Outsourcing is a gift from the rapidly evolving internet technology to small businesses. It gives them access to the global pool of talent while still receiving competitive pricing.
When it comes to customer service, many companies had doubts on how outsourcing fits the picture.
This is partly due to myths surrounding the practice of outsourcing. They say it’s simply bad for business — that it makes a statement that you don’t care about your customers.
Sure, outsourcing isn’t a magic bullet that will solve all your problems. But with proper planning, it can boost the efficiency of your customer service as well as give you more time to focus on your core business.
Without further ado, below are the top 5 factors to consider before outsourcing your customer service:
1. The Need
In some niches, brands need to develop close and personal connections with their customers. This is especially true for B2B enterprises. If you want your leads to be assisted by a team that’s in tune with your vision, then outsourcing may not be a suitable strategy.
Regardless, you must ask yourself: what kind of customer service does my market require? For example, will the needs of your customers only be met through intensive phone calls? Or will most of their issues be resolved simply through a FAQ page?
If it’s the latter, then you should think twice about outsourcing. After all, there are plenty of other cost-effective channels for providing customer service. You can even develop your own chatbot without spending a single cent, but you must first gauge if this is kind of service will be appreciated by your customers.
2. The ROI
The number one consideration as to why companies outsource their customer service is the cost. Simply put, maintaining an in-house team is expensive, especially if you require them to be available 24/7. The outsourcing market, however, gives them access to more affordable rates while providing the same level of service.
Still, the cost of third-party service providers is only one side of the coin. As a business, you need to have an ROI-oriented approach and calculate how customer service impacts your bottom line. Use this to scale which provider can offer long-term value for your company.
3. The Added Services
Apart from the cost of the outsourced customer service itself, you also need to study the range of benefits that come with their packages. Take note that not all providers offer phone call recordings and analytics. Since these add-ons can improve your customer service ROI in the long run, you need to consider them when making your decision.
Begin by canvassing the price of external customer analytics platforms and transcription services. Is it better to hire an all-in-one service provider, or should you build your own customer service ecosystem using modular components?
4. The Ownership
A lot of companies overlook the importance of phone number ownership when outsourcing customer service. Let’s say you want to bail out from your service provider and want to start over from scratch with your own team. If you are forced to change your hotline numbers due to the lack of ownership, then it may negatively impact customer experience for the following weeks.
Remember that your phone numbers become etched in your business identity. Some service providers will request a huge fee for the release of phone numbers, while others will offer ownership from the very beginning. Do yourself a favor and ensure you hire the latter.
5. The Training
Research shows that 70% of customers abandon a company due to poor customer service. Clearly, it’s not something you can simply entrust to anyone. See to it that your outsourced team is flexible and capable enough to absorb the knowledge required for upholding your brand.
A rule of thumb is to look at a company’s employee onboarding process and communication technologies in place. If they need to learn tons of technical knowledge regarding your company, then don’t be in a rush to outsource. Be smart and weigh your options carefully.
Do you think outsourcing will play a huge part in your company’s growth? Read this post on why and how you should tap into the potential of outsourcing for business.