Are you considering customer support outsourcing services to an external provider? Outsourcing is a common approach to streamlining business processes; however, it can also have significant drawbacks when outsourced to the wrong partner.
Providing excellent customer service is an integral part of any successful company and is often achieved with an outsourced team of customer service representatives. When selecting a partner, it’s essential to do your research and look for a reliable, experienced provider. A bad experience with an unreliable partner can result in adverse outcomes for your business.
In this article, we discuss some of the pitfalls of partnering with a low-quality customer care outsourcing and outline the top 6 things that can happen when you opt for customer support outsourced to an unreliable partner. With this information, you’ll be armed with insights on ensuring you’re making the best choice for your business.
What Issues Do All Businesses Face With Outsourced Customer Service?
To provide you with all the necessary information when evaluating potential customer care outsourcing options, it’s advisable to review the typical customer service challenges faced by businesses that outsource, along with their possible solutions.
Corporate and Regional Cultural Differences
Securing skilled and talented outsourced customer service companies is only one aspect to consider. Successfully navigating the cultural nuances is equally important. When outsourcing to an offshore company, you may encounter two cultural discrepancies: corporate and regional.
Corporate differences stem from the distinct operating methods of each organization. An organization’s core values, objectives, and missions shape its operations, which are unique and similar to a fingerprint. When working closely with another company regularly, it can be challenging to adapt to their approach.
Regional differences stem from the geographical separation between the customer care outsourcing provider and the client. Factors such as religion, corporate hierarchy, societal structure, and communication styles can contribute to how a team behaves in the workplace. Both regional and organizational differences can influence the understanding, interpretation, commitment, and productivity of your internal and outsourced teams. At the outset of the working relationship, friction and misunderstandings due to cultural disparities are not uncommon between the two teams.
One effective approach to overcoming cultural obstacles is to increase awareness and educate both teams. Business owners can conduct workshops to understand better their customer support outsourcing partners’ organizational and regional cultures. Similarly, support outsourcing providers should offer regular training sessions that introduce their employees to the cultural norms of their clients.
Language and Communication Challenges
Businesses that outsource customer service often encounter language and communication difficulties. Regional dialects can be challenging to understand, and differences in formality and speaking style can also pose problems in the workplace. Unsaid assumptions can lead to communication breakdowns, particularly with customer care outsourcing.
Maintaining open and consistent communication channels can be challenging when working with a remote customer service team. Clarifying expectations and partially integrating outsourced team members into the company’s work is crucial.
Appropriate video calling and instant messaging tools can help overcome basic communication obstacles. Regular video conference meetings can build rapport between teams and team members, allowing them to get to know each other better and promoting communication flow.
For customer support outsourcing services, it’s advisable to outsource to a country with a smaller language gap. Countries like Kosovo or the Philippines have better English proficiency.
Industry-Related Knowledge Gaps
Outsourced customer service companies may not have the same level of industry-specific insights as internal teams. This knowledge gap can affect the quality of service provided by customer care outsourcing providers, causing concern for business owners.
Choosing a customer support outsourcing services partner with a proven track record of working with other companies in your niche is essential to address this issue. If they have a successful history of working in your industry, they will possess enough knowledge to begin work immediately.
Additionally, it’s crucial to keep communication channels open, transparent, frequent, and consistent. Ensure that your outsourced team is informed about any changes in price, policies, or product launches. If your offering is highly specialized, consider working with dedicated agents who can focus on your business and dedicate their efforts to learning the intricacies of your services.
Security and Data Ownership
Outsourced customer service companies often have their preferred tools and technology, which can benefit business owners in terms of cost savings. However, this can raise concerns about data security if the outsourcing provider’s software does not align with your own. In addition, when outsourcing companies use their technology platforms, there may be limitations on the information you can access as a client, including valuable data generated from daily interactions with customers.
To address these concerns, it is recommended that you partner with an outsourcing vendor that either uses the same customer care outsourcing solution as your internal staff or a compatible one that meets your needs. This ensures you maintain ownership and control of your susceptible customer data.
Ensuring high quality of service can be a challenge for internal customer service centers, let alone outsourced ones. The outsourcing team must be trained to provide timely and accurate responses to customers, seamlessly integrating with your brand.
To ensure top-notch customer support outsourcing services, it is essential to partner with an outsourcing vendor with a proven track record of working with businesses like yours. Experience is crucial in this scenario, and the more open the vendor is about sharing their previous projects, the more likely they are to exceed your expectations.
When outsourcing customer service, it’s important to consider whether your chosen customer support outsourcing services can provide dedicated resources to your business. This is especially important for large outsourcing firms, as their agents may handle multiple inquiries for different clients simultaneously. When agents are stretched too thin, the quality of their service can suffer, which can be a problem for your customers.
To ensure the best possible customer care outsourcing experience, working with a vendor who can guarantee a dedicated team focused on your business is essential. While this may be more expensive, it’s a worthwhile investment to ensure that your customers receive the highest level of service possible.
Hidden Costs in Outsourcing
Lowering operational costs is a common reason business owners outsource. However, it’s important to be cautious about selecting the cheapest customer support outsourcing services provider. Often, low prices can be deceiving and lead to unexpected expenses.
To avoid hidden costs, obtain proposals from several support outsourcing vendors that fit your needs. Ensure that the proposals clearly outline all the costs associated with outsourcing, including salaries and agent benefits, project and agent management, training expenses, facilities, technology, and human resources. By doing so, you’ll be able to assess whether the pricing is reasonable and reliable before signing any contracts.
Customer support outsourcing services can be a cost-effective way to streamline business operations, but choosing the wrong partner can negatively affect your business. When evaluating potential outsourcing options, it is important to consider common customer service challenges, such as organizational and regional cultural differences, language and communication difficulties, industry-related knowledge gaps, and security and data ownership.
To overcome these challenges, selecting a reliable and experienced outsourcing vendor with a proven track record of working with businesses in your industry is crucial. Additionally, clear and consistent communication and appropriate tools can help ensure that the outsourcing team seamlessly integrates with your brand and delivers high-quality customer service. Considering these factors, you can make the best choice for your business and avoid the pitfalls of outsourcing to an unreliable partner.