Every small, middle, or big business sooner or later comes to one the same question: to outsource or not to outsource. But if with large corporations everything is more or less cletr – they have financial possibilities and capacity to hire outsourced staff, with small companies or even startups everything is not so obvious. Especially when we talk about customer support.
Outsource customer service is one of the top business tendencies of the last few years. It has a lot of pros that help companies to achieve better results, improve lead generation and build a stable brand. The main thing here is to find a reliable contractor like SupportYourApp that will take over the necessary functions. So, how to do this if you are driving a small business with limited resources? In this article, we will share some useful tips to simplify a task.
This is how it works
Small businesses usually are built by just a few people that are working on everything at the same time. As a result, dealing with all management, marketing, and financial issues leaves no time for normal and productive communication with clients. And it may lead to really big problems.
According to, for example, this research, almost all customers pay attention to the quality and level of support they get. 51% of clients will never collaborate with the company again in case they already had a bad experience with it. Moreover, 65% of customers will leave negative feedback about the company that will definitely influence its reputation.
In case the company can’t handle all these positions alone, it’s better to hire an outsourced call center company than to lose the clients. This decision will free up a lot of resources inside the business, allow team members to concentrate on other ideas and, at the same time, guarantee the clients a better and more innovative approach to customer support.
List of services
When the company wants to find out how to outsource customer service and make it in the best possible way, the first thing to think about is the set of services you, as a customer, want to get. Of course, accepting and processing calls and all kinds of requests is one of the main goals of any call center. But on top of that, external customer services, depending on their type (inbound or outbound) are able to provide businesses with many other services like:
- appointments scheduling;
- order taking or e-commerce support;
- virtual reception and events organizing;
- lead generation;
- goods and services dispatching, etc.
How to outsource customer service: possible cons to think about
Yes, we are sure that remote customer service is a great step forward for any business, but at the same time, we want you to estimate all the risks before the active collaboration. Among the most widespread disadvantages of the external customer service it’s needed to mention:
- Security risks. It’s impossible to proceed with customer’s requests without sharing data with the customer service supplier. It can be some personal information, calculations, or even agreements that are not yet officially signed or announced. You have to be sure that you won’t lose this extremely important stuff due to intentional or unintentional reasons. We recommend double-checking the outsourced contractor you are going to work with and get possible feedback about them from other business partners.
- Bad quality risks. There is a common conception, that people who don’t work in your company can’t struggle for its needs. So the situation when the outsourced call center will provide the service to your clients on the low level can’t be 100% excluded. But at the same time, service supplies that take care of their name and brand will also do their best to provide you with enough expertise and professionalism.
- Risks of misunderstanding. Such cases may take place if you hire an outsourced company from another country. Misunderstanding is possible not only because of the language barrier but also due to some cultural differences. But never try never fly, you know? So, it’s better to start a lot of times and find the company that suits all your needs than to do everything alone.
Pricing, money, budget
Probably, the only big issue that stops a lot of small companies from hiring an external call center is financial limits. No worries, such services won’t cost too much if you order them wisely and systematically.
First of all, ask for some demo versions or test access from different companies. This will help to compare contractors. Also, ask them to calculate the approximate price of the service. Usually, the total cost depends on several factors:
Number of contacts
The logic here is quite easy – the more contacts the call center has with the customers, the more agent it needs to fulfill all the requirements. So, try to measure the average amount of calls and messages you get from the customers per month beforehand.
Some customer requests may need extra knowledge, technical expertise, or background. If it’s your particular case, try to choose a remote call center that is already specialized in your business. Otherwise, you will need to pay extra for involving qualified agents.
Availability and average call duration
If you want your call center to be available all day and night long including weekends and holidays, this will obviously cost more than a normal working schedule of 8-10 hours a day. Also, you can consider the average duration of the call in minutes.
Period of the contract
If you sign a contract for 1 month, the price for the service will be maximum, but the decision to hire a supplier for a longer period (for example, 1 year) may bring you some good discount.
That golden 3 rules
So, we finally may name those important rules you should follow to understand how to outsource customer service for company improvement, money-saving, and observing new business horizons.
- Always take your time. Customer service and support is quite a sensitive topic. You should be sure that the outsourced company won’t spoil everything that was done before and will be able also to bring excellent results you are expecting. That’s why it’s better to study several market players, read about them on the web, ask for some feedback and have a personal appointment with the best candidates. Also, be ready to become flexible and change the supplier in case it’s needed.
- Keep money in mind. Outsourced call centers are a service you should pay money for. That not to overspend the budget, discuss all the time frames, shifts, and other circumstances before.
- Stay tuned. Even if you have already found good remote customer service and already collaborate with it, always control their work, reports, issues and results. Such an approach will let you be involved all the time, and avoid situations you are not ready for.
Searching for qualified external customer support is something like a business quest. It’s difficult and even risky, but also an interesting and potentially profitable occupation where your main goal is to find a long term partnership with a win-win result.