What You Need to Know Before Outsourcing Customer Service
If you’ve ever doubted the importance of customer service, consider the last time you sat on hold with a service provider, ready to scream. Customer service is the foundation of a long-term relationship between your company and the customers it serves.
One of the most common reasons customers leave providers is because of poor customer service. Customers who have had positive customer service and support experiences, on the other hand, are 14 times more likely to strengthen their relationship with a company.
If you’re looking for strategies to improve your business’s customer service, outsourcing customer assistance should be on your list. You may assure you’re offering clients the experience they desire by outsourcing to a trusted partner. This will keep them loyal to you.
Why is Customer Service So Important?
It’s important to understand how crucial your choice of an outsourced customer service firm is to your company’s overall success.
Here are some stats:
- 54% of consumers worldwide claim they have higher expectations for customer service than they did just one year ago (Microsoft).
- 65% of buyers say that a positive customer service experience is more influential than great advertising (Temkin Group).
- 69% of buyers say they will spend more with a company that provides good customer service (American Express).
Customer service outsourcing firms devote their time, effort, and resources to enhancing their service and staying current with industry standards. When it comes to customer assistance, they’ve had numerous opportunities to polish their skill and strategy.
Most of the time, you can rely on their service expertise to implement the best approach for your company and customer base. This allows you to concentrate on what you do best.
As you consider outsourcing customer service duties for your company, there are a few questions that will help you weigh the benefits of different providers and determine h0w best to prepare yourself for an outsourcing partnership.
What Does the Outsourcing Provider Consider Important When Hiring Team Members?
Customer service teams are not all created equal. When you’re looking for a customer service team, you should inquire about the hiring methods of the team leaders. It’s crucial to know if they’re hiring customer service representatives who are compatible with your business model.
Are they bringing on board team members who are experienced in resolving customer concerns quickly and in a high volume, as well as those who are best suited to dealing with basic issues? Or are they hiring people with customer service experience in more complex and technical fields so they can communicate effectively with people who are having specific software problems?
You can get a better understanding of whether potential outsourcing partners will successfully interface with your customer base by asking them about the types of team members they bring on (and determining which is the best fit for you).
Does Your Company Culture Align With Theirs?
Culture refers to the environment in which your team works every day, as well as the ways in which employees communicate, form connections, and solve problems. Culture is the most intangible factor that can have a significant impact on outsourcing success.
Although culture is the sum of all of the team’s attitudes and behaviors, it usually starts at the top and works its way down. Speaking with the leadership of your outsourced team will give you a good idea of what’s important to them and whether their culture will mesh well with yours and provide a seamless experience for your customers.
A few of the cultural questions you’ll want to consider asking are:
– How do you see the industry’s technology evolving? (to see if they’re focused on innovation or receptive to it)
– What methods do you use to communicate in groups? (to have a better understanding of how information is conveyed)
– How can you ensure that your employees feel supported and prepared to interact with customers? (to see if they think training is important)
– How do you deal with challenging consumer issues? (to find out if they specialize in high-volume or high-complexity transactions)
How Do They Feel About Training?
Training is an expensive investment, especially when done correctly. Investing in training, on the other hand, usually pays off since team members gain more confidence and competence.
Understand the training processes of possible outsourced support partners while communicating with them. You might wish to ask the following questions:
– Do they have full-time trainers on staff to assist with their employees? This is a good sign that the company is committed to a training-based culture.
– What are the obligations of the trainer? They should preferably design training materials and instruct your outsourced crew on the intricacies of your business.
They should collaborate closely with Quality Assurance staff to identify areas that require further attention and communication. Finally, they should devote time to one-on-one coaching and communication to improve individual team members’ skill sets and their ability to connect with customers and resolve issues quickly.
Do They Have a Strong Track Record?
While you should trust the outsourcing partner with whom you’re developing a relationship, you shouldn’t have to take their word for it when they say they’re successful.
If you’re considering hiring an outsourced customer support team, don’t be afraid to inquire about how they’ve handled similar situations with previous clients.
Case studies and other information demonstrating outsourcing experience should be available from the finest outsourced customer service teams. They should have clientele who are proud to brag about the accomplishments they’ve made together.
Who is Responsible for Different Steps in the Customer Service Process?
You must define who will be responsible for which tasks between your two teams and where baton handoffs will occur.
If certain issues must be escalated to your team, you’ll need a well-defined process that outlines who will be in charge and how resolution will be communicated. You should also specify how client support issues should be communicated to your customer service team members.
If communication appears to be addressed frequently, it’s because it’s critical to a successful outsourced customer support relationship. One of the most important indicators of potential long-term success is investing time at the start of an outsourced relationship to define your parameters and goals.
At the same time, you should know who on your team will be in charge of the outsourced team’s relationship. This way, you can have a single point of contact who will streamline communication and keep everyone on the same page.
What Are Your Goals?
When you invest money in an outsourced service, your colleagues and senior leadership team will want to know how the money is spent. You’ll also want to have set details that you track as a business leader to look for opportunities to improve your overall service and support.
Consider what types of measurements are crucial to you before speaking with the leaders of the outsourced teams you’re considering. They should tell you about some of the metrics they track and publish on a regular basis for their clientele.
They can also comment on the objectives you’re considering to see if they’re appropriate for your sector and market. You might want to set standards for the following items:
– Percentage of issues resolved on the first call
– The average time it takes to handle a call
– NPS (Number of People Who Would Recommend)
– Retention of customers
Outsourcing Customer Service Is an Important Decision
A good customer service company will provide transparency into customer conversations and feedback, as well as their specialized knowledge to aid in data analysis.
When deciding on your customer service outsourcing partner, choose one that can provide in-depth insights from the information they collect. This will help you improve your business strategy, give you much-needed feedback on your product or service, and will also help you expand your knowledge base.
Customer service outsourcing comes in a variety of types, price points, and levels of service quality. When you know what to look for, it’s much easier to discover the right fit for your business.
If you have any questions, reach out to Noon Dalton to discuss your customer service outsourcing needs. We’re always ready to provide more information.