Deciding whether to outsource your customer service duties to another company comes with a lot of uncharted territory. You might worry about whether they’ll provide the quality customer service you expect and how much they’ll charge you. We’ll try to answer your question by looking at the following categories.
What is Customer Care Outsourcing?
Customer care outsourcing involves outsourcing customer service to a third-party company. Usually, companies are too busy with other tasks to manage all their customer inquiries, so they hand that duty off to another company altogether.
Customer care companies are usually call centers, which have on-call agents that handle a particular set of customers’ needs.
When to Use Customer Care Outsourcing
You’ll have to consider a few questions before you hire a customer care Provider.
- Will your Business require you to answer a lot of phone calls or emails daily?
- Do you have the staff to handle all those inquiries?
- How in-depth would you require the provider to know your company?
- How much money can you shell out for a customer care provider?
Depending on your answers to these questions, you may or may not require a customer care provider. The most significant deciding factors are how much money you’re willing to pay for a service, how much you need the company to know your business, and whether you can handle sharing the customer care provider with another business.
Pros and Cons of Customer Care Outsourcing
Customer care outsourcing is a truly beneficial exercise, but it is not always perfect.
A few pros of customer care outsourcing might involve the following:
Better Organization and Less Work
Depending on your business’s staff size, several members are sometimes required to perform more than one specific duty. While your staff might work quite hard, that can distract from focusing on essential aspects, like sales, that will keep your business growing.
Outsourcing customer care allows your staff to focus on specific duties and keeps your business growing without having to answer phone calls or emails at a moment’s notice.
You might do business with customers that speak multiple languages. To expand your customer base and increase their confidence in working with you, you can outsource customer service with reps that speak all the necessary languages. Eliminating language barriers and improving communication quality can do wonders!
Saving Money on Equipment
When you outsource customer service, you don’t need to worry about furnishing your employees with headsets, computers, and other such hardware. There is also no need to provide extra office space, a desk, chair, and extra computer monitor.
Third-party customer service companies already have that equipment, so you only need to pay for their service, not for their equipment.
Some cons of customer care outsourcing might involve the following points. You can feel free to discuss them with your customer care provider if you’re at all concerned.
Security Concerns Between Companies
You might need to exchange sensitive information, like credit card numbers and addresses, between your company and your customer care provider. Luckily, many customer care providers have lots of protection to keep such sensitive information private. Feel free to interview your provider about those layers.
The Provider is Not as Familiar with Your Company as You
It’s only natural that a third-party customer care provider is not as familiar with your business as your staff. However, that is why it is vastly important to keep them updated on what’s happening in your industry. Let them know about changes in policies, if you launch new products, and more.
Depending on how quickly policies, prices, and other changes happen, you might need to hire a more in-depth customer care provider. That is, a provider whose sole responsibility is to learn how your company works.
You Might Share a Customer Care Provider With Another Company
You might only have the budget to hire a customer care provider with limited time for your company. In that case, you’ll likely share that provider with other companies, which might not always be convenient for you.
Before hiring a customer care provider, you’ll have to consider how many calls you might receive. The greater the quantity, the more budget you’ll need to hire a company that can work solely with you. Otherwise, you’ll have to settle for a customer care provider that splits its time between clients.
Prices for outsourcing customer service vary depending on what services you require from that company. Some companies might ask for as little as 70 cents an hour, while a third-party company with more duties might require up to $25 an hour.
How to Choose a Service Provider
Plenty of quality customer care providers are U.S.-based. However, you’ll need to select one based on a few factors.
How do They Hire and Train Their Agents?
It’s usually best for a company to hire a customer care provider filled with experts or specialists. That’s not to say that customer care providers don’t have excellent training programs to help their agents adapt to different industries. It all depends on the needs of your business.
You can ask the service provider how they train their agents: whether they are truly experts in their field or trained to answer specific inquiries.
How Well Does the Service Provider Know Your Business or Industry?
Is the customer care provider familiar with your industry? That is, are they familiar with the typical questions and concerns customers might have? Even if the company is not as familiar with the goings-on in your particular business, they should at least have a working knowledge of your industry.
What are Their Security Measures and Protocol?
Protecting the personal information of customers is imperative to a customer service provider’s quality. When selecting a customer care provider, feel free to ask them about their security protocol, who manages their inbound and outbound networks, and who else can access those networks.
Quality control refers to how well a customer care provider can deal with angry customers. Ask whether the company records all customer exchanges and whether you can listen to those calls from time to time. You should be able to have some visibility into this process every so often.
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