Outsourcing: Easing internal pressure and heightening customer understanding
Traditionally, outsourcing has often been seen by accountancy businesses as a cost saving exercise. Yet turning to a third party can also bring immense health and wellbeing benefits for staff, as well as have a positive effect on client relations and customer care.
Louise Walpole, head of the finance sector at leading outsourced communication provider Moneypenny, explains the value of outsourcing to ease accountancy firms’ internal team pressures and improve customer care.
Louise said: “Hundreds of accountancy businesses turn to us to help deliver exceptional customer care ranging from live chat to telephone answering and managing outbound calls, so we know the sort of challenges they face and the help they need.
“Approached properly outsourcing delivers much more than just offloading support or removing a cost from your accountancy business. It also helps internal team to focus on the most important tasks and frees up their time. Crucially, it also minimises interruption and distraction for already time poor departments and ensures a dedicated, consistent and completely professional approach to call handling and live chat.”
Solving operational headaches is necessary in a fast paced financial environment.
Louise added: “Where firms don’t have dedicated call handling resource in house, or a clear call handling strategy, it often falls to everyone to chip in to answer the phone. Calls might cascade out to other departments or to fee earners to be answered instead. But too much of this can really impact your people’s ability to concentrate, which in turn erodes productivity and job satisfaction, and increases stress levels.”
Research shows it takes an average of 23 minutes and 15 seconds to recover from an interruption at work, such as having to answer the phone. Just answering a few calls each day can really eat into productivity.
Louise said: “Outsourcing customer care guarantees consistency and a high-quality experience, smoothing out the bumps that occur when front of house teams are busy, and calls are redirected to other departments.
“Most accountancy firms underestimate the number of calls they miss and wrongly believe that voicemail will provide the back-up they need during busy times but that’s just not true. Most callers choose to hang up rather than leave a voicemail message.”
Improve customer care.
A lack of dedicated call handling resource also results in a lesser experience for the caller – be that prospective client or an existing one.
Louise added: “We know that missed calls cost accountancy firms business. Poorly handled calls cost reputation too. When those who haven’t been trained in call handling, or for whom it’s not their sole responsibility, end up answering calls it creates a very inconsistent experience for callers.
“They may not know how to check someone’s availability or where to transfer a call, they might have an impatient tone or lack in empathy because they’ve been interrupted, they may not have the answers the caller needs, or may not take an accurate or complete message. Getting these things right is crucial to delivering a brilliant caller experience, making potential clients feel heard and valued and turning enquiries into business.”
Wider business benefits.
The key to using outsourcing to improve employee wellbeing and customer care is to choose an outsourced partner that understands your business. Louise adds: “Outsourcing is not simply asking another business to manage a service for you. It should also be about building a strategic partnership with a firm that really understands you and offers the right expertise, resource and technology to boost your business.”
But outsourcing doesn’t have to be an all or nothing option either – finding a partner that offers the support you can turn on and off as your needs flex, is a huge part of the value of having an outsourced solution.
Louise concluded: “We work with finance and accountancy firms in a variety of ways. For some it is a fully outsourced solution for others it’s overflow or out of hours support to give them extra coverage when they need it most. The common thread is that whether we’re deploying our telephone answering, outsourced switchboard, live chat or outbound calling expertise, we are helping these businesses to maximize their in-house resource, flexing and scaling up as their needs change and delivering the very best customer care every time.”
To find out more about outsourcing to Moneypenny, visit https://www.moneypenny.com/uk/accountancy-answering-services/