When deciding on whether or not to outsource your customer service operation, you have to weigh the pros and cons of such a move. If you’re a small or medium-sized business, customer service outsourcing makes a lot of sense, as it reduces overhead. But then comes the question, what will your customer service consist of, and how will you outsource it, according to Biz30.
Customer service methods include email, social media, and old-fashioned call centers. The nature of your business and how often your customers will interact with it will determine the media through which the service will take place. Many questions can be handled at leisure on email. Others require the immediate intervention of a live human being on the phone.
Then you have to consider what kind of firm you would like to hire to outsource your customer service. Some companies employ only native English speakers. Others are located in foreign countries and hire customer service technicians who speak English as a second language. Some customer service outsourcing firms gather their representatives in a single physical office, while others use a work-from-home approach. Each model has its advantages and disadvantages concerning cost and quality.
The key to choosing a customer service firm is what kind of experience a customer has when dealing with it. If the experience is pleasant, with the client service representative able to communicate clearly, and with the problem being addressed quickly, then that firm may be one you would like to do business with. On the other hand, if the customer service representative has trouble communicating in English, is rude, and if the problem takes a long time to solve or is not solved at all, you would be well advised to stay away from such a company. The customer service experience is going to reflex on your firm’s brand.
How do you find out which customer service outsourcing firm is best for you?
A recent article in Entrepreneur suggests auditioning a customer service company. Call in as a customer and evaluate the customer experience, which will include not only whether or not the problem was resolved, but the ease with which that happened and how well the agent was able to communicate. Would a customer come away from the experience satisfied and appreciative? Or did the call cause frustration and anger?
Make sure that the real costs make sense. Many call centers charge according to volume, the technical requirements of your customer service, and the hours of operation.
Outsourcing customer service can have many benefits. But you should do your due diligence to make it an asset for your company’s operations and not a headache that has to be dealt with.