Outsourcing customer service saves a lot of money. Despite the cost-saving benefit, basing customer support services abroad in the past often came with long phone or email support wait times, subpar service, and language barriers. We've all experienced them.
Yet, in recent years, call centers have improved vastly. Today's best call centers deliver exceptional customer service, highly-trained support personnel, and round-the-clock customer support. Also, outsourcing support can reduce business costs and the responsibility of hiring and managing an in-house customer support team. When done right, the benefits of a reputable call center are easy to say yes to.
What is Support-As-A Service?
Whether you need to hire 1 or 50 agents, the best support-as-a-service teams can help businesses grow by improving customer relations. Customers are likely to do business with you if they receive excellent customer support. Enforcing high customer satisfaction standards across the board is crucial.
The difference a 24/7, highly-trained support team makes is enormous. It may increase conversions and keep repeat customers coming back for more. It is especially true when complaints, resolutions, and returns are handled well. Long story short, an excellent support team upholds a business' reputation and grows sales, all while keeping costs down at a fraction of hiring in-house support teams.
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Outsourcing customer support is hiring a third-party company to provide customer service for your business. It can include handling inbound and outbound calls, responding to emails, providing technical support, and more. By outsourcing customer service, companies can reduce costs while still providing quality customer service. Outsourced customer service providers can often offer a wide range of services and have access to the latest technology, which can help improve customer experience.
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Customers expect more today than ever before. Companies like Amazon have set the bar high regarding customer resolutions and support. How do small business owners compete with the big dogs when they can afford to hire in-house support teams? Easy. Outsource customer service to the pros.
On-demand support centers, known as "support as a service," offer small business owners significant benefits. The best support teams are trained to make the customer experience positive, no matter why the customer needs help. Conversion rates are also better when customers have 24/7 access to the support staff that can help place an order, ask product questions, track a shipment, or change a shipping address. That's something all online retailers can appreciate.
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Improving customer support operations is easy with teams specializing in making the customer experience the best possible. Meanwhile, you can handle all the other tasks you need to do. It's a hands-off solution if you want it to be. Or you can have customer support teams take a portion of support tickets, reducing your workload substantially. These dedicated teams can be trained according to your company's exact procedures, and many offer ongoing seminars and training.
Call centers come in all shapes and sizes, whether you want 24/7 customer support solutions or a hybrid structure. Depending on your business needs, you can hire one agent, 20 agents, 50 or more. Support-as-a-service also comes in handy during holidays or other peak sales times. Some companies only need to outsource support on weekends, evenings, or holidays. Whatever level of support you need, the sky is the limit with the right team.
What do the hiring, training, and managing in-house support teams all have in common? Time and money. Posting ads, vet resumes, interviewing, hiring, and training customer support staff takes weeks. If you need multiple in-house support agents, that time can add up. As a busy business owner, finding the time to do it all can take time and effort.
Not to mention, domestic support teams are expensive. And even a small team needs a manager. In-house support teams add more employees to keep track of and add to the payroll. Support-as-a-service streamlines everything, saving time and money while freeing up your time to focus on other business tasks.
On-demand call centers are better today than ever before. The market is flooded with options, with many highly-qualified teams offering best-in-class customer support solutions. Outsourcing customer support is an excellent option if you need customer service agents.
Outsourcing customer support to a different country may result in language and cultural differences that hinder effective communication with customers.
Overcoming this challenge: Invest in language and cultural training for your outsourced team, or hire bilingual agents familiar with the target market's culture and customs.
Outsourcing to a different time zone can make coordinating meetings, training sessions, and real-time communication with the support team challenging.
Overcoming this challenge: Schedule regular meetings at mutually convenient times or hire a 24/7 support team to ensure continuous coverage and availability.
Ensuring consistent quality in customer support can be difficult when outsourcing, as you may need direct oversight of the support team.
Overcoming this challenge: Establish clear performance metrics and regularly monitor the team's performance. Provide constructive feedback and invest in ongoing training to improve support quality.
Sharing sensitive customer information with an outsourced team can pose data security and privacy risks.
Overcoming this challenge: Implement strict data protection policies, secure communication channels, and conduct regular security audits. Ensure your outsourcing partner complies with relevant data protection regulations.
Outsourced customer support agents may need to gain in-depth knowledge of your products, services, or brand values, which can affect the quality of support provided.
