Striking the right balance in business decisions is crucial for a company's longevity and prosperity. Though often not at the center of business owners’ attention, setting up customer service is among such crucial decisions, too. Providing excellent support helps businesses attract and retain customers, improve brand reputation, and drive revenue growth.
Keeping a balance in customer service can be challenging. Many have to choose between support in one or many languages, decide about team scale, develop training, and so much more. We get it – establishing the right customer service can be overwhelming.
This is where outsourcing customer service to a third-party company is an option to consider. In this article, we will examine the pros and cons of outsourcing customer support. Additionally, we’ll talk about the best practices in picking an outsourcing partner.
Benefits of customer service outsourcing
Outsourcing customer service to an offshore company is often very cost-effective for businesses. According to a report by Deloitte, outsourcing can help companies save up to 70% of their costs compared to in-house operations. Just think about it – the costs of hiring and training staff, buying tools for measuring their performance, managing and maintaining a whole new department. Customer service outsourcing can help reduce these expenses and allow businesses to focus on their core tasks, both in time and budget.
Most outsource call centers today provide round-the-clock agents to clients. This is especially beneficial to businesses with customers in multiple countries or time zones. Tickets might come late at night, yet your First Response Time will remain minimal.
As a result, quick response times in combination with high service quality, eloquent language, and care greatly boost customer satisfaction.
Outsourcing companies have a pool of skilled customer service representatives who are well-trained to handle different types of tickets, customers, and situations. These are multilingual specialists, as well as individuals generally trained in handling tickets suitably for a specific business niche or a certain company culture.
For instance, an e-commerce brand of quirky colorful sunglasses will have a different style of communication compared to an app for learning languages or pre-kindergarten learning software. Catering to your specific customers is crucial, and companies like EverHelp can help you find that voice.
An outsourced company, whose whole business is dealing with customer service requests, has a unique experience in working with omnichannel support software, chatbots, and other state-of-the-art technology. They can help you choose tech options that work best for your business, with no need to do extra research on your part.
Flexibility is another key benefit of outsourcing. Scale your team size up and down according to seasonal or other business demands. By having the possibility to customize customer support needs, businesses can save costs, as well as provide superb service to their customers in case of an unforeseen volume of tickets.
Drawbacks of customer service outsourcing
Cultural differences and language barriers
At times, outsourcing can lead to language and cultural barriers. Communication styles, social norms, and customer expectations all can be a ground for misunderstanding. For instance, in some cultures, clients expect a very high level of politeness, while in others efficiency in business – outsource company communication may be a priority.
Privacy and data protection
Dealing with people is always a sensitive topic. Customers often share personal information with support representatives, from their names and addresses to credit card information. This makes it essential for outsourcing providers to ensure that customer data is handled securely.
Risk management in outsourcing for businesses
If you feel like customer support outsourcing might be a good idea for your business, but the negative sides got you startled – worry not. All of it can be managed through good communication and setting the right expectations. We offer a few tips for avoiding the common pitfalls of outsourcing.
First and foremost, set clear expectations concerning quality standards, response times, and Service level agreements (SLAs). These expectations are usually documented within a contract. Secondly, it’s always a good idea to provide training and resources to ensure your outsourced partners understand your business, products, or services, as well as your company’s culture. Finally, monitor agents’ performance and give them feedback. Most customer service outsourcing companies offer regular automated reports, but you can also schedule regular meetings and updates by Slack or email.
Overall, making the most of your outsourcing journey comes to communication. Establish your expectations at the very beginning, give your outsourced team all the resources they need to work well, then keep yourself in a loop through regular communication, automated updates, or whatever channel feels like the best option.
How to select the right customer outsourcing provider?
Outsourcing customer support can be easy if you know what to look for in your partner. So far, we’ve established the key benefits and concerns of outsourcing customer support. Also, we talked about the ways in which most common questions can be mitigated.
But with so many options on the market, even starting the search for the right partner may feel like a huge task. We got your back. Here are a few things to consider when choosing a customer outsourcing provider.
Determine business needs
Naturally, your search should start with you and your business needs. Even if you’re unsure about the exact services you require, consider the volume and type of customer queries you usually get, as well as your budget. This will help in skewing the search in the right direction.
Look for relevant experience
It’s important that an outsourcing partner has experience working with businesses in your industry or specializes in the customer service type you need. Explore their websites, look for specialization pages, blogs, and case studies that prove the customer service outsourcing company’s expertise.
Establish quality of service
Make sure the outsourcing provider has a proven record of delivering high-quality service. Asking for references, exploring client testimonies, certifications, awards or reading reviews on websites like Clutch will help verify that the company you’re looking at has a good reputation and provides top-notch customer experience.
Learn of available technology
Ensure that the outsourcing provider has the necessary technology and infrastructure in place to provide efficient and effective customer service. Tools to track customer interactions, software to analyze customer data for valuable insights, self-service options are all essential tools for an offshore outsourcing company.
Ensure security and compliance
Needless to say, protecting customer data and complying with laws is crucial for maintaining the business trust and providing a service your customers feel safe about. Therefore, conducting a security assessment, reviewing company policies, and ensuring secure data transmission are a good extra step to confirm everything’s in place.
Compare costs and service
Consider the cost of the outsourcing provider's services and weigh it against the value they can provide to your business. Feel free to compare providers and ask for quotes from a few customer support outsourcing companies. This is the final step to ensure you get the best service for your money.
To sum up
Outsourcing can be made easy if you know what you’re looking for, and how to look.
Customer service outsourcing companies can offer great business value, such as cost savings, increased efficiency, and access to specialized expertise. To mitigate the possible risks that come with offshoring, businesses should carefully consider their future partners, determining their quality of service, infrastructure, and security.
From experience with our numerous partners and clients, we’re sure outsourcing customer support will be a breeze for you, too.