Outsourcing can be a touchy topic for many companies. When it comes to outsourcing customer service specifically, there are people who oppose the idea because it could lead to a drop in service levels. While outsourcing can cause issues if the company doesn’t properly give its due diligence when researching the best outsourcing partner, a quality vendor can greatly benefit a company. A recent article by Vikas Agrawal acknowledges the difficulties that come with outsourcing and offers the following five things companies need to consider before outsourcing their customer service.
1) If a company relies on building and maintaining close, personal relationships with a small group of customers (B2B companies, for example), Agrawal suggests that outsourcing their customer service might not be the best idea. Some companies handle their customer service primarily through web chat and FAQ pages and don’t need to outsource their customer service. However, if a company serves a multitude of different customers through phone calls every day, outsourcing with a call center can add much needed scalability at a lower cost than adding more seats to internal customer service.
2) Most people know that outsourcing customer service can reduce costs. However, outsource call centers need to do more than provide a cheaper alternative to in-house customer service; they need to provide a real return on investment (ROI). Agrawal’s article offers insight into how companies can calculate customer service impact on the bottom line to determine ROI.
3) Before working with an outsourcing partner, companies need to do a self-evaluation to determine what their company actually needs. Do you need traditional call center services or multi-channel services that include email, live chat, and social media? Do you need specific analytics and metrics? Not all contact centers and BPO companies provide the same services, so they need to perform due diligence when selecting the best-fit partner. In addition, it’s important for a company to look at its needs objectively and determine if it’s logical to outsource or if it would be more advantageous for to build its own system in-house.
4) If a company doesn’t own their customer service phone number, they could run the risk of losing it if they decide to leave their call center partner, which could greatly damage the company’s customer experience. Agrawal says that if a company is going to hire an outsourcing provider, it’s critical to hire one that gives the company full ownership of the phone number from the start so they don’t demand a high charge to purchase it if the partnership ends.
5) Companies need to examine the contact center’s training processes and technology to determine if they have the right onboarding practices to provide customers with service that meets the company’s standards. We’ve all heard horror stories from certain companies whose call centers provided terrible service that led to major backlash. This can be avoided by properly vetting and analyzing all of the outsourcing provider options to ensure the one you choose has the people, resources, and technology to be a beneficial extension of your own company.
This blog post is based on an article from CustomerThink. To read the original article, please click the link below:
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