Exceptional customer service is a key component of any successful business. Ensuring consumers are satisfied encourages them to become loyal customers, and it is vital in driving word-of-mouth advertising. Unfortunately, many business owners are so caught up in other functions they struggle to provide the level of customer service today’s consumers expect—and demand.
If this struggle sounds familiar, you may want to consider outsourcing your customer service department. More and more businesses of all sizes are turning to third-party support teams for customer care, and outsourcing is more affordable than you may think. In fact, it could save your company money in comparison to handling customer service in-house—and free up funds for fun things like customizing wholesale t-shirts to use for giveaways. Outsourcing also eases stress and frees up resources, allowing you to focus on other aspects of running your business.
Outsourcing customer service is beneficial for many companies. It isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly, though. If you think it might be time to start outsourcing your customer service, keep reading to discover a few important considerations.
Outsourcing Lowers Operational Costs
If you are having a hard time making ends meet, the idea of hiring a third party to handle customer service may seem counterintuitive. The truth, though, is outsourcing will save you money compared to hiring full-time support staff. When you outsource, you work with contractors rather than employees. This means you don’t have to pay a fixed salary or cover the cost of overtime, benefits, etc.
While there are companies that offer third-party customer service services in the United States, outsourcing to a company based in a country with a lower cost of living can further reduce costs. Using an outsourced customer service team based in India, for example, will cost significantly less than working with American customer service contractors.
The money saved by outsourcing can ease financial stress when funds are tight. It can also be used to fund other things, like a customer loyalty program in which you purchase t-shirts at wholesale price to customize and give to your most loyal customers.
Using a Third Party Allows You to Quickly Expand Support Coverage
Depending on what industry you are in, there may be sometimes when your customer support needs are greater than others. If, for example, you are trying to figure out how to grow your eCommerce business and know your current customer service team struggles to keep up during the holiday season, working with a third party could be an excellent solution.
Building an internal customer service team takes time, and it can be nearly impossible to keep up when your needs change. When you outsource through a trusted company, though, expanding your support team is quick and easy. Additional customer service people are always available, and they can quickly adapt to your processes. And when things slow down, you can let people go without the red tape often involved in laying off or firing a full-time employee. Refashioning organizational boundaries through outsourcing customer service work provides several other benefits, too.
Outsourcing Streamlines Processes by Eliminating Repetitive Tasks
If you have spent any time fielding phone calls or emails from your customers, you have likely realized many people have the same (or very similar) questions, concerns, or problems. Having your internal team handle these repetitive tasks wastes time, and wasting time wastes money. By working with a third party, you can let someone else deal with repetitive inquiries. This frees up more time for you and the rest of your internal team to tend to more pressing issues.
Keep in mind, though, that this may not be the best option if most of the inquiries you receive are of a highly technical nature. Third parties do a great job of addressing simple questions and concerns, but an internal support team may be better if you are in a highly technical industry.
Scale Up with Ease
Determining how to keep up with your customers’ needs when your business is experiencing rapid growth is a good problem to have. That doesn’t make it any less challenging to overcome, though. If your business is growing at a rapid pace, focusing on customer support internally may not be the best—or most practical—use of your time.
Enlisting the help of a third-party customer service team allows your business to provide timely, high-quality assistance to customers while allowing you to focus on long-term growth and goals. Even if you only use a third party temporarily while your company expands, doing so is a fast and efficient solution when scaling up.
Keep in mind, too, that outsourcing customer support is a solid option when you want to expand your geographic reach. If your in-house customer service team only speaks English, you will have a hard time serving customers in other parts of the world. Outsourcing customer service makes it easy to build a multilingual team that can serve customers throughout the world.
The Right Customer Service Outsourcing Company Is a Valuable Partner
There are a lot of companies out there offering third-party customer service solutions. Unfortunately, they are not all created alike. If you have decided it’s time to start outsourcing customer service for your business, take the time to research multiple companies to find the one that’s right for you. Printer and Accenture are both reputable companies that offer reasonable rates and guarantee satisfaction, but they certainly are not the only ones worth looking into.
Determine what services your outsourced support team will need to provide, and consider things like your average call and email volume. Think about what you are looking for in a third-party customer service company, too. Understanding your needs before you begin the search for a company will help you narrow down the potential options and find a company or contract that perfectly suits your needs and which will act as a valuable partner to your business.