How to Get Started with Outsourced Customer Support
After starting an online store—one of the first things to consider is your customer support.
With customer experience more critical to business success than ever before, outsourcing customer support might seem like a risky move. The biggest issue about it is leaving customer success at the hands of strangers.
How do you ensure that your outsourced customer support properly represents your business? And how do you know that you won’t end up becoming another example of the worst customer service that existed?
But as tickets pile up and task deadlines loom overhead, it can feel like there are no options left for handling these issues internally.
Beyond 24/7 customer support, outsourcing provides you with a team of experienced professionals that effectively drives customer success. As a result, you stop missing opportunities to improve customer satisfaction, increase revenue, and grow your business.
In this article, we will discuss the benefits of outsourcing customer support and how to outsource the right way.
How Outsourcing Customer Support Improves Business
One significant benefit you can derive from outsourcing is the ability to scale your customer service operations easily.
By leveraging the resources of an experienced, outsourced team, you can effectively increase your customer service capacity without hiring and training new employees. Outsourcing can be especially helpful during peak seasons or when there is a sudden surge in demand for your product or services.
Having a team of experts also means that you can actively improve the quality of your customer service. Your outsourced agents will know the industry’s best practices and teach you the ropes that are otherwise unknown to novice business owners.
As a result, you not only avoid common mistakes—but also deliver better quality customer service. This creates a domino effect that increases customer satisfaction and retention, accelerating business growth.
Another benefit of outsourcing is that it enables you to focus on your business as your outsourced team handles the day-to-day customer support. And that means you can build better products and a more efficient business, further driving company growth.
Best Practices when Outsourcing Customer Support
As mentioned earlier, you can’t just hand over your customer support to a third-party agency and expect quality service. Outsourcing is a partnership between you and your third-party provider. It requires continuous training, adjustment, and communication from both sides of the coin.
Here are the 5 best practices when outsourcing customer support:
1. Identify your customer support team's needs
Not all outsource teams are created equal. Some teams are better suited to handle complex customer conversations that take time to resolve. Others are more useful for customer inquiries answered through a formulaic response.
To hire the best customer support outsourcing service, you must first identify your needs.
Here are some questions to ask yourself:
What’s your current capacity compared to customer volume?
Do you need to hire customer support outsourcing services seasonally or do you need a dedicated team of professionals?
What's the division of work with your customer service outsourcing company?
Do you prefer working with local customer support agents?
Do you need foreign customer support agents to provide more language options to your customers?
2. Establish your brand guidelines
Customers now expect brands to deliver a seamless experience across all channels. This means you need to give the same quality customer service through email, SMS, online chat, and social media.
To achieve this, you can seamlessly integrate outsourced agents into your customer service team by providing them with brand guidelines. Your brand guidelines help set a standard that your outsourced team can follow. It also helps keep your brand tone and voice consistent, so that your customers feel they’re talking to a united front.
Your brand guidelines should contain:
Explanation on the tone and voice of your brand
Details on how you measure customer support quality and performance
List of terms and phrases that customer support agents can and can’t use
A list of common FAQs
3. Set aside time to train your outsourced customer support
It’s not enough to just give your customer service outsourcing company a copy of your brand guidelines. You also need to set aside time to train them because they are, after all, an extension of your team.
One way to train them is by using case scenarios. This allows you to see how the team handles scenarios, teach them more about your product and services, and correct issues right away. By doing so, you can be more confident that you are putting your customers’ needs in expert hands.
Then, you’ll start getting glowing customer testimonials in no time.
4. Leverage the right tools for better customer support services
It’s not uncommon to have outsourced teams working in different locations or even time zones for your business. This can make communicating and working together a bit difficult. That’s why you need to have the best customer support tools to make everything run smoothly.
Your tools should have an integrated customer database accessible to both your internal customer support team and your outsourced customer support agents. At the same time, it should also allow you to monitor performances to catch issues early on.
You can do this by:
Listening in on select conversations during customer service calls
Recording and reviewing conversations by your customer service team
Measuring key performance index, like resolution time and the volume of calls answered per agent
Collecting customer satisfaction scores after each conversation
5. Consider the legal and security implications
Before allowing external parties to access your personal data, you should always seek legal advice. After all, outsourced customer support agents will still need access to sensitive information such as credit card details, social security numbers, and personal addresses.
As such, your contract with the outsourced team should include a clause limiting their access to confidential customer data. This will help protect your customers’ privacy and keep your business compliant with relevant regulations.
Accelerate your growth with outsourced customer support!
Outsourcing customer support can be an effective way to grow your company without sacrificing the quality of service you provide to your customers. Plus, it gives you access to specialized experts who may even be able to teach you a thing or two about customer service. Not to mention, it also reduces overhead costs, increases efficiency, and improves customer satisfaction and loyalty.
But outsourcing isn't just handing over the work to a third-party agency—you need to create a system so you can experience all its benefits. By following the 5 steps outlined above, you can successfully outsource customer support and watch your business grow.