Outsourcing Customer Service: Your Complete Guide With Best Practices

Outsourcing Customer Service.

Outsourcing customer service can enhance efficiency and customer satisfaction.

But how can you do it in the best way possible?

This guide will explore the advantages, challenges, and best practices of outsourcing customer service.

By the end, you’ll have everything you need to help you choose the best outsourcing partner for your goals. 

Table of Contents

What Is Customer Service Outsourcing?

 
 

Customer service outsourcing involves entrusting customer service operations to an expert third-party provider.

It’s a fast-growing strategy for companies that want their in-house team to focus on core activities and competencies.

It’s an approach that helps companies stay lean while delivering responsive solutions to customers’ evolving needs via call center, managing live chats, and email support.

But it’s not just about offloading tasks.

Outsourcing to a quality customer support team can provide innovative solutions and expertise that scale alongside your business. Together, these can help a company’s customer relationship management, operational costs, and overall agility.

In industries where efficient and excellent support is essential, customer service outsourcing companies can play a crucial role in achieving a competitive edge.

 

Why Do Companies Outsource Their Customer Service?

 
 

Outsourcing customer service has become a strategic decision for many companies.

Here are just some of the many reasons it’s become such a popular solution.

Cost Savings

Cost-effectiveness is typically the primary reason.

Compared to maintaining an in-house team, outsourcing can significantly reduce operational expenses.

This cost-saving isn’t at the expense of quality, though. Instead, it allows companies to access specialized customer support agents and infrastructure at a lower cost.

Core Business Activities

core business activities.

Another common key reason is the ability to focus on core business functions.

As mentioned, outsourcing non-core activities like customer service helps businesses concentrate their internal resources on areas directly contributing to their business growth.

This is especially important in agile and innovative industries like eCommerce or gaming.

New Skills and Capabilities

Rapid technological and regulatory changes need new business and operating model shifts. As a result, businesses increasingly value access to new skills and capabilities in their outsourcing partners.

In 2020, Deloitte’s Global Outsourcing Survey found that 70% of business owners and operators considered cost savings as the primary driver of outsourcing.

Deloitte’s 2022 survey highlights that businesses are seeking balance. They’re looking for business process outsourcers that are not only cost-effective but also bring in fresh expertise and innovation.

This is where customer service providers are crucial in offering agile and integrated solutions.

Gear Inc.’s wide range of contact center services aligns well with these outsourcing trends.

Solutions like Call Center Outsourcing and Live Chat Support help address the need for cost-effective, efficient customer service, while Technical Support, In-app, Ticket, and Email Support provide specialized assistance and capabilities.

These services help partner businesses deliver comprehensive support without developing these capabilities with in-house employees.

Types Of Customer Service Outsourcing

 
 

Customer service outsourcing comes in various forms.

Each type has its unique features and benefits, and understanding these differences is key to choosing the right service.

Multi-channel and Omnichannel

 

Multi-channel and Omnichannel are two common approaches that cater to varied customer preferences.

Multi-channel covers separate, distinct communication methods.

Omnichannel offers a seamless experience across all platforms.

The choice depends on how integrated you want your customer interactions to be.

Onshore, Nearshore, and Offshore Outsourcing

 

Onshore, nearshore, and offshore outsourcing provide geographical and budgetary flexibility.

Onshore means services are located in the same country as your business.

Nearshore means outsourcing services to nearby countries.

Offshore refers to services provided by another country.

In essence, onshore offers ease of communication and cultural alignment; offshore offers cost-effective solutions, and nearshore aims to provide the best of both.

Shared vs. Dedicated Support

shared vs dedicated support.

Shared agents handle queries from multiple companies and thus are usually more budget-friendly.

Dedicated agents work for one company, offering specialized services with a dedicated team.

“Pay-per-ticket” customer support is also another emerging model.

Companies pay only for the number of tickets or queries handled, which can be great for businesses with fluctuating query volumes, aligning costs with actual service usage.

Gear Inc.’s Tailor-Made Solutions

Choosing the right outsourcing model is crucial.

Luckily, Gear Inc. offers flexible solutions that span all of these categories:

  • Our Call Center Outsourcing, Live Chat, and email support offer a proven multi-channel approach. We can also provide a workforce who can be trained for omnichannel capabilities where the client’s technology is applicable.
  • We can offer onshore, nearshore, and offshore outsourcing options to align with your company’s location preferences.
  • Our shared and/or dedicated agents can provide Technical Support, In-app and Ticket Support, and Email Support.

In short, we ensure you find the best fit for your company’s unique requirements. It’s this flexibility that allows us to match our services to your budget, time zone preferences, and language needs.

 

Pros And Cons Of Outsourcing Customer Service

 

Outsourcing customer service has several advantages and disadvantages that you’ll want to consider.

Let’s first explore its advantages.

Pros of Customer Support Outsourcing

  1. Cost Savings: As mentioned before, one of the most significant benefits is the potential for cost reduction.
    • Outsourcing eliminates the need for extensive in-house customer service operations, infrastructure, staffing, and salaries.
  2. Reduced Workload: Allows businesses to offload the labor-intensive heavy lifting of customer service.
    • Again, this helps internal teams focus on core business activities, boosting overall productivity.
  3. 24/7 Support: Outsourcing to service providers in different time zones enables businesses to offer round-the-clock customer support.
    • This is essential in today’s global market and ensures customer questions are answered with reliable service, even on weekends or holidays.
  4. Access to Specialized Teams: Outsourcing allows businesses to tap into pools of specialized customer service professionals with specialized skills and experience.
    • These teams stay up-to-date on client industries’ latest trends and technologies to handle a range of customer queries effectively.

