Written by Rene Mallari
In every venture, financial gain is always the main goal. Making money is a primary driver for taking business risks.
The same goes for customer service outsourcing. Perhaps you are interested in using this business strategy to reduce expenses and profit from it. But what if you don’t exactly know how to do it?
This article will show you how to use customer service outsourcing companies to improve your bottom line. Read on to find out.
1. Scalability and Flexibility
Customer service outsourcing companies offer scalability. You can use this benefit to manage costs efficiently. Your business processing outsourcing (BPO) partner can quickly scale your operations up or down based on existing and anticipated business requirements.
For instance, you expect brisk sales on your eCommerce store and the call volume to double in the coming holiday. But you also see that your current in-house customer service team will not be able to cope with a 100% rise in volume.
You’ll most likely recruit extra employees and upgrade your communication systems to meet the high demand. However, doing so means spending substantial time, money, and effort, which you currently lack as the holiday draws near.
Customer Service in a Flash
When you outsource your customer service, you acquire the right number of agents or specialists from a third-party vendor. Being short-staffed will never be a problem.
The external service provider can smoothly scale your customer support operations. Do you need 10, 20, or 30 more call center representatives soon? Not a problem. The BPO provider can quickly supply you with the right number of employees.
In addition, undertaking a time-consuming hiring process is not your concern anymore. Your BPO partner oversees the screening, interviewing, testing, onboarding, and training of the additional workforce needed for your growing tasks. Your BPO partner saves you from high overhead costs that can impact your bottom line.
As business slows down and sales reduce, your operating costs remain the same when running your in-house customer service team. You keep paying your full-time employees their salary and mandatory benefits for less work and income.
A prolonged downturn can put your business at risk of closing down. Laying off some staff to survive can be the next tough call.
With outsourcing, you only need to request downsizing from your BPO partner until your business situation improves. Your BPO partner will adapt to your specific needs and reduce service fees accordingly.
2. Multilingual Support
Many customer service BPO companies provide multilingual support. You can use this benefit to expand your product or service market. Your outside BPO vendor delivers various solutions in different languages. This enables your business to cater to the needs of international consumers.
Multilingual capabilities are best used in voice support. This customer service channel remains the most preferred and important in major markets such as Brazil, Japan, Germany, the UK, and the US.
If you plan to establish a global brand, having multilingual customer service should be a priority. More consumers will patronize your brand. They will continue buying if customer support communicates in their language.
Providing multilingual support is difficult if you run it with in-house customer service. Finding the right people who can speak additional languages to serve the overseas markets is hard. Adding to this is the high cost of hiring multilingual specialists to work in-house. A BPO provider can make a real difference here.
Some benefits of multilingual support include:
- Advantage over competitors: Multilingual support is a differentiator in markets saturated by many players, setting your business apart. The service enables you to capture specific market groups your team can serve in a more personalized way. Call center agents can also build a closer emotional connection with customers because they can speak in their native language.
- Opportunity to boost sales: When offering multilingual service, the customers of competitors who don’t have this type of support can switch to your brand. Buyers who are non-English speakers are more comfortable reaching out to customer service agents who speak their first language. The conversion rate is higher when there’s no language barrier.
- Enhanced product or service: Multilingual support enables the customer service team to receive reviews, comments, and suggestions from international customers. The feedback gathered is an excellent addition to the ones collected from your local consumer base. This extensive information is useful in improving your product or service to meet the target market’s needs.
3. Technological Advancement
Customer service outsourcing companies allow their clients access to state-of-the-art technology and tech insights. Make the most of the latest tools. Maximize operational efficiency and streamline processes for high-quality customer care.
A BPO company uses a robust customer relationship management (CRM) platform and other advanced software. With these tools, regularly monitoring work and handling large customer calls and request volumes are easy.
In addition, the BPO provider’s automation software enables you to save time and reduce risks. Automation helps customer service representatives with daily tasks. It decreases human error and enhances accuracy.
With the top-of-the-line technology, call center agents can access or generate real-time reports. It helps them determine and immediately solve problems that can arise at any time. BPO teams use technology to address customer problems in purchases and checkouts.
The Cloud: The Future of Customer Service Technology
More customer service outsourcing companies now harness the cloud’s power to revolutionize workflow. Incorporating cloud computing in customer service processes enables the outsourcing team to provide higher-quality service.
This technology provides enormous capacity and extensive features. You can integrate all applications, including CRM solutions, service desks, and other contact center software. A unified cloud-based platform leads to higher efficiency and quicker customer problem resolution.
Some BPO companies use next-generation technology with cloud customer data protection and security. Their encryption networks are on par with the world’s biggest banks. Different layers of security systems are set for all digital devices.
Third-party vendors can guarantee cloud security of all sensitive customer data. The virtual records are in a remote server instead of a hard drive. If your BPO team cannot check their computer for data, they can do so with their mobile devices.
4. Cost Reduction
Customer service outsourcing companies’ lower labor costs free up your financial resources. In particular, you can reduce fixed costs, including employee salaries and leave expenses. You save on insurance, retirement plans, and staff recruitment and training.
Meanwhile, outsourcing customer support to a BPO company is a variable cost in accounting. That means expenses can be lower or higher than fixed costs based on production or work quantity. For example, you need five full-time employees for the in-house customer service team in regular months, and the total monthly cost is $20,000.
With outsourcing, you require ten workers or $40,000 per month to meet the high demand for customer support during a peak period. Your cost gets doubled, but production increases, which is favorable to your business.
