Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

A decade ago outsourcing was a new concept; now it is in many industries the norm. Indeed it is a significant part of the global economy: in August 2013 Gartner predicted that the global outsourcing market will grow by 5.4% a year for the next four years, reaching a total value of $288billion.


Yet, despite this, many corporate executives remain sceptical of the benefits of outsourcing. In fact, it is hard to think of an industry that has grown so large so rapidly whilst at the same time attracting such widespread opprobrium. Here we debunk the five myths that hold back far too many businesses from realising the benefits of outsourcing.

1) Language will be a hurdle

Perhaps the most common complaint about outsourcing to an overseas firm is that they will not have the language skills required. We have all suffered through conversations with unfortunate young Indians who are bravely trying to comprehend unfamiliar words, make themselves understood through thick accents, and compete with a crackly line. It is little wonder that many senior executives are reluctant to entrust their customer service to an outsourcer which might present similar problems.

Yet, in new outsourcing locations like Bulgaria, language skills are a selling-point rather than an embarrassing problem. At 60K we speak more than 30 languages. US research company Service 800 came to us specifically because of our multilingual capabilities and in nine months we have built a team of 37 people speaking 22 languages to consumers in Europe, the Near East and Africa on behalf of Service 800.

What is more, the standard of those languages is very high. It is not enough for someone to speak the language well, or even be merely technically fluent – they must be a native speaker. For example, to speak to Brazilian consumers Portuguese is not enough; it must be Brazilian Portuguese.

2) It might save us money but it will compromise quality

There are few aspects more critical to the success of a business than the relationship it has with its customers, and so it is unsurprising that so many companies are reluctant to entrust these relationships to a third party.

Because much of the early enthusiasm for outsourcing was driven by the opportunity to cut costs, and because there are still significant savings to be had – at 60K for example, our fees are around half those of a comparable agent in the UK - the entire outsourcing industry has in many minds become synonymous with cost savings.

Yet recent research from business advisory firm KPMG among 490 outsourcing contracts worth a total of £10 billion found that for many companies the primary driver for outsourcing is no longer cost reduction – it is in fact enhanced quality of customer service.

KPMG stated that 48% of respondents based decisions to outsource on a desire to improve service levels. That was up from 28% in 2009. 56% cite ‘the need to access skills’ as an influential factor behind their decision to outsource.

3) We will need to spend all our time training the outsourcer’s agents

An outsourcing firm may hold generic skills and knowledge, but it will lack specific knowledge about a company, its products, services and customers. For this reason many executives fear that entering an outsourcing arrangement will result in them running endless training sessions for the outsourcer’s agents.

Yet, in most cases it is only the initial training that needs to be delivered by the client company. For example, when we first began talking to Seatwave back in 2010 the ticket reseller needed to be certain we would answer at least 80% of queries in real-time, answer e-mails within 48 hours, and maintain the reputation for high quality customer service that it had built.

It brought the first batch of 60K agents to its London head office and ran a detailed training programme for them. However, since then, 60K managers and trainers have been able to give new Seatwave agents all the training they need. Three years later we now answer 97% of queries in real-time, respond to e-mails within 24 hours, and achieve all targets for quality of customer interactions.

4) I will have no control over an outsourcer

It is easy to feel confident about the quality of customer service you are delivering when you can wander over to your customer service department, walk among the agents and listen to the conversations they are having. How do you know what an outsourcer is doing?

When travel company Thomas Cook first began using us for its customer service webchats it was nervous about it. It had always used a contact centre in Scotland, and so to outsource to distant Bulgaria was a risk.

Yet, the team at Thomas Cook was able to monitor webchats in real-time. It could look at a dashboard showing response and resolution rates, and it could see from the low escalation and complaint rates that the campaign was running as it should.

In fact, many of our clients tell us that they have a clearer view of what we are doing for them than they gained from their in-house departments. At first, Thomas Cook monitored everything very closely but over time it relaxed, confident in the service we were providing to its customers. In the coming months it will also entrust us with its telephone-based customer service.

5) We will have to pay six-figure set-up fees

For organisations that have spent years building an in-house customer service function it has always been a major step to outsource it, not only for all the concerns above, but also because outsourcers have traditionally charged significant set-up fees.

An understandable reluctance to pay six-figure set-up fees has deterred many executives from outsourcing, yet the rise of cloud technology solutions, and a more flexible workforce in many countries, is enabling a growing number of outsourcers to do away with this set-up fees.

With outsourcers like 60K charging no set-up fees, offering ongoing costs around half those of a comparable UK contact centre, and providing a pool of talented, enthusiastic young workers with enviable language and technical skills, it is no wonder that a growing number of companies like Thomas Cook, Sky, and Seatwave are looking again at outsourcing.

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