The first thing you need to know about any business is that the customer is always right. Not only that, but if you want your business to succeed, you need to keep your clients satisfied. Customer support is one of many ways to do so. It is also one of the most important tools in your inventory.
E-commerce is a relatively young, yet rapidly growing industry. Data suggest that more than 2 million people will use its services in 2021. If you want to be a part of this success story, the first thing you need to do is to evaluate the quality of your e-commerce customer service.
Depending on the size and type of your company, it might be better for you to outsource your call center. If you want to know more about this option, learn the advantages and disadvantages that come with it, and the best way to transition to it, read this article further.
E-commerce call center outsourcing completely changes the way your business operates. Whether the change is for good or bad is for you to decide. As there are always two sides to any coin, let’s examine each aspect of e-commerce customer service outsourcing, starting with its potential advantages:
An inbound customer support team allows you to directly manage every decision it makes. However, this requires a lot of attention and time you could spend elsewhere. The process of picking the right team and training each member spends these valuable resources as well.
Employing an outside team means you will have a lot more time to spend on your business development. Outsource teams usually know how to deal with standard situations and don’t require any micromanagement. Furthermore, they mostly don’t require any training, except for your company-specific requirements.
As you are a customer of the outsourcing company, they will try to provide the best services they can. This includes, but is not limited to:
If you’re just starting in the e-commerce market, your business might experience rapid growth in a short amount of time. The high number of customers means high customer support activity. The only way to manage the outpouring of calls you need to answer is with an outbound team.
Outsourcing companies usually have resources available to scale to your needs at any time. Furthermore, they often keep in contact with people that work part-time or only during certain seasons. This means that if you need a bigger team during certain hours or days, it’s not a problem.
If you want to improve and make sure your customers are always satisfied, you need to gather feedback from them. The more data you have, the more accurate the analysis you’d be able to conduct and the better strategy you’d be able to develop.
As it is their main activity, outsourcing e-commerce call centers know which data to pay attention to and which information is not quite as valuable. It is easier for them to conduct surveys, and most of them can provide all the results you need in a concise and descriptive manner.
Hiring and maintaining an in-house team is not cheap. While your main focus should be customer satisfaction, it is much better to do it in a more cost-effective way. Outsourcing, especially offshore outsourcing, provides you with such a way.
Firstly, a major win is that you don’t need to buy or rent equipment. Secondly, training requires resources as well, and, as we’ve discussed earlier, your involvement in it is minimized. Lastly, the labor cost in some counties is much lower, which is why you can get the same trained experts for a much lower price.
Now let’s take a look at some of the disadvantages you might encounter during the outsourcing process. While they are not many of them, they can make or break the deal for you:
While the consequences of some of these points are unfortunate, they don’t normally outweigh the benefits you get. Furthermore, if you play your cards right, you will avoid most of them. Our next point focuses exactly on that.
If you’ve made up your mind about customer support outsourcing, here are some important tips and tricks that might help you to improve your experience:
In our modern world, information is power. So, you should do your research before you partner up with an outsourcing company. Firstly, take a look at your business and figure out what it is exactly that you need. This will allow you to define your task accurately and adequately. Secondly, check multiple potential partners, their way of conduct, and pricing policies to make an informed decision.
Modern call centers use innovative tech solutions to help them in their job. Some of them even use AI and machine learning for better productivity. Your job is to find a company that employs up-to-date tools in the most effective fashion. The more advanced tools they use, the faster, more responsive, and secure your service will be.
If you want the call center to conform to the standards you set up, not only do you have to clearly set them up, but also your job is to carefully check the conduct and correct any missteps. Make sure to conduct tests both in theory and practice. The testing should be performed regularly, both before the system is set up and after.
Communication is the key to any human interaction. When it comes to a business partnership, it carries even more weight. Make sure to clearly spell out any concern or aspiration you have. This way you are less likely to have mismatched goals or different views on a situation. It also definitely applies to the pricing discussions. Furthermore, you should demand consistent and clear communication from the outsourcing company as well.
To be successful in e-commerce you need to make a lot of effort and spend a lot of time perfecting your business. While customer support plays a huge role in client satisfaction and retention, hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house team is not always worth it. Even though outsourcing has its pros and cons, it is definitely the best way to concentrate on your main task while making sure your customers get all the support they need.
Outsourcing an e-commerce call center is not a trivial task. It requires time and research. However, if you make the right choice and find a suitable company, your experience will definitely be rewarding and your reputation will certainly keep on growing.
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