What is outsourced customer care?
Outsourced customer service is when a company hires a third-party service to handle inbound and outbound calls with customers. Outsourcing is a word associated with a lot of stereotypes, some of which are ‘cutting corners’, ‘imperfect customer care’, and ‘lower quality. But for a lot of businesses, customer support outsourcing services are not about cutting corners, it’s about offering the best service quality to fulfill the customer service needs of your customers.
Customer care is used to give the customers the best services and positive experiences that drive client loyalty and improve your brand’s reputation. But the stereotype of getting subpar customer care and the risk of quality is a big concern among companies that are in the decision-making process for outsourcing customer care.
But there are ways to outsource without sacrificing excellent customer support. Let’s show you how!
1. Better use of technology and resources
For small eCommerce services, investing in technology and the latest resources might be tedious because they might not have the funds or they might not have the knowledge. In this case, outsourcing to other companies for customer service is feasible.
2. Short response time
If you have an outsourcing company for customer care, it will reduce your response time effectively, guaranteeing efficient and fast customer service. Due to the continuous availability of people to handle calls, more customers will have their queries and problems resolved, which in turn will make them satisfied and happy.
When you hire contract workers you don’t pay them a fixed salary or employee benefits. You also don’t need to furnish customer service reps with equipment, nor do you need to provide office space for customer care.
4. Multilingual service
For larger companies, customers are likely to be spread out across various countries. If your customer base is likely to speak another language like Japanese or Spanish, you can gain access to them by outsourcing your customer service. This also helps you gain the confidence of your customers because they know that their questions will be answered properly without a language and communication barrier.
5. Niche-specific customer service
One of the pros of outsourcing customer support is that generic customer support is out and actual specialists are hired to assist customers with their problems. This does away with rote answers and gives way to actual value-based customer support.
6. Less headache
Machine learning and AI-powered contact center software make handling customer support all at the same time significantly easier than ever before.
Even though the pros of customer support are many, there are some cons that we can’t ignore. These are:
1. Decreased control of business
Traditional outsourcers and their agents may not consider your company’s overarching brand image while handling requests. You do not have control over what the customer hears on a day-to-day basis, because you cannot micromanage the outsourcing company.
2. Rigid call center contracts
A lot of times, businesses might lock themselves into rigid contracts which are long-term and might over time, turn into a burden, financially speaking.
3. Decreased customer satisfaction
Due to the offshore outsourcing of customer service, sometimes there is a decrease in the quality of the service and this reduces customer satisfaction. Also, outsourcing your customer support to a third party might make it difficult to manage the quality of your services.
4. Cultural barriers
When the customer support agency is offshore, the employees might not have the right knowledge about the communication guidelines and the culture of the country/company.
5. Privacy concerns
Even though outsourcing custom support can be beneficial to reduce the workload of your company, it can hamper privacy because sensitive information goes to the customer care companies.
6. Your business might not be their top priority
Since this is a company that only handles customer support, your company might not be their top priority. No matter how much you want outsourced reps to be passionate about your company, due to the number of clients they work for, it is not a guarantee. Hiring the more expensive, dedicated agents could tackle this problem, but again, it will cost you.
What should you need to know before hiring customer support providers?
1. What kind of expertise do they have?
Before you hire a customer support service, do a little bit of research about them and ask whether they have worked with companies in your domain before. Consider how they might affect your company if they have never worked in your domain before. To be sure, hire a customer support service that has worked in your domain before.
2. How are their employees trained and hired?
Do your research about how the employee training is conducted in their company. Again, this ties directly with what their expertise is and how they train their employees in handling clients and calls pertaining to their company.
3. How is quality control maintained?
Make sure you interview companies about how they maintain quality control. Maintain daily communication with the company and ask for call recordings. Additionally, ask for how they manage angry customers and appease them.
4. What are their security measures?
Since you are trusting this company with valuable customer data, ask about the security measures they have in place in order to maintain client confidentiality. Also, ask who manages their network and has access to it.
As we established earlier, customer support is viewed through a stereotypical lens and should not be made assumptions about that early on. All this information is intended to help you make an informed decision about customer support, whom to hire, what kind of questions you should ask before hiring, and what are the pros and cons of outsourcing customer support.