How to Outsource Customer Service the Right Way
Outsourcing customer service offers promising opportunities to save money and resources. Unfortunately, it might be hard to find a one-size-fits-all solution for all the issues during the outsourcing process. As an alternative, you will be required to make important decisions and pick the best customer service provider after a deep analysis of the available options.
Failure to follow the right procedure and analysis can result in customer loss, especially if your outsourcing firm has poor client interactions. Fortunately, the guide below will give you the insight you need when picking your outsourcing partner. Besides, there are tips to help you understand if the practice is the best for your business.
What Is Outsourcing Customer Service?
Outsourcing customer service means hiring a third-party firm, mainly call centers, to handle your company’s customer service tasks. The practice offers great relief since you will now be in an ideal position to handle other essential business requirements. However, there are several factors that you ought to consider before you outsource customer service, including:
The Practice’s Cost-Effectiveness
The process’s cost-efficacy mainly depends on the volume of customer service the enterprise covers. With the right and detailed analysis of this volume, you can easily determine if the process profits you as expected.
Before outsourcing customer service tasks, conduct an analysis and estimate how much it would cost to handle customer services without third-party involvement. Also, consider the following factors before deciding to handle customer service tasks on your own:
- The cost of training and compensating employees
- Maintenance costs
- The need and cost of putting up a new infrastructure for your new staff
Outsourcing can be costly if there are technical or complex issues that customers inquire about. You might experience a rise in costs if you are still required to answer these technical or complex inquiries, even after hiring a third-party call center. Besides, it is worth noting that clients need detailed, accurate, and instant feedback to their queries, making in-house customer service an essential consideration.
Time and resource factors might make you consider outsourcing customer service tasks. For instance, some customers might need help 24/7, yet the cost of having staff online day and night might be extremely high. Therefore, hiring third-party call firms to handle such issues might be the most appropriate and affordable solution.
Outsourcing customer service tasks can help you create time for more important projects such as marketing or product development. Therefore, when analyzing the overall outsourcing cost, make sure to include the practice’s benefits in your decision.
Outsourcing Customer Service the Right Way
After checking the few considerations during the customer service outsourcing process, here are some steps to follow for successful outsourcing. Bear in mind that, whatever you do, you need to do it appropriately for the best results.
Establish Concise Objectives
What is your main purpose for outsourcing? Are you taking the step to cut costs or to relieve your staff of some tasks? Are you aiming to have customer service tasks be undertaken by professionals? If that’s the objective, make sure you utterly focus on it.
It is also important to consult your legal team regarding the security or legal issues that might arise during the process. Bear in mind that company policies might limit the customer data that you can share with a third party.
Have Your Customers in Mind
Your good understanding of your clients should not go unused. Make sure you consider their preferred interaction medium before outsourcing customer service. Keep in mind that if you understand their preferences well when it comes to interactions, you will have an easy time picking the right outsourcing firm.
Pick the Right Outsourcing Firm
Picking the right firm requires extensive research and analysis. In the process, you need to examine several service providers before choosing the best match. Below are factors to consider when picking the right company:
- Pick a multilingual 24/7 support team if you operate a global enterprise
- Make sure the provider uses an omnichannel approach
- Ensure you pick skilled customer service providers
- Always choose quality over low cost, as cheap services can turn out expensive.
Train for Excellence
Even though you aimed at saving training costs for in-house support staff, you need to ensure the provider understands your organization’s culture and quality standards. Therefore, always take your new partner through the process to ensure you all start on the right page.
Evaluate the Success of Outsourcing
After a considerable time working with your new partner, you need to evaluate the practice to ensure it offers the desired value for money. Fortunately, there are multiple strategies to use here, such as assessing:
- Client satisfaction outcome
- Number of tickets issued
- The average time used to resolve a given issue
- The average time used to respond to a query
This means that you should play an active role even after outsourcing customer service tasks. It’s possible to manage the outcomes without being deeply involved in the process. Also, note that a critical assessment of your partner firm’s performance will help you determine if the process is moving in the right direction.
Stay in Contact with Your Partner Company
Communication is vital when it comes to customer service. After outsourcing your task, ensure you contact your partner firm to know things that require improvement or customer queries that need revisiting. It is worth noting that communication should come from both parties.
Therefore, keep the contact channel open, as the partner company might require answers to technical or complex customer queries. Finally, ensure the partner firm has access to up-to-date information regarding the company to ensure they serve customers in the best way possible.
In conclusion, you need to understand that your clients are the ideal judges of your customer service’s efficacy, irrespective of the approach you take to handle the tasks. Therefore, always listen to their complaints and solve the issues they raise swiftly.
In case customers require help with slightly complex or technical issues, ensure you have in-house customer service operated by experts who understand these technical issues. However, if your business plan needs outsourcing customer service to help customers perfectly, follow the stages above and work toward having an effective and profitable relationship with your partner company.
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