Customer service outsourcing is outsourcing to a third party or service provider. Find out if it suits you.
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 customer service outsourcing
If the initial reaction to an outsourcing idea is adverse, you may need to modernize your understanding of outsourcing.
International outsourcing became popular in the mid-1990s. This tremendous outsourcing boom has caused a lot of growing pain. This pain has almost disappeared as technology and processes have improved over the last few decades.
Today, shifting work to BPO is an increasingly common move for growing businesses. Some of the benefits of outsourcing customer service are:
- Flexibility: Customer Service BPO can improve the capacity of staff during busy seasons and provide support during off-hours.
- Access to expert expertise: This is a cost-effective way to get professional help in critical areas such as customer support.
- Agility: Quickly expand and focus on other areas of interest.
How to Choose the Best Customer Support Outsourcing Service
1. Remote or physical call center?
Working from home is a growing phenomenon for many reasons. If you already have a remote worker or are considering opening a remote worker, you are probably aware of the benefits and challenges associated with remote work. The same benefits and challenges arise when considering which type of outsourcing call center to use.
BPOs that use remote support agents have several advantages.
Talent Sourcing: Similar to common remote work, BPOs that employ remote agents have access to the best talent they can find. The hiring and hiring pipeline is not restricted by physical location.
Redundancy: If your outsourced customer service personnel are physically distributed, you can rest assured that power outages, bad weather, etc. will not affect your ability to support your customers.
Employee Satisfaction: Remote work correlates with improved employee well-being, reduced unplanned absenteeism, and improved employee loyalty.
There is a risk of missing out on these benefits when using BPO in a physical call center. However, physical call centers can often solve the big challenge of deploying remote teams: creating friendships and connections. When outsourcing to a remote customer service team, make special efforts to establish a connection between the outsourced team members and internal staff.
2. International or domestic outsourcing?
Discussions about outsourcing often assume that you are moving your work to another country. This is common, but not always correct. In certain situations, it may make more sense to outsource customer service work to a domestic BPO.
One of the biggest advantages of international outsourcing is that it is cheaper in most cases. If your country’s living expenses are lower than your home, you can often hire a top-notch support professional and pay a comfortable wage at a significantly lower cost than your country’s top-notch support agent.
The second major advantage of international outsourcing is that it is available to a large number of people and can cover multiple time zones. In some countries like the Philippines, there are millions of customer service professionals looking for meaningful jobs in growing companies.
Domestic outsourcing also offers two main benefits to consider. The first advantage is cultural friendliness. If most of the customer base is in the country, domestic support agents may be able to better understand their problems and concerns. However, with a good training program, international agents can answer almost any question that domestic agents can.
The second major potential benefit of domestic outsourcing is related to perceptions. In some cultures, outsourcing work to other countries may be considered a disadvantage. Navigating this decision requires thought and sensitivity. Domestic outsourcing may be the best choice for your business if you think your customer base is particularly angry that you were outsourcing your work abroad.
Finally, don’t assume that you can only choose between international outsourcing and domestic outsourcing. In many cases, a hybrid model that includes both international and domestic customer service agents can produce great results. The hybrid model involves segmenting work based on the skills of each team and finding temporary solutions to implement when training international agents to become true product professionals. It will be.
3. Which location should I choose for outsourcing?
If you`ve determined that you`ll gain extra advantages from the use of a BPO with sellers from any other country, then the following logical query is clear: Which Country do you need to outsource to?
As mentioned in the previous section, certain countries have a wealth of talent and are excellent outsourcing options. Common international outsourcing locations include India, the Philippines, Mexico, Central America, and Bulgaria.
The most important thing to consider when choosing an outsourcing location is your business needs. For example, if you need a customer service representative who speaks a European language, you need to outsource to Eastern Europe. If you’re looking for an English and Spanish-speaking agent, a place like Mexico or the Philippines might be the right choice. The Philippines is the best choice for outsourcing general English customer support. The country has millions of college-educated call center professionals who are fluent in English with very limited accents. In addition, Filipino agents can serve any time zone, making it a great choice if you are ultimately aiming to build 24/7 operations.
Other aspects to consider are literacy, technical infrastructure, political stability, cultural factors, and of course costs.
4. Dedicated agent or shared agent?
It is not uncommon for a company to outsource to a BPO that uses a shared agent that responds to customer service tickets for multiple companies. This option may be needed if you have a very small amount of tickets or if your team can’t afford it, but there are some issues that you can understand.
Since they support multiple companies, shared agents will have a hard time getting acquainted with your product and answering customer questions in a subtle way. If you use this strategy, you only need to send simple tickets, such as password resets, to the outsourced team.
As you can imagine, our dedicated agents are dedicated to supporting your business. This has many advantages. Engagement agents can focus on being familiar with the product, brand, and culture.
Dedicated agents can be easily integrated into your team.
Dedicated agents often have a better understanding of a company’s strategy and can more easily provide feedback to help improve their products and services.
Outsourcing-Support and Internal-Support
In this article, I’ve introduced four important questions to ask yourself when considering outsourcing customer service. Outsourcing can bring significant benefits, but it is not always the right choice.
In certain situations, it’s a good idea to keep your support team in-house. Consider keeping your team indoors if:
You aren’t ready yet?
Suppose you have a new ticket every day, but not enough volume for a full-time employee. You can find an outsourcer who is hiring a part-time agent. But in reality, at this stage, you can get more value by talking directly to your customers. That is not always true. PeakSupport has several clients who have chosen to discontinue customer support early so they can focus on other things. However, there are some things to consider.
It’s not really a customer support team
In particular, consider whether your customer service team really provides support, or whether they are performing core business functions. If your company offers contract accounting services, you should not outsource your accountant, or you should do so very, very carefully. If the support team is a product, we recommend that you keep it in-house.
In addition, companies tend to maintain internal support when providing advanced account management. This is especially relevant for companies that serve large corporate customers. For example, suppose you sell software to a hospital. It is possible to outsource some of the work of the support team, but at the highest level, the relationship must be owned by an in-house expert.
Your industry is tightly regulated
Some industries such as medical cannabis, for example, require the account manager to have a specific certificate or reside in a specific location. This makes it more difficult to find the right outsourcer.
They rely on government subsidies
New York law limits the ability to receive government subsidies when outsourcing call center work abroad, but outsourcing is still a viable option in the United States. If you rely on state aid, check out the state government’s policy pipeline to see if this can be a problem.
What is the bottom line?
Customer service is important for growing your business. Outsourcing customer service can feel like leaving someone else to take care of your child. Therefore, it is very important to conduct research and make informed decisions.
It may seem daunting, but outsourcing is also a proven way to effectively expand customer service and support a growing business. If you’re struggling to keep your support queue flowing or provide a great customer experience, outsourcing to a reputable BPO like TRU29 can be the key to achieving future growth.