Top 10 Tips for Outsourcing Your Customer Support

Updated on :October 15, 2023
By :Anastasiya Slipenko

When we look at the growing economy and heightened competition between enterprises, high-quality customer support is of great importance. However, setting up in-house support teams could be a costly venture, and it can be especially challenging nowadays given the work from home culture we are living in. These are some of the biggest reasons why companies choose customer support outsourcing since the outsourcing provider will be responsible for the overhead and recruiting costs. To help you get all of the benefits outsourcing has to offer, we have assembled a list of the top ten tips you need to keep in mind when searching for an outsourcing company. 

1. Understand Your Needs First 

Before you start comparing customer support outsourcing companies, make sure that you understand the services that you need. Not only will this help you narrow down the list of possible service providers, but it will also help you avoid overpaying. For example, you may want to cover certain time zones, provide support in languages other than English, support a wide range of channels, etc. Once you have such a list of the services, you need you will be in a better position to speak with the outsourcing company to make sure they can fill your needs. 

2. Read the Reviews About the Outsourcing Company 

Before you set up your offshore customer support team, be sure to read the reviews about the outsourcing company on trusted websites like Goodfirms. An outsource provider that has been on the market for a long time should have plenty of reviews posted and, if they don’t, this is not a good sign. Also, be sure to pay attention to negative reviews and those given anything less than five stars. These reviews will provide you with a better understanding of what it would be like to work with the company and the type of issues you may encounter. 

3. Hire Dedicated or Shared Agents? 

Some outsourcing companies will offer shared agents, meaning they will be working on many different projects for other companies. This can be beneficial for you since the cost of such agents will usually be lower. However, there are downsides as well. They will simply not have the time to learn about your organization or process in great detail, meaning that they would only be able to respond to simple inquiries like password resets. 

Hiring a dedicated customer team will give you more value for your money. Dedicated customer support agents will be able to: 

  • Learn and adapt to your internal process and requirements 
  • Better understand your product offering, thus providing your clients with more knowledgeable information
  • Easily integrate them into your existing in-house team, if you have one

4. Consider the Security and Legal Risks 

The security and privacy of your information is something that a lot of companies tend to overlook when looking for customer support services. Things like pricing and scope of work usually dominate the conversations. However, it is important to make sure that all of your proprietary information remains secure by signing all of the necessary agreements and asking for internationally recognized certifications. These include things like ISO 27001, SOC 2, GDPR, and many others. Such certifications are verified by independent audit, which adds an extra layer of security to your information. 

This is important because, over the course of the project’s implementation, you will be giving the service providing confidential information about your product or service. If that information leaks out, it could cause a lot of damage to your business. This is why you need to ensure that all of the necessary safeguards are in place to keep the information secure. 

5. Ask About the Training Process

Even if you hire agents with previous customer support experience, they must get the right customer service training to understand how you go about your processes. Usually, the outsourcing company will be responsible for such training, all you need to do is is give them your requirements. However, you can participate in any way you wish. Training is very important because the support reps are the face of your organization when speaking with customers. If they offer poor experiences, the customer will not hesitate about going someplace else. 

This is also one of the many overlooked benefits of outsourcing. Putting together a quality training program requires a lot of time and knowledge. An experienced service provider will most likely already have a set of best practices that they know will work, and they can supplement those with your specific requirements. However, if there is something specific you would like the service provider to do, mention it early on. 

6. Set the KPIs Early On

Measuring the success of your outsourced team is very important since it allows you to understand how things are going and whether you are reaching your objectives. This is why you need measurable KPIs the team needs to achieve at various stages of the project. For example, in the very beginning, you may want to see a higher first call resolution rate. After six months, the CSAT needs to be increased by a certain percentage. Whatever goals you set, make sure that they are measurable and achievable since setting unattainable goals will hurt morale and will be detrimental to the project. 

7. Maintain Communication 

The form of communication between you and the service provider will evolve as the project moves through various stages. For example, many outsourcing projects usually start on a small scale with a pilot project. At this stage, the communication is usually face-to-face via Zoom between executive members of both organizations. As the project progresses, you will be given a single point of contact. Usually, a team lead or a project manager who will be aware of all the things going on and provide you with all of the needed updates. Make sure to maintain constant communication to resolve any problems that arise and keep track of how well the team is performing. 

Even though good communication is undoubtedly important, the hallmark of a good service provider is how minimal supervision they need. Remember, the reason you are outsourcing in the first place is to take some of the load off yourself and your internal team. Constantly checking in to see how things are going is also time-consuming and unnecessary. This is something that will most likely develop as a result of extended cooperation. 

8. Make Sure the Team Has the Right Tools 

Every organization has its own tools they use for customer support. While this mostly includes the CRM but also channel-specific tools. For example, there are call center support tools like automatic caller information screen pop, software that has two-way integrations with your business tools like Salesforce, Zendesk, Live Chat, Magento, and others; your agents will have access to all of the caller’s previous interactions with your company before they answer the phone. If you offer live chat support, there is specific software for that as well. Make sure that your team has the tools they need, so they are set up for success. 

9. Cover Multiple Time Zones

Since your offshore team will be located in a different time zone, their regular business hours may correspond to your off duty hours. However, many companies take advantage of the lower labor cost to offer their customers 24/7 support. In addition to that, you will also have the ability to provide support in languages other than English. Providing top-quality support to your customers wherever they may be located will allow you to offer greater experiences and increase your customer base. 

10. Make Sure the Voice and Tone are Just Right 

Even though your outsourced team is located in another country, they are an extension of the team you have in-house and your company in general. Therefore, when a person calls in and receives poor service from your offshore team, it is the same as if they got this experience from your in-house team. This ties in with the training we mentioned earlier on. The customer support agents must understand your specific style of speaking with customers and the type of tone you would like to project. 

Outsourcing Your Customer Support Can Lead to Better Experiences 

Besides simply having a great product or service, you also need to provide your customers with excellent experiences. We live in a time of increased competition in virtually every industry, and the way you treat your customers can set you apart from the crowded playing field. However, to realize all of the benefits of outsourcing, you will need to find a service provider with experience in actualizing projects of various sizes and complexities and knows all of the pitfalls and how to avoid them. 

Anastasiya Slipenko
Anastasiya Slipenko

Anastasiya Slipenko is a content manager at Mindy Support - one of the largest BPO providers in Eastern Europe with more than 2,000 employees across six locations all over Ukraine. Mindy Support is a trusted partner for several Fortune 500 and GAFAM companies. We build dedicated 24/7 customer support teams of different sizes.

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