Challenges of Outsourcing Customer Service

  1. Limited Product Knowledge: External customer service teams may lack in-depth knowledge of the company’s products or services, which can affect service quality.
  2. Data Security Concerns: Sharing sensitive customer data with third-party service providers raises security and privacy concerns, necessitating stringent data protection measures.
  3. Cultural Barriers: Differences in language and culture can sometimes lead to misunderstandings or a disconnect in customer service.

How Gear Inc. Tackles These Challenges

At Gear Inc., every challenge has a solution.

Comprehensive Training

We ensure our teams receive comprehensive training about client products and services, focusing on offering personalized customer experiences.

This means that agents are trained to understand each client’s unique requirements to provide tailored support that enhances customer satisfaction.

Stringent Data Security

We take data security very seriously. Our robust data protection measures keep customer information secure and maintain compliance with data privacy regulations.

We use advanced security measures to protect customer information, conduct regular audits, and comply with data protection laws as part of our protocol.

Managing Cultural Barriers

Poor customer service isn’t an option. We offer onshore and nearshore outsourcing solutions to countries worldwide to avoid potential cultural and language barriers.

This helps to ensure our customer service teams resonate well with your customer base wherever they are.

Best Practices For Outsourcing Customer Service

 

If you outsource your customer support operations, there are some important strategies to note:

Setting Clear Goals

Define what you want to achieve with outsourcing. It could be anything from improving response times to improving customer satisfaction scores.

Choosing the Right Partner 

The success of outsourcing largely depends on partnering with the right service provider. It’s important to look for a partner with a proven track record and the ability to understand and deliver on partner needs.

Investing in Training

Ensure the outsourced team receives adequate documents and training to understand your products, services, and overall company culture.

Focusing on Quality Control

Monitor the quality of the outsourced services often to ensure they meet your standards and expectations.

Monitoring Performance

Keep track of key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the effectiveness of the outsourced services.

Aligning With Company Needs

Every company is unique, and so are its outsourcing needs. And best practices require customer service companies to tailor strategies to specific business objectives. This customization ensures that the outsourced service complements your business model and contributes effectively to your goals.

How Gear Inc. Puts These Into Practice

 

At Gear Inc., we don’t just offer services; we integrate these best practices into our approach.

  • We start by understanding your specific goals to tailor our services accordingly.
  • Our selection process ensures we match suitable agents to clients, aligning business ethos and objectives.
  • Training is a continuous process at Gear Inc., ensuring our teams are always up-to-date with your products and services.
  • We maintain high-quality control standards with regular monitoring and feedback mechanisms.
  • Performance monitoring is integral to our service, ensuring we consistently meet and exceed your expectations.
 
 

Measuring The Success Of Outsourced Customer Service

 

Measuring the success of outsourced customer support services is vital to ensure they align with a company’s objectives.

Analytics and Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) provide actionable insights and help make informed decisions about the level of service.

Key metrics for tracking performance include:

  1. Customer Satisfaction Scores (CSAT): Reflect how satisfied customers are with the service they receive.
  2. First Response Time: Measures how quickly customer service representatives respond to customer inquiries.
  3. Resolution Rate: Indicates the percentage of customer issues resolved efficiently.
  4. Net Promoter Score (NPS): Gauges customer loyalty, customer retention rates, and the likelihood of recommending your services.
  5. Average Handle Time (AHT): Measures the average duration of a customer interaction.
 

At Gear Inc., we understand that each business has unique needs. Therefore, we customize our approach to performance tracking for each client.

This tailored method ensures that the metrics we track are the most relevant to your business goals and customer service objectives.

By aligning our performance tracking with your unique needs, we help maximize the effectiveness of your outsourced customer service.

 

Case Study: Scaling A Global E-Learning Platform’s Customer Support

 

Challenge: A hugely popular eLearning platform experienced a rapid increase in online course enrollments in 2014, requiring them to scale customer support and QA software testing teams fast.

Solution: Gear Inc. quickly assembled a 24/7 team, customized customer service software, and implemented targeted training. Our specialists closely monitored trends and performance, ensuring swift and efficient customer service.

Results: This collaboration significantly improved the platform’s response times and support team scalability. And enhanced review processes and detecting platform bugs contributed to a better customer experience.

Consequently, the student numbers for the eLearning platform soared from 2 million to 57 million by 2022.

This result helps highlight this partnership’s success in facilitating growth and service excellence.

 

Outsourcing Customer Service In Closing

 

In short, outsourcing customer service is a strategic move that can bring numerous benefits to a business:

  • Cost savings,
  • Increased efficiency,
  • Access to specialized skills,
  • Ability to provide 24/7 customer support.
 

A partner like Gear Inc. offers all of this and more. We align with your business goals and have a proven track record of quickly adapting to partner needs to ensure seamless integration of services.

Ready to take your customer satisfaction to the next level?

Choose Gear Inc. for a tailored, quality-driven approach.

Contact us at info@gearinc.com, and let’s get to work on your business’s growth and customer success.

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