The Lazy Man’s Guide to Customer Service Outsourcing
Outsourcing any type of work is an attractive thought in theory. It can help you save resources, cash, and occasionally, a whole lot of pressure. Customer Service Outsourcing can cut overhead costs significantly, but there surely aren’t any magic outsourcing beans that will produce the perfect customer service solution for your business. Virtual customer service does not come in a one size fits all so it’s important to know who you’re trusting to take care of your customer’s needs. Remember, it is vital that you weigh out your options, in case you are going to take the leap with any type of outsourcing where a third party will be interacting with your customers. Poor service will virtually ensure a mass migration of customers. We designed this article as a practical guide for you and we will go over some of the best practices for client/customer service outsourcing to help you decide if this type of outsourcing is the appropriate choice for the business.
What’s Customer Service Outsourcing? Deciding to outsource an area of your business simply means you’re hiring a third party to manage it on your behalf. While this article concentrates on outsourcing your customer service, almost any part of a business can be outsourced, including graphic design, billing, collections, or data entry. In the case that you are unfamiliar with outsourcing or have never tried it before, you will find that this post is exceptionally useful.
Should You Outsource? A combination/mix of several factors can help decide/determine whether outsourcing your firm’s customer service will be a good move. Important factors include: Profitability: According to the volume of customer service your business manages, it might or might not be lucrative to hire an external firm to get it done for you. Estimate the price of creating your own customer service department and compare it with the price of outsourcing. Make sure you consider all variables, including rent prices or employee compensation (representative pay) and training, equipment and supply purchases, building, and benefits for your staff.
Process of Customer Service Outsourcing Once you’ve determined that customer service outsourcing is right for you, it’s time to research your alternatives. Here’s a fast rundown of the different areas customer service outsourcing can help your business. It’s best that you find a company that can help with other areas of your business in addition to answer calls. E-Mail: E-Mail support is usually a stake that is safe to outsource. Most customers are not going to anticipate an immediate turnaround and 24 hours is the current industry standard. This window provides ample time for representatives to study any problems that are needed and react to the customer’s question to provide a well-informed response. E-mail interaction also eliminated the most common consumer complaint about outsourced customer service, which is having trouble understanding the representative who assisted due to a possible language/accent barrier. Live chat support (or even sales) is a more prompt customer service function that can be offered by your outsourcing team.
What to Look for in a Customer Support Center • If you’re contemplating a unique call center, find out who some of their customers are and do a test phone call as a customer asking a question. It’ll give you a real-world look at how your customer’s calls will be handled. It can also give you an idea of whether or not you want to employ the company to manage your customer service. • Doing an online search for sites or forum posts that mention the facility’s clients may bring up consumer surveys and reviews that can give you an idea of their customer service expertise. Reviews will show you just how thorough your potential customer service center really is. • We’ve all heard someone complain about attempting to work out an issue with a customer service representative who they couldn’t understand. It’s frustrating for both the representative and the customer when clear, powerful communication is not present. It’s very important that you research this aspect of the customer service center you are considering so that you are comfortable that your customers will not have language problems when calling in for an order, appointment, etc. • Another method to optimize your customer service outsourcing experience, is to find a company that offers incentives to their customer service representatives. Some call centers supply a bonus to their workers when they’ve surpassed goal expectations. Some can even earn free lunches, gift cards, or a point reward system that lets workers cash points in for prizes. Any fun, competitive contest or reward tends to revitalize the staff’s morale and it encourages them to provide outstanding customer service to your customers. Why? Because they are happy and excited to work! • Many companies set up a system that records some or all calls. The calls can then be reviewed on a regular basis, or whenever needed to confirm information. Monitoring calls also allows you to provide feedback to the manager about how you feel your calls are being handled. Call recordings have been known to help with resolving escalated customer service issues or for legal reasons and while most in-house customer service departments may not have this type of call system in place, outsourced customer service centers do. Another perk is that when call center employees know that each call is being recorded, it encourages them to provide outstanding service.
Making the Customer Service Outsourcing Transition 1. This may go without saying, but if you’ve decided to go with a big provider, for example, a call center, look closely at the contract. Don’t be afraid to propose changes or additions you require. The contract should contain conditions that permit you to discontinue the relationship, in addition to detailing what exactly is anticipated and how the venture will work. This may just be a period of time after, or may contain a set of quality standards that are concrete. 2. Make sure to read service level agreements as well, and consider whether they apply especially to your own company’s needs. Many call centers