Outsourcing customer service is a strategic solution for businesses seeking cost savings, expertise, and improved customer satisfaction. In this complete guide, discover the secrets to achieving excellence in outsourcing and transforming your operations into a powerhouse of customer delight. Let's dive in!
Why outsource customer service?
Outsourcing customer service provides businesses with a range of benefits. By partnering with an outsourcing provider, companies gain access to specialised expertise and resources that are not available in-house. This, in turn, enables them to deliver exceptional customer support. Additionally, outsourcing can result in cost savings as it eliminates the need to invest in infrastructure and manpower. The streamlined processes and improved response times achieved through outsourcing also contribute to enhanced operational efficiency.
What are the different types of outsourcing?
When it comes to outsourcing customer service, businesses have various options to consider.
Offshore outsourcing: involves partnering with a service provider in a different country, offering potential cost advantages
Onshore outsourcing: on the other hand, involves collaborating with a provider within the same country, ensuring closer proximity and cultural and language alignment
Nearshore outsourcing: provides a balance between cost savings and convenience by partnering with a service provider in a neighbouring or nearby country.
Carefully evaluating needs and specific requirements will help you determine the most suitable outsourcing approach for your customer service.
If you decide to go for an Onshore outsourcing, our solution may be a great option for you! At Onepilot, we are working with 800+ locally based and native agents empowered by our proprietary tech platform to efficiently solve all kinds of tickets, across all channels, 24/7. If you are curious to know more about it, book a demo with us!
6 Steps to successfully outsource your customer service
1- Understanding the Needs of Your Business and Customers
Assessing your customer service requirements
Begin by conducting a comprehensive evaluation of your current customer service operations. Analyse the strengths and weaknesses of your existing processes, systems, and resources. Identify any gaps or areas that are causing customer dissatisfaction or hindering your business growth. This assessment will provide valuable insights into the specific aspects that need to be addressed through outsourcing.
Analysing customer support volume and complexity
One key aspect to consider is the volume and complexity of your customer support. Determine the average number of customer queries, complaints, or requests received daily, weekly, or monthly. Additionally, assess the complexity of these interactions, such as technical inquiries or specific product knowledge requirements. This analysis will help you gauge the scale of support needed and identify areas where specialised expertise may be required
Identifying specific customer service channels
Different customers prefer to engage through a variety of channels. Identify the specific customer service channels that are most commonly used and preferred by your target audience. This could include phone calls, emails, live chat, social media, or self-service options. By understanding your customers' preferred channel, you can ensure that your outsourcing strategy aligns with their expectations and delivers a seamless customer experience across all touchpoints.
2- Selecting the Right Outsourcing Partner
Researching potential outsourcing companies
Start by researching potential outsourcing companies that specialise in customer service within. An essential is finding a provider with a proven track record and experience in your industry. Consider their reputation, client base, and the range of services they offer.
Evaluating expertise and experience Assess the expertise and experience of each potential partner. Evaluate their ability to handle customer queries effectively, provide accurate information, and resolve issues efficiently. Consider their knowledge of your products or services, as well as their understanding of industry-specific regulations and best practices.
Reviewing client testimonials and case studies Read client testimonials and case studies to gain insights into the outsourcing companies' performance and client satisfaction levels. Look for feedback on their responsiveness, professionalism, and ability to meet service level agreements. These testimonials and case studies can provide valuable information to help you make an informed decision. At Onepilot, we are working with 200+ Emerchants who trust us to outsource their customer care. Like Qonto, Le Slip Français, Dash water, Shape Republic, Les Raffineurs, you can scale your customer service from 2 to 200 agents in a month and bring 24/7 and omnichannels answers.
Seek References Request to speak with existing clients to help with your full due diligence. If a company offers this without asking then it’s a bonus.
Assessing cultural compatibility
Cultural compatibility is crucial when selecting an outsourcing partner. Consider the cultural nuances and values that align with your brand and target audience. Assess their ability to understand and respect cultural differences to ensure a seamless customer experience.
