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Call Center Cactus Chat

Episode 20: How Outsourcing Can Impact Small Businesses

Listen as Eric talks with Jake about how small businesses level up their customer support with outsourcing. Learn more about the perks of getting the right expert professionals to get the job done without you worrying about management concerns, training, and other common problems of hiring internally.

Listen to the Podcast:


Eric: Welcome back to another episode of the contact center cactus chat. Back here in the Philippines again, and we’ve got Jake back. We’re here together again in the Philippines. And I just came back from your trip in the US for many months.

Jake: Yeah. And yeah, I’m glad that we’re here again, recording and for another topic, and yeah, it’s nice to be back. And the people are excited, probably excited to hear now new.

Eric: Yeah, I hope so hope you’re willing, if you’re listening, then you should be excited, because today, we’re gonna be talking about how outsourcing can help impact small businesses. And if you’re a business owner, unless you have a giant giant business, then more than likely your business is considered a small business. In fact, you kind of forget, you know, you think of the little mom and pop companies, that’s a small business. But according to the SBA, if your business has under 14 in revenue, or you have under 1500 employees, you’re still a small business. So that covers a lot of companies out there. Right. 

Jake: Yeah, it’s surprising to the level of considered a small businesses, you know, taking revenue that high. So there’s a lot of you over there. And I know that, you know, some of you are struggling, and you want may, you might want to listen and consider the the ideas that we have here. And base, these are all based on the experiences that we have, for the past two years of working with,

Eric: not just year eight years, are still celebrating the eight year anniversary of Pac-biz. And Jake made it back just in time to celebrate with us. And I thought it was kind of cool, because usually you’re welcoming me here and got to be here and welcome you here.

Jake: Yeah, you got it here first. Yeah,

Eric: beach you here it first.  So. But yeah, eight years. So we’ve had eight years of experience working with small businesses across the UK, Canada and the US. And we’ve seen a lot over those last eight years. And, you know, even before this, eight years ago, I had my own taxi business, and Jake was supporting that. So we have seen a lot and gone through a lot together.

Jake: Oh, yeah, and the, I can remember though, you know, the I don’t know, how we got categories that company

Eric: and I don’t think that doesn’t fit into the small business, micro business, I think as a category, you’re part of the micro business.

Jake: And from, you know, the experience that I had, and that, under working with you at that time was, you know, really under, on, I mean, a lot, like, you know, taking care of, there’ll be a call taker and Dispatcher at the same time, you know, building relationships with the drivers, and all that, you know, customers are pretty common, and, you know, they like a business. So they call back into you to get to know their voices, and being familiar with already go, and, you know, all those stuff. So, you know, looking back, I can I can’t think, like, what are the missing pieces for that company to be successful? And, as we all know, we transitioned it to a call center, and Eric didn’t continue working. And with that business, so yeah, we we can spot what are the missing pieces of a, of a, you know, small businesses to make it more successful, we work with a different level, I mean, the sizes of businesses, so there are small businesses, they’re big businesses, so we can, we can really see what you’re going to become if you’re a small business. And now you know what to expect if you’re going to grow bigger, and even more, you know, double or triple your, the size of your current businesses. So, yeah, we can guide you from there, basically, on that, and a lot, a lot of you know, if you would ask a we are prepared, like the, the, there are groups of agents who are taking care of bigger businesses, that has a really different facet of guidelines, like, more stricter, more, more, like really, really in line with the, with the policy and they really built for having to run the business for a while. So and there are also businesses which are small, and you know, the slight kind of freestyle, like, just being a call taker, do whatever, don’t just stay calls and I’ll take the orders and get the super what are the dispatchers deal with the dispatching and those things so yeah, and outsourcing are we talking about on outsourcing, how it helps small businesses? Yeah, we there, aside from what I mentioned earlier, the size of the size of businesses that we cover is, you know, we, we had that big company before, you can remember Eric, and we can really see how I mean, the expertise of those people over there when sure like, they tell us, Oh, this is this has to be done like this. And, you know, the things that really they consider more, you know, you know, the counting of this tape, or some of the reasons why we have this no show. You know, well, first of all businesses, I don’t know, if withdrew cap, before, we would say that no assurance because the customer wasn’t there. And we didn’t question why. So, so

