The Importance of the Customer Experience
A stellar product or service isn’t always enough to stand out in a competitive and saturated marketplace. Today, the customer experience can easily make or break brand loyalty and retention. In fact, 60 percent of customers will choose one brand over another based on the expected quality of customer service.
At RUI, we’ve seen time and time again that the most successful brands are the ones that prioritize a customer-centric experience. As customer expectations and technology evolve, more and more companies are realizing the intrinsic connection between customer experience and ROI.
89% of customers are more likely to make a repeat purchase after a positive customer experience
- Salesforce 2022
What is Customer Support Outsourcing?
Customer support outsourcing is the practice of utilizing a third-party provider to handle any aspect of your customer service. Your outsourcing partner provides a team to be trained on your specific products and services to engage and respond to your customers on your behalf.
One of the most common examples of customer support outsourcing is when brands employ a third-party call center to receive and process customer requests. Over the past decade, customer support outsourcing has become a strategic and increasingly popular solution for companies seeking greater customer engagement, retention, and expansion.
Benefits of Customer Support Outsourcing
Outsourcing your customer service teams offers many strategic benefits. Whether you’re looking to tap into customer expansion opportunities, entering a transition period, or seeking flexible, scalable options, outsourcing your customer support can benefit your business if you’re looking for:
Pinpointing opportunities for deeper customer relationships isn’t always a straightforward path. Customer support outsourcing can help your team respond on multiple fronts, whether by creating greater accessibility to your service team or boosting responsiveness.
Tapping into valuable customer insights is only half the battle. By outsourcing your customer support, you can gain visibility into actionable data that helps you meet your customers where they need you most.
73% of customers will use multiple channels throughout their journey, meaning companies are pressed to maintain an engaging, omnichannel experience. Outsourcing those early customer interactions allows your team to focus on crucial growth and product opportunities.
Retaining your current customer base is far less costly than getting someone to buy for the first time. Ultimately, customer support outsourcing can be a strategic way to reduce churn rate and increase your customer lifetime value.
How to Choose the Right Type of Customer Support Outsourcing
There are many types of customer solutions, ranging from contact center support to strategic customer transformation. Choosing the right approach comes down to determining your organization's unique needs.
When considering customer support outsourcing, knowing there’s no one-size-fits-all solution is important. Your customer support outsourcing partner may combine various solutions or hone in on one approach based on your organization’s goals and challenges.
Contact Center Support
Contact center support lies at the heart of customer support outsourcing and can encompass a wide variety of customer services. While many companies utilize contact center support for customer service hotlines, support extends beyond simply handling calls. Contact center support includes employing a partner to manage live chat, email, and social media channels.
Seasonal, Flexible Support
If your company’s needs fluctuate greatly throughout the year, outsourcing can eliminate the pressure of scaling your operations quickly. A customer support partner allows you to respond to your team’s changing needs without taking on the costs and pressures of hiring a new team.
Customer Experience Solutions
Your overall customer experience strategy serves as a game plan for attracting, retaining, and growing your customer base. If you’ve just introduced a new product, are noticing stagnation in customer satisfaction, or want to tap into new levels of customer expansion, it may be time to go beyond contact center support and to consider strategic solutions.
One of the most vital aspects of creating a competitive customer experience is capturing and utilizing customer insights to shape and drive your customer service. However, analytics can quickly become a full-time project. Partnering with an experienced customer support outsourcing partner can help you tap into tracking, reporting, and integration of valuable insights.
CX Strategy and Transformation
As customer expectations rapidly evolve, you might find that your customer experience needs an overhaul to match the demand. Partnering with a customer support outsourcing expert can help you develop a strategy that reveals your roadblocks and capitalizes on your opportunities. CX transformation can be a highly strategic move that increases engagement, retention, and ROI.
When is Outsourcing the Right Solution?
Signs that You’re Ready to Outsource
- You need guaranteed customer experience expertise
- You want to focus your team’s effort on growth and other crucial operations
- You need flexible, scalable support
- You want to enhance your CX strategy
Ready to turn your CX into your greatest advantage?
