The decision to outsource customer service is not one your business can take lightly. After all, customer service is incredibly important to today’s consumers, with as many as 70 percent of customers saying they would leave a company over poor customer service. Turning over that service delivery to another company can be intimidating.
Looking at the following factors, however, will help you understand whether your firm would benefit from outsourcing your customer service.
Cost is the first thing most business owners consider when deciding whether outsourcing your customer service makes sense. The fact of the matter is, in-house customer service can be expensive, and in many cases, businesses simply do not have enough resources to dedicate to providing superior customer service. In that case, outsourcing can save them money.
However, you must ensure you are partnering with the right provider if cutting overhead is your goal. Some providers actually end up costing firms more money.
4. Your Brand
You may not have thought about your brand when it came to deciding whether to outsource customer service. But the strength of your brand is a big consideration, and it will affect which provider you partner with and how you partner with the company.
Firms with strong brands will want to partner with a provider that can maintain the brand’s strength. One concern many companies have when they decide to outsource is whether doing so will dilute their brands. The right provider will ensure that does not happen.
Firms with weaker brands can also benefit from outsourcing with the right provider, however, as a provider can help them grow and strengthen their brands.
3. Your Customers
It may seem obvious that you need to consider your customers when you decide to outsource your customer service. After all, customer service is for the customers!
What you need to consider is what your customers want, however. You may decide to keep your call center inhouse, but is a call center really how your customers want to contact you?
You customers might be looking for online chat or a FAQ section on your website that they can search. If that is the case, you might very well need to reconsider outsourcing. If your customers want 24/7 service, you will likely need to consider adding at least some outsourced service to your strategy.
2. Flexibility and Scalability
Another common reason companies outsource customer service is because they need greater flexibility. An in-house customer service operation often entails a lot of overhead in terms of investment in both people and technology. That creates higher sunk costs, and it makes an in-house customer service team less maneuverable.
Outsourcing your customer service is a good idea if you’re looking to get back flexibility and scalability. Since the sunk costs are lower, you have less commitment. Your provider will be able to divvy up costs for representatives or new technology across several client accounts, which means you only pay for what you need to use. Better yet, that service can be scaled more quickly and easily, which means that when your business ramps up, your customer service can be right there beside you.
1. The Service You Need
When people talk about customer service, they mostly think about inbound services: Customers contacting you when they have a problem, question, or complaint. And while you need to consider these services, you also need to consider the other services a provider can offer you, including outbound services to create outreach for your customers.
The truth is there are plenty of different services to consider, and while you may decide to keep some customer service functions inhouse, there are likely others that it will make sense to outsource.