Thinking of Outsourcing Your Customer Service? Follow This 6 Step Guide

Thinking of Outsourcing Your Customer Service? Follow This 6 Step Guide

Thinking of outsourcing your customer service operation? If so, then you’re in the right place. Many businesses are contemplating outsourcing their customer service for a variety of reasons. With rapidly advancing technology and an increasingly interconnected world, outsourcing is more viable than ever. Many of the problems that were previously associated with outsourcing are no longer a problem. For example, communicating with your outsourced team is fast and efficient nowadays.

Customer service is a critical component of a thriving business. It’s something you need to get right and get right every time. Customers can be fickle and if they have a bad experience with your company, they won’t hesitate to move on. It’s this unrelenting pressure to offer excellent customer service that drives companies to look at outsourced options. Conversely, it’s also why people are so cautious about outsourcing. Can you really trust another company to care about your customers as much as you do? Can you trust them with one of your most important business operations? These are legitimate questions that businesses grapple with when considering their customer service outsourcing options.

With that in mind, today we’re going to look at the pros and cons of outsourcing customer service as well as the 6 steps you should take if you decide to go ahead with outsourcing. Let’s take a look.

The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Customer Service

Pros

Cons

6 Steps to Follow When Outsourcing Your Customer Service Operation

6 Steps to Follow When Outsourcing Your Customer Service Operation

So, you’ve decided you want to outsource your customer service, what next? Here we’re going to outline the 6 steps you should follow to ensure a successful shift to outsourcing.

1.  Establish Your Goals

This step is crucial. You need to sit down and decide exactly what you want from your outsourcing company. What do you want for your company? What do you expect from the outsourcing firm?

Your Goals

Let’s take a look at some common goals for outsourcing and how you should tackle them.

Goals for the Outsourcing Firm

It’s important to talk to key individuals around the business about these goals. You should talk to department heads as well as the legal team.

2.  Pick a Team Who Can Match Your Company Voice

The outsourcing team you choose must ultimately be convincing as representatives of your company. They should sound like you and behave like you. Take a look at your customer personas, target audience, and key customer demographic data. What approach works best for your customers? What do your customers like about your customer service approach? Is it your bright and friendly tone? Or is it your resolute professionalism?

Whatever it is, make sure you clearly define what your company’s voice is. Think about how your customers feel when they interact with your business and how you want them to feel in the future.

Getting this to work effectively might take more work with some companies than others. Carefully read reviews when testimonials when choosing your outsourcing company. Additionally, pay attention to the other clients they have. If they provide customer service for governments or big-name companies, they are likely reliable.

3.  Choose a Flexible Company

Pick a company that can be flexible about making changes. You don’t want to write up a contract with great intentions only to find it doesn’t work in practice but that you’re now stuck. Sometimes we have ideas that sound great on paper but don’t land well in the real world. This can happen for a variety of reasons and isn’t always related to the capabilities of the company. For example, you might think your customers prefer a certain approach when they don’t. Or you might try to implement Live Chat only to find that your customers barely ever use it.

Choose a Partner That Can Meet Your Goals

You’ve established your goals, now you need to use them to pick your partner. Consider the following:

Create a Robust Onboarding Process

4.  Create a Robust Onboarding Process

Outsourcing your customer service team can take a lot of pressure away from you and your business. However, this doesn’t mean you should just hire a team and let them get to work. You need to create a robust onboarding process so you can get the firm and its agents up to speed on your business. They need to have a deep understanding of your company culture, your customers, your tone, and your products and services.

Customers will become frustrated if they start talking to agents who lack knowledge or expertise in your company. They will feel helpless and abandoned. Don’t let this happen.

5.  Track Success

You need to define what success looks like for your relationship. Do you want the firm to meet certain KPIs? Do you want them to increase customer satisfaction? If so, how do you want this to be measured?

Decide what metrics you want to measure and then create ways to continually track the success of the customer service outsourcing firm. Do you want them to run regular customer satisfaction surveys?

Decide when they should report key stats to your company. This could be every morning, a few times a week, or once a week. You want to receive regular reports and hold the company accountable for your goals. If something isn’t working how you hoped then you can address this quickly to mitigate any damage.

6.  Decide How and When You Will Communicate

There needs to be an open line of communication for your partnership to thrive. Appoint someone who can act as a point of contact in your business. This person or persons should always be available to answer calls and emails from the outsourcing firm.

You should also ask for a contact to be appointed on the other side. If you need to get in touch with the company, who do you call? You should also set expectations for how quickly you expect the company to respond to your communications. Do you expect an answer within 15 minutes? 30 minutes? An hour? Decide what works best for your company.

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