Eric: what Jake was talking about for those who are not in the taxi industry, no shows is when you go to pick up a customer, and they’re not there,

Jake: yet. They’re there. And so this bigger companies, as this question is why. So we need to provide those reasons why the customer is going out there? Is it the fault of the call taker, the dispatcher, the driver? Or the customer? So we need to work or that we don’t have, we’re not recording this stuff, where Eric, and I think those are the things that the small businesses or the businesses or just started doing with the, you know, with the taxi business would wouldn’t have to do. And, yeah,

Eric:  you make you make a great point. Because, you know, the way I look at it as a small businesses like this, when you first start out, you’re wearing a lot of hats, right, and you’re just starting out all those different hats, you know, you’re, maybe you’re updating the website, you’re answering the phones, you’re managing the staff, you’re hiring, you’re doing the interviews, you’re doing the training. And as your business gets bigger, you get to take some of those hats off, and you get to give them to other employees. Yeah. And so and then you get to be more sophisticated. You know, I think even here at Pac-biz, the policies and procedures that we have today, compared to three, two, I mean, five years ago, six years ago, seven years ago, years ago, when we were much smaller, or as Jake was saying, when I had my own taxi company, almost over 10 years ago, now, we’re bored, just trying to keep the lights on, we’re just trying to get day to day. And the challenges for those businesses are different as you get bigger. And so what’s interesting for us is we have to adapt to wherever that business is at, whether it’s like a business owner that’s wearing a lot of hats, okay, we could take a couple of those from you so that you could focus on other things. And then as it gets bigger, it’s not that we’re taking away work from the owners now, it’s like, there’s challenges in the business, such as they don’t have, they know that the calls need to be listened to, but maybe there’s a lot of turnover, so they can’t keep up with that, or the they know that things need to be measured. And we’re going to look at listening to calls, we’re going to look at doing all this stuff at business owner with all those hats, they can’t do that, because they, again, they get all those other hats. So they got to focus on paying the bills, they got to focus on being the banking person. And so it really, you know, becomes challenging,

Jake: is really important, you know, it’s, you know, our customers are taken care of off, like, you know, like, what customer can cause a, an impact to, you know, if you’re living in a small, small city or with your small taxi business. And, you know, that’s it’s really rare that you don’t have a competition, it has to you have to have a competition that, you know, other other people are running taxi businesses over there. How would you be like, I headed them? Of course, you know, getting the right people, you know, just connecting to the right. outsourcing company. Yeah. And that’s, that’s a reason why, though, there’s, there’s a lot that you can get from, from outsourcing.  Then, you know, try to, you know, trying to run your own business on your own and, you know, aside from all what Eric mentioned that, you know, trying to get some of your hats like, you know, given a give it to us and aside from that, the company that you’re trying to work for, like I’d like to mention Pac-biz is where We’ve been here for eight years. And, you know, we we’ve seen a lot from the small, smallest business to the biggest business that we had, like, houses 1000s of fleets,

Eric: and multiple industries, you know, we’ve got big clients that are in E commerce and, and other industries. And, you know, just today we I had a whole conversation with someone that manages a hotel and resort. And we’re looking at airlines, we’re at health care, we’re doing virtual assisting, virtual assisting stuff is cool, too, because we’re working with really micro businesses, you know, they’re wearing all the hats, and they’re being overwhelmed. Because they’re managing their own calendar, they’re following up with people on their LinkedIn on top of like, what do they got to do to push the company forward? It’s a lot. So we get to see all that. And I think one thing that, you know, people, what are some actionable takeaways here? If you’re a small business, and you’re scaling, and like, what can you learn from working with a call center. And I think one of the things that I’ve seen time and time again, is a nice pattern, which is, when people outsource, for especially for the first time, then the, their key people, they’re never let go, they’re never fired. What do they do with though,

