Customer Service Trends to Watch Out For in 2022

The black swan event of the 21st century has without a doubt been COVID-19, a pandemic that has reshaped the way society organizes itself. With widespread lockdowns and quarantines in place, consumers and corporations alike have had to reorient themselves to a new way of living that means more and more of our previously in-person interactions now take place online.

Almost every industry has been affected by the pandemic, especially direct-to-consumer brands and businesses that need to service large customer bases. Now that the new-normal is remote and digital, companies are integrating outsourced customer service offerings to reach, service and cross-sell consumers.

Customer Service Representative


The Post-Pandemic Picture

The rapid integration of internet services across the planet and consumers’ pandemic-induced push into them has meant that business has gotten even more competitive over the past few years. Consumers now have a wide variety of brands, products and services accessible with just the tap of a smartphone screen, equalizing the playing field and allowing for the penetration of upstart firms alongside with the entrenchment of bigger players as well.

This is why it’s more vital than ever before for companies to create strong customer support teams to boost customer retention and create strong value propositions to attract new clientele.

The data back this up: surveys indicate that half of customers expect special treatment and status from the brands they do regular business with and utilize customer service as their top proxy for whether or not to trust a brand and do repeat business with it. Some studies indicate that a full one in four consumers expect proactive service from brands with which they interact.

In order to keep up in today’s extremely interconnected world businesses have to up their customer service offerings and provide top-notch communication, follow-up and detailed offerings to consumers. Read on to learn about the biggest trends to watch out for in customer service this year and how outsourced customer service offerings can help your firm achieve these goals.


Omnichannel Messaging Apps

With more people staying indoors and avoiding crowded stores, malls and indoor spaces due to lockdowns and quarantine restrictions, customers are going fully digital. Over half of online shoppers have indicated that they bought from an online retailer they’d never heard of before the pandemic, and a full 80% expect to stay with them.

Brands have turned to Messenger, WhatsApp and other popular messaging apps to handle the deluge of new customer service questions and requests accordingly. These messaging apps are widespread and easy to use, making interacting with your customers easier than ever before.


Millennials and younger users in particular have flocked to these apps, leading to over half of companies deciding to roll out new messaging channels to support customer service offerings. 

With live chat dominating as young consumers’ preferred method of communication, outsourced live chat offerings are becoming extremely attractive to firms looking to seamlessly deploy remote customer service representatives at scale and economical rates.


Chatbots and Automation

Oftentimes a consumer’s question has been asked before, and businesses are utilizing automation to generate automatic answers to the most common questions. This allows businesses to handle high-volumes of customer questions and provide accurate information to consumers.

This helps protect the company’s image and promotes customer loyalty by helping consumers troubleshoot quickly. Automation allows your team to handle all your customers’ questions while reducing wait times and the burden on the customer service team.

FAQs and automated responses have helped 71% of companies manage their influx of customer service requests over the course of the pandemic. With advancements in artificial intelligence and machine learning enabling computers to answer more and more questions with each passing year, automation needs to be part of your business’ customer service strategy to help drive brand loyalty and improve your online image.


Remote Support Technology

With the full consequences of the pandemic still being played out, the prospects of returning to in-office work seem as hazy as ever. Now that workers have been pushed to working remotely for almost two full years, many firms and employees have grown accustomed to remote work setups. 

Businesses working with BPO providers have utilized remote staff to help in-house employees handle large volumes of customer service requests for decades already. As more businesses go virtual with their customer service, it’s become easier than ever to work with an outsourcing vendor to implement offshore customer service teams that can handle almost all a business’ customer relations needs.

This allows a business to protect its employees’ health and save time, money and resources, allocating its energies to core competencies and diversifying its revenue streams. 

To take full advantage of the remote support trend, however, businesses need to invest in remote support technologies that empower them to monitor, interact with and keep track of customer support representatives. These technologies allow employers to collect data on customer service representative performance on key metrics such as ticket resolution, wait times and customer satisfaction. 

