Customer support outsourcing is a tried and tested way to scale operations and access critical skills cost-effectively. Unfortunately, many businesses learn the hard way that 72% of modern consumers expect support-related answers within 30 minutes and turn to outsourcing to bridge gaps in service delivery.
However, whatever the reason for considering this option, making that final step is frightening for some firms as it means relinquishing control. The best way to alleviate such fears is by partnering with a service specialist company, but how do you find the right one?
Read on to learn what to look for when considering customer support outsourcing.
Start With Non-Core Functions
If you’re not ready to leap yet or wish to try a company, you might try outsourcing a non-critical function like IT support or logistics. Doing so allows you to understand better how the process works and how your new business partner operates.
As you feel more comfortable in the company’s capabilities, you can look for a partner to entrust with your customer service functions.
Do Your Research
There is a vast difference between customer support outsourcing and support offshoring. The former is a holistic solution for your business, while the latter is merely finding someone to answer calls.
That’s not to say that you should look for a company based in your home country. There are several outstanding services available globally today. However, carefully research your candidates before you sign up. Consider the following:
- Do they have a good track record?
- What credentials do they have? Have they won awards for service?
- Who leads the company, and what is staff turnover?
- Are they ethical?
- How will they protect your data?
- How do they deal with you, and what steps are they taking to understand your business needs?
Your initial interviews will give you some insights into the above-mentioned questions. Checking customer reviews or asking for references is another excellent way to establish a baseline from which to compare options.
Taking on a third-party company to deal with customer service means potentially exposing your client’s sensitive customer information. Gauge how careful the service provider is when sharing customer information with you.
Run if they reveal sensitive information about their current clients to secure your business. Learn more about their privacy policies and see how well they measure up to yours.
You need to understand the company’s security protocols. How do they protect your data, and what happens in the event of a breach? Steer clear of companies that give overly vague responses or do not have a data breach recovery plan.
While few companies will lay out every specific aspect of their security system, they should provide sufficient details to reassure you that they take security seriously.
Compare Apples with Apples
Finally, you must find a way to evaluate the return on investment accurately. This task may prove easier said than done because of the range of support packages available. Start by getting their estimates in writing and request detailed quotes.
Compare components like cost per client or hour, service level agreements, and features that matter to your company. Say, for example, that your client base consists of a few small states where everyone speaks English. In such instances, it wouldn’t be worth paying extra for a multilingual team.
However, if you plan to expand into a new region, having that same team on your side will be an asset.
When it comes to customer support outsourcing, it’s wise to tread carefully. However, don’t let undue care prevent you from investing in your firm’s future.