Understanding language proficiency
Language proficiency is vital for effective communication with your customers. Evaluate the outsourcing company's language proficiency. Ensure that their representatives have strong language skills and can communicate fluently and clearly in the languages required for your customer base.
Considering time zone differences Time zone differences can affect the availability of customer service support. Assess how the outsourcing company manages time zone challenges to ensure that your customers receive prompt and efficient assistance, regardless of their location. Consider their flexibility in providing round-the-clock support if needed
At Onepilot, we only work with native, local and experienced agents in 8 different countries to ensure a high quality of response to users and responsiveness across all channels
3- Establishing Effective Communication and Processes
Defining clear objectives and expectations
Start by defining clear objectives and expectations for the outsourced customer service team. Clearly communicate your business goals, performance targets, and service level expectations. This clarity will guide the outsourcing partner and align their efforts with your desired outcomes.
Outlining performance metrics and KPIs Establish specific performance metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of your outsourced customer service operations. Metrics such as response time, first contact resolution rate, CSAT and average handling time can provide valuable insights into the efficiency and effectiveness of the outsourced team.
Establishing reporting and feedback mechanisms Put in place regular reporting and feedback mechanisms to monitor the performance of the outsourced customer service team. Schedule regular meetings or check-ins to review performance, address any concerns or challenges, and provide constructive feedback. This fosters open communication and enables continuous improvement.
Streamlining knowledge transfer
Efficient knowledge transfer is crucial for the outsourced team to understand your products, services, and brand values. Develop a comprehensive knowledge transfer plan that includes documentation, training materials, and access to relevant resources. This ensures that the outsourced team has the necessary information and tools to deliver exceptional customer service.
Documenting processes and procedures Documenting processes and procedures is essential for consistency and clarity in customer service delivery. Create a comprehensive repository of standard operating procedures (SOPs), FAQs, and troubleshooting guides. This knowledge base serves as a valuable resource for the outsourced team, enabling them to handle customer queries and issues effectively. If you don’t know where to start, you can always refer to this article “5 keys to build an efficient knowledge base for your customer care!”
Building a knowledge base is a service provided by Onepilot to all our clients. Thanks to this document our agents can easily find the answer to each customer case listed on the platform and thus provide a qualified and homogeneous response in complete autonomy.
Conducting training sessions and workshops Organise training sessions and workshops to familiarise the outsourced team with your products, services, and customer service protocols. These training sessions can be conducted remotely or on-site, depending on the arrangements. Provide ongoing training opportunities to keep the team updated on new products, processes, and customer service best practices.
To make sure our agents are perfectly trained to answer your customers' questions, we have developed our own training tool: The Onepilot Academy. The agents, our heroes, must train on our customers' knowledge bases in order to have access to their tickets. The goal is to provide comprehensive and intuitive training programs by using videos, quizzes, and images that can be easily edited on the platform and make the lessons more fun and exhaustive!
4- Ensuring Quality Assurance and Customer Satisfaction
To maintain high standards of service and customer satisfaction, implementing effective quality assurance measures is essential. This ensures that your outsourced customer service team consistently delivers exceptional performance.
Implementing quality control measures
Put in place robust quality control measures to monitor and assess the performance of the outsourced team. This includes establishing clear quality standards, conducting regular audits, and performing quality checks on customer interactions. These measures help identify areas for improvement and ensure consistent service delivery.
Regular monitoring and evaluation Regular monitoring and evaluation of the outsourced team's performance is crucial to maintain quality standards. Implement monitoring processes to review customer interactions, assess adherence to protocols, and identify opportunities for training and development. Continuous evaluation allows for prompt feedback and course correction when needed.
Utilising customer feedback and surveys Utilise customer feedback as a valuable tool to measure satisfaction and identify areas of improvement. Collect feedback through surveys, post-interaction ratings, and customer reviews. Analyze this feedback to gain insights into customer preferences and expectations, enabling you to enhance the customer experience and address any issues promptly.
On Onepilot’s App you can continuously check the quality of the answers formulated by the agents thanks to our proprietary reading grid and send your remarks directly to the platform so your external agents can improve.
