The latest stats from the Office for National Statistics show that the number of self-employed people in the UK has increased substantially over recent years. Rising from 3.3 million in 2001 to more than 5 million self-employed people in the UK in 2019.
With such a huge rise in the number of people now choosing to offer their skills in a freelance capacity, there’s never been a better time for businesses to outsource tasks. In fact, it’s becoming an increasingly popular avenue as businesses recognise the time and cost-saving benefits of outsourcing their non-core business processes.
Equally important (if not more so), are the benefits that outsourcing customer service can offer the customer. We live in a fast-paced society where nearly everything is available to us on demand. You can get an Uber in an instant and even have orders delivered the very same day. As the On-Demand Economy surges through more aspects of our day-to-day lives, it’s inevitable that customer service will follow suit. As a result, your business should be prepared to meet customer service expectations. One example being out of hours support. A freelancer in this scenario is the perfect solution as they work flexible and adaptable hours.
Grow Your Small Business
What’s more, with so few hours in the day and so many things to do, we find ourselves stretched too thin. As small business owners, we try to look after all aspects of the business and find that we don’t have the time, budget or resources to grow. If this sounds familiar, it may be time to look to a freelance professional or virtual assistant for help. Whether outsourcing customer service, ad hoc jobs or social media management, the benefits of working with a freelancer remain the same.
The first and most obvious benefit of outsourcing customer service to a freelancer is reduced costs compared with sustaining salaried positions. Payroll is often one of the highest outgoings for businesses. While freelancers of course still need to be paid, they come with fewer overheads than having someone on the payroll.
Though there are different arrangements when it comes to paying freelancers (hourly, by project or retainer for example), you generally only pay them for work completed. Subsequently, you don’t have to worry about downtime, because if business slows down, you can simply reduce their workload until it picks up again. As a freelancer, they then have the flexibility to adjust their schedules and accept more work from other clients.
On the other hand, outsourcing can be a cost-effective way for companies to adapt to sudden rises in workload or meet a looming deadline. Hiring a skilled freelancer to assist during peak periods will save money, alleviate tension, and boost the overall working environment.
Both of these cost-cutting benefits of hiring freelancers are especially appealing to small businesses and startups, where profit margins are tight, workloads can change quickly and unexpectedly, and the tendency to take on projects that are a little outside of your ideal operating ability is high. As a business owner you can hire freelancers to complete specific tasks, allowing you the opportunity to spend time and money where it’s most important.
The versatility that helps businesses to save money by hiring only for particular tasks such as customer service, has advantages that extend beyond the bank balance. Full-time or even part-time employees have far less flexibility than freelancers. Freelancers, unlike traditional workers, never miss work due to meetings, appointments, or other scheduling conflicts. They simply rearrange their schedule.
Additionally, since many freelancers work from home, they can quickly move from one job to the next. They can discuss projects as they arise and respond to enquiries and emails during the day without having to travel to and from the office. Often, this is the most appealing aspect of becoming a freelancer, but it is also a significant benefit when it comes to working with them.
When it comes to outsourcing customer service specifically, working with a freelancer is the most practical solution if you need assistance outside of normal business hours. You can close your office or shop for the day as your outsourced customer support team continues to take calls for you.
Freelancers are experts in their fields. They’re good at what they do, and this will be reflected in the quality of their work or service.
This is ideal for companies who don’t have the resources to train new employees, and it lowers the likelihood of hiring someone who isn’t compatible with your business or other team members. You’re under no obligation to work with them again if they don’t deliver the service you’re looking for.
Although freelancers aren’t ideal for every company or project, they are becoming a more necessary part of the workforce. For both big and small businesses, freelancing has a lot of advantages. The risks are manageable, and the cost-effectiveness and versatility of the gig economy more than compensate for them.
LDigital virtual assistant services can help make your business more efficient. We make sure that both you and your customers are happy.
So, take your business to the next level and contact LDigital to find out the cost of outsourcing your digital customer services and the benefits outsourcing can offer.
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