Jake: put them somewhere else, like home, you know, being a Go call takers long. It’s somehow like, you know, you’d be you’d be trapped on that chair off for eight hours, you know, just doing the simple job, they take the calls. And though it’s simple, I would say, but it has to have a skills like, you know, how to handle talk to proper way of talking to to the customer, like our we always wanted them to call back, you know, the experience is also there, that they’ll be considered that they will be happy. And during the, you know, the conversation and, and, yeah, there’s so many things that the like, that should be considered being a call taker as well, aside from those things. But going back to, what are those people that used to do that’s called dating, do our right after, you know, outsourcing? Now, they can be doing so many things, like, the marketing and doing so many stock of planning ahead, checking, what would be the coming events, so we use things and, like, a lot, the weather, or, you know, that can also be considered, there’s, there’s so many things that are that would come up, you know, by just changing the weather, like, you know, there’s there’s a storm coming in and, you know, things that I got, and busy busy time, during Christmas seasons? And are we talking about this when no, they had that event, then locally. So if you know the call takers and available, we are here, we take over and we’re not, you know, trying ourselves picking that I could be in and out to Vanco while I’m here, because you’re you’re you know, your the things that are happening, they’re not happening here. So when he says that people are there to go out and not to go to work doesn’t affect the people. We’re working here in the Philippines.

Eric: So when people are outsourcing for the for the first time, then that means that jobs are impacted locally, but not necessarily. Like I would say 80 to 90% of the time. What are they doing with those people, those key people that maybe have been managing the call center or taking calls, they don’t just get let go? Right? Like what do you usually see those people end up?

Jake: Actually, there are two things that’s gonna happen. The people that were giving the headaches, they can go, yeah, and the people are really hoping them with a company, they can stay and nobody can give them a different kind of, you know, level of rose. And yeah, like they can they can help planning out you know, managing their business. And while the, you know, the other people are, yeah, who will be you know, that you can you can identify where they will, they will they will be good app. So, that’s, that’s another help from, you know, outsourcing.

Eric: Yeah, because I think, you know, a lot of business owners a dream about like, oh, man, if I could just have this person take this over, but I can’t because they’re taking calls and I can’t we keep losing people on answering the phones. And those are the good, those are the bigger little bit bigger of a business. We also work with a lot of businesses where there’s smaller like, I mean, I think of have, like home service companies. Like when everyone first got started, like with me in the taxi business, we were literally answering your own phone calls for the taxi company. And that’s where we started the call center. And no, I just had this conversation with the, the resort owner, or someone that manages the resort just a little bit ago, they’re like, We don’t want to, we want to focus on the the operations of the hotel, we want to focus on making that a great guest experience. But instead, they’ve got to deal with, they had three people answering the phones now at handling reservations. And like there’s a lot of turnover there, people aren’t maybe performing well. And that’s just one symptom. Let’s talk about the other one. When you are running something, if you have someone working at your company, answering the phones, answering emails, and you’re a small, small business, how much time and resources, you have to listen to the phone calls to look at their metrics 

Jake: Exactly.

Eric: to see, are they doing average handle time, are they when they make a mistake, are you able to coach them, and making sure they’re making improvements? Many times with a lot of these businesses, that’s an afterthought. And so when I start to outsource, now, they’re able to improve customer service because now we do all that we’re listening to call, were coaching the agent, we’re making sure that they’re logged in on time, and if not, someone else is filling in or working with the client to make sure that, you know, they fill in for a little bit, whatever work as a team, to make sure that the calls are being handled, the customer is getting a great experience. And it is a lot of stuff that happens behind the scenes, behind the scenes that you don’t get to do when you’re a smaller company that just gets you ignored. 

