In today’s market, where consumers have more choices than ever before, customer support has become the backbone of every modern business, more so those in eCommerce and SaaS. However, a company may not have the resources and willpower to deliver quality support to its clients at all times. And that’s where customer support outsourcing comes in.
But how do you begin outsourcing your customer service if you’ve never done it before? What steps should you take to ensure that the process goes on seamlessly? Here are the stages a business should go through if you decide on support outsourcing.
Up until recently, getting in touch with businesses was a painstaking process. And the larger or busier a company was, the harder it was to reach their support staff.
Knowing the many hours that they would have to wait to get in touch with customer support agents, many customers opted to deal with the issues themselves. But with the rise of the on-demand economy, where customers can order services on the go, companies are stepping up in the customer support area, as well. And it’s not just large companies that should care about customer service from the start but startups, too. That’s because high-quality support builds a business’s reputation from the beginning.
Now, the question is not if customer service is essential, as no business can succeed without offering its customers excellent service, but whether you should outsource it or not.
Outsourcing your support service makes sense in the following scenarios:
Generally, it’s cheaper to outsource customer service than to set up your own in-house staff to handle support responsibilities. For example, if you were to hire a customer support representative, it would cost you roughly $48,193 a year in salary plus added costs, such as computer and phone costs, recruitment costs, and other overheads.
The total amount you would have to part with would exceed $67,000. Conversely, it will cost you just around $19,000-$20,000 a year if you outsource the same service, an amount that includes infrastructure, training, and management.
To get the proper outsourcing solutions for your business, finding a suitable vendor is paramount. The right contractor should have the necessary knowledge, resources, and a good reputation. Here are three critical estimations to have in mind at the beginning of your move to outsource your customer support:
Start by figuring out how many interactions your business has with customers on average. Even if you are just starting your business, you can estimate how many interactions you will likely have in the early days. This number will help the outsourcing company to know how many dedicated agents and infrastructural resources you will need.
A business owner must account for growth before making a long-term commitment. That means that the outsourcing solution you select to handle your customer support needs must be scalable. Good remote customer support vendors should be in a position to adjust quickly to a surge in customer interactions and vice versa.
When creating your budget for general or tech support outsourcing, you may encounter some additional costs that may not be apparent at the start. Therefore, you may spend extra for onboarding training, technical issues, etc. So, it would be better to budget an extra amount to the initial outsourcing customer service cost quoted for you.
When deciding on one of the many customer service outsourcing companies, you will typically go through a couple of steps. These are:
The first step you need to take with the outsourced customer service provider is to do an in-depth analysis of your business. The provider must understand how your business works, what products and services you offer, and what your customer needs are. After a thorough analysis, the subcontractor can then pick the most suitable support tools and channels (email, live chat, phone, etc.) for you and your customers.
The next step is team training. The outsourced technical support must go through onboarding before they can start interacting with your customers. This process entails several training sessions, as well as meetings with your business representatives. In this phase, the incoming team works to familiarize itself with your business needs and your expectations from the partnership. It may take around two weeks.
After all the insights about your company have been gathered, the outsourcing provider then tests the support team to know whether they understand your business, as well as your requirements enough to handle your customers’ queries and issues.
Once the onboarding and analysis processes are over, your new customer support team is ready to start working. Though the support functions are not happening within your business premises, most outsourcing contractors allow their clients to monitor how the team interacts with customers regularly. You can also get reports of these interactions monthly or how you’d like them to be.
The new support team then continues to improve and adapt to your business needs. As the business, you need to keep the team updated on your latest product, services, stores, etc.
If your company is struggling to meet customer support demands, the best solution is to outsource support service. Quality outsourced customer support can save your business’ both money and time. With this elaborate guide, you now have an idea of how to prepare for outsourcing, and what steps to follow when you outsource customer support.