These technologies are paving the way for managers to stay on top of customer service and drive their business forward with ever-improving product offerings.

Customer Service Representative


The New Normal: Adaptation

With the lockstep march towards digital integration across all aspects of the consumer journey, businesses must now adapt towards offering perennially-available customer service. In order to stay on top of the competition and attract new customers, businesses must get used to constantly adapting to the new business environment and the challenges of new technologies disrupting the field. 

Implementing dedicated customer service teams can be distracting and difficult for many businesses whose core expertise lies in other areas. This is why many businesses are turning to outsourcing providers such as Sara Call Center to help keep up with their customer service needs. 


Discover Outsourced Customer Service Today!

By outsourcing your customer service needs to Sara Call Center your firm can enjoy savings of up to 70% with our cost-effective labor practices. We take care of screening, hiring and training for you to help your firm retain customers, boost its bottom line and keep growing at steady rates.

Get in touch today to learn how Sara Call can provide your firm with outsourced customer service offerings.


10 Tips for Finding the Right BPO Provider

When choosing to outsource, picking the right BPO partner is of utmost importance. Outsourcing non-core in-house functions can be a great strategy to help your firm reduce overhead costs, reduce time spent on training, offer more services and products and scale up quickly. 

But choosing the wrong partner can make your venture into the outsourcing world more troublesome and time-consuming than keeping work in-house. That’s why it’s extremely important to make sure your partner is a trusted and experienced firm with a track record of success in the sector. In this blog post we outline how to pick the right BPO partner and enjoy the full advantages of outsourcing.

Business Planning

1. Familiarize Yourself with Management

In your journey into the outsourcing world you will need to interact regularly with the executive and management branches of your BPO firm. Make sure you are interacting with trustworthy executives and managers with a track record of accomplishment in the field. They will be the ones overseeing the projects and engagements you choose to outsource, so choosing excellent management is key.

2. Track Record and Experience

Next, ask for references to ascertain the firm’s track record and experience. Have they been in the outsourcing field for a significant amount of time? How many clients do they currently have, and are any of them similar to your firm? How do they ensure the success of each client? Ask performance-based questions that will help you ascertain their effectiveness in delivering what you need.


3. Ascertain Communication Effectiveness

Communication is key when it comes to outsourcing business projects. Communication and transparency help ensure that projects are set to be executed on time and that deliverables meet the quality your firm is demanding. Also consider language – if you need an English, Italian, German or French-speaking partner, consider a BPO vendor in Albania where these languages are commonly spoken by the majority of people.


4. Geography and Time Zone Differences

Only consider providers in economically sound and politically stable countries so that macroeconomic and political trends don’t interrupt your business dealings. Also take into account the time difference between your home office and the outsourcing partner – will you need to communicate with them in real-time? Or will they be providing 24/7 customer service in shifts? Since time zones can create difficulty in terms of scheduling and communication, make sure that the geographical differences make sense for your business.

Call Center Agent

5. Availability of Talent & Resources

Seek talent where it can be found – different countries boast different levels of general technical and soft-skill infrastructure. Your provider will need access to a wide pool of talent that can help your project scale up easily, so make sure they are located in a city and country with excellent educational infrastructure. Also make sure to ask about staff retention rates, as low rates will make your engagement costlier and less productive.


6. Costs, Fees and Rates

There ain’t no such thing as a free lunch! In the BPO world, the lower the hourly rate quoted the more likely your work is to be lower-quality. Just because a provider is offering affordable rates does not mean that they will meet your expectations and provide the quality of work you need. Make sure you ask a lot of questions about what’s included and mention every relevant detail in the SLA you sign.


7. Protection of Intellectual Property & Confidentiality

Make sure the systems and requirements you have in place protect your intellectual property and that the outsourcing provider likewise has protocols that ensure confidentiality and protection. Otherwise, a cost-saving engagement can turn into an expensive legal battle over your firm’s valuable IP and trade secrets.


