Customer Outsourcing of Services is a shrewd idea. The idea of outsourcing your customer service to an outside agent could reduce your overheads by a significant amount, which will save your company money, resources and, in many cases an enormous amount of stress.
It's certainly not a one-size-fits all solution, and there's no magical outsourcing beans to help ease the process.
It is the reason you must be aware of your choices in particular when an outside company is likely to be directly in contact directly with customers.
We'll discuss outsourcing of customer service in depth. We'll review its advantages and drawbacks, as well as offer five tips to help you create seamless outsourcing of customer service.
Then, we'll discuss how to choose the best outsourcer and also highlight three outstanding customer service outsourcing firms. In the final part, we'll outline the five-step method to switch to an outsourcing customer support team without difficulty.
This Article Contains:
(Click the link to get the direct link to the section you want to jump into)
- What is Customer Service Outsourcing?
- 5 "Right" Motives to outsource your customer support
- 3 'Wrong' Reasons To Outsource Your Customer Service
- 5 Secrets To Flawless Customer Service Outsourcing
- Which Type of Customer Service Should You Choose?
- How To Find Kickass Customer Service Professionals?
- 3 Top Customer Support Outsourcing Companies
- How to Switch To An Outsourced Support Team?
Let's get started.
If you're in search of simple ways to know the tasks your outsourcing customer service representative is working on, you can download Time Doctor free for 14 days. You can see what is their current task, and how they take to complete, and also see which websites or apps they're using in real-time.
What is Customer Service Outsourcing?
Outsourcing customer support involves engaging a third party company to handle support for you.
You can now choose to provide a multichannel, or Omni channel customer services to your customers:
- Support for multichannel: providing customer support across two or more channels including offline and online messaging such as social media, email and more.
- Omni channel Support is the process of storing all customer data in one location to make it easily available to agents who support customers across different interactions.
The best method of outsourcing your customer service is contingent on the needs of your business. Also, you should be willing to look at suppliers who employ new and cutting-edge technologies to improve customer satisfaction (CSAT.)
But how much does outsourcing customer service cost?
The price can differ based on the type of service that you need. It could start as low as 70 cents/minute for the basic answering service and rise to as high as $25 per hour for contact center specialists who are dedicated.
If you're new to outsourcing or haven't had the chance to try it before, take a look at The Complete Guide to Outsourcing.
Five 'Right' reasons to outsource your Customer Service
outsourcing the customer support department may benefit you for many reasons. Let's take a look at five most beneficial ones:
1. To Lower Operational Costs
Do you want the same high-quality of customer service and cost savings?
Outsourcing your customer service personnel is an alternative to hiring a full-time customer service team.
Outsourcing permits the business owner to contract employees instead of full-time employees. It means that they do not have to pay a set amount and provide benefits like health insurance and transportation, overtime and more.
When you outsource, you could save up to $3000 for initial installation and infrastructure costs! This is nearly the length of a 25-year Amazon Prime subscription at current prices.
Additionally, the costs of your employees can be reduced further by outsourcing customer service to a nation with lower costs of living.
For instance, that, costs of living in India is less expensive than that is the case in US. This means you are able to offer more affordable and affordable rates to your outsourced customer service staff based in India.
2. To Increase Support Coverage Quickly
Businesses like e-commerce could be busier during the Christmas season.
You may need recruit additional staff to handle the increased demand for customer support rapidly.
If you decide to hire employees and you are looking for applicants, the process of finding the right, interviewing and training potential employees may take a few weeks.
In contrast, outsourced partners such as Companies such as Accenture as well as Mindy Support can provide fully integrated customer service teams that swiftly adapt to the company's needs.
3. To Streamline Repetitive Tasks
Different customers could encounter the same problem or encounter the similar problems.
Instead of trying to fix the same problems every time you and your team's time could be more productively spent working on different tasks. This is why outsourcing a customer support manager to take care of repetitive tasks is a great choice, particularly if the questions aren't overly technical.
4. To Scale Up Your Business
If your business is experiencing rapid change and expansion and rapid changes, you may not be able to concentrate on customer service.
