If you ever have doubts about how important customer support is, look back at when you were almost ready to scream while kept on hold with the internet service provider.
Customer support is nothing short of the backbone of your relationship with the ones you serve.
A bad customer experience is a top reason for customers to leave and never look back at a business. On the other hand, 89 percent of consumers are happy to make other purchases after positive customer service experiences.
And outsourcing customer support is one of the best ways to make sure your customers feel valued and heard.
But in order to do it right with your outsourcing initiative, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind. And that’s exactly what we are going to discuss today.
Things To Take Into Account When Outsourcing Customer Support
Hiring support outsourcing companies does not have to be too difficult if they know how to go about things. So here we are showing you the guideline in that regard:
#1 Outline brand tone and voice guidelines
Irrespective of whether you choose phone or text, your customers get used to your way of interacting with them. Thus, when you go for customer care outsourcing, they need to sound just like your in-house team.
Here is a general idea of how you can do that:
- Make a set of complete brand guidelines that clearly specify what the team is allowed or not allowed to say.
- Use various hypothetical scenarios that the service providers might need to face in the future and assess how they react to those situations.
- Get them to watch ‘Dilbert’ toons in a loop to know if they can deal with difficult and rude people.
(Fine, you can skip that last one, but the other two are mandatory!)
#2 Make sure the company has a dedicated training policy
When done right, training is nothing short of an investment. Moreover, in technical support outsourcing companies, the training pays for itself because it makes the team more competent and confident.
And, in a world where customers are 65 percent likely to spread their negative feedback after one bad service interaction, you need a competent team.
So, try to get an idea about the training process of your chosen company. You can ask the following questions to technical support outsourcing companies in this regard:
- Are there full-time trainers working with the team members? It shows dedication to a training-based ecosystem.
- What are the responsibilities of a trainer? Trainers can both create general training material as well as train the team on the finer nuances of your company.
Additionally, they need to coordinate closely with the quality assurance professionals to know more about the areas where extra follow-up communications and attention might be necessary. Finally, they need to devote time to direct communication and coaching to make contact center outsourcing individual team members more skilled. The idea is to improve the overall capacity to reach out to the customers and efficiently resolve issues.
#3 Consider the company’s top priorities in talent sourcing
Not every contact center outsourcing service is the same. Therefore, while searching for your right fit in terms of a customer support team, it is important to talk to the team leads about the hiring practices.
Are they hiring customer support experts that suit your business model?
Are they getting team members who are good at resolving a high volume of customer concerns quickly and who are suitable to address basic concerns?
Or, are they focusing more on hiring the team members with experience in the diverse technical and complex fields so that they can communicate better about issues related to software and online tools?
You need to question your potential outsourced sales partner regarding the kind of team members they have onboard to determine the right fit for your business. In addition, it will get you a clearer understanding of if the contact center solutions providers can successfully interact and grow your customer base.
#4 Know more about the track record of the company
Of course, you need to trust the contact center solutions providers you choose. But that does not mean you will have to take their word for it as they tell you how amazing and successful they are.
So, if you have decided to go for an outsourced customer service team, do not hesitate to ask questions regarding how they have dealt with previous clients with similar needs as yours.
A company that has done good work in this regard will not hesitate to show you actual examples of what they are doing or have done in the past. They will even have clients who proudly talk about the kind of outcomes they have received from the partnership.
#5 Determine the ownership of various steps in the process
While figuring out how to work with support outsourcing companies, you need to clearly outline who will be accountable for which task between the two teams.
There will always be specific issues that you must escalate to your in-house team. But for that, there has to be a clearly defined process covering who takes over at what point and how resolutions are communicated. It also needs to cover how the customer support problems for clients are communicated back to the customer team members.
Now, if you think that we have been saying the word ‘communication’ a lot, it is simply because its significance can never be stressed enough in this case. When you invest your time at the start of a contact center outsourcing relationship and define the goals and parameters, you set yourself up for potential long-term results.
Simultaneously, you also need to be sure about the person or people on your team who will conduct the relationship with your outsourced team. Again, maintaining a main point of contact helps streamline communication and keeps everyone involved on the same page.
#6 Sit down to set a budget for customer care outsourcing
Outsourcing customer service let IBM cut their customer communication cost by as much as 97 percent. Yes, ‘cut’ but not eliminate altogether! Of course, there is a cost, but you can offset that through your savings from all those things you will not have to pay for any longer.
When you outsource, you need to invest less in other hard costs, such as phone systems, computers, buildings, and so on, i.e., every physical resource needed for a team consisting of support personnel.
Along with that, the contact center solutions providers will need to deal with ongoing training, continuously improve their expertise, confidence, and knowledge about your business. Also, you are free from the arduous tasks of hiring and holding on to in-house support team members.
So, in terms of the rest of the expenses of making the outsourced team work for you, figure out how far you can stretch your purse strings.
#7 Clearly define the goals you plan to achieve with outsourcing
Since you are investing your money in an outsourcing company, your company's senior leadership will need to have a clear and fair understanding of the way the funds are getting spent. As a business owner or leader, you will need to have the details to track and find out prospects to enhance your overall support and service.
So, devote some time to thinking about the kind of assessments that are crucial to you. Then, finally, discuss it with the team leaders of those contact center outsourcing teams you are in talks with. Let them give you insights into their methods to track and send reports to clients like you.
In the process, they can also start weighing in on all the goals you are taking into consideration to determine if they suit your market and industry. Regarding this matter, some of the potential items that you might want to set the benchmarks for are:
- Customer retention
- Average call handle time
- Percentage of contacts handled with first-call resolution
- Net Promoter Score
#8 Figure out the kind of customer service you need
As you have figured out that your company needs outsourced customer service, it is time to consider all the different types of options you have.
In this regard, you will have to figure out the goals of your customer interaction.
For instance, you can set up email support services. These are safe bets because customers do not expect an instant reply.
Outsourcing customer support will become easy for you once you follow the above guidelines. And when you want to make it even easier and effective, you can rely on the experts at Wow Customer Support. From email, chat, to technical support, and more, nothing is out of bounds for us. So, get in touch with us and don’t forget to leave your comments! Also, do like and share the blog.