Outsourcing any aspect of your business can be a scary thought, especially if your company is relatively new on the scene. At the same time, sometimes outsourcing specific functions of your business to a third-party is a necessity, since staff members can only do so much in a workweek, and hiring a fully-fledged customer support team is a luxury for some industries. Customer satisfaction has been linked time and time again with business profits, so it’s important to find the right fit when outsourcing your call center support. If you’re anxious about keeping your high standards for customer satisfaction, here are a few tips to ensure your outsourcing is a blessing and not a curse.
Clearly share your priorities
When entering into a business agreement with any contractor or third-party, it is of the utmost importance that you communicate your goals and priorities before anything is signed. Outline your priorities in their scope of work and ensure that they are spelled out in the terms and agreements, too. If you want a call center that offers 24/7 support or has a troubleshooting knowledge base you’d like the company to follow, make sure that that is clearly communicated as part of the RFP process. This protects your business and prevents the other company from shirking a responsibility that was verbally agreed to but never put in writing.
Integrate with your CRM
One of the best ways to ensure that your customers’ needs are met when outsourcing support is to provide important customer data to the call center company you choose. That starts with integrating your customer data with their support platform so that they have access to any information that may help them provide more personalized, specific support. If you’re tracking customer data in Microsoft Dynamics 365, you’ll likely want to find a company that uses Microsoft call center software so that every support agent can see a caller’s past purchases and activity, as well as any other support requests they may have submitted. Doing so can provide the customer with far more individualized attention, ensuring that they leave the interaction knowing that their value to the company has been recognized. If you’ve ever dealt with Amazon’s customer support and have been thanked for being an Amazon Prime subscriber, you know the effect this small attention to detail can have.
Monitor your third-party support team
Just as you would with any other employee you manage, it’s vital that you check-in and provide feedback to your outsourced call center. Depending on the platform they are using, you will likely be able to pull different calls and interactions in order to better understand whether or not they are following your best practices or not. Implementing a customer satisfaction survey at the end of all communications is another way to measure how your consumers feel their needs have been met and is a great barometer of a company’s overall performance, too. You can always reach out to the support center posing to be a customer with a particularly challenging problem or attitude. These sorts of “secret shopper” interactions can tell you a lot of important information about how your support team handles even the most difficult of customers.
While outsourcing your support can seem like a risky business proposition, thanks to cloud-based technologies and integrations, it’s never been easier to get the full picture of how a third-party is handling your business. By integrating your customer data with a call center, you can empower all support agents to harness the information necessary to provide consistently excellent customer service. Plus, thanks to the cloud, you’ll be able to keep tabs on the company and offer feedback based on real interactions. The result is a win-win for businesses of all sizes.