What do you picture when you think of outsourcing customer service?
Perhaps a very large office space with a horde of headset-donning employees, mouthing the same well-rehearsed script into their mics over and over, just like this:
“Thank you for calling XYZ. You’re speaking to ABC today, how may I help you?”
And perhaps you’re right in a way. But over the past decade, customer service has evolved significantly, and needless to say, outsourcing practices have followed suit.
Today, outsourcing is about much more than just reducing your work burden and helping you scale faster. Well, it’s also about nailing your customer service strategies.
Why should you outsource customer service & support?
Making an informed decision to outsource reliable customer service support may vary on multiple factors which you should take into consideration. Maybe you have a new business with limited staff and budget, or maybe you want to focus on the core areas of your business and your current work arrangement isn’t letting you do so. Also, maybe you want to give your support offering a professional overall.
Whatever your reason, outsourcing customer support can be a highly flexible proposition that can be tweaked depending on your unique support requirements and strategy.
You can choose to outsource your entire customer success operations or only certain aspects of it like your call center, customer service chatbot, peak time inquiries support , technical support inquiries, consumer PR, PR services, etc.
What are the different types of customer service outsourcing?
The first and foremost thing to understand while deciding to outsource your customer service is there are too many options already available.
You need to carefully consider the different types of customer service, what best suits your needs, and how you leverage all benefits to excel in your customer satisfaction.
Multi-channel vs. omnichannel support
Do you think multichannel and omnichannel are the same thing?
If so, then you’re relying on myth. So, allow me to clarify it.
In multichannel customer service, you can get in touch with individual customer service channels that do not necessarily need to be integrated with each other.
For example, you’re providing your customer support across channels like TV, billboards, social media platforms, and so on. Although in every communication channel, your brand voice will be the same, your customers need to come across all those channels individually to keep updated about your brand’s current deals.
On the other hand, in omnichannel customer service, multiple channels are dedicated to providing unified customer service. Here, the focus is on enhancing your customer experience and increasing satisfaction.
For example, your customers are doing in-store shopping but still they get alluring deals on their WhatsApp.
Now, if this differentiated picture is clear to you and you have few channels to cater to and a low volume of customer requests to manage, multichannel outsourcing can be a good choice for you.
But if you’re a big giant, omnichannel customer support will be the best option as you then seamlessly manage your customers’ concerns without failing across several channels.
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Onshore vs. offshore service providers
In onshore customer service outsourcing, your business and your preferred outsourced company belong to the same country. This is mostly preferable as in this case, agents from your outsourced partner smoothly interact with your customers in their native languages within the same time zone.
For example, AM2PM Support, a leading customer service outsourcing company, based in India can interact with your Indian customers in different languages like Hindi, Bengali, Marathi, Gujarati, English, and so on.
Now, in offshore customer service, your business and your chosen outsourced partner will come from different countries. This option is typically chosen especially when your concern is to get benefits of cost-saving tax and favorable business laws along with outstanding customer support.
Shared vs. dedicated customer support
In shared customer service, customer support agents handle multiple companies at once. If your customer service doesn’t need much personalization and is fairly easy to understand, shared outsourced customer service is the most suitable for you.
In contrast, if your customer interactions are complex and need an in-depth understanding of your products, services, and brand knowledge, you should consider a dedicated outsourced customer service provider.
They work solely for your business and would be able to tailor their services according to your company’s needs. This will make your customers happy, reduce the percentage of customer churn, and increase customer retention.
Step-by-step process to collaborate with customer service outsourcing partner
Once you’ve decided to get support from your outsourcing customer service partner, it’s time to take a closer look at how to get it right.
Be precise and clear on your expectations
This first step is crucial in determining how successful customer outsourcing will be for your business.
You need to clearly understand and describe what you want to achieve and what you expect from the third party you’re outsourcing.
For example, your target is generating leads through cold calling and also at the same time avoiding annoying situations with a personalized customer experience. This is crucial as in cold calling your customers will get an anonymous call where they will first be introduced to your brand.
Now, before outsourcing cold calling support, you must have a discussion on how your outsourcing partner smartly handles the first touch point with your target prospect.
Well, spending a bit of time to think through your goals and objectives will provide you with a concise visualization. And for that, you can ask yourself some important questions before outsourcing:
Are you trying to cut costs? If so, exactly how much are you trying to save by outsourcing? Be clear and specific.
Next, it’s time to set clear expectations for the third-party company you’ll be using. Having a clear expectation of cost savings is a good start. However, you should also be asking questions like:
- What do you want them to do for your customers?
- What kind of standard are you expecting them to deliver?
- What are the different key performance metrics (KPIs) you’re setting?
- What are the expected scores?
Also, to prevent any misleading circumstances, include your legal department in discussions and set clear contractual obligations in place.
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Focus on customer-centric approach
At this stage, nobody knows your customers like you. You and your team interact most with them and understand what triggers their emotion.
You also have a good idea of what they expect from you in terms of customer service and what they’d like for you to improve upon. To cater to their needs, you can find out the quickest actionable customer support approach.
