Modern businesses that are stretched to the limit must improve their efficiency in order to be financially viable. Outsourcing can help you outsource repetitive, high-demand tasks and place them in the hands of professionals. As a result, seven out of ten UK-based businesses 1 are now investing in outsourcing solutions.
IT departments are often outsourced, even though they do not have direct customer-facing functions. Your customer service center is one area that can be outsourced. A lot of companies wouldn't initially think about outsourcing customer service. They would rather manage customer service in-house. However, outsourcing could prove to be beneficial if there is an unexpected demand or need to scale agents.
We will be discussing different strategies and areas that can help you create an outsourced customer service center. We'll be highlighting the importance of having access the right agents when required and the benefits to creating a hybrid system that combines the best of both your in-house and outsourced partners.
Things to Think
It is important to identify the right partner to help you outsource customer service.
Before you start looking for the right partner to meet your needs, there are some things you should ask. Here are some things to think about:
1.What level of support do you require? You need to decide whether you want to outsource all of your customer service, or just a portion to manage spikes and demand. Many outsourcing companies are open to forming a partnership with businesses and helping them achieve their goals. They will also ensure that the agents they provide have the experience and skills to meet or exceed your expectations.
2.Do you require multi-channel support? Do you only require call center agents or are you looking for outsourced support for live chat, social media, or other channels? This information should be presented to potential partners once you have determined it. Some partners may not have the ability to provide multi-channel assistance.
3.What is your budget? When outsourcing, it is important to be able to pay for the services you need. Prices can vary depending on the level and location of outsourcing required. Outsourcing offshore is cheaper, but it comes with the risk of poor quality and a less pleasant customer experience. Onshore outsourcing, on the other hand, is generally more cost-effective, but not as affordable. You might find some food for thought.
4.What level of active relationship would you like to have with your partner? : Most outsourcing companies will usually fall in one of two categories; 'set-it-and-forget-it' or interactive management. This is the most obvious. It is where you will set a guideline for what you want. The relationship will end at this point and the service will continue until it ends. This is where your outsourced partner will work with you to match and scale demand, being more flexible to meet your needs and working alongside you instead of working for you.
5.Are you able to outsource your business? If so, is it easy for an outsourced agent (or a person working with you) to understand your business? It is important to make sure that outsourced agents have easy-to-follow resources, especially if there is a high demand for your product.
6.Variable demand: Are you a customer service professional? Do you notice trends or spikes in customer demand that make it more difficult and stressful for customer service staff? You run the risk of overworking your staff or not being able to reach customers who aren't interested in speaking with you. This can lead to a decrease in sales. These are the areas that you should be focusing on to help you decide how to outsource your team. You can have a full team, in which your outsourced team manages and scales the demand by adding agents as needed and scaling back when necessary. This could also be done in a hybrid model, where the outsourced team can help you with your existing team and is available for spikes.
7.What type of agents are you looking for? Outsourcing partners offer both offshore and onshore outsourcing, which have their pros and cons. It is important to identify the type of team you are looking to add to your customer service center or to replace it. This will lead to a common discussion about call centers..
The 'Onshore vs Offshore Debate
In recent years, there has been a shift in favor of onshore. This is the preferred option not only for customers but also for businesses looking to locate their call centers. A recent survey of customers asked them if they would prefer to speak to foreign-based customer service even if they had to pay 10% more. However, three times as many respondents said that they would still prefer to talk to an onshore service. Many customers said that they would rather speak to a live agent from abroad than listen to any automated service. These points were further supported by the fact that over 70% of respondents to the survey said they would be happy to wait for a longer wait time if they could speak with a local agent, rather than one located outside the UK 2. For the customer, it boils down to speaking with someone real first and then having a positive experience second.
This information will help you to choose the right people to provide your call center. Customers will pay more for local agents if they are able to deliver a more personalized experience. It would be sensible that businesses do the same.
LiveHelpIndia offers outsourced offshore customer service agents. We pride ourselves on their customer service expertise and expert training. Our agents come from all over the UK and have the tools to work anywhere. We believe this is the best way to provide customer service to recruit the best.
Agents available on-demand with flexible access
You can be flexible when outsourcing customer service. Partnering with an outsourced team will allow you to scale back and introduce experienced agents as needed, which is a great way to ensure that you don't pay too much for the resources.
You won't need an entire in-house team sitting at computers during low-demand times. However, you won't be paying for a full-time employee. An outsourced team can allow you to reconfigure the team as needed, potentially saving you money in the long term.
Don't forget that outsourcing is not a one-size-fits-all situation
Important to remember that outsourcing customer service centers are not the only option. It is a service that can be added to your existing service, to streamline customer demand, quality, and experience, to ensure the best possible outcome for both you and the customer.
LiveHelpIndia offers flexible services that are tailored to your business needs and customer service center.
Our pay-as-you-go customer services solutions will allow you to access some of the most skilled agents in the UK. This will enable you to save countless hours and money over the long term. You'll only be charged for what you use. Flexible solutions are available with on-demand scaling to meet call volume. If you want to have the best-outsourced customer service center possible, this is it!