How to Build a Customer Support Outsourcing Strategy
Customer support outsourcing can show huge returns on customer satisfaction, retention, and ROI… when approached with intention. The right customer support partner will take the time and energy to understand your company’s unique products, services, and processes before building an outsourcing strategy.
Here’s our checklist for building a successful customer support outsourcing strategy:
1. Identify Key CX Goals and Objectives
No two customer support outsourcing strategies will look exactly the same as CX needs will vary by each organization. Before launching any initiatives, gather your CX, product, and sales teams to discuss goals and priorities. Is your goal to reduce pressure on your internal team? Are customer satisfaction rates dropping? Are you looking for opportunities to cut costs?
Get clear on the current state of your customer experience, then decide where you want to be in the future. Setting goals and objectives will help you stay on track and measure your success.
2. Audit Your Current CX Strategy
After identifying your goals, it’s time to understand your current strategy and relationship with your customer. This is an excellent opportunity to revisit your understanding of your customers’ behaviors, expectations, and experience with your brand. Gather insights from your sales and customer service teams to see if customer data such as your buyer persona and journey maps still hold true.
3. Design Your CX Strategy
Your customer service strategy should include all touchpoints that a customer comes across as they interact with your brand. When designing your strategy, hone in on solutions and opportunities to achieve your vision. For example, if you’ve identified that you want to reduce your average handling time, your CX strategy may involve utilizing a third-party call center.
4. Train and Implement
Your customer outsourcing partner will only be as successful as you equip them to be. Be sure that your partner has the same knowledge and expertise as your internal team. Here’s sure to provide them with clear training on:
- Internal processes
- CX goals and metrics of success
- Customer communication protocol
- Your technology stack
- Your products and services
5. Measure and Optimize
Maintaining specific, measurable, attainable, and time-bound (SMART) goals is key to measuring success and optimizing your strategy. These success metrics will serve as your North Star throughout your customer support journey.
Be sure that your KPIs and success metrics are measurable indicators of your company’s wider goals and values. For example, if you’re looking to increase customer loyalty, customer retention rates are one of your key metrics. Whatever your KPIs are, be sure to communicate these with your outsourcing partner.
Common Misconceptions About Customer Support Outsourcing
Considering Nearshore vs. Offshore
Offshore customer support outsourcing has traditionally been seen as the most cost-effective option. As companies in the United States search for ways to offset rising costs in labor, many wonder if nearshore outsourcing is worth the investment.
While offshore outsourcing can be appealing in the short term, challenges in managing communication across multiple time zones, language barriers, and finding quality providers in saturated markets may cost you in the long run.
Today nearshore outsourcing offers the best of both onshore and offshore options. Companies can find contact center support at a competitive cost but still find English fluency, cultural familiarity, and easier communication due to closer time zones.
Customer Support Outsourcing Works with a Hands-Off Approach
Getting the most value from your outsourcing strategy comes down to how well you communicate with your customer service provider. Working in silos will prevent your team from gaining valuable insights into your customer’s experience and will put your partner at a disadvantage when communicating with your audience.
Think of it as a collaborative process in which you will both work together to optimize your processes. The right customer support partner will know they are an extension of your team and will seek to be kept in the loop.
CX Strategy is a One-Size-Fits-All Solution
No customer support outsourcing strategy will look exactly the same, as each organization’s needs and goals will be unique to its product and services! Your customer support outsourcing partner should take the time to understand challenges specific to your company, customer, and product. By teaming up with a customer support team, you should be able to tap into valuable insights that teach you how to turn your CX into a competitive advantage.
How to Choose the Right Customer Outsourcing Partner
Building your customer support outsourcing strategy can be a powerful business decision for your company. When choosing the right partner, it’s essential to look for a provider that prioritizes knowing your company and is deeply experienced in providing high-quality customer service.
If you’re ready to outsource your customer service the right way, contact us today to get started.