If you spend more of your time replying to customer queries than growing your business, it’s time to hire some help. Entrusting your front-line customer interaction to an e-commerce call center seems like a leap of faith.
But for most e-commerce businesses, customer service outsourcing is a wise decision. The benefits are reduced costs relating to staffing and training, space and infrastructure, and pressure on your internal team when hiring and onboarding employees for roles with high turnover.
E-commerce companies that no longer want to endure the burden of having in-house customer support can consider several outsourced solutions, such as voice and email outsourcing. Selecting the best call center partner for your business needs should be a strategic decision.
Here are some qualities to note when looking for a call center for e-commerce:
Flexible Pricing Model
E-commerce businesses that outsource customer support can expect to pay only for what they need. It’s not atypical to outsource bits and pieces of customer service operations. You might choose to retain certain functions and outsource only seasonal overflow or coverage for off-hours.
Or you might keep phone support in-house and outsource only interactions done via live chat, email, social media, and other channels. Since solutions come in different shapes and sizes, it’s important to discuss with your call center partner exactly what you’d like them to manage.
Discuss your needs and requirements so that they can create the right-size solution for your specific operational needs.
Cloud-based Contact Center
The recent social climate has shown everyone how vital cloud-based systems can be. Many on-site call centers completely shut down when governments started mandating closures in the past year.
Cloud-based call center solutions provide resilience during disasters. Cloud-based systems are considerably inexpensive to scale up. Deployments with these systems also happen easier since they can readily integrate with existing systems.
Operational Cost Savings
The end goal of customer service outsourcing is to free up company resources so that a business can focus on revenue drivers. To get the best bang for your buck, understand the cost savings that come with outsourced customer support and how they contribute to your bottom line.
Start by assessing how much you’re spending on all facets of in-house customer service. Understanding exactly how much your company runs in-house customer service costs helps contextualize outsourcing as a value-added proposition.
Then when it comes time to work with an outsourcing partner, you are on a better footing for fitting a service level agreement into your business requirements.
An external call center is an extension of your business. The partnership combines the technical components—business platforms, systems, client database—and, even more importantly, supports the brand philosophy and culture of the client company.
Typically, during the early stages of the partnership, you explore discovery sessions. This is where operations managers from both companies meet and decide on specific business needs and requirements.
This is an excellent opportunity to discuss in detail the vision for the brand, the definition of brand excellence, and the role that customer support plays within the larger context of a company. Moreover, you need to answer some questions. What makes up the brand voice, and how do you want consumers to perceive customer experience?
You need to be ready to communicate a clear picture of what this looks like and expect your external customer support department to reflect that image in its day-to-day operations.