8. Culture, Values and Norms

Make sure to choose an outsourcing partner who shares your values, goals and general philosophy. Compatible values and work norms will set your firm on the path to success as it works in tandem with your BPO provider. If your in-house and offshored teams do not mesh well due to cultural differences that can bear out in terms of communication, work quality and style, your entire organization will suffer. 


9. Infrastructure & Technology

To get the most out of your outsourcing setup, make sure you have technology and infrastructure in place to facilitate sharing of documents, communication across teams and access to sundry databases. A top-notch outsourcer will provide you with a safe and effective transition of your in-house functions to their offshore team. They will work with you to make sure that systems are in place to manage all technical aspects of the collaboration including file sharing, data storage, operational optimization and cybersecurity. 


10. Physical Facilities

Some firms prefer to visit their partner’s physical facilities before signing on the dotted line. This can be a great way to familiarize yourself with your BPO partner and build rapport, giving you insight into their operations, work style and the quality of their talent. 


The Benefits of Outsourcing

It can all seem intimidating at first, but outsourcing offers business myriad benefits:

  • Scaling up staffing without the stress and hassle of screening, interviewing and hiring
  • Enjoying the benefits of a multilingual, omnichannel team ready to service clients anywhere and anytime on the planet
  • Cutting on costs while accessing a large labor pool of talented and skilled staff
  • Flexibly scale and cut down on staffing as your needs wax and wane


Find out more – Sara Call Center is here to help!

Sara Call Center has been helping international firms since our founding in 2012 to set up outsourcing teams and access highly talented staff in Albania. From helping you find the right solutions, hire the right personnel and set up the optimal campaigns, we are available to help take your business to the next level – get in touch, today!

Why Businesses Outsource Non-Core Business Tasks

Business process outsourcing, BPO, is a strategy employed by large and small firms worldwide. Before the onset of the COVID 19 pandemic, global outsourcing revenues had reached approximately $93 billion a year, with companies focusing on outsourcing IT, accounting, digital marketing, back office and sales functions to experienced BPO vendors in India, the Philippines, Albania and other popular outsourcing countries.

The benefits of business process outsourcing are numerous: savings of time and money, less effort expended on training in-house staff, partnerships with specialized experts and parallel processing with local offices. 

This allows a company to enjoy a competitive advantage over its peers, access increased control and specialization over its operations and to reduce the burden on local staff.

Call Center Agents

Types of Business Processes

As you learn more about and consider outsourcing services it’s important to recognize the three categories of business tasks that can be effectively offshored. 
Critical but Non-Core Business Tasks

These are tasks that business must perform – accounting, recruitment, IT and sometimes sales, for example – but which are not the core purpose for which the business exists. These are critical functions that the business cannot go without but which it might benefit from outsourcing so as to gain access to expertise and savings that allow it to focus on its core mission.

Core Business Tasks

These are the main focus of the business and are where it differentiates its product and service offerings from competitors. These are tasks that a business will typically prefer to keep in-house.

Non-Critical Business Tasks

These are menial jobs whose execution is important but not critical to the business’ longevity. These types of tasks are almost always outsourced to a third-party partner – janitorial services, office space leasing, etc.

Why Should You Outsource?

Business today is increasingly complex and requires specialized knowledge in many sectors to manage this first category of tasks: critical but non-core business processes. Even the smallest of firms need to manage accounting, IT, marketing, data entry and other back office functions. Most business owners get into business to offer a differentiated product that they are passionate about providing, not to deal with bookkeeping or securing servers.

KPI Chart

By partnering with a trusted BPO vendor such as Sara Call Center your firm can enjoy the following benefits:

  • Increased bandwidth to allow your firm to get more done
  • With labor savings of up to 70% your firm can allocate more funds to its core business areas and finding new revenue streams
  • Specialized outsourcing experts in telemarketing, back office, data entry, IT and accounting can take care of the work with which your team is less experienced
  • Focus on the long-term and how to increase ROI rather than on administrative work

By partnering with a trusted outsourcing vendor your firm can stay ahead of the competition, find new clients and meet its legal requirements and business objectives.

