In any business, the customer is regarded as the king, that’s why companies must go out of their way to provide exceptional customer service.
Customer service, though, consists of many different aspects. As the more the business grows, the more complicated it becomes. It may even come to a point that in order to maintain a high level of customer satisfaction, you might need to consider customer service outsourcing.
But before you jump the gun, here are some of the most important Ws that you must ask yourself.
WHO: The Right Customer Service Partner
Many outsourcing relationships fail because businesses choose the wrong partner. To avoid this inconvenience, develop a criteria that you can use to evaluate a potential provider.
Some of the most critical requirements include the following:
Reputation and Stability: Check the track record of the provider with companies like your own. Ask the potential partner to provide you a list of clients, who can give you an honest assessment of their experience with them. Check the history of the company to assess growth and financial stability.
Service Quality: Determine how reliable the provider is by checking the technology they use. What is their history of outages and system uptime? What type of analytics do they use to measure agent performance and customer satisfaction? Do they provide training for their agents and are they well compensated? Are they regularly monitored? Are they capable of scaling up or down depending on your requirements?
Security: Your partner will have access to your company’s most valuable information. Thus, make sure that they can be trusted. Check if they comply with industry standards and regulations. Determine what systems they use for internal controls to ensure the privacy of company and consumer data.
WHAT: Customer Service Functions to Outsource
So, you’ve decided that you want to outsource your customer service. But which tasks should you outsource, as you may choose to outsource just some of your customer service functions or all of them.
It’s just a matter of assessing the scope of your needs. The most basic type deals with telephone transactions, which only needs voice support. However, you may choose to outsource other support functions as well such as:
- Social Media
- Outbound Telemarketing
Take note that it is advisable to start with a relatively small project first when engaging with a new service provider. This will allow you to gauge their effectiveness before deciding to scale up the partnership.
WHEN: The Right Time to Start
The right time to outsource varies per company. The key to determining whether you are ready to outsource or not is when you have thoroughly assessed your current customer service needs against your capability to address them.
Analyze how much time, money, and resources you’ll need to spend on training and employing your customer service representatives. Compare that with the cost of partnering with a provider instead. Then, determine the advantages and disadvantages of both options to your company’s culture, service needs, staff skills, and resources.
It is only when you’re fully convinced that a customer service provider will add significant value to your company that you should give it a try.
WHERE: The Right Place to Look
Nowadays, there are many customer service providers that you can choose from. Searching online will already lead you to many different options. Sites such as Buyerzone can help you with your business purchasing needs, which includes finding service providers for your customer service requirements.
Based on your assessment of your needs, you can determine the type of provider you need and whether you’ll benefit most from choosing a local one or an offshore one. Check which reputable providers have been hired by other companies in your industry. Should you decide to outsource offshore, be sure to identify and contact other businesses in your country of origin to determine how well the provider can address their customer service needs.
WHY: Reasons for Outsourcing Customer Service
While cost reduction is one of the top reasons that companies decide to outsource their customer service functions, there are many other reasons for doing so. The important thing is to determine what your reasons are, so as to ensure the success of your outsourcing partnership.
Other reasons for outsourcing include flexibility and scalability, specialized industry knowledge, expert management and support staff, big data collection and analysis, quality monitoring and control, access to latest technology, and 24/7 service among others.
Your business can potentially gain many benefits from outsourcing your customer service functions. However, you must be well-prepared before entering into an outsourcing agreement with any provider. After all, you’ll be entrusting your customers’ happiness in their hands. So, you want to make sure that you make the right choices.
Learn more about how we, at Infinit Contact, can help you with your customer service outsourcing needs. We’d be happy to help.