26 Apr Customer Service Business Process Outsourcing: Save Time and Money
An in-house customer service team that is steeped in company culture sounds great. But it isn’t a practical fit for all businesses. It may not be a fit for yours. There are many situations where customer service business outsourcing, or CS BPO, makes sense to save time and money. For example, if your business:
- Doesn’t have the funds or other resources to build an entire customer service department in-house
- Experiences rapid growth difficult to keep up with, thereby making it difficult to scale your support
- Needs broader service internationally, including 24/7 service
- Wants to keep your in-house service but needs supplemental support for seasonal increases or long-term expansion
Maintaining quality customer service is important to the success of your business. Engaging a BPO that specializes in customer care and support could be the very answer a company in your situation needs. This way support doesn’t get backburnered while you’re trying to manage other areas of a changing or emerging business.
The Cons of In-House Customer Support
Setting up and operating a customer service department from scratch is a lot of work including:
- Creating an in-office, WFH or hybrid customer service system
- Researching and purchasing equipment and software
- Seeking, interviewing, hiring and onboarding agents and managers
- Providing for on-going training and churn costs
- Developing workflows, reward systems, policies, …
- Tracking metrics
- Parsing data and adjusting strategy accordingly
Exercise is great but you don’t want to sweat over your customer service. Your customers don’t want to break out in a sweat over service either.
Small Businesses and Entrepreneurs
Research by the Global Call Center Outsourcing Market projects call center outsourcing to grow by $21.72 billion between 2022 and 2026.
More specifically, research by Clutch indicated 90% of small businesses in the US planned to outsource a process in 2022. That was up 10% over 2021 and projected to increase this year and beyond. Customer service was one of the top six services for outsourcing in 2022 at 19%.
So, if that’s you, you’re far from alone.
If you’re a small business or entrepreneur with a skeleton crew you may not want the burden of creating your own customer service department. Whether at the beginning of your business or further along, outsourcing may be your fastest and easiest option.
A smaller brand with one or two support employees plus automated options may need to outsource when customer needs exceed bandwidth. Putting customer service needs in the hands of a BPO already set up for support is one less burden to manage.
Of course, you still need to communicate company brand voice and policies clearly to the BPO. You also need to follow up regularly. Customer service business process outsourcing isn’t a one and done task.
Most big businesses started small. Growth can happen suddenly and scaling is stressful. While trying to accommodate greater demand, building infrastructure, hiring management, shifting organization and more, it’s important customer support isn’t left out.
Customer satisfaction is a key factor in growth. Negative customer experiences are also responsible for enormous profit losses. Depending on which report you read that loss is in the billions to even trillions: Qualtrics 2022 Global Consumer Trends report puts the loss at $4.7 trillion globally. The importance of a solid customer service strategy during expansion can’t be understated.
Rapid changes in customer expectations, staffing shortages and inflation costs have made outsourcing an attractive option. While you’re growing and find yourself drowning in a mountain of demands, a CS BPO could help keep your customer service afloat while you steady the ship.
Alternatively, if you want to focus your energies on growth and customer service is not a core competency of your business, outsourcing also makes sense.
Choose Your CS BPO Wisely
Your company’s customer service is perceived as your company from the customer point of view, whether in-house or outsourced. That’s why it’s vital to work with BPO that does quality work, understands your company’s brand voice and communicates it to your customers.
It’s just as vital when you engage a BPO to provide clear policies and necessary communication to ensure customer support matches company values and goals. This includes communicating the metrics that are most important to your business. Be clear on budget limitations and costs at the outset too.
Another key is how the BPO values their employees. The turnover in customer service is high in general. A 30%-45% attrition rate for agents has been a common average. However, the Cresta Insights Report 2022 data shows an attrition rate for centers focused on customer support to be 87.6%.
When employees are well treated they stay in their positions longer. The same is true for customer service agents.
When seeking a BPO ask about their company culture. Be proactive and maintain regular contact with your CS BPO provider. Research also shows that agent satisfaction has positive interrelationship with customer satisfaction. So beyond good business ethics, agent well-being has an impact on your customers.
Be involved in how the agents who will be representing your brand are trained. This could be by providing quality training guides and brand book or even training the agents in-house to start. This is especially helpful if your BPO is augmenting your in-house support staff. Building connections between the two makes for a smoother workflow.
Serve Your Customers and Your Business
There are even BPO’s that specialize. So if you want your customer service agents to have a background in sports or education that’s possible. With the entire global talent pool connected digitally a quality BPO can put together a team that suits your business. It can also source valuable tools to supplement your QA strategy, like CSAT.AI.
You don’t have to settle for bottom of the barrel customer service. CSAT.AI is a patented, AI driven SaaS. This solution seamlessly integrates with your existing services, providing robust metrics, a customizable rubric and more.