Who Doesn’t Want Savings?

One of the most attractive aspects of outsourcing in business is savings: by hiring experienced staff overseas where labor costs are far lower, your firm can save up to 70% and still get the work done. In Albania, low operational and labor costs allow Sara Call Center to provide highly-experienced sales, customer service, data entry and other back office professionals to your firm who know how to get the job done without significant overhead costs.

Businesses can do away with the tedious and time-consuming process of screening, hiring and training staff locally. We help your firm get up and running quickly with BPO services that take care of all those functions as part of our core business model. 

Cost savings aside, offshoring provides your firm with:

  • Access to experienced employees: Albania, India, Pakistan and the Philippines are leading outsourcing destinations boasting highly-educated, qualified and experienced workers. Labor costs make it significantly advantageous for firms to hire for specialized roles in comparison with your business’s locale when comparing experience, skillset and degree. Albanians, most of whom boast fluency in English, Italian and Albanian, are well known for excellent communication skills, steadfastness and stellar customer service skills.
  • 24/7 support: In today’s hyper-connected economy, global businesses oftentimes need 24/7 customer service agents and staff on hand to deal with customer care and problems whenever and wherever they arise. Employing an outsourced vendor solution can allow your firm to enjoy the support of a dedicated partner who is available 24/7.
  • Rededication to core business tasks: You didn’t get into business to deal with accounting, IT, recruitment and other non-core tasks. By outsourcing these non-core processes to an outsourcing provider like Sara Call Center your local staff will have bandwidth to generate new revenue-generating initiatives and to focus on the core business. This will allow your firm to scale as employees focus on what they were hired to do and grow the company with renewed attention to what the business does best.

Budget Calculations

The benefits of business process outsourcing are numerous. Whether you are looking to remotely fulfill recruitment, accounting, sales, IT or back office work, Sara Call Center is available to help. We take care of the time-consuming and repetitive nature of these tasks for you at a fraction of the price it would cost your firm to do so locally.

Get in touch to learn how your firm can save time and money, meet its business and legal requirements and benefit from the expertise of an experienced BPO provider, today! 

How eCommerce Companies Are Outsourcing Today

In today’s competitive business environment digitally-integrated companies find themselves offering consumers all types of services. Ecommerce businesses are no different – online brands need to integrate customer service, tech support, order tracking and more when they develop strategies to scale their business.

When ecommerce businesses grow they may find themselves struggling to manage all these tasks in-house. Prohibitively-high labor costs in the host locale and the time-intensive aspects of training employees often leave ecommerce support departments strained and understaffed. Subsequently many ecommerce companies are turning to BPO providers to meet labor demands and grow their business sustainably and reliably.

Ecommerce Payment

Many of the roles ecommerce firms manage in-house can be smoothly transitioned to an outsourced team. Customer service, live chat, inbound and outbound calls, social media maintenance, responding to email inquiries, market research and data entry are all tasks that an offshore team can handle for you. 

Outsourcing provides ecommerce businesses with highly-trained staff that don’t require time-consuming management and training. These employees can oftentimes be onboarded over the course of a week. 

The benefits of ecommerce outsourcing are numerous; below, we’ll list out some of the ways ecommerce businesses are already benefiting from partnering with BPO companies for customer service, data entry, market research and more.

What are the Benefits of Ecommerce Outsourcing?

Staff Retention

One of the most important factors ecommerce businesses should take into account when partnering with a BPO is retention. High churn is a headache for business owners and means more time spent on hiring and training new staff. By partnering with an outsourcing company with a record of high retention rates your firm can benefit from continuous investment in the staff that will be handling short and long-term BPO services. This helps your business scale and to focus on the core business instead of screening and hiring new staff.

