Customer Support Outsourcing

1. What is customer support?

To keep it simple, customer service is the assistance provided by the brands when you face a  problem with their product or service.

It may not necessarily mean that the product is faulty, it may include:

  • General questions about the product,
  • Set-up process,
  • Functionality or the performance of the product etc.

Customer support is the bond a business has with its customers once they have successfully sold their product/service. It's an ongoing communication to make sure that your customers are happy with the overall experience before and after the purchase of the product.

2. What is customer support outsourcing? 

Customer support outsourcing involves outsourcing your customer support activities to a third-party vendor to handle them on your behalf. 

Outsourcing certain activities helps you in focusing on the core activities of your business. This helps in the overall growth of the brand.

 

3. Why do companies outsource customer service?

Outsourcing customer service to a third party vendor ensures that your customers are receiving assistance whenever they are in need. This helps in providing a positive experience and hence making your customer satisfied and happy.

A happy customer is less likely to switch your brand, making them loyal to your brand. They can also act as promoters for your brand by publicizing your product/services through word of mouth.

Top outsourcing companies can also ensure the same level of customer support during high customer demands like festivals and offers. They have the bandwidth to absorb dramatic demand shifts. This helps the brand in providing a seamless customer experience throughout the year.

 

4. What are customer support channels?

A customer support channel is a platform used by brands to effectively communicate with their customers. Some of the most popular support channels include:

  • Telephone
  • Email
  • Social Media
  • Live chat
  • Video
  • Forums and self-knowledge bases, etc.

Things have changed, previously companies used to only use one channel i.e phone to provide support to their customers. But now companies are using different approaches like:

One drawback of the multichannel approach is that the customer might have to explain his problem several times which may affect the overall experience of the customer.

That's where the omnichannel approach comes in to fill this gap, the customer support team has access to all previous conversations from every channel the customer previously conversed with. This helps in providing a smooth overall experience to the customers, making them loyal to the brand.

 

5. What are the advantages of outsourcing customer service?

The advantages of outsourcing customer service are:

1. It saves cost: Outsourcing customer service is often cheaper compared to hiring an employee.

2. Reduced workload: Outsourcing secondary activities like customer support allows businesses to focus on their primary goals and activities.

3. Multi-lingual support: Outsourcing customer service provides you with an option of providing a multi-lingual support channel to assist your global audience.

4. Improves your response time: Outsourcing a specialized team to look after your customer support would significantly improve your response time.

5. Equipped with better resources and technology: Outsourcing ensures the usage of better resources and technology, which you might not be able to invest in your existing business.

6. 24/7 customer support: Outsourcing customer service ensures that your business is providing 24/7 customer support to your customers.

6. What are the possible disadvantages of outsourcing customer service?

The following can be considered as the disadvantage of outsourcing customer service:

 

1. Not aligning with the brand and its strategy: It is important to make sure that the brand to whom you have outsourced your customer service, aligns with your brand and your strategies while serving your customers.

 

2. Rigid contracts: One drawback of outsourcing your activities could be the rigid contracts of your service provider.

 

3. Security concerns: Another major drawback of outsourcing could be the fear of misusing your client’s personal information. Brands need to make sure they trust the agency that they are outsourcing their work to, in order to avoid such problems.

 

4. Your business might not receive the top priority: Companies outsourcing their activities must also make sure that their business and customers are given priority at all times, to provide a good customer experience.

 

7. How to choose the right third-party service provider to outsource your customer service?

Before opting to outsource your customer service to a third-party vendor, you need to make sure of what you want from them in terms of:

  • Their Expertise
  • Quality Control
  • Security & Training, etc.

To do this you need to find the answers to questions like:

  • Do they have expertise in serving an audience similar to your business?
  • How do they keep a check on their quality control?
  • What security measures do they have in place to ensure there's no security breach in the future? Are they providing you with an assurance on the safety of your client’s personal information?
  • How does their typical hiring process look like? Are the agents qualified enough to handle your leads?

Finding answers to these questions might help you in deciding whether you need to outsource your business activities or not. And if yes, it would also help in selecting the right third-party vendor for your business activities.

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