Did you know that bad customer experience is one of the major reasons why customers forego doing business with a brand? Almost 90% of Americans see customer support as one of the most important factors when choosing a business to support or work with.
On top of that, about 78% of consumers choose not to purchase a product or service if they receive poor treatment.
Customer service is the foundation of a long-lasting relationship between you and your clients. Your organization can either succeed or fail because of your customer service system. Remarkable customer service paves the way for better customer experience retention, loyalty, and long-term benefits.
To make the most of your relationship with your support partner and ensure a positive client experience, consider these 4 tips for outsourcing customer service.
1. Quality Control Over Cost Saving
Roughly 68% of consumers agree that a kind and respectful customer service representative is the defining factor of good customer service. Knowing this alone should be enough to make you realize how significant it is to be aware of the quality control measures your outsourced customer support provider follows.
The structure of your service provider’s management is one of the primary points you need to consider. Some outsourcing firms have weak structures and provide only the minimum amount of supervision and training.
If you work with a business process outsourcing (BPO) firm that truly functions as your partner and not just a provider, you will have a better chance of building a support team with a superior management level to fulfill a higher level of quality control.
Objectives for Hiring Outsourced Customer Support
One of the primary objectives behind opting to hire outsourced customer support agents is to decrease operational expenses. Rather than forming the department internally, your outsourced customer service partner absorbs the time and costs associated with recruiting, screening, onboarding, and training. Not to mention they also shoulder the expense for the office infrastructure, office space, hardware and software cost, and employee turnover instead of you.
Excellent customer care providers will reinvest top resources to improve the aforementioned processes in a way that is tailored to your needs. They should concentrate on delivering the best service and getting the latest software and technology to simplify processes and enhance your client database.
Further reading: Tips And Advice Before You Start Outsourcing Customer Service
2. Consider Your Budget and Goals
The number one reason for outsourcing customer support is to lower costs. With outsourcing, you will no longer have to pay for employee expenses and other fixed expenses such as the cost of infrastructure. But keep in mind that outsourcing is still an investment. You are investing in a service that should help you attain your business objectives.
Allocating time and resources to an outsourced customer service partner feels more worthwhile if you are investing in a firm whose goals are in line with yours. The outsourcing partner you choose should also be committed to providing continuous training, data collection and insights, innovation, and general management of your projects.
By taking the time to set clear expectations, goals, and objectives with your outsourcing firm, you are opening the opportunity to allocate a budget that is fair, transparent and in accordance with your goals. Understanding what you want to achieve enables you to keep track of progress and find methods for improvement along the way.
3. Don’t Forget About Culture Alignment, Language, and Skills
One of our most important tips for outsourcing customer service is to always consider language and cultural alignment since these are among the deciding factors for a successful partnership.
Some key aspects of cultural alignment you need to note are the firm’s workflow, communication style, working environment, working rules and regulations, problem-solving strategies, and relationship building.
A definite way to paint a complete picture of your firm’s culture is to schedule a conversation with the outsource firm’s executive and management teams. During your conversation, you will see what is important for them and how their working environment and culture will blend with yours.
To figure out whether or not they are a firm you want to work with, ask for their outlook on the areas mentioned below as well as other specific interests you have for improving performance.
- Technology: Assess their outlook on technological innovation. This is key to ensuring your views about growth align.
- Industry: Examine their knowledge and experience in your industry and contrast their vision to yours.
- Innovation: Check the methods they have taken and their track record to get a better view of their standing about innovation.
- Communication: Get to know their communication style, methods, and policies both internally and externally.
- Team Support: Inquire how their HR department assists customer service agents during work.
- Training: Ask about training programs they have in place to ensure they are in line with what you want.
- Problem-solving: Learn the strategies they deploy to address problems both internally and with your customers,
- Recruiting: Take a look at their hiring and onboarding processes.
- Language: Ensure that their language proficiency is on par with your clients’ expectations.
- Track Record: Ask for previous customer reviews and case studies. De sure to do your own due diligence as well by contacting their previous clients and asking about their experience with your proposed partner firm.
4. Take Note of Pricing and Integration
Lastly, for our tips for outsourcing customer service, different service providers will have different pricing structures depending on the company, vertical, and industry. The most popular way to price services for customer support providers are:
With the pay-as-you-go model, you can take advantage of only paying what you consume whether that’s per minute or per resolution. This payment structure might bring up exorbitant prices when calling traffic increases. Customer service agents who are working with this model are more focused on traffic than quality.
Pay Time Up-Front
With this payment structure, you pay a set amount ahead of time. This mode of payment is beneficial when you face high-volume calls since you can get discounted prices for a longer time duration. The only downside is that you run the risk of overpaying for fees or wasting your money if you don’t end up consuming all the time you paid for.
Flat Fee Per Agent
Lastly, the flat fee per agent method allows you to pay depending on the number of agents working for you. This payment structure encourages service quality since the number of requests is limited. Conversely, you will still be paying the same amount even if call volume increases. Additionally, this type of payment method might require you to get a long-term contract.
The Bottom Line
We hope that you found our tips for outsourcing customer service useful. Ultimately, the pricing model that is most suitable for your business will depend on your call volume, customer needs, organizational goals, and the firm you’re working with. Depending on which outsourcing partner you choose, you might be able to personalize your service and add extra services such as lead generation or channel management.
Although outsourcing customer service is almost always driven by a desire for cost-saving, the price alone should not be your deciding factor when selecting the firm with which you want to work. Your goal should be to find a company that is more than a provider. What you need to find is a customer service partner that will become an extension of your company.
Finally, integration is crucial in choosing an outsourcing partner. Integration becomes even more important if your internal employees will work with your outsourced team. Being able to merge your workflows and processes will make it easier for everyone to achieve your company objectives. More importantly, your clients will receive the best treatment and experience on all points of contact.