Customer service has become one of the essential pillars that build a business. Organizations of all sizes now believe in the value of having separate departments to handle customer relations.
With the changes in customer expectations and behavior and advancement in digital technology, customer service has evolved to become a niche area and a specific task that requires specialized training, tools and technologies. As a result, businesses have started outsourcing customer service, to reduce cost and minimize the use of internal resources. Moreover, outsourcing to a multi-channel contact center provider gives more inputs on customer behavior and provides key data for decision making.
With all the benefits of outsourcing, some organizations are still skeptical about outsourcing customer service, citing doubts about results and lack of management control.
Below are a few keys points to help you decide whether your business should outsource customer service.
Reasons to Outsource Customer Service
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Every business seeks to garner cost efficiencies, and cost savings is the biggest driver of outsourcing. Though it is true that outsourcing cuts overheads significantly, that should not be the sole motive. A business should place paramount emphasis on the quality of service, as any inefficiency can result in mass migration of customers. Therefore, while selecting an outsourcing firm, consider the track record, clientele and reviews of their service.
Seasonal Spike in Volume:
Businesses, such as those in the retail and hospitality sector, experience a seasonal peak in sales volumes during certain periods of a year, such as the holiday season. These businesses tend to get a major portion of their annual sales from these events and they cannot afford to miss the pie. The outsourcing model for customer service becomes extremely beneficial in these situations, because more personnel can be easily assigned to handle customer queries and orders.
Outsourcing often provides access to multi-channel support, which a business may find difficult to take up internally. If the customers of an organization are employing all available channels of communication – such as voice calls, emails, live chat, mobile / SMS, and social media etc – to get in touch with the business, outsourcing may be the best method to respond to their communication efficiently in a professional manner.
If the business deals with global customers or those who initiate communication after regular business hours, round-the-clock customer service becomes imperative. For example, an eCommerce business needs to provide always-on customer support, irrespective of the geographic time zone of the customer, if it has a global delivery model. Establishing 24×7 customer operations may be challenging for such a business, and hence outsourcing to a specialist company that does provide this facility becomes the viable alternative.
If your business handles complex technical calls on a regular basis, it is recommended to have an in-house team to take such calls, as third parties may not have the technical know-how to provide apt solutions. In addition, if calls tend to transfer to various departments, then it would be difficult for an outsourcing firm to process such calls. In these cases, the in-house customer relations center can ensure that customers are receiving correct, optimal solutions to their issues. Other activities such as appointment setting and lead generation can be outsourced.
Size of Organization:
Outsourcing benefits organizations of all sizes, but if the volume of customer interactions is small, then a business may find it easier to allocate the task of customer service to an in-house executive. Outsourcing can then be considered depending on the future growth of the enterprise.
The Schneider Culture Model lays down four types of organizational cultures: collaboration, control, cultivation, and competence. An organization that falls within the purview of ‘control culture’, implying adherence to a strict hierarchy and well-defined structures of power, may find it difficult to adjust to an outsourcing partnership where a certain amount of control has to be transferred to a specialist. However, laying down a well-thought-out service level agreement and establishing reporting standards will enable a ‘control’ organization to leverage outsourcing to complete its non-core tasks.
Before deciding on outsourcing, consider all factors, such as business volumes, employee compensation, training, maintenance, and equipment costs. Perform a risk-benefit analysis of having an in-house team versus outsourcing. Should outsourcing be the better alternative, choose a professional call center services company that will satisfy all your present and future business requirements.
Read Also Related Articles:
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|3||How to Create Call Center Outsourcing RFP (Request for Proposal)|