Increased Sales

Every company needs to prop up its bottom line, and ecommerce firms are no exception. But many firms find that deploying a dedicated local sales team can be expensive and time-consuming. Utilizing a BPO center’s dedicated sales teams can help your business scale faster and quicker with data-driven sales techniques and expertise.

The knowledge and headcount of a BPO partner gives your business the tools it needs to thrive in today’s competitive market. Outsourcing these vital business functions to a call center or outsourcing company allows your firm to maintain steady growth at affordable costs, without the headache associated with increasing headcount.

Omnichannel, Omnilingual 24/7 Customer Care

In today’s interconnected economy, your next customer could come from anywhere on the planet. Finding local staff to respond to customer inquiries anytime, anywhere and in any language can be tough in your ecommerce firm’s locale. 

If your platform is online 24/7, chances are that your customers will expect minimal wait times and to troubleshoot issues on the spot. This is why many companies today turn to BPO providers who staff employees that speak many different languages and are located in different time zones. Outsourced staff can be on hand to address customer concerns on social media pages, e-mail, live chat and more in a variety of languages, all at economical rates. 

Increased Competitiveness

The many aspects of running an ecommerce business cannot be handled by one person or one firm alone. From setting up servers and websites to writing content to payment processing, there is a lot of work that goes on behind the scenes of an ecommerce firm’s shiny, sleek, customer-facing website. 

Partnering with a BPO vendor in the Philippines, India or Albania can save your business up to 70% on labor costs and give you access to a network of professionals that takes the burden of customer service, data entry and more off your shoulders, providing your firm with the competitive edge it needs to thrive. Stay focused on your core competencies and allow an outsourcing partner to do the heavy lifting for you.

Improved Flexibility

While certain in-house functions need to be maintained year-round, a lot of your business needs fluctuate with time around peak demand seasons or short-term projects. One advantage of outsourcing your projects and workload to a BPO company is that it allows your firm to maintain its agility and move faster without having to worry about hiring and retaining local staff. 

Shorten the amount of time it takes employees to onboard and stay focused on the core areas of your business so that you can keep growing. Scale up efficiently with an outsourcing strategy that allows your company to attend to its growth plan while keeping customers happy and satisfied with outsourced customer service, market research and other offerings from a BPO provider.

Benefit from Outsourced Expertise

Searching for, screening and hiring new staff is time-consuming and labor-intensive. If you’re in the ecommerce sector, your company was probably started to revolutionize the way people purchase what they need, not to juggle administrative work that can be easily managed by a remote team.

By partnering with a trusted BPO firm your company can benefit from a pool of highly-qualified individuals specially trained in your service area of interest. Sales representatives, customer care agents and market research experts are available to help your firm move forward and focus on what it does best. An outsourced team makes it easier to find employees boasting specialized skills that fit your current needs and help your firm provide the best service it can to your customers.

Discover BPO services to help your firm, today!

By outsourcing to Sara Call Center your firm can enjoy savings of up to 70% with our cost-effective labor practices. We take care of time-consuming, labor-intensive and repetitive work for your ecommerce firm to help it retain customers, boost the bottom line and keep growing at steady rates.

Get in touch today to learn how Sara Call can help your ecommerce firm with outsourced customer service, data entry and more.

The 5 Do’s & Don’ts Of Successfully Managing Remote Teams

With many companies turning to remote workforces to help them meet their business objectives, a large percentage of firms find themselves struggling to extract all the value they can from their BPO set-ups. In this blog post we discuss how to reap the highest possible ROI from a remote workforce and add the most value to your operations.

Maintaining ongoing growth and managing existing workloads can be tricky in today’s business environment, and utilizing outsourced teams is a great way to do just that. By utilizing offshore teams, companies are reducing overhead and staffing costs, scaling faster and maintaining the flexibility to move as quickly as possible with agile staffing solutions. Outsourcing gives companies access to highly-educated and talented employees that they wouldn’t otherwise be able to source locally to provide support in different time zones and languages.

