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How can Outsourcing Address Some of the Biggest Challenges Faced by the Travel and Hospitality Industry?


There is never a dull moment when it comes to the travel and hospitality industry. Things are always changing, from disruptions to technology and everything in between. As we, all know, with change, come challenges. I believe outsourcing can help address some of the challenges faced by the travel and hospitality industry. What are some challenges to which I’m referring and how can you address them?

Terrorist attacks and natural disasters

Terrorist attacks and natural disasters are not new to this sector, but we can definitely see that there has been a rise in incidents. According to the University of Maryland’s Global Terrorism Database; in 2015, terrorist attacks occurred in almost 100 countries—up from 59 in 2013.. The same goes for natural disasters. Scientists have pointed out that natural disaster occurrences have increased and intensified significantly in the last 30 years. Some claim this is an effect of global climate change. Recent disaster records do not refute this claim. Therefore, we can conclude that neither of these challenges will go away anytime soon. We have a number of clients that outsource to our various centres around the globe to ensure that they have a ‘built in’ Business Continuity Plan should any of these incidents be experienced. We cannot prevent any of these incidents from occurring, but forward-thinking businesses utilise outsourcing as a mechanism to mitigate these threats.

Operating costs

Every business in this sector will tell you, the biggest challenge they face is reducing operating costs in order to maintain a healthy profit margin while maintaining a competitive advantage through customer service excellence. Outsourcing can significantly contribute to help reach these goals and we have a number of clients who have incorporated outsourcing for both purposes within their business planning.

Recruitment and retention of the right people

Companies of all sizes are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit and retain individuals with the right blend of interpersonal and technical skills for the modern contact centre, especially in the travel and hospitality sectors. A report from Deloitte, Hospitality 2015 – Game changers or Spectators, found that employee turnover in hospitality can be as high as 31%. This is nearly double the average rate for other industries and can be expensive for businesses. We have a number of clients who outsource their customer service so that they can focus on retaining their core staff. A skilled contact centre outsourcer will have key programmes in place specifically focused on contact centre staff engagement and retention. Leaving this complex task to industry experts is often the most cost-effective strategy.

Technology

Technology has changed not only in the travel and hospitality sectors, but in the Contact Centre sector as well. Many businesses find it hard to keep up with the latest technologies and outsourcing allows access to advanced technologies without high investment costs.

Bureaucratic

Some large companies are constrained with both bureaucratic and administrative delays. This can be debilitating for the fast moving and volatile travel and hospitality sectors. An outsourcer, who is outside the bureaucracy of your own organisation, can react to changes more effectively. Over the years, many of our clients have used us to expedite implementation plans and training in order to remain competitive or to react to crises. This flexibility can be a strong competitive advantage.

Partner to prosper

Over the last 17 years, we have seen how outsourcing can benefit businesses in the travel and hospitality sectors. However, we have also seen how outsourcing can go wrong when the outsourcer does not have the expertise required to deliver what they promise. The travel and hospitality sectors are specialised and the worst thing you can do is to outsource without having these specialist skills in place.

Customer service is what counts in any service industry, but especially in travel and hospitality. Customer service is not only customer-facing staff, but has to transcend to your contact centre and all customer touch points. An outsourcer with the required expertise and experience in your industry will ensure that you ‘partner to prosper’.

Author: Ingo Schulz | 29 November 2016
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