If you are considering the option of outsourcing your customer service, we have 6 tips for you that will make it easier and effective the transition from an in-house staff to an outsourcing company.
When you can cut expenses and let an external company take care of the work more efficiently, why not go for it?! Those are 2 of the many reasons to outsource customer service, but there are more. An outsourced team can give you the ability to scale up or down quickly if you need more support during seasonal peaks or if you’re just starting out, working with an experienced team of customer support professionals makes sense, to start with the right foot.
Outsourcing customer service can benefit your company in a lot of ways, if you need to expand your business, an outsourcing partner can help cover your customer service on weekends or even 24/7, they can help fill the gaps to provide the best customer service to your clients.
The key to success is to do it right and guarantee realistic results.
Here are 6 steps you should follow to outsource customer service:
1. Set Clear Goals
You will need to approach your goals setting from two fronts: what you need and what you want from the outsourcing company.
Start with you. Why are you outsourcing?
You need to be clear on the main and secondary reason you are hiring an outsourcing partner, if you want to lower costs, then you should set a number (how much you want to save) before researching and entering a negotiation. If you are interested in having more time and staff to take action in other areas of the company you need to make sure that their roles are well covered by the outsourced team. Have clear goals and seek that all top levels of the company agree on them.
Then, you should know exactly what you want from them. What are the support team’s main goals? Provide technical support to existing clients, increase customer retention or increase the quality of the service provided, for example.
What services will be included in the agreement?
Every time you are establishing goals you should consult with your legal department for any potential legal and security issues related to hiring an outsourcing partner. In some cases companies are restricted by confidentiality policies on sharing client info and data with a third party.
2. Keep your Customers in Mind
Always keep your customers in mind when looking for the right strategy and outsourcing partner. Because no one knows your customers as well as you do. You know how they like to interact, what social media channels they most commonly use and their contact preferences.
All these details matter when outsourcing customer service. Knowing your buyer persona and your previous experiences with your customers will guide you on what services to hire and who to partner with.
The outsourced support team must work like you, solve like you and sound like you in every communication with your clients, whether it’s written or via phone call.
Know your company’s voice and work with your outsourcing partner to help them understand your language and talk like you.
And it is always best to go beyond customer support and think about customer experience.
3. Find The Right Partner
When researching for outsourcing companies, you will notice there are plenty of options out there, but they aren’t all equal. Take your time to do your research and Interview multiple managed service providers to find the best fit to your company’s needs.
If you are looking to provide customer service to your clients around the world, seek a multilingual 24/7 customer service team. Focus on the best customer service agents with the right skills and training.
Research your possible partner’s capacity to handle high-volume queries and in-depth conversations, all of these depending on your needs.
Choose a partner that can manage an all-channel approach; phone calls, online chat, email, social selling, etc. Always examine your candidates’ track record and talk if possible talk to some of their previous clients.
Cheap is not always the best option. Go for quality so you can retain more customers.
4. Train for Success
One of the most common reasons to outsource customer service is to save on in-house staff training costs, which can be a heavy weight on your budget.
Outsourcing companies already have highly trained agents with the required experience and skills to handle different situations.
Work with your provider during training to ensure they understand your culture, your customers and the quality standards as an organization.
5. Measure, Measure, Measure the Results
When you are already working with your chosen partner, you must measure your customer service team performance. There are many key indicators, like ticket volume, average response time, average resolution time, net promoter scores and Customer Satisfaction (CSAT) scores, that can help you know where you need to make some adjustments and where the team is doing great. Constantly evaluate the team’s performance to assure they are on the right track.
Just because you outsource your customer service does not mean you should forget about it, it is a great source of real feedback on your company’s products or services. You need to be in control and get results, without micromanaging the process.
6. Open Communication
The only way this outsourcing experience will get results is if you manage to set an excellent two-way communication.
Keep your partner aware of what is on your mind and what your company is seeking, always keep them on the loop and provide updated information, also let them know where they need to improve, if there is more training needed for the agents and to obtain valuable feedback from the customers.
You should always be informed and on the loop about every detail regarding your business, so look for transparency in the communication between you and your partner to really achieve the already set goals.
Customers are the ultimate judges of the customer service provided, so listen to them and work on a strategy to ensure the success of the transition to an outsourced customer service.
Following these 6 steps can help you improve your customer service experience, and get you even more excited about finding ways for your company to grow!