Jake: some other companies are you know, taking calls bait, just casually talking to the customer, like here on the outsource company, call takers or agents are really trying to make the customer feel like, you know, his his being valued. Like, you know,  the way they talk to them. You know, proper, proper way of, you know, introducing the company stuff like that opening spiels And those things and then you know though not interrupting them while they’re talking. Those are small things, but you know, those are, you know, they they feel like, they feel different now, right after that, and like the experience that we’re talking about, it’s you know, it’s different. So that’s how outsource com outsourcing company swirl is really you know taking impact to those small businesses. And yeah, the the I can, you know, there are small other businesses are saying that the your call takers are amazing. How come all we did think of that, you know, just talking to the customer as well. You know, just That’s how, if you’re working in a call center for a while, that’s within you already, like don’t you can’t take that away from you, even if I’ll say talking to different people, and you know, it’s already within you. So that’s, that’s something that we have with, with our company that. No, that’s, we say it’s normal. But you know, I can see how amazed those small business owners, when they hear our call takers, take the calls and how they how we talk to their customers. And for sure, first time customers will call back because they know how they can feel how they were treated when they call.

Eric: Yeah. And, you know, for its again, a lot of people start a business and they’ve got this dream that they want to make it this bigger company. But many times what the average, the majority of small businesses that are created out there fail after, you know, five years or so. And like, why is that? It’s because you’re you don’t you’re not able to do everything that you want to do. Like if you had more time, money resources, then you might not be able to make that business successful. Maybe you’re just in the wrong industry completely. But that’s another story. If you’re, if you’re seeing the growth, if you’re seeing the potential, we’re getting more customers now we can’t keep up. We’re getting calls, but we can’t keep good people on the phones to answer and more than business owners answering them

Jake: or even worse than the people that they’ll show up. Like, how many times can your business be closed or unavailable? Because not your you know, they’re not there. They’re not showing up so you don’t need to worry about that those call takers are agents not showing up in your end. That’s our problem. And we have a lot of people that can fill in and, you know, cover shifts. So,

Eric: so you’re so for small business owners, you guys listen to hear, if you’re the entrepreneur and you’re doing a lot of the work yourself, then think about like, Okay, how do you? Like, what is your goal? Where do you want to be in the next three to five years? And how are you going to get there quicker, because time is money. And, you know, you don’t, you can’t spend the rest of your life trying to figure this out. Like, you got to get that business going, maybe you’ve made sacrifices, you quit your job to start this business, or you’ve been at this for a couple of years. And you’re you’re scraping by you’re like, Okay, if I could just do this, and this and this will be successful. And I remember that when we had the taxi business, I’m like, Okay, if I can get this account and this account, and we can do this, then we can get bigger, and then we can invest in that. And that’s how outsourcing can help you get there sooner. And it’s like a shortcut to skip some of that pain of like figuring out how to manage the calls and the phone, I guess, huge, important piece of your business, the customer experience, that that suffering, are people going to come back to you, because really like when your business is, is trying to grow, you’re competing against other businesses that already exist, unless you come up with a brand new, something brand new business has never been around before. But more than likely, you’re out there competing against the big dogs, and with way less resources, way less people. And it’s tough. So that means long nights, not sleeping, sacrificing time with family pouring in money to the company. Maybe I’ll speak in your guys’s language of people listening right now because you’re in the middle of that. And so if you’re not outsourcing, or if you’re outsourcing with the wrong company, and they’re not able to achieve the goals that you’re looking at certain handle time, happy customers, maybe that people you’re outsourcing to, they could potentially have their own turnover issues, especially you know, when to place their cities here in the Philippines, they always, as you might have heard me say in the pass episode, you can be fired in the morning, quit in the morning and find another job in the afternoon because there’s that many call centers. And so if it’s that easy to quit and get another job, then you know, that’s still not going to be good for you how to solve that problem yet. So the turnover with your outsource company also has to be low, otherwise, you’re still going to be cycling through like they’re going to have to bring new people on and they’ve got to learn, make some mistakes, and then they’ll get to that level you’re looking at. So can you afford to do that? You know, like, the way I tried to take that approach back 10 years ago, 11 years ago, 11 years ago, with my tax business, we tried to pay people like minimum wage, like okay, at least we’ll have some person with a heartbeat answering the phone so that it’s not ringing off the hook. And no one’s picking up. Or that it’s not one week before we get to those customer emails, like someone’s responding better than nothing. But really, is it? You know, like, you’ve just plugged the hole, but it’s still leaking? And so,