Overcoming this challenge: Provide comprehensive product and brand training for the outsourced team and create detailed knowledge bases to help them better understand your offerings.
Integrating outsourced customer support with your existing internal processes and systems can be challenging.
Overcoming this challenge:
Customers may negatively perceive outsourced customer support, particularly if they experience issues related to language barriers or lack of product knowledge.
Overcoming this challenge: Prioritize high-quality customer support by investing in training and ensuring agents know your products and brand values. Monitor customer feedback and address any concerns promptly.
In-house employees may feel threatened or demotivated by the decision to outsource customer support.
Overcoming this challenge: Communicate openly with your in-house team about the reasons for outsourcing and how it will benefit the company. Ensure that employees understand their roles and opportunities for growth within the organization.
Finding the right company to outsource customer support to is crucial for maintaining high customer satisfaction and ensuring your business runs smoothly. Outsourcing customer support can save time, money, and resources, but only if you choose the right partner. Here are some steps to follow when searching for the ideal company to outsource your customer support:
Clearly outline your goals and expectations for customer support. Consider factors such as hours of operation, the volume of inquiries, response times, language requirements, and the type of support channels (email, phone, live chat, social media).
Look for reputable outsourcing companies with experience in your industry. Use online resources, such as reviews, case studies, and testimonials, to gather information about their performance and reputation. You can also ask for recommendations from your business network.
Ensure the outsourcing company has a proven track record in providing excellent customer support. Check their client list, years of experience, and any industry awards or certifications they have received.
The right outsourcing partner should have up-to-date technology and infrastructure for customer support. It includes CRM, call center software, data security measures, and backup systems.
Ask about their training programs and how they ensure their agents are knowledgeable about your products or services. A good outsourcing company will have robust quality control measures, such as regular performance evaluations and feedback sessions.
If your business caters to a global audience, choosing a company that can provide support in multiple languages and understands cultural nuances is essential.
Once you've narrowed down your options, request a detailed proposal and pricing structure from each company. Compare the costs, services, and additional benefits or features they provide.
To get a firsthand experience of their customer support quality, try contacting the outsourcing company as a customer. Assess their response time, professionalism, and problem-solving skills.
Visit the outsourcing company's facilities or schedule a video conference to understand better their work environment, culture, and management style.
Carefully review the contract and terms before signing. Ensure it covers all your requirements, including service level agreements (SLAs), data privacy policies, and termination clauses.
Outsourcing customer service typically costs $2,600 to $3,400 per month per agent and covers management and service fees. Additionally, there may be a service fee of $30-80 per agent per month charged by some outsourcers. In addition, the cost of customer service outsourcing can vary between $10 and $50 per hour, depending on the services provided. Nearshore inbound marketing services typically cost between $14 to $20 per hour, depending on the country selected for outsourcing.
The cost of offshore call centers is usually between $0.50 and $1.75 per minute. On the other hand, in-house and outsourced customer service costs vary depending on the location. For Eastern Europe, the charge is around £10 to £20 per hour, while in Africa/Middle East, it ranges from £10 to £15 per hour, and in South America, it can be anywhere from £5 to £15 per hour.
Ensure you know what kind of service you want and how you want customers to interact with your team. It will help ensure you get the most out of your outsourcing partner.
Do your research and ensure that the chosen provider has experience providing customer service solutions that meet your needs. Ask questions about their processes and capabilities, and ensure they understand your business objectives before signing any contracts.
Make sure there is a reliable way to communicate with each other so that any issues or questions can be addressed quickly and efficiently.
It's essential to keep an eye on how well your outsourced customer support team is performing, so regularly track metrics such as response times, resolution rates, and customer satisfaction scores.
Make sure they understand how to utilize the services best provided by the provider, as well as how to handle any issues or complaints from customers effectively and efficiently.
Outsourcing customer support can be an effective way to save time, money, and resources while providing excellent service for your customers. However, it is essential to take the necessary steps to choose the right partner that meets all of your business's objectives and requirements. By researching potential companies, evaluating their expertise, assessing their technology and infrastructure, and inquiring about training and quality control processes as well as language and cultural compatibility, you will ensure a successful outsourcing partnership with minimal stress or disruption to operations. With proper planning and research, you should have no problem finding an ideal provider that fits your budget needs and provides outstanding customer service!
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