance between lowers costs, higher quality, and flexibility. However, many companies opted for onshore or nearshore outsourcing following the case of other companies that pulled their customer service operations from India in order to keep providing high-quality service to their customers.
This means that companies are taking customer support and customer expectations seriously, but can they do it on their own?
Outsourced customer service not only provides the typical normal advantages such as lower costs and better time management. It helps to manage unexpected spikes in demand and staff absence. On their part, customers are demanding and they want someone that’s always there when they have a question, no matter what the channel is. Speaking of communication channels, they like to use every possible one. Hence, an omnichannel strategy would be optimal for meeting customer’s expectations. If a business would decide to develop an in-house customer service department it would come with a lot of costs for office space, infrastructure, recruitment, and training, etc. This would be before the pandemic situation. A possible crisis would add additional costs to provide a dispersed workforce with the necessary tools and infrastructure.
Also, customer service demand is difficult to guess. Outsourcing companies can handle such variations in demand flow.
Find the right country for customer service outsourcing
To many businesses, closer means safer and even higher quality. This is the reason why many opted for onshore or nearshore customer service. Shared time zones, cultural affinity, language proficiency, geographic proximity are all factors that gained importance during the 2020 pandemic.
If you are a business located in Europe searching for a destination where to outsource your customer service, Albania can be the right option.
If you have any questions related to outsourcing and BPO in Albania fill the form below.