Outsourcing tasks is an appealing idea for entrepreneurs. It can save you money, resources, and often, a great deal of stress. Delegating your customer service to an external team can significantly reduce these factors.
But it’s definitely not a one-size-fits-all solution, and there are no magic outsourcing beans. So should you outsource your customer service? Ask yourself if you have the budget to do it in-house and whether an outside company can do the work more efficiently?
These would of course, not be the only reasons you outsource customer support. An outsourced team may give you the ability to scale quickly especially when your business may need extra support during busy periods of the year.
So let’s take a look into things you should consider when you are deciding to outsource.
Put simply, the majority of outsourcing takes place to increase profit margins, lowering expenditure on labor and operational costs while improving the bottom line. However, the cost-efficiency of taking this approach comes into question when the wrong third party is selected to handle your customer service. Bad customer service is one of the top reasons people leave providers.
On the other hand, customers who have positive customer service and support experiences are 14 times more likely to strengthen their relationship with a business when given the chance.
Make sure when selecting a provider, you think of your customer as no one knows your customer like you do, so establish clear goals and consult your legal department. Sometimes you may be restricted by company policies on how much client info and data may be shared with a third party.
Once all your due diligence is done, watch your margins increase, and you become the hero in your workplace.
Businesses live and die by their reputation, and in the social media age, each product and service they offer is scrutinized under the microscope. Therefore, it’s vital that the highest possible standards are maintained continuously, especially for external-facing processes like customer support. Failing to take your reputation into account before outsourcing may be the biggest mistake you ever make and lose your superhero status.
Check their track record. While you should trust the partners you’re building a relationship with, you shouldn’t have to just take their word for it when they tell you how successful they are.
When you’re considering an outsourced customer support team, don’t be afraid to ask questions about how they’ve worked with other clients who have had similar needs.
Outstanding outsourced customer support teams should be able to point to case studies and other information that shows their outsourcing expertise. They should have clients who are proud to talk about the results they’ve achieved through their partnership. And you should be able to check the logos they work with on their website generally.
Many businesses aim to transform their offerings and innovate like a ‘start-up’. However, internal constraints and practices can stifle this. Established businesses investing capital in disruptive innovation should be the cornerstone of their development plans.
Outsourcing customer support to innovative vendors often breeds the best results, as internal team members may be too close to the business’ existing processes to ‘think outside the box’.
Once you begin working with your chosen partner, you must measure your customer support team’s performance using some key indicators, such as ticket volume, average response time, average resolution time, net promoter scores, and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores.
Don’t forget about customer service just because you outsourced it. You can still control the results without micromanaging the process. Continually evaluate the team’s performance to ensure they’re on the right track.
Communication & collaboration
Agile development has continued growing in popularity, with continuous communication and collaboration at the heart of innovative projects. It’s therefore vital to keep this in mind before outsourcing. Your partnership will only succeed if there’s excellent two-way communication. That means ongoing discussions about the things that are working, the things that must be improved, areas where the team needs more training, and important feedback from the customers.
Your outsourced team should act as an extension of your in-house staff, hence, they should be kept in the loop about information relevant to their work.
Customers need to hear from you frequently once they’re using your product or service. You can be sure that they’re continuing to hear regularly from your competitors even after they’ve signed a contract with you. So make sure to create frequent touchpoints.
Outsourcing is often unfairly viewed as a risky option, and although there is risk involved, this depends on the type of processes outsourced. If core business practices are offshored, the risk is huge, as you have little control over what is a central element of your organization, which can have disastrous results.
On the other hand, outsourcing customer support makes it possible to invest less in hard costs like buildings, computers, phone systems, and more – all the physical resources for a team of support personnel.
In addition, your outsourced team should manage ongoing training, continually improving your representatives’ knowledge, confidence, and expertise. And, one of the most significant benefits is the fact that you won’t be required to complete the arduous ongoing tasks related to hiring and retaining in-house customer support team members.
Reap the Rewards
Outsourcing is a key element of business today, and to write it off as unnecessary risk is short-sighted and leaves organizations at risk of being left behind by their competitors. Companies simply can’t be as efficient if they handle all tasks internally while failing to look further afield than the office floor for expert advice when aiming to disrupt the market can be a mistake that is impossible to bounce back from.
One of the most important benefits a business leader realizes when they start outsourcing is the time saved. Leaders that are taking care of everyday tasks to keep the company moving forward are normally bogged down, and there is no time and energy to focus on the core business. By identifying responsibilities that can be delegated to a service provider, like customer support, organizations, especially startups, can focus on the core of the business and achieve growth.
Aim for Success
Your customers will be the ultimate judges of your customer service, whether it’s managed in-house or by an outsourced team. So listen to them and work on a strategy that will ensure their success with your product or service.