Jake: Yeah, and I can only imagine like, one customer will say, I’m not going to call that company again. Because Because of experience. Yeah. And the one customer can talk to other people and you know, spreading those news. And they’re not being treated well. And so what you need

Eric: Every customer when you’re a small business, I don’t think anybody I mean, when you’re a big giant corporation, they don’t seem to care. But that’s who you guys are competing against. So you guys think, all right, these big companies, I could do a much better job serving my community, providing the service selling this product. And and so that’s where you’re going like you could be going up against Amazon, you could be going up against, you know, just giant companies. So how are you going to compete against them? And how much money or and time and effort are you spending to acquire those, those customers. And then you give them a crappy experience when they call in on the phone. Because you don’t have enough staff, or the staff you have as a trained, they’re all new because they keep getting hired again. Like that’s the kind of stuff that we help solve for small businesses. Because if you get those things figured out, and now you’re able to focus on your business, or you got key people now, you had someone that was managing your call center agents and now they’re managing operations now they’re now they’re able to they know your business. Well, that’s why they keep them and now that put them in another part of the company so that you can start growing now you could take off more hats as a business owner, and maybe you grab some more hats, some new ones that you’ve been wanting to put on. And that’s how you grow and that’s how working with partner like an outsource business like us here can help you get there and achieve those goals.

Jake: Yeah. So outsourcing, it’s like starting to get rid half of the problem that you have right now. So give that problem to us. And we’ll help you and go ahead, go get the problem of how to grow your business. And there’s so many things out there that you can do with a business, just let us do their part, we’re at a call center, our call center can take care of

Eric: Focus on your core business, right? And because I always say one of my phrases I would say is you didn’t start your business to start a call center, in start your business to schedule a bunch of calendar invites and answer emails. But you know, it’s frustrating when it’s, you know, 12 o’clock at night, and you’re still looking at I got another hour of emails I still got to get through. Because I don’t have the resources to help answer these, or I’m taking calls or I’m managing this person that’s managing the call center. So yeah, so I really hope that this episode, we probably will break this up into two but if it’s one long one, and okay, thanks for listening the whole time. But I hope you got some nuggets out of this. And some valuable Blake tips on a reasons anyway on if you’re on the fence about outsourcing. And you’re thinking about if this right for me? And yeah, I mean, there’s some real real world examples Jake and I just shared on why it helps the companies that we help. And, you know, at the end of the day, almost every single client that’s ever worked with us here at Pac-biz, over the eight years, has stuck with us. And once they start working with us, they not only do they stay working with us, but they add on more people and they grow and then they hit the goals they’re looking for. And now what do you know, like they’re able to take that money that they’ve saved and invested in other parts of the company to help the company grow, or now their sales are better and so that they have more money that way, and they’re able to grow, so, but it takes money. It takes time and effort. And we help with all of that through small businesses. So well. Jake, Hey, welcome back again. It’s great to be doing podcast with you again out here. So thanks for being on the show. And thank you guys for listening. And so what are we talking about? Next episode, we’re gonna be customer experience metrics. It was like,

Jake: um, yeah, how to measure it. And yeah, measuring about customer experience, you know, you should start with, you know, what the customer is, you know, be thinking of how to, like, how to get to you. You know how easy it is to get to two to get your service.

Eric: And yeah, we’ll talk about that in the next episode, and we’ll dive into that. So thank you guys for listening. And if you want to learn more about customer experience, check us out in two weeks. We’ll come out with our next episode. Until then, see you guys later. All right.