When organizations talk about outsourcing, they mean delegating essential business processes to a specialized third party. This practice is common for areas like accounting, IT, and now even customer service.
Outsourcing is often beneficial to companies, both for the expertise, the third party brings and the financial savings outsourcing presents. The third-party involved will often control the daily management of the responsibilities delegated to them. This differentiates them from merely procuring the goods or services of an external firm.
The value of providing excellent customer service
If your company has a large customer base, then you need to provide efficient customer service to keep your customers happy.
Customer service reflects the culture of an organization as well as its strengths and shortcomings. Questions from customers should be given priority and must be noted courteously. Failure to do so may damage the market reputation of the company, fairly or unfairly. In today’s day and age of online reviews – customer service and reputation management is a key component of success for any company.
Why outsource customer service?
With less time at their disposal, many multinational corporations have recently begun outsourcing customer service responsibilities. Not only does it reduce their labor cost, but it also helps in saving an immense amount of time, which they can reallocate to focussing on their core competencies.
Voice- and non-voice-based customer service activities are now being outsourced to India, the Philippines, and other Asian countries owing to the abundance of an affordable but well-educated English-speaking workforce. They are ready to work in shifts to help the U.S. and other Western companies. For this reason, Call Centers have become the ultimate solution for many broad customer-based companies for all their customer service issues.
Outsourcing firms heavily invest in infrastructure and personnel. With their well-trained staff and their well-equipped infrastructure, these companies are highly capable of meeting the demands of their clients.
Benefits of outsourcing customer service
Outsourcing customer service can give businesses a cost savings of at least 20%. With all that savings, companies can invest in expansion or other profitable ventures.
Also, by outsourcing customer service, customer questions and complaints can be handled immediately and objectively. Customers do not like to wait, and when you handle their issues quickly, you improve your brand image.
Companies also benefit from outsourcing customer service by serving international customers. Call centers are available round-the-clock, which means they can serve customers day and night.
Another benefit is scalability. You can flex by easily adding and removing services based on your company’s changing needs.
Tips for outsourcing customer service
- Assess your business model
Establish your business goal, brand voice, and tone guide for your customer service team. You should know what you want to achieve as this will serve as your team’s guidance when tending to customers. Brand consistency is crucial since it is what connects the whole operation.
- Invest in training
After hiring your customer service team, you need to evaluate your onboarding process. Determine if it is informative, thorough, and will be able to answer all of your customer’s questions. This reduces room for errors.
If you do not provide sufficient training, you may end up spending more money on fixing the problems of your customers.
Invest in customer service skills training to increase your business’s chances of success when running your outsourced operations. This will help ensure you will get a higher return on your investment and positive customer feedback.
- Always ask for client feedback
Asking for customer feedback is one of the surest ways to improve your customer service methods. All types of feedback are helpful but focus heavily on the negative ones. Use them constructively to improve your strategies. Customers love companies that accept their mistakes.
Ask your customers through phone, in person, or by email. Ask them about which areas they suggest you improve. Of course, thank them for providing their honest feedback.
- Establish guideline for your brand voice
You want to develop a certain image or persona for your company. It will be used by the customer service team in all their interactions with the customers. Train your team on the style of communications you prefer for interactions.
- Research and compare your choices
Do not just focus on one outsource company. Create a list of options and research each one on your list. Review their services and costs. It is not advisable to assume that the least expensive company provides the best value.
- Ensure compliance with customer privacy and confidentiality
All customer information you share must be secured and placed on an encrypted server. You may need to restrict Social Security numbers, credit card numbers, and other customer data.
- Utilize Artificial intelligence
If you are not using AI in your business yet, especially in customer service, then you are missing out on a lot. Almost half of all businesses utilize AI in their marketing efforts. AI helps you handle customer care issues more efficiently.
Outsourcing your customer service process could be a valuable move going forward, but if you do not have a strategy for how to do it, you could end up squandering time, money, and resources. It is essential to have time to develop your team, carrying out smart AI methods, asking for comments from your market, and laying out your business goals for the most polished customer service practices.