When a company is considering the option of outsourcing an entire Customer Service Department, there are some crucial aspects that cannot be ignored before starting to look for the ideal partner. To compete in this modern business world, one must be able to have more than just a marketable product or service. Much of the work relies on having good processes in place that focus efforts on creating an effective connection with customers.
Nowadays customers have a variety of ways to reach out if they have a question or need assistance to solve a certain issue, and the goal should be to respond in whatever channel they prefer and at the same time continue to handle and maintain the pace in the core functions of the company. For many types of growing businesses this can be a little overwhelming, a real challenge.
There are different types of outsourcing operations in the market, but Customer Service has proven to be one of the biggest opportunities in the outsourcing world. However, keep in mind that not every company has the expertise to manage that high level of effective communications. The right partner will be able to answer any type of questions regarding services or products, providing valuable feedback to improve them and increase the sales. A satisfied customer will be the substructure of your business, and to truly win them over, quality assurance measures should be put in place at every stage of the process.
When outsourcing a Call Center Provider:
1. Identify your specific needs
What type of services will the company provide? I.e. Inbound services only? 24-hour helpdesk? Mails, phone calls or both? Having a clear understanding when looking for the right provider will save time and money.
2. Skills and Proficiency
Take a closer look at the provider`s staff skills to see if they meet your expectations. Doing a little extra research won’t hurt, though it might take longer. Getting in contact with different companies to get a broader view can definitely help in the decision process. Also, testing at least two companies side-by-side may be something you might want to consider if it is within your possibilities.
3. Customer Relationship Management
To be able to gain more insight into customers there must first be a full understanding of their needs and the specific technical problems they are experiencing. Integrating Customer Support data into your CRM will create and organize the path to establishing a more meaningful relationship with existing customers.
The location of your provider must meet your needs. A company that aims to grow through outsource customer service solutions must understand the concept their customers have of them as a whole, in a local context, in their language and culture. By being in a new business environment, this strategy will guarantee more strength and reliability in the company.
5. Data and Privacy
Customer privacy and data security is a big deal. A service provider that supplies top-level security measures is the one to work with, and you shouldn’t settle for anything less until you feel comfortable working with them. If you want to fully protect your customer’s data from any third-parties, work with people with a proven track record. Consider the capability of a new provider that can adapt to the size of your business.
6. Know the real cost
It is of utmost importance to understand the billing processes of the service provider, some providers charge for customers time on hold. Be clear in how much and how you will be charged before going further with the contract; all details count so make sure you understand or ask about any part you feel is not clear.
A centralized department like a call center manages a large volume of calls which can be inbound, outbound or both. In this time call center providers administer far more complete options in their services besides phone calls. Some providers offer email services, instant messaging, live support software, and social media engagement, among others.
One of the strategic advantages and core skills of the outsourcer is workforce management. Flexible call centers can make use of a variety of methods to improve their performance such as combining both full and part-time agents, or one of the most common tactics which includes the use of multi and split shifts. They have the ability to combine their staff in different programs, change roles, and even switch clients to match their strengths.
There are many benefits in outsourcing customer service and support, but the key is to find the right and reliable third-party provider that fits your company’s needs. Outsourcing will provide your business with a versatile group of experts that will improve the overall work flow and core functions by directing the staff efforts in a more productive way.
Cost savings is one of the biggest benefits a lot of people see in outsourcing, and every business has its cost efficiencies, but the main goal for any company should be to deliver quality customer service. Take time to discover your real needs, make a checklist and don’t leave out any details. Make sure to understand all aspects of the partnership, consider their track record and previous client’s references before making the final decision.