in-house vs outsource customer experience sign

How To Know When To Outsource Your Customer Service

Studies show that customer satisfaction is one of the primary drivers of business success. We all know customer service is important. But customer service isn’t just “nice to have” – it’s imperative for good business strategy and customer retention.

But at what point does your investment in customer care strain your resources too far? What if you need to scale up quickly or find a more flexible solution? What if customer experience just isn’t your expertise?

Many leading companies answer these questions by outsourcing customer service. By partnering with a customer service outsourcing company, business leaders can ensure their customer experience leads their industry – while freeing themselves up to focus on what they do best: their business.

In this article, we’ll explore:

Why Leading Companies Choose to Outsource Customer Service

Customer care is critical to any company’s bottom line.

A study by Deloitte found that companies that focus on their customers are 60% more profitable than companies that don’t. Dimension Data reports that 84% of companies that concentrate on improving customer experience saw an increase in revenue. On the customer side, Microsoft found that 96% of customers say customer service is key to their loyalty to a brand.

Some of the world’s leading companies leverage customer care partners to deliver industry-leading CX. Here are just a few of them:

  • Google
  • Target
  • Amazon
  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Bank of America
  • JPMorgan Chase
  • American Express

These companies know that outsourcing customer experience can drive better results for their customer base and their business.

So, what are the benefits of outsourcing customer service?

Cost Savings

The top reason is cost savings. The most significant expense for any company is overhead, and outsourcing a substantial part of your business strategy can lower those costs. Instead of paying salary and benefits for an entire customer-facing team, you pay one monthly or annual fee for your customer experience management partner.

Tap into Specialist Expertise

You are the best at what you do – and the more you specialize and optimize your business, the better you’ll be. Why waste resources trying to build new expertise in customer experience?

Top customer service outsourcing companies specialize in CX and customer satisfaction. From technical support to quality assurance to lead generation to email and live chat, a customer care partner is there to help support the entire customer journey. By leveraging specialists, you’ll get the best customer-centric support and be far more likely to exceed customer expectations.

24/7 service

As customer-facing companies grow, many need to respond to customer support requests around the clock. But if your office hours don’t include nights and weekends, you face a dilemma:

  1. Pay for night and weekend in-house support, which can be costly
  2. Face rising customer support ticket backlogs after busy nights or weekends

With an outsourced solution, you’ll be paying for 24/7 support – or at least expanded hours – for a fraction of the cost of in-house employees.

Scale up Your Business

Third-party customer experience management is all about scaling up. You get a new experienced team to handle customer requests, complaints, and needs for a predictable rate. Your customer care partner will recruit, train, and manage customer service agents for you – and can help you with a plan to scale up or down depending on your company’s needs.

Most CX partners can also provide business process outsourcing, known as BPO services. These services can help optimize your customer experience strategy, reduce inefficiencies, and manage customer interactions.

4 Signs it’s Time to Outsource Your Customer Service

So, how do you know if it’s the right time to outsource your customer service? You may be reading about the benefits and thinking, “This is great, but when is the right moment to pull the trigger?”

We’ve helped hundreds of companies determine if customer care outsourcing is right for them. From that experience, we know the top business characteristics that make outsourcing the most valuable.

Here are four top signs that it might be time to start looking for a customer experience partner.

Your Customer Satisfaction is Low

Low customer satisfaction can be a death knell for any company. The cost of customers switching brands because of poor customer service exceeds $1.6 trillion in the U.S.

To ensure you’re keeping up with the competition, you should survey your customers to find out how they perceive your brand. By measuring customer satisfaction (CSAT), you can get a benchmark for where you are and where you need to be.

If your CSAT is low, and has continued to drag despite attempts to fix it, it might be time to think about outsourcing. Customer experience strategy should measure things like average speed to answer (ASA), first call resolution (FCR), customer effort score (CES), and net promote score (NPS).

If you’re struggling with these, you may need a new customer experience strategy, help with business process outsourcing, and a team of specialist agents to support your in-house team.

Your Business is Growing, and You Need to Scale Quickly

Super-fast business growth is the dream, right? Well, right – but it can also become a massive staffing headache. Accelerated business growth can turn into a downright scaling nightmare if you aren’t prepared to support the influx of customers who are clamoring to get service from your brand.

Customer experience outsourcing can solve this problem. It costs less than hiring in-house, and you immediately have access to a raft of resources at your command. Your CX partner will hire and train to the scale you need, provide process strategy customer recommendations, and drive better results.

You Need Staffing Flexibility

Okay, but what if your issue isn’t just scaling up but up and down? Staffing flexibility is critical for companies in retail, travel, hospitality, etc. Hiring in-house for a busy holiday season is impractical. The ramp time for each employee takes too long, and it’s a waste of resources to train someone up just to say farewell in a few months.

Instead, with a customer service outsourcing company, you can quickly scale your number of agents up and down and ensure your customers get help in real time. Your CX partner will have a plan for reducing ramp time and adding and subtracting agents easily with no extra cost or time from you.

You Need to Reach Customers in Their Language

Maybe your company has expanded its reach beyond the country where you’re headquartered. Accessing language resources is one of the top reasons we see companies look to outsource customer service.

Top customer service outsourcing companies offer multilingual customer support and onshore, offshore, and nearshore options. Often you’ll receive the additional benefit that these multilingual offices are at low-cost locations.

What To Look For When Outsourcing Your Customer Service

Thinking you might be ready to shop around for a CX partner? Outsourced customer service can be a springboard for your company’s growth – but it can also become a headache if you don’t find the right fit. Before you get started, let’s examine a few key elements to keep in mind in your search.

Here are five elements to look for when outsourcing your customer experience management.

Brand Alignment

The most crucial factor to find is a company that shows it can fully embrace your brand. Often, smaller customer experience companies are a better choice since they’ll prioritize your brand and spend the time to learn exactly how you communicate. In other words, you need a team that can speak your language.

Core Values

Ask your potential partner to explain their core values. Look for a company that values transparency, trust, accountability, and clear communication. You’ll see the best success with a customer care agency that aligns with the values that they need to provide.

Proven Success and Business Processes

Ask for those receipts! You need to see that the company you’re hiring has proven business success in your industry.

Tech expertise

It’s the digital age. You need a company with a track record of technological innovation in business processes and customer experience. Anything less and your company is going to get left behind.

Excellent Communication and Initiative

You can’t be wondering what’s going on with your customers. In the selection process, take notice of which potential partners are communicating with clarity, regularity, and initiative. If it’s already tough to get in touch with them when they’re trying to make a sale, you can be sure you’ll struggle once they’re on board.

Final Thoughts

Customer service is one of the leading business strategies for business growth, brand loyalty, and company reputation. To ensure the best customer experience possible, top brands are outsourcing customer service to CX experts.

If you’re looking to level up your customer experience, it might be time for you to outsource, too. Use our guide above to measure your readiness for a CX partner, and take the first steps toward finding your fit.

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