With 58% of customers saying they’d be prepared to pay more for the same products if they knew they’d get better customer service, it makes sense that this is a huge area of focus for companies today.
But good customer service can be an expensive proposition when you’re talking about investing in people, systems and technology.
Another option is to outsource your customer service to a third party provider.
This could be investing in outsourced telephone answering, or even managed live chat for your website. There are many ways to outsource your customer service.
But is it a good idea to outsource such a customer facing part of your business?
It can be.
Provided you do the research. So here we talk about the pros and cons of outsourcing customer service.
Pros of outsourced customer service
Be more productive with outsourced customer service
Hiring in-house customer service inevitably leads to a lot of administration because you have to hire, train and manage the team you build.
Managing the needs of multiple employees in your customer service team, and ensuring the processes are running as they should can be a hassle and take up a lot of your time that could be better used on your core job – like growing the business.
By investing in outsourced customer service, you get the full front of house function without any of the office administration.
Rather than managing a team of multiple employees, you’ll have one point of contact and a service that specialises in the function you’re investing in.
This will give you more time to focus on your own job.
Save money by outsourcing customer service
Just as hiring an internal customer service team brings a lot of management and admin, it also comes with substantial costs.
Hiring full-time staff doesn’t just involve the individual salaries (which can be tens or hundreds of thousands of pounds depending on the size of the team) but you’ve also got the infrastructure and technology along with the tax, benefits and other costs that come with hiring staff.
By outsourcing your customer service you can drastically reduce these costs.
Instead of paying multiple salaries, you pay a single fixed amount based on the amount of call answering or customer service support you need.
These prices are not only lower and more predictable, but they can also be scaled in line with your needs – compared to fixed wages, which you pay regardless of how busy your team is.
This gives you more money to invest in other areas of your business.
Get more reliable customer support
One problem with internal customer service teams (especially small teams) is that they can only handle so many enquiries at a time, and it can be difficult for teams to keep up with the demand that telephone enquiries can place on them.
If you’re relying on employees whose main job isn’t answering the phone, reliable customer support can become even harder when staff leave calls to ring rather than answering them when they’re busy.
By outsourcing your customer service and telephone answering, all your calls will be answered professionally and live chats responded to by a professional team of PAs.
Having this reliable service means you never need to worry about missed communication and customers can be reassured they’re going to find it easy to get in touch with your business when they need you.
Cons of outsourced customer service
The fear of a third party representing your company
Although this is less of a problem if you hire the right outsourced customer service provider, it can be a scary thought to give your primary customer facing function to someone else.
Afterall, how will you know they’re representing your company the right way?
Can you really trust them to deliver the same kind of customer service you’d provide from your own office?
As we say, investing in the right outsourced customer service provider can mitigate these fears and we’ve got a list of things you should watch out for from any provider to make sure you’re getting the best service.
You can always try our outsourced service for 7-days (for free) to see up close how we can represent your company’s customer service in the best way.
Not representing your brand or values
This can be a big problem (but again is easily fixed by hiring the right outsourced customer service provider).
Outsourcing anything in your business can inevitably lead to some problems with how you want your brand to be perceived.
The key here is to pick an outsourced provider who’ll work closely with you and spend the time to understand your business and how you operate, rather than just working at arms length as if you’re a faceless client.
How will they treat sensitive matters?
Depending on the industry you work in, some customer enquiries may be of a sensitive nature (this is common in medical practices or those involving financial or legal matters).
To put your mind at ease, it’s best to find an outsourced customer service provider that has experience working with customers in your industry and understands how to deal with these sensitive enquiries in the proper way.
At Face For Business for example we have specialist teams of PAs who work exclusively with solicitors’ offices, financial advisors and health and care providers – so they’re well versed in handling sensitive enquiries in a professional way.
Try our outsourced customer service for free
We want to give you full confidence that you can trust us to handle your customer service and represent your business in a way that you’d be proud of.
You can try our telephone answering, virtual receptionist or live chat service for free for seven days and experience what it’s like to have a Face For Business PA on your team.
There’s no obligation to continue after the trial and if you’re still not convinced afterwards we can part ways, no hard feelings.
20th November, 2023
Posted by Face For Business