There are several factors you should consider before entering into a partnership, and several to keep in mind as the partnership develops.
1. Outsource Customer Service: Establish clear goals, strategy, and expectations?
Before considering outsourcing your customer services, you need to develop a customer service strategy and be clear on your objectives. If your goal is to reduce expenses, set a target of how much you want to save before you enter into a negotiation. If you are more interested in allowing your staff more time to focus on core tasks, make sure the outsourced team can cover the non-core tasks your staff was doing before. If what you’re looking for is an increased level of customer support carried out by trained professionals, then make sure your potential BPO partner understands this and can deliver. Whatever your goals may be, they must be agreed upon at the top-levels of your company.
2. Outsource Customer Service: International or domestic?
Outsourcing internationally is almost always cheaper than outsourcing domestically. A comparably low cost of living can allow for the recruitment of top tier support professionals. You can pay them a comfortable wage while still spending significantly less than you would for support agents of a similar caliber in your home country.
Another major benefit of outsourcing internationally is the large pool of talent available. Some countries are home to millions of customer service professionals looking for meaningful work with growing companies. For companies that wish to increase their global reach, there’s the opportunity to hire multilingual support employees that can communicate with your new customers effectively. Add to this the ability to cover multiple time zones so your customers can expect round the clock care and there are many reasons to outsource internationally
Domestic outsourcing can be more expensive but offers cultural and linguistic familiarity. If most of your customer base is domestic, support agents based in your home country may more easily understand your customer’s issues and concerns. However, with the proper training and cultural familiarization, international agents can handle pretty much any question that domestic agents can.
3. Outsource Customer Service: Considering legal and security risks?
Always review your internal security before allowing external, third party employees access to your system. Be aware of the risks related to sensitive customer data that may be provided to them. Restrict access to certain information such as your client’s credit card details, health records, etc.
When you strike a deal with a third party, you need to pay close attention to the contract. Have your legal team, or hire an attorney, to review any paperwork and don’t be afraid to suggest changes or additions if needed. Don’t forget to include conditions that allow you a quick and easy ‘divorce’ should you wish to discontinue the relationship at any point.
4. Outsource Customer Service: Do research on your potential partners
Search for forum posts, blogs, or social media that mention clients of the company you are interested in as a partner. Consumer reviews can give you great insight into a typical customer service experience. Conduct test inquiries by calling or messaging the customer service of your potential partner’s clients.
Other factors can also show the effectiveness of a customer service team. Obtain statistics from your potential partner and analyze their average handle time, first contact resolution, as well as other metrics that can shed light on their productivity.
Learn how this company monitors its quality assurance, how many calls they take into account, and how transparent their rating system is. The absence of adequate quality control may indicate low responsibility and bad service.
5. Focus on training your Customer Service Outsourcing partner
One of the main reasons businesses outsource customer service is to reduce costs related to training. While a reputable BPO partner will provide highly-trained customer support agents with experience handling different situations you still need to work to ensure your new partner understands your business culture, your customer demographics, and how they like to interact with your brand. Your company’s voice is its identity. Your customers are used to the way you speak to them whether that’s through a text, phone call, or through your marketing. An outsourced customer support team should sound exactly like your internal support staff. So how do you train your outsourced support team?
You could create a set of guidelines that specify what words or phrases your team can say or which ones they should avoid. Conduct role plays that portray hypothetical scenarios that they may have to face in the future and guide and correct their reactions. You would also need to set up a shared knowledge bank for your outsourced customer support agents to use as a reference. This might include a product manual, training videos, customer interaction guidelines, and answers to FAQs.
6. Maintain communication with your customer Service outsourcing partner
Just like any marriage, excellent two-way communication is the key to success. There needs to be sustained and ongoing discussions about the things that are going well and the things that aren’t going so well that need improvement. Your partner needs to be kept in the loop about feedback from customers too. Any important information relevant to your in-house staff about changes to your policy, product line, or services, also needs to be relayed to your outsourcing partners as soon as possible.
You could consider appointing an internal member of staff whose duty it is to facilitate communication between the parent company and the outsourcing partner. This should help to prevent mishaps like forgetting to keep your partner informed and updated. It should help to avoid misunderstandings about expectations, training, performance, and procedures as well.
Great customer service is the hallmark of a great company and outsourcing can help you to scale up your business and lower expenses all while maintaining a high standard in customer service.
Whether it’s in-house or outsourced, customer service is critical to the growth of your business and your customers will be the ultimate judges of its quality. That’s why it’s so important to do research and make an informed decision before entering into a partnership with a BPO service provider.
Experience, skills, geographical location are all important factors when deciding if a partnership is right for you but remember, whether you outsource one business process or many, the goal is always the same: to reduce your burdens so that you and your team can focus on growing your business.
8. Pure Moderation is an experienced customer service outsourcing partner
As a global BPO vendor specializing in a range of services, including customer service, our priority is to provide affordable solutions that are custom-tailored to the individual needs of our partners. Every business is unique and has specialized needs. We offer bespoke services to suit any industry and size of organizations and offer the ability to quickly scale up or down as needed to suit changes in business needs and goals.
With a large pool of highly-competent customer service agents with a perfect blend of skill, expertise, and experience, our clients can get an edge over the competition with our flexible and reliable customer support services.
Working with us allows your business to operate efficiently, cost-effectively, and with insight into the ever-increasing amount of data your business produces.
Streamlining your operations is crucial when trying to achieve future growth and vital functions such as data management must, therefore, be handed over to the professionals.
To learn more about outsourcing your customer support services and the value that it can bring your business,
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