For example, you’re a leading banking service provider and your goal is to provide instant customer support. Now how do you do that? Well, the sure sorted way out is to support your customers through live chat directly on your website, just like HSBC which is based out of the UK.
By doing so, you can leverage your customers’ detailed info, understand their intent, and rock on your customers’ outstanding experience while outsourcing live chat service.
Try to find a company that shares your values and communications style, as you don’t want them to deviate too much from what you’ve already built.
You want to have a seamless transition and for the customer to perceive the outsourced team as being a part of your company.
Evaluate efficacy & reputation of outsourced partner
When it comes to customer service outsourcing, there are plenty of options out there. It’s easy to pick the wrong partner and end up with a business function that isn’t working as it should.
But how do you find the right third-party partner for your business?
Your reputation is critical and can make or break the authenticity of your business. That’s why you need to keep your sharp eyes on if your preferred outsourcing partner holds a reputation in the market, or they are freaking out about your customers’ concerns.
Also, be on the lookout for client testimonials of outsourcing partners that speak of exemplary service.
Either you can choose a third-party customer service BPO, or customer service call center, whichever suits your business needs. But before that, you need to make sure whether they’ll be able to cater to your different markets and offer services in multiple languages.
Consider how many clients you have and whether the third party can handle the work. You need to know whether they’re able to manage customer queries seamlessly on your worst and busiest days.
Your client base should never struggle to get hold of your outsourced customer service team. Pick a partner whose staff are accessible through multiple platforms such as email, online chats and social media.
Build flawless communication
The key to successful customer service outsourcing is open lines of communication.
The outsourced team needs to know what’s happening in your organization at all times. This will help them to represent your brand’s exclusive products or services accurately.
For example, if you add a new offering, they need to be made aware of it and trained on the ins and outs before launching it.
You must prioritize the fact that experts from your outsourced customer service partner shouldn’t sound like they don’t know about current happenings or they don’t understand your brand’s voice, as this will reflect poorly on your brand’s image.
Guide your outsourced experts
Even if your outsourcing partner has experienced and qualified customer service agents, you still need to provide them with adequate guidance to ensure that they understand your products or services, your customers, and their expectations.
Now, let’s take an example to understand why this is important. Imagine you’re a leading SaaS (Software as a Service) company who have expertise in building CRM (Customer Relationship Management) devices.
Although you aim to boost sales while providing exclusive features of CRM products and engaging your customers with a software sales outsourcing company, it’s not necessary that experts from your outsource partner must hold the nitty-gritty details of your product.
This is because your CRM products may contain tons of features such as a meeting scheduler, chatbot, sales cadence, and so on, and all are for different purposes.
Now you may understand the reason behind why to achieve your expected desire, you must provide them with satisfactory guidance in a timely period.
Measure support to work on KPIs
Once you have decided on your customer service outsourcing partner, you need to keep an eye on their service. The following key performance indicators are a good starting point:
- Average resolution time.
- Average first response time.
- Net Promoter Scores (NPS).
- Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
- Ticket volume.
For example, Apple uses Net Promoter Score (NPS) to generate over $25 million in additional revenue.
Apple collects insights through retail customer feedback, and NPS surveys to find detractors, reduce customer complaints, and improve its retail store experience.
Whether customers made a purchase or scheduled an appointment to try on an Apple watch, they email a survey to rate the in-store experience.
Apple carefully analyzes NPS survey comments daily and follows up with customers who score 6 or lower. In many retail stores, customer comments from NPS surveys appear on a large TV in the break room.
Apple also conducts daily meetings with the respective team to review the NPS feedback detractor comments.
The store managers also call detractors within 24 hours to determine what problems they face and what needs improvement. Managers share feedback from these calls to teach their employees how to improve customer interaction.
When they began this practice, Apple found that detractors they contacted became bigger buyers than promoters.
This simple follow-up generated over $25 million in additional revenue in a year.
Set standards for what you want these scores to be and hold your partner accountable.
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Enhance your customers’ experience with AM2PM Support & nail your business growth
To provide your customers with the best possible service, it’s crucial to choose a customer service outsourcing company with an excellent track record.
Are you ready to work with the best in the industry?
Then AM2PM Support is the solution.
AM2PM Support has played an important role in unlocking growth potential for its clients, saving lacs of rupees in training and talent costs, and converting leads faster into sales and revenue.
It provides services like inbound call center services, telemarketing services, outbound call center services and technical call support with 24/7 customer service support to ensure that your customers always receive help whenever they need.
So if you are collaborating with AM2PM Support who has a team of experienced professionals and handles all of your customer inquiries, complaints, and support needs then you don’t have to spend your time training their agents!
Moreover, utilizing AM2PM Support’s outsourcing services also helps you to focus on other important aspects of your business such as marketing, product development to grow your business revenue and succeed.
Well, AM2PM Support goes out of its way to understand your customer service outsourcing needs and make it our business to provide a team that meets those exact needs.
Still Thinking? Get in touch with AM2PM support today.