Customer service outsourcing is a widely-debated topic for most e-commerce businesses. Some believe it is the way to scale your customer experience and provide 24/7 coverage. While others believe it probably does your business more harm than good.
After all, who would know your customers better than you?
This article serves to debunk the 6 myths about customer service outsourcing and shed some light on why your online store can only benefit from outsourcing.
Myth 1: I’ll lose touch with our customer care process and our customers
Since outsourcing means having your customer service team members based in remote locations, you might be worried that your outsourced teams might not be delivering as well as they should be.
The good news: quality customer service partners will be fully transparent with you so that you’re able to manage and monitor the entire process as closely as you want. Some would introduce a weekly and monthly reporting schedule so you are always aware of what’s going on with your customer service.
A reliable reporting structure would include:
- Chat and email volume
- Peak times
- First-contact resolution rate
- Key drivers or recurring topics behind conversations
- Conversion rates
- Revenue generated
- Customer satisfaction ratings
A quality customer service outsourcing partner would also work with you to define what success means for your business. As every business has some varying indicators for success depending on the products they offer.
A quality partner would also provide recommendations based on the reports generated. Sharing statistics alone will not help improve your business as much as getting insights on actions to take to move the needle.
You never lose touch with customer service as a result of great communication, reporting, and most importantly, transparency.
Myth 2: I will lose quality and control over my customer service
One common myth is that outsourcing will cause a drop in quality for your customer experience, and ultimately you losing control over the entire process.
That is not how successful customer service outsourcing works.
The fact is, it should be the reverse: you will experience an improvement in quality and control over your customer experience by bringing on an experienced partner that looks out for the best interests of your company.
How do you look for a partner that brings more value to your company then?
Your prospective outsourcing partner should:
- involve you at every stage of the outsourcing process
- have a proven record of delivering results for other clients
- have tested best practices and processes that you can benefit from
- redefine their parameters to make sure success is replicated
Tip: Ask a vendor for references from other clients. A reliable vendor will have at least a few references that you can contact to be certain of your decision.
Another great alternative would be to request for a list of websites that your partner is supporting and jumping on those websites to speak with their customer service representatives.
Myth 3: I can get better results in-house
Your in-house customer service team will definitely have better product knowledge than your partner at the beginning. They will be familiar with the processes your business has built over time while they’ve been there.
Would your outsourcing partner not be able to do the same then?
A high-quality vendor will have the experience and processes to make sure they deliver a superior customer experience for you. With their years of expertise in the field of customer service, they should already have the best practices and workflows in place to take your customer service to the next level.
OptinMonster was able to 11X their conversion rates with live chat outsourcing despite them already having a great in-house team in place to look after their customers.
A better way to look at this would be: an outsourcing partner will be able to improve your current processes and results.
Myth 4: I can only outsource simple processes
To follow up on the quality of in-house versus outsource, businesses also believe that you can only outsource the simple stuff to vendors.
Quality vendors are experts in the domain of customer service. They have had broad coverage and deep industry knowledge built up from their years of experience serving other clients. And they probably have encountered a myriad of challenges — both simple and complex.
Sure, it is definitely prudent to test an outsourcing vendor with simple processes in the beginning. But, in the long run, your business would definitely benefit from outsourcing all processes. It would simplify the processes, improve the customer experience, and save you a lot more money.
Tip: Look for a partner with experience in your industry and a track record of handling omnichannel customer service. Find out what technologies they use, their best practices or workflows designed to deliver customer experiences across multiple channels.
Forward-looking partners would already be using some form of AI technology in their workflows. Thus improving their reps efficiency and gathering insights automatically from conversations.
Myth 5: All outsourcing companies are the same, so I’ll pick the cheapest
The saying is probably true in most cases: you get what you pay for.
By picking the cheapest vendor and saving money upfront, you will probably lose even more revenue down the line from poorly delivered customer experiences. Not to mention losing more customers!
Cost is always a concern, but you should start your search process without considering many cost factors. Identify the parts of your customer service solution that are required, and use those as a starting point for filtering. For example, you may decide that a partner must be able to provide customer service through chat, email, and social media.
Culture fit is also very important for your business. Take a good look at how well their reps know your customers and how well your prospective partner can build a team culture that best represents your brand.
Myth 6: Language is a huge problem
In line with the concerns of culture fit, language is also considered an issue when outsourcing. For example, a partner that is based in Asia that provides customer service in English is believed to not have the language skills required for North America.
This boils down to the selection and recruitment of customer service representatives by your partner. As the world is shrinking through technology, professionals all over the world are now multilingual as a result, learning and working in languages that are not native to where they’re from.
This is also an exciting time to outsource customer service because you are now able to tap into multilingual chat agents as a result of a partner’s ability to recruit and train candidates across the world. You could have bilingual Spanish speakers from South America serving the European market. Or, perhaps Ukrainian customer service representatives who are fluent in Mandarin to serve the Chinese market.
The possibilities are endless.
Now that we debunked these myths about customer service outsourcing, we hope you recognize the benefits that you could have. Take the first step in turning your customer service center into a revenue generator. You’ll scale your business much faster, provide a great 24/7 customer experience for your customers, and simply sleep soundly knowing your business is taken care of by your trusted outsourcing partner.