It is the perfect moment to outsource customer support to ensure you have a fast, reliable service, while also determining the goals for the future of your business.
5. To Increase Global Coverage
Let's say that you wish to expand the geographical areaof your company.
You'll need to recruit bilingual support personnel who are able to communicate with new customers efficiently.
Instead, if you decide to outsource this service requirement to a trusted service partner it is easy to promote this service to increase your customers.
3 'Wrong' Reasons to Outsource Your Customer Service
Support for outsourcing has been in use since the age of the internet. But, there's an immense gap in the knowledge base which has led to all kinds of myths and misperceptions.
Don't make these mistakes in your decision to move to an external support team.
1. To Exercise High Budget Cuts
While outsourcing the customer support department may save money in the short term but it can impact your performance. A service that is low-cost usually has the capability to handle just routine requests for support.
Therefore, they may not be equipped to deal with technically demanding or specific requests.
2. To Avoid Support Responsibilities
The outsourcing of customer support isn't the best method to let go of the responsibility.
It's a partnership which requires cooperation and commitment for both parties.
If you allow your support team outsourced to their own devices the team could become disengaged from your company's image. This means that the quality of your customer service could drop dramatically at an alarming rate.
3. To Make a Quick Fix
Sure, a service provider is a professional but don't expect them to resolve all of your issues in a matter of minutes!
Achieving a high-quality customer experience takes patience, consistency and the ability to plan. It is possible that you will need to spend a significant amount of time to train your team that you outsource to.
5 Secrets to Flawless Customer Service Outsourcing
Before you start to look for help from outside sources it is essential to develop an action plan of how you can achieve your goals in customer service.
Here are five key strategies to optimize outsourcing of customer service procedures.
1. Establish Brand Voice and Tone Guidelines
If it's through telephone, text, or even through your logo the way your customers interact with you is a testament to your interactions with them.
So it is important that when you work with external support staff it should be exactly like your in-house team.
- Develop a set of guidelines for your brand that outline what your company's brand guidelines can and cannot communicate.
- Think of scenarios they could be confronted with in the future, and assess their response to the scenario.
- Let your children see Dilbert cartoons on loops so that they are able to deal with difficult people.
(Okay this one could be a bit of a stretch, however the two others are certainly not a stretch.)
2. Research Multiple Options
Some call centers are adept in handling repetitive or high-volume conversations, whereas others concentrate on more in-depth scenarios.
To ensure that you locate the best service to meet your requirements You should invest an extensive amount of time seeking out viable solutions for customer service. You should take into consideration the time difference, language requirements, and the minimal number of support calls, among other factors.
3. Consider Legal and Security Risks
You must examine you secure internal system before you permit anyone else to gain access to your files.
Discover which data about customers is considered to be sensitive. You can then limit access to specific data like health records, etc.
Before you sign any contracts that are binding with the service provider ensure that your legal team read the contract documents thoroughly.
4. Invest in the Right Tools
If you're planning to talk to your outsourced support team, you will need to utilize Slack and Zoom tools.
If you're charging your call center workers outsourced for their time, Time Doctor is a fantastic alternative. It calculates your pay automatically in accordance with the hours actually employed.
5. Set Aside Time for Training
Whatever your schedule, you'll have to devote a significant portion of your time to educate your staff.
Why is training so crucial to Customer Service?
The quality of customer service can determine the success or failure of your business.
After one bad incident, 51% of customers have never done business with the company again!
In addition, the fact that customers are significantly greater likely leave negative reviews due to one bad experience with a service.
This all shows how important it is to maintain the highest level of customer service in all times.
Which Type of Customer Service Should You Choose?
After you've decided outsourcing is the right choice for your needs then it's time to investigate the various kinds that are available for customer support.
Here are three kinds of customer service tasks that you can outsource:
Support for email is usually a secure outsourcing choice due to the fact that the most clients don't need to receive a response in a matter of minutes it takes 24 hours to respond. standard in the industry to receive a response.
This allows the customer service agent ample time to investigate any issues and address the customer with the appropriate answers, increasing customer satisfaction.
The use of email also removes one of the biggest consumer complaints about outsourcing customer service - difficult understanding the rep or understanding the representative.
