Over the past ten years customer expectations have evolved, technology has been enhanced and businesses have had to quickly adopt and embrace change to have a chance of survival and remain strong in their industry.
It’s not just an industry specific issue, for example the UK’s biggest music giant HMV shockingly fell into administration in 2013 due to failing to keep up with competitors working in the digital market, over 300 stores and 4,300 jobs were put at risk. In insurance Swinton brokers closed 130 branches in 2016 followed by a further 95 closures in 2017, this was because only 10% off their customers were using them. Many banks have seen a similar trend with customers needing branch quality service in the comfort of their own homes or on the move with telephone or online banking.
Customers are looking for quicker solutions, better service and they need security with the service providers they choose and we want to feel cared for. Competition is high and consumers are in control, we are all making greater demands and we know we can affect a business’s reputation and success with a couple of lines on social media. We are more aware of our money and we are all searching for the best value.
We have seen an increase in demand for efficiency; customers want businesses to act swiftly, time is money and we are not willing to spend it waiting for a business to deliver service or product at its own pace. Businesses need to think about their customer journey, measure effectiveness and ensure demands are met, service must be measured and problems quickly addressed.
How have successful businesses coped with this culture change?
We have seen an increase in mergers and businesses are being innovative with collaboration. Recently we have heard how the UK’s supermarket giants Asda and Sainsbury’s are planning to merge, they argue it will lead to lower prices for customers, better access to stores and more efficient services available such as home deliveries. Brands have even partnered to diversify for customer demand, who would have predicted we would be booking a McDonalds takeaway delivery through a taxi service?
We can now compare serious financial investments and insurances in a few click of a button thanks to the very competent Aleksandr Orlov – a toy Meerkat who first appeared on our screens demanding that we stop confusing his website with Compare the Market (other comparision sites available to Go Compare). Aleksandr will even throw in a year’s supply of free Odeon cinema tickets and a rare cuddly toy to ensure we use the correct website and secure our cash. Businesses are learning from these smart creatures and we are learning that there is safety in numbers through collaboration.
Outsourcing can be an invaluable solution for growing and thriving businesses; they can be bigger, more efficient and exceed customer demands without having to buy multiple premises and hiring thousands of people. Investing business cash in property and staff is risky in today’s climate, there are no guarantees of continual success and income, and our businesses cannot afford the shame of losing property or having to put hundreds of people out of jobs. Providers are flexible, offering white labelling so that customers can seamlessly speak with a person from ‘the brand’ they have chosen. Perfectly mapping customer journeys, managing verbal and digital communications to ensure the ever growing demand for efficiency and effectiveness is consistently exceeded.
We can now instantly expand our business within hours; incredibly employing a brand new call centre of experienced handlers quicker than a change in the British weather. Customers are happy to deal with outsource companies on the agreement that we support our own economy, insisting companies act ethically in sourcing UK call centres to provide them with a familiar voice to carry out all their admin duties during an unscripted conversation. Awareness has been raised and we do not want our call to be overseas, we want our fellow citizens to be given opportunities to work and earn a living from the money they are putting into UK based businesses.
Businesses have got to be creative in today’s climate and participate in their industry; we need to be open, willing to seek, give and take support. We need to remain consciously competent, keep a finger on the pulse and seek the next trend or opportunity. Looking back at some of the casualties can be a hard but valuable lesson; don’t forget that Blockbuster Video failed in 2010 because they refused to embrace change! Shockingly the CEO of Blockbuster turned down the fantastic opportunity to diversify and purchase Netflix from its founder and failed to see an opportunity to work with its competitor to secure the businesses long term success.
Business is challenging, we should never take our eye off the ball when we are scoring the goal, the goal posts aren’t always secured and we never know our competitors strengths and tactics.
For information about our outsourcing solutions click here.