During slow months, your in-house customer service team will still cost you $20,000 per month. That will be a fixed expense (unless you decide to lay off one or two employees to reduce your financial burden).
Conversely, the outsourcing cost in this same period can go down by half or more. Your BPO partner can supply you with two agents for the time being and charge lower fees. Such scaling down can save you at least $10,000 per month while experiencing a slowdown.
5. Core Competency Improvement
Customer service outsourcing companies allow you to focus on core competencies. Profit from this opportunity by directing your time, effort, and money to high-value projects or business ventures.
BPO companies can assume many of your customer service operations, so you can pay more attention to business-critical and premium-quality tasks. You can embark on market expansion, launch new products or services, and execute sales hypergrowth plans.
Outsourcing customer service, especially in the eCommerce industry, allows you to pursue your product, service, or brand innovation to stand out from the competition.
The online marketplace is highly dynamic, and changes in product or service offerings always take place. Introducing or adding new applications, tools, features, or functionalities to your product or service helps you stay ahead of the competition.
Gaining Competitive Advantage
Outsourcing keeps you laser-focused on business growth and competitive strategies. You won’t get distracted by other tasks such as customer service.
Putting your mind to the most important parts of the business will enable you to determine the necessary competitive advantage. This position sets your company apart from the rest and makes you more profitable than your competitors.
Concentrating on core competencies through customer service outsourcing clears the way for your ongoing market growth and product or service diversification. This effort also allows you to achieve favorable outcomes, including:
- adapting to customer demands and requirements;
- enhanced price, quality, and features of products or services;
- increased production capacity;
- substantial savings;
- sustained customer retention;
- higher-than-expected revenue; and
- improved work efficiency and productivity.
Gaining a competitive advantage is the ultimate goal of core competency focus. Outsourcing helps reinforce your business edge over industry rivals.
6. Global Coverage
Many customer service outsourcing companies can provide you with round-the-clock and omnichannel customer service, helping your company expand, serve, and support a global customer base.
Customer care that a call center for ecommerce provides should be accessible anytime, including holidays, weekends, and late nights. Such availability increases your chance of keeping your consumer base. It also raises the possibility of customers placing more orders for the same product or buying new items.
Omnichannel services deliver seamless and non-stop customer interaction anytime and on any platform. Customer support can be through voice (standard telephones and mobile phones), text (live chat, chatbots, and social media), and web (forums).
If your ecommerce store offers 24/7 and multichannel customer support, it means your business never closes. Your customer service team is always there to assist online shoppers throughout their buying activity. The team resolves customer issues with the products or services before, during, and after the purchase.
New sources of revenue are yours if your business goes global through the expanded customer base and new markets made possible by outsourcing. A recent article in The Houston Chronicle explains the benefits of becoming a global company, including:
- Bigger income potential: Becoming global allows access to new revenue sources. Businesses facing limited growth opportunities in domestic markets can expand globally to grow. A company operating on a local scale has access to customers with millions of dollars worth of sales, while a business running on a global scope can generate billions of dollars.
- Greater access to diverse talent: Global operation lets an enterprise avail itself of an extensive pool of skilled human resources. Diversity in talent can result in substantial cost savings for the business. The company has the opportunity to move some of its processes to other countries with labor costs.
- More protection from market fluctuations: Going global means that the business is protected from a market downturn in one country. The company serves various markets worldwide, so it spreads the risks due to a global customer base. The gains in one area can offset a financial loss in another.
7. Customer Loyalty
Customer service outsourcing companies can improve customer experience. They efficiently resolve consumer issues and concerns about your products or services. You can cash in on this capability to enhance brand loyalty and boost sales.
Keeping customer loyalty is hard. Customers can easily pick from many similar products and services available in the eCommerce market. They can quickly switch from one brand to another, particularly if they find your customer support subpar.
With outsourcing, your eCommerce can have a dedicated team who can build, expand, and sustain customer loyalty. They can deliver a consistently excellent customer experience. Your brand image improves, your business stands out from competitors, and you get repeat purchases.
In addition, specialists can make customers feel emotionally connected to your brand when addressing customer concerns. Maintaining a high level of support experience can develop into customer loyalty at some point.
Some More Benefits
Getting new customers for market expansion is important, but companies should prioritize keeping the existing ones. An article in HubSpot names the benefits of customer loyalty, which include:
- Enlarged share-of-wallet: Share-of-wallet is the sum of money a customer pays for a particular product against the amount the online shopper spends on your competitors. Consumers spending more time and money on your products or services are more loyal to you.
- Improved word-of-mouth promotion: Consumers become brand ambassadors when they spend more time and money on your product or service. They pass on their experience with the brand to their friends, colleagues, families, and acquaintances. The word-of-mouth advertisement is effective and costs you nothing.
- Heightened trust: Customer loyalty also promotes a solid trust between your brand and customers. As long as you maintain a strong relationship, customers will keep coming back to you for repeat business. Even though your competitors offer more benefits and better prices or services, these mean little or nothing to your loyal patrons.
The Bottom Line
You can reap benefits from tapping into customer service outsourcing companies, including efficiency, expansion, and growth. These are the three most important elements to consider when outsourcing.
To make sure that you put outsourcing to good use, ask these questions:
- How will this make my customer service more efficient?
- What other business aspects might become more efficient because of this strategy?
- How can I use this to help me expand my market?
- How can I harness its capability to achieve growth?
Also, identify your business needs from the start to enable you to maximize customer service outsourcing and profit from it in the end.