Tips for success Use the software that comes with an sharing inbox feature that lets your entire team be able to access and reply to all emails in one place, whether they come from clients or sales leads is among the easiest ways to ensure that everyone is current.
2. Call Centers
call centers can be a great choice, particularly if have a lot of interactions with customers.
If you opt for this method, you need to select the right contact center you choose carefully.
Representatives may take on many inbound as well as callers every day from different organizations and employee turnover rates could also be a problem.
For more details, look into our comprehensive outsourcing for call centers in our guide.
3. Social Media
Alongside traditional methods Many companies manage customer service issues via social media sites such as Twitter as well as Facebook.
A customer's query can typically be addressed with an instant response, which makes Twitter's 280 characters a great method of communicating. Additionally, customers can leave messages and receive quick responses without waiting.
Small and large companies also take a proactive approach by searching their company's identity on social media to locate complaints or issues they can answer.
How to Find Kickass Customer Service Professionals?
Here are some tips you can employ when selecting an outsourcing customer service team:
A. Hiring a Call Center Team
If you're a business owner, should you be considering a certain contact center for outsourcing your customer support needs be aware of these things:
1. Primary Language
It's difficult for both the client and the agent when barriers to communication in the form of language prevent the ability to communicate clearly and effectively.
If you decide to outsource customer service on an area in which this could be a concern, look into the service aspect through an experiment call to make sure that it doesn't affect the quality of service.
You can search online for forum or blog posts in which customers are able to post reviews for the customer service. There are consumer reviews that will give you more insight into the normal customer's experience.
Another method to ensure top-quality customer service while outsourcing is to look for companies that offer incentive programs to the customer service rep.
Gamification can help improve the quality of customer service and helps agents reach their goals and measure results.
Certain call centers offer tied bonuses that permit employees to earn more per hour or even a bonus if they meet their expectations. Some call centers also offer points-based reward systems which allow team members redeem points to win rewards.
4. Call Monitoring Software
A lot of companies that are growing utilize software for call centers to record all or a portion of customer service calls and then review them frequently.
Monitoring calls allows you to give agents at call centers feedback about their performance. If the system records every call, it can be used to solve customer service issues that have escalated or to satisfy legal requirements.
Knowing that a phone call can be recorded could go quite a way to energizing call center workers to offer outstanding customer service.
5. Test Calls
Before you choose your ideal call center Find out which of their customers are and make a trial calling as a client.
It'll provide you with a practical glimpse of how your customers calls will be dealt with. It will also give you some idea as to whether you're looking to hire a company handling customer service to run your customer service functions.
B. Hiring a Remote Worker or Freelancer
If your customer support department is in need of outsourcing but doesn't require a great deal of staff, then hiring independent customer service representatives could be an solution for you.
When hiring a freelancer to help you outsource your support task Consider the following factors:
1. Employee Characteristics
There are several important characteristics that will determine if a prospective employee is a good match for your support team for example:
- The employees you hire must be enthusiastic about their work.
- They must establish long-term career objectives to ensure the remote service representative will remain motivated even when you're not there.
Let's admit it. Customer service isn't easy.
You'll need to be cool and collected while engaging with frustrated customers throughout the day long.
This is the reason the requirement for Emotional Intelligence (EQ) can be an essential component of customer service. Your support manager or you are encouraged to look for an agent outsourced with the highest emotional intelligence.
2. Specialized Job Boards
In certain instances your customer support representative might be asked to respond to difficult technical questions.
Instead of looking for freelancers on websites like the Up work or Freelancer You should look into some specific job websites.
You are looking to find a support person for your business? Try vcaretec.com.
Are you in search of experienced executive support? Try Support Drive Jobs.
Are you looking for skilled workers from a different region? Try Remote OK.
References HTML1 Referrals are an underrated resource for hiring remote workers.
Typically, it provides the top candidates at affordable prices.
Based on the findings of an ERIN report, employee referrals save an employer $7500 or more per employee.
You could ask other skilled customer service managers within your circle for advice for hiring remote workers or freelancers.
3 Top Customer Support Outsourcing Companies
Many companies provide customer support outsourcing. Let's take a look at three top three:
Triniter is a US-based service firm with branches located in India as well as the Philippines.