Here are our top five tips for getting the most value out of your remote team:

1. Don’t: Be Inflexible

Different employees have different needs; not everyone works the same. While some of your staff might thrive working 100% remotely, others benefit from coming in person to an office every day or a few times a week to work distraction-free. As a business manager it’s important to keep an open line of communication with your remote team to see what is and isn’t working for them.

Mandating everyone on a remote team come into the office can make employees feel constrained and under-appreciated; it is vital to understand what does and doesn’t work for your staff. How do they stay engaged to reach their full potential, and how can you support them? Such a small investment on management’s side can pay handsome dividends in the long run.

2. Do: Take Advantage of Available Technology

The rise of Zoom and other video conferencing applications during the pandemic has proven to be a sticky business development, with more companies than ever turning to technology to improve collaboration on cross-team projects. Most companies now have policies in place to allow even local staff to work from home at least once a week as video chat and instant messaging make it easier than ever for managers to stay connected with staff at all times.

Aside from teleconferencing, popular work management tools like Asana and Trello make it easy to track work progress in real time, while Google and Microsoft offer a whole suite of free tools to keep your team connected at all times. The latter has even made its legacy Office apps on the web free!

3. Don’t: Skip Regular Check-Ins

While every manager hopes to hire staff that can get the job done with minimal oversight, even the highest-performing employee benefits from regularly touching base with management. These check-ins can be utilized to establish rapport and familiarity, discuss ongoing projects and engagements, troubleshoot issues as they come up and brainstorm solutions to keep projects on track.

Different team structures will require different check-in cadences:

  • Some teams find a fifteen-minute status in the middle of the day every working day is a great tool to keep junior staff motivated and focused
  • More experienced staff might benefit from a weekly or twice-a-week check-in
  • One popular work set-up calls for a Monday morning check-in, followed by a Wednesday afternoon pulse check and a final Friday touch-base

During these check-ins it’s useful to work with a set agenda or project tracker displaying work progress, stakeholders, deadlines and relevant notes.

4. Do: Nurture Employee Potential with Training

With the pandemic driving everyone online to get their work done, many employees are finding more time for reskilling and learning new things through digital webinars and online tutorials. Providing your remote staff with fixed amounts of time during the week to become more knowledgeable on topics in their field shows them that you are committed to their development and promotes higher retention and loyalty. You will also start to see the benefits of an experienced staff that brings its newfound learnings to the workplace.

Setting up your employees for success contributes to your business’s bottom line: happy and capable employees stay longer, contribute more to the firm and help train each other. Strengthen your business by investing in your staff.

5. Do: Develop Outstanding Work Culture

The office isn’t simply a place to work – your employees spend a good chunk of their waking hours there, and if they don’t feel appreciated and welcomed, they won’t be motivated to get work done. Managing a remote team is more than just ticking boxes off a list: it’s about creating a sense of camaraderie around the work your staff do, celebrating achievements and recognizing the growth of every individual.

When your firm hits its milestones, share that with the team. If someone goes above and beyond to provide excellent customer service or an outstanding deliverable, recognize it at one of your status meetings. A little bit of recognition goes a long way, and appreciated employees are more likely to stay with your firm and provide high-quality work.

At Sara Call we love to invest in our staff and show them our appreciation with quarterly team outings. While these events help improve staff retention, they also provide employees chances to make new relationships and build a sense of community at work. With the top reason for people quitting being dissatisfaction with their manager or work environment, creating a positive work culture is vital to retaining staff and propping up the bottom line.

Looking for tips on how to best manage your remote workforce?

Sara Call’s BPO experts are here to help. We have been helping firms looking for talent in Albania, the Philippines and India for a decade, with experience in customer service, sales, lead generation and more. From helping you get started with dedicated virtual assistants, fine-tuning high-performing teams or sourcing remote workers, we are available to help your business meet its needs. Get in touch today!