Should You Outsource Your Customer Service Operations?

Should You Outsource Your Customer Service Operations

Outsourcing, or the process of handing over a part of your business operations to a third-party provider, is undoubtedly one of the 21st century’s greatest marvels. It also happens to be the bread and butter of many Filipino employees.


We’ve established that outsourcing provides the most benefits when it’s done properly. The best way to get started is to get into things with both eyes open, and that involves thoroughly analyzing the advantages and disadvantages of letting someone else handle your brand’s customer service:



ADVANTAGES


Convenience.


convenience

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Effectively and efficiently attending to each customer that attempts to contact you can be rather daunting if you’ve just started doing business and have yet to assemble your own team to delegate such tasks to.


Outsourcing customer service operations spares you the trouble of having to build your own department from scratch. Any provider worth their salt would already have its own infrastructure, training and compensation systems, and manpower in place, enabling them to assign a qualified team to handle your customers in no time.



Scale.


scale

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Once your company gains momentum, expanding your customer support team becomes a necessity. Outsourcing will help you accomplish this with comparatively smaller costs and in significantly less time since you won’t have to worry about finding a bigger office for your team or shelling out more money for any additional assets you might need.


The same goes for a reverse scenario; outsourcing providers would know the most efficient way for downsizing your customer service team, should this prove necessary in the future.



Performance Monitoring.


monitoring

Companies that specialize in providing outsourced services already have their own key performance indicators to analyze the performance of their employees. They also probably have the technology with which to remotely monitor the same as well, which means you can simply integrate their systems into your business as opposed to reinventing the wheel yourself.



Cost.


cost

One reason why so many international businesses outsource their customer service to offshore companies is simply because they save a lot of pennies doing so.


For one, the exchange rate is almost always in their favor. Secondly, lower minimum wages and relaxed laws on non-monetary benefits mean that they would have access to top-notch talent at about half the cost of doing the same back home.



DISADVANTAGES


Cultural and Linguistic Differences.


differences

Conversely, some Western companies might balk at outsourcing their customer support to offshore companies because they fear that the latter’s employees might not be fluent enough to communicate with their customers. Furthermore, while English is widely spoken around the world, certain nationalities tend to do so with accents that might be difficult to comprehend.

 

Then there are cultural barriers too. If an outsourcing company doesn’t brief its people on the cultural practices of their clients, committing a communication faux pas, or worse, outrightly offending a client is a real possibility.


Fortunately, these mishaps can be avoided if you choose the right company to work with. Be sure to pick one that requires its employees to pass language/communication exams and also allows you to screen candidates for your team. Providing additional processes such as accent training would also be beneficial if you prefer to go offshore for your outsourcing needs.



Deviation from Company Culture and Values.


company-values

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Your company’s culture is what sets it apart from your competitors. However, it’s hard enough to cultivate a drive for excellence and devotion to one’s customers among your own people, let alone amidst near-strangers who are virtually an ocean away.


So, unless your outsourcing partner enables you to be directly involved in the process as well as genuinely engage with the employees, the outsourced team’s level of commitment to satisfying your customers could be compromised.


The decision as to whether to outsource your customer service operations or not shouldn’t be taken lightly. E-commerce has made it all too easy for customers to move on to the next brand for whatever reason. How well and how promptly you can address their needs, whims, and wants is perhaps the only defense left in a world that’s becoming increasingly riddled with distracting temptations.


 


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