They have high retention rates for customers and recurrence rates, which proves their superiority. The advanced protocols for information security are in line with international security standards.
They can provide assistance via email and social media channels as well as SMS, online chat support, video calls, etc.
Accenture is an outsourcing leader which provides customer satisfaction and additional services such as banking, healthcare and lead generation, among others. They have over 200 locations Accenture serves 19 industries, and are embracing changes.
Utilizing the power of digital, these companies can help the customer to create experiences that can bridge the gap between the brand's promises and the expectations of customers, and improve the loyalty of customers.
3. Mindy Support
Mindy Support is among the top-ranked Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) firms that provide customer support services, lead generation and market research.
They provide an in-house project management team and the assurance of quality for every project. The company that provides outsourcing services to customers also offers 24 hour inbound and outbound customer assistance via multilingual live chat or phone WhatsApp and other channels.
How to Switch to An Outsourced Support Team?
Transitioning to an outsourcing support team can be difficult But here's five steps to assist you in the transition process:
1. Lawyer Up
If you make a deal with an outsourcing partner you must pay focus on the agreement.
Get an attorney to go over the documents you don't know. They are able to anticipate what you might require in the future.
Alongside describing how the partnership will operate and what the expectations are in the contract, it should have provisions that permit you to end the relationship. This could include specific quality standards or could be a period of time that will allow the contract to be due to be renewed.
Take the time to review the service agreement on levels and think about whether they specifically address your company's needs.
For instance, most call centers are focused on handling time -- which is the average length of time a customer service rep spends with each customer. They try to limit handling time to just a few minutes per caller, thereby providing the most efficient customer service.
Although this can be profitable since it allows the representatives to take on more calls in the course of their work, this could be detrimental to the quality of service that each customer receives.
A person who is feeling pressured to meet a time measurement might not be willing to elaborate on a topic or provide additional options.
It could be beneficial to highlight other important metrics that are relevant to the goals of your business in your service level agreement.
2. Appoint a Manager
It is essential to keep an ongoing relationship between your current and outsourced team.
How can you accomplish this efficiently?
Employ an internal employee whose job is to assist in communications. This employee will keep both parties up-to-date on what's going on or assist in transmitting messages.
Your employee's "link" will help to avoid confusions regarding expectations as well as training, performance and also procedures.
3. Plan Your Projects
If you are outsourcing an call center it is necessary to establish an organization with three key members -the project manager, Process Migration Manager, as well as the 'link employee.
If your customer service needs are intricate, you may require a hiring a technology manager too.
Transfer responsibilities to the project leader from the start until the end of the transition.
Your project manager should be able:
- Facilitate the process of training for the new recruits
- Resolve problems with communication among the members of the team.
- Create monthly reports for each month.
However, your migration manager must be capable of:
- Document and map the processes of customer service.
- Develop the right documents and guidelines for training procedures.
- Learn from each other within the team.
4. Share Knowledge
It is necessary to create the common information base to set up a shared knowledge base for the remote team of customer support. This means that you need to make documents such as:
- Product Instructions
- Training Videos
- Customer Interaction Guidelines
- Answers to FAQs
In addition, some applications like such as Slack Time Doctor and Click Up have an initial onboarding procedure. Therefore, you'll be required to collaborate with your migration coordinator to guide your team that you outsourced to throughout the process.
5. Set Up a Review System
While the goal hiring an outside company is to allow you to focus on other things but it's vital that you make sure they're performing the job well.
You must keep an eye on the quality of customer service you provide your customers. Do periodic tests to get a firsthand experience of customer service.
In addition, you should review any metrics or data available to find areas that are in need of improvement like dropped calls, repeated customer service calls in order to resolve the same issue, or any other issues with service.
Read these 26 helpful tips to manage your virtual support team.
In addition, offering excellent customer service is the mark of a great outsourcing service for customer service.
The outsourcing of your support requirements will allow you to keep up with the highest standards of customer service, without the expense of creating an internal team starting from scratch.
What have you experienced with the customer service outsourced team?
Tell us about it in the comments below.