High-quality, reliable customer service is an integral part of every business. Whether your company is in retail or offers specific services, consumers require a convenient and flexible means of contacting the business. Unfortunately, small and medium businesses don’t always have the time, money, or resources to build its own in-house customer service center or have outgrown their capacity.
Thankfully, customer support outsourcing is available at an affordable cost for every business. A third-party company not only saves you money but also delegates an integral task to the experts. You won’t have to hire and/or train new staff with an outsourced provider. Your business also employs the knowledge and skills of experts who are adept at customer service.
The decision to outsource your customer service is an integral one. You want to hire a capable third-party company that is able to meet your needs and understands the demands of your brand. How then can you make the best decision? Here are a few guiding principles to keep in mind for outsourcing your customer service.
1. Outsource Early In Your Expansion/Growth Phase
Before you decide where to outsource your customer service, consider first when is the best time to make this big move. If your company is undergoing a major change or is experiencing fast-paced growth, this is the best time to have customer support outsourcing. The outsourcing company ensures your customers are taken care of while the rest of your team focuses on its internal rapid developments.
2. Know Your Limits
Not every business is blessed with a jack of all trades. This is especially true among small and medium businesses that are focused on hiring industry experts. If your company is not in customer service, then it’s best to outsource this to a third-party provider. At the same time, you can also observe how the outsourced provider takes care of your customer service. Becoming more involved gives you the opportunity to learn what tools are used and how the processes occur.
3. Bring Best Practice to your Customer Support Practice
Some businesses may already have a customer service team in place, however, if you’re not maintaining best practice, it may be time to speak to an expert especially if your internal support team needs to shift its attention elsewhere. A third-party customer service team can also fill the gaps if your support team is understaffed. Think of the outsourced team as an extension of your in-house staff, rather than as a separate entity, with increased domain expertise.
4. Consider Expanding to Social Media Customer Service
Customers no longer just call a hotline. Your brand also needs to engage in social media. An outsourced customer service center normally has the tools for both online and call responses. It’s important to focus on both forms of communication, as today’s customer interacts primarily online. Social media customer service is also a much cheaper investment compared to a call center. Forbes reports that social media only costs $1 per interaction. You enjoy lower costs and once done right, can enjoy huge profits. For instance, KLM has 150 social media customer service agents who manage new client bookings and thus yielded $250m in annual revenue.
5. Exceed Customer Expectations
Your consumers likely expect to wait on call, but they expect a much faster response online. According to The Social Habit’s survey, 32% of consumers expect a response within 30 minutes. Only 10% will wait for 60 minutes. Either way, the response must be at least within the hour. Otherwise, you are falling short of their expectations.
6. Figure Out the Best Method
Apart from call centers, chats, and social media, email is another integral part of customer service. While emails don’t require an immediate response, it demands more time, research, and attention that a dedicated team can take care of. Call centers, on the other hand, are best for big companies that handle a high volume of customer interactions. Choose an outsourcing company that can provide you with its own team to ensure quality service.
7. Seek Out Quality Control
Call management (CMS) IT solutions are used to efficiently manage inbound and outbound calls. These also monitor and analyze the call activity to ensure continuous improvement. Look for a company that includes this in its services, especially if your business is already handling a high volume of phone call interactions. CMS IT solutions can be used to assess your business’ operational contact center issues and find ways to resolve them. QA is a big deal!
Look for an outsourcing company with experience and expertise such as Infinit-O. Infinit-O’s Contact Center offers customized solutions that will fit your specific requirements. We are focused on increasing customer retention and satisfaction rates. Feel free to choose from inbound and outbound solutions, CMS, social media, and back-office services. Your company is given its own dedicated team within 30 days and is at your service 24/7. Contact Infinit-O today to discuss the best customer support outsourcing solution for your company.
When you’re ready to grow, think Infinit-O!
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