Maintaining consistency and brand voice
Consistency in customer interactions and maintaining your brand voice are vital for a seamless customer experience. Clearly define your brand guidelines, including tone, language, and style, and ensure the outsourced team aligns with these guidelines. This consistency fosters brand loyalty and builds trust with your customers.
Providing detailed brand guidelines Provide detailed brand guidelines to the outsourced team, outlining your brand values, messaging, and communication guidelines. This includes information on how to handle different types of customer queries and challenging situations while maintaining your brand image. Regularly update these guidelines to reflect any changes or updates to your brand.
Conducting regular performance reviews Conduct regular performance reviews to assess the outsourced team's adherence to quality standards and brand guidelines. Set performance targets, review key metrics, and provide constructive feedback to help them improve. These reviews foster continuous growth and enable you to address any performance issues proactively.
5- Protecting data privacy and security
Implementing strict data protection protocols
Data privacy and security are paramount when outsourcing customer service. Implement strict data protection protocols to safeguard sensitive customer information. This includes secure data transmission, encryption measures, access controls, and regular security audits.
Ensuring compliance with relevant regulations
Establish robust data protection protocols that comply with industry standards and regulations. Implement measures such as secure data storage, strict access controls, regular data backups, and secure disposal of customer information when necessary. Regularly review and update these protocols to stay ahead of evolving security threats.
6- Measuring Performance and Optimising the Outsourcing Relationship
Analysing customer service metrics
Analysing customer service metrics provides valuable insights into the performance of your outsourced team. Key metrics to consider include response time, resolution rate, and customer satisfaction. These metrics help gauge the efficiency, effectiveness, and overall customer experience provided by the outsourced team.
Response time, resolution rate, and customer satisfaction Monitor the response time, resolution rate, and customer satisfaction scores to assess the outsourced team's performance. A fast response time, high resolution rate, and positive customer satisfaction are indicators of a well-functioning customer service operation.
Identifying areas for improvement and optimization Use the analysis of customer service metrics to identify areas for improvement and optimization. Pinpoint any recurring issues, bottlenecks, or gaps in service. Addressing these areas promptly will enhance customer satisfaction and streamline operations
As customer care should not be a black box, we have developed a monitoring dashboard on our Onepilot App where our clients can check their agents' performance such as: the number of tickets processed, the average response time, the recontact rate, etc.
Building a long-term partnership
Foster a long-term partnership with your outsourcing provider to maximise the benefits and ensure continuous improvement. This collaboration allows for shared goals, mutual understanding, and aligned strategies for customer service excellence.
Regular performance reviews and feedback sessions Conduct regular performance reviews and feedback sessions with the outsourced team. Provide constructive feedback, acknowledge achievements, and identify areas for growth. These sessions facilitate open communication, nurture a culture of continuous improvement, and strengthen the outsourcing relationship. At Onepilot, each of our clients have a dedicated Operation Manager with whom can regularly adjust processes, provide feedback about our agents' performance, and continuously improve the quality.
Adapting and scaling as business needs evolve As your business needs evolve, it's important to adapt and scale your outsourced customer service accordingly. Regularly assess the changing requirements and ensure the outsourcing partner can accommodate your evolving needs. Flexibility and scalability are key to maintaining a successful long-term outsourcing relationship. Like Qonto, you can scale your customer service from 2 to 200 agents in under 30 days with Onepilot and activate our service in one click for time slots, channels, languages and any ticket typology you want.
In conclusion, outsourcing your customer service can streamline operations, boost customer satisfaction, and allow you to focus on core business functions. By carefully implementing these 6 different steps, you can enhance efficiency, deliver exceptional customer experiences, and drive business growth through successful outsourcing.
Don't wait until you are overwhelmed with requests! Like our 200+ clients, trust Onepilot to outsource your customer support. Onepilot offers you a fast, flexible and easy-to-implement solution to quickly scale your teams. We guarantee 100% human and qualitative answers managed by our native agents.