The decision to outsource customer care isn’t an easy one. So many different factors come into play, and you must consider them all.
Perhaps the biggest concern for firms looking to outsource their customer care is how to do it effectively. It’s one thing to simply outsource customer care; it’s another to make sure you’re truly getting the best deal possible for your firm.
Know What You Need
The third-party customer care market’s a crowded one. Plenty of firms will make you seemingly great offers in order to win your business. You must be extra vigilant when reviewing any firm’s proposal for your customer care. After all, you’re the only one who truly knows if what the firm offers fits your needs.
Knowing what you need is an absolute must before you can outsource customer care effectively. When you know what you need, you can shop with confidence, and review and compare providers easily. You also won’t be seduced by “great deals” on services you don’t need or want.
Build to Scale
Or perhaps “build to scale” is more appropriate. Whatever the case, your firm needs flexibility built right into the terms of the contract you sign for your customer care. One concern that comes up again and again in outsourcing negotiations is scalability, so put it at the forefront of your customer care agreement.
Most firms look to outsource customer care because they can’t keep up with the demand. It’s often a result of growth, and if your firm plans to keep growing, you need a provider that can keep pace with you. Scalability is key: You need a provider that can grow its services with your business. If your agreement isn’t scalable, your customer care won’t be effective.
The Budget Line
The other reason firms consider outsourcing is expense: In-house customer care isn’t cheap. Of course, outsourcing can be expensive too—in fact, some providers are so ineffective that they actually end up costing you more.
Always review a provider’s proposal and services. The dollar signs often aren’t the whole story. Although an effective provider might seem to cost a little more up front, chances are the ROI will be much higher. You can stretch your dollar to deliver better customer care.
Always ask how any potential provider measures customer service performance. If the provider isn’t using any metrics at all, say goodbye. You need concrete numbers to give insight into how the service stacks up.
You’ll also want to know exactly which metrics a provider uses, because not all metrics are created equal. Some are better than others, and they can tell you more about how effectively you’re delivering customer service.
The Edge of Tomorrow
Another reason firms decide to outsource customer care is to take advantage of a provider’s infrastructure. One reason in-house customer care is so expensive is that it’s nearly impossible to keep on top of technology. Some firms just keep using old, outdated tech, even though it can hurt their businesses.
Your provider should use some of the latest technology to deliver your customer care.
A New Approach
Another area you and your provider should stay up to date on is the actual framework of customer care delivery. Outdated models, such as scripted responses and formulaic solutions, only frustrate customers and drive the perception you’re delivering poor service.
Look for a provider that adopts new practices and paradigms when it comes to delivering customer service. Your customers live in the 21st century after all, so don’t pick a provider offering service models from the stone ages. You’ll get much more effective service if you decide to outsource customer care with the right partner.