What is Customer Support Outsourcing?
Customer support outsourcing refers to hiring a third-party or outside partner to deal with your daily customer support operations across your customer support channels. These third-party customer service providers also take care of hiring, training, and managing the customer support teams that are going to handle the queries and complaints that your customers have.
When you opt for outsourced customer support, you should consider evaluating and working with partners who use new and innovative technologies to deliver better customer experiences and improve your customer satisfaction score (CSAT score).
Why is customer support outsourced?
Here are some of the reasons why companies might decide to outsource their customer service and support:
To reduce their operational costs
When businesses outsource their customer support staff, they’re essentially hiring contract workers instead of hiring full-time employees. Basically, this allows businesses to get their support tasks done without having to pay a fixed salary and offer benefits like healthcare, transportation costs, overtime, etc. to full-time employees.
Their costs go down even further if they engage in offshore outsourcing, by hiring a customer service outsourcing company based in a country where the cost of living is lower than the country in which the business is based. If the business does that, they’ll not have to pay as much as they would need to if they hired a team in their home country or even outsourced the job to a company based in their country.
When businesses outsource their customer support function, their savings just in initial setup and infrastructure costs could work out to around $3000.
To rapidly scale up for seasonal requirements
Let’s take the example of an eCommerce store or even a brick-and-motar retailer. During the holiday season, they expect to see major spikes in traffic and purchases. That means that their support tickets are going to go through the roof as well.
Hiring more full-time employees just so that they can deal with this increased demand for customer support does not make much sense for a lot of these businesses, especially the smaller businesses. And even if they did decide to hire new support representatives, the hiring and training process might take a while. In times like these, they choose to temporarily outsource their customer support to deal with the seasonal influx of customers and support tickets.
To Scale Up their Business
If a company is growing rapidly and is going through lots of changes, it might not be able to focus enough on customer support. But taking their eyes off the ball here might bring their growth to a screeching halt.
If they can’t focus on hiring and training new customers service representatives to deal with their rapid growth, they coil consider outsourcing their customer support function to an organization that is more equipped to handle the influx of customer support queries and deliver a quick, high-quality customer experience.
To be globally local
If a company is doing business in multiple countries or regions, it should be able to serve and support its customers in their own language. If it doesn’t, those customers will just start looking at the company as an outsider, not one of them.
Without supporting them in their own language, a company cannot really hope to win its customers’ trust. The entire situation would make their customers feel like the company does not value them and does not care enough to serve them in their own language.
While building up internal customer support teams in several countries could be hard, the business still needs to provide multilingual support. A lot of them choose to outsource their customer support for this purpose.
To access a larger talent pool
Outsourcing their customer support makes it possible for businesses to go beyond the limitation of hiring talent that just resides in their area and the small number of people who are ready to relocate.
It allows companies to work with customer service professionals from around the world who are fluent in the language that the business’s customers speak. It even allows companies to hire them at lower costs than that of hiring an in-house customer service team.
What are the advantages of customer support outsourcing?
The main advantages and benefits of customer support outsourcing:
A lot of companies have had to face budget cuts due to the pandemic. Customer support outsourcing can help them scale up their support without having to spend as much money on payroll, benefits, and other expenses.
No need to spend time on training
When customer support as a function is outsourced, the company does not need to worry about hiring and training new employees. The company can focus on other tasks instead of deploying resources on training new customer support representatives.
Flexibility and scalability
Outsourcing the customer support function allows businesses to scale up or cut down as per their requirements. They’re not hiring full-time employees, so they have more flexibility around that. They can scale the support as the business grows and have the opportunity to reduce their outsourcing requirements if they need to do that.
What is the correct way to outsource customer service?
Here are some steps you should take while you decide to outsource your customer service:
Define your brand voice and tone
Your outsourced customer service team should sound like your in-house team. It should reflect the brand voice that you project everywhere else. Create a brand guideline and train them on situations that they might face and how they should react in those situations.
Research several potential partners
Different call centers might specialize in different tasks. Some might focus more on high-volume or repetitive conversations, while others specialize in in-depth solutions for complex queries. Look up a lot of options so that you can find one that works for your business.
Choose the right kind of support
Are you fine with leaving your customers waiting for hours on end to receive an email or getting frustrated waiting on hold? Wouldn’t you rather have them get instant answers from a chatbot and let live agents only bother about the complex queries? You need to pick the right mode of support.