As your organization grows, it’s guaranteed to cause a lot of change. One place where this growth-fueled change often manifests itself is in how you support your customers. The last thing you want is to see your customer count skyrocket while your customer experience and customer satisfaction suffer.
Companies in this predicament often ask a similar question: Should we consider customer service outsourcing? Your initial reaction to that question probably depends upon your experience with outsourcing. In this article, we’ll clear up some of the confusion and help you know the right questions to ask when considering outsourcing so you’re enabled to make the best decision possible.
What is customer service outsourcing?
Customer service outsourcing is the act of outsourcing some aspect of your customer service operations to a third-party vendor or service provider. A business process outsourcer (BPO) contact center is a team of outsourced agents who learn your products, services, policies, and brand voice to resolve customer requests across channels on your behalf.
Benefits of outsourcing customer service
Today, shifting work to a BPO is an increasingly common move for growing companies. Here are a few benefits of outsourcing customer service:
- Flexibility: A customer service BPO can improve your ability to staff up for a busy season or provide after-hours support
- Access specialized expertise: It’s an affordable way of getting expert help in key areas like customer support
- Agility: It enables you to quickly scale and stay focused on other areas that need your attention
How to choose the best customer support outsourcing service
Choosing the best possible BPO for your company’s needs can maximize the benefits and reduce the limitations. Let’s look at four important questions for you to ask before committing to a specific BPO.
1. Remote or physical customer service team?
A BPO that uses remote support agents brings several benefits:
- Talent sourcing: Just like with general remote work, BPOs hiring remote agents have access to the best talent they can find. Their recruiting and hiring pipelines aren’t limited by physical location.
- Redundancy: If your outsourced customer service agents are physically dispersed, you can rest easy knowing something like a power outage or poor weather won’t compromise your ability to support customers.
- Employee happiness: Remote work correlates with things like higher levels of employee wellness, fewer unscheduled absences, and greater employee loyalty.
Using a BPO with a physical call center means you risk missing out on these benefits.
International or domestic outsourcing?
Discussions about outsourcing often assume that you’ll be shifting work to another country. While that’s common, it’s not always true. In certain situations, outsourcing your customer service work to a domestic BPO may actually make more sense.
One of the biggest pros of outsourcing internationally is that it’s almost always cheaper. If a country has a lower cost of living than wherever you’re based. It often allows you to recruit top tier support professionals and pay them a comfortable wage while still spending significantly less than you would for the high-caliber support agents in your home country.
A second major upside to outsourcing internationally is that you’ll often find a large pool of talent is available and can cover multiple time zones.
Domestic outsourcing also brings two main benefits to consider. The first benefit is cultural familiarity. If most of your customer base is domestic, domestic support agents may more easily understand their issues and concerns. However, with a good training program, international agents can handle pretty much any question that domestic agents can.
Lastly, don’t think you can only choose between international or domestic outsourcing. In many cases, a hybrid model including both international and domestic customer service agents can produce fantastic results. Hybrid models may involve segmenting work based upon each team’s skillset, or finding temporary solutions to put in place while you train up international agents to be true experts in your products.
4. Dedicated or shared agents?
It’s not uncommon for businesses to outsource to BPOs that use shared agents who respond to customer service tickets for multiple companies. While this option may be necessary if your ticket volume is really low or you can’t afford a dedicated team, it brings some understandable difficulties.
Since they support multiple companies, shared agents will likely struggle to become intimately familiar with your product and to answer customer inquiries in a nuanced way. If you decide to follow this strategy, consider only sending simple tickets like password resets to your outsourced team.
Dedicated agents, as you might guess, are solely focused on providing support for your business. This brings a number of advantages:
- First. Dedicated agents can focus on becoming very familiar with your product, brand and culture.
- Second. Dedicated agents are easier to integrate into your team.
- Dedicated agents can often develop a better understanding of your company strategy and can more easily provide feedback to help you improve your products and services.
What’s the bottom line?
Customer service is critical to the growth of your business. Outsourcing your customer service can feel like you’re trusting someone else to take care of your child, and that’s why it’s so important to research and make an informed decision.
While it may feel daunting, outsourcing is also a proven way to effectively scale your customer service and provide support to your growing business. If you’re struggling to stay on top of your support queue or to provide an excellent customer experience, outsourcing to a reputable BPO may be the key to unlocking future growth.
Check out Globi Services to get all the advantages offered by outsourcing.