What are the Main Customer Support Services Outsourced?
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Customer support agents interact and communicate with your customers on behalf of your company. Because happy customers spend more, 24% of small businesses outsource customer support services. Increase your efficiency by delegating customer service tasks to a third-party service provider.
The responsibilities and tasks of your outsourced customer service agents can vary by industry, duty, functions, and responsibilities. Here are the main customer support services outsourced:
Main Customer Support Services Outsourced
Due to their daily urgency, these are the top customer support tasks outsourced. You can farm out the following tasks to a service provider like USource:
- Non-Voice Customer Support (Digital): Chat and writing support services are as important as voice-based customer support. Resolve customer complaints quickly over social media sites, instant messaging tools, and more.
- Pre-sale Support: It is often overlooked but pre-sales support increases customer satisfaction, sales numbers, and conversion rate. Answer all customer queries and engage right from the start of their buying process. If you have ever seen a chat box pop up in the bottom corner of a website, this is pre-sale support. Enter your query and there’s a good chance you will be speaking to a real human with detailed knowledge of the product or service you’re interested in buying.
- Post-Purchase Support: 40% of customers consider post-purchase as the most memorable part of their purchase. Communicate with customers after a purchase has been made. This includes returns/exchanges and answering queries. Even refunds aren’t always negative if handled properly. Share customers’ feedback and attract them to repurchase or spread your product through word of mouth.
- Application & Identity Verification: Collect and verify customer identity while onboarding customers. Speed up the verification process for digital payments and verify users to keep customers safe from fraudulent transactions.
- Online Order Processing: Properly prepare customer orders through the entire fulfillment process. Increase customer satisfaction with order accuracy and reliability.
- Billing, Invoice & Account Management: Integrate software and customer service agents to make customer account management, invoicing, payments, and credits easier.
- Email Customer Support: The average return on investment for every $1 spent on email marketing is $42. Attract and retain customers with personalized emails sent directly to their inboxes.
- Live Chat: Satisfy your customers with 24/7 availability. 73% of customers prefer businesses with live chat support where they know when there are available agents, know what number they are in the queue, and have a good estimate of how long they will wait.
- Back Office Support: Outsourced customer support services include customer data management, administrative, accounting, finance, compliance administration, ESG reporting services, and technical support which varies by industry.
- Ticket Management – Zendesk, Freshdesk, Gorgias, Help Scout: It is no secret a high percentage of businesses based in the United States, Australia, and other English-speaking countries outsource email ticket management support. Service providers have the tools and tech stack to help your business in a flash.
- Digital Process Transformation and Automation: From the previous 9% in 2018, 66% of businesses piloted the automation of one or more of their business operations in 2022. This helps them increase scalability and reliability with improved efficiency.
- Digital & Cloud-Based Workers: Cloud staffing solutions give businesses access to a global workforce customizable to their needs of operations in customer support. You can take advantage of SaaS customer service software, which allows your business to build redundancy, reduce geographical risk, increase timezone coverage and reduce costs by offshoring customer support services to locations like the Philippines.
Outsourcing Customer Support Services
Outsourcing customer support services can increase the efficiency of your in-house and improve your customer experience. But it needs to be on-brand.
56% of customers feel like the customer service does not portray the company’s image. Here are the ways you can assure your customer support service team can represent your brand efficiently:
- Clarify your qualifications: What traits of a customer support agent are you looking for?
- Interview: Even in outsourcing agencies, you can interview your hired customer support agent to see their level of comprehension and their choice of words when responding to questions.
- Training: You can assign an in-house employee or provide a training menu to your outsourced team. This can help your outsourced agents absorb company cultures and understand your brand more.
- Resources: Service providers like USource are equipped with technology and software to communicate with a client’s customers. But you can suggest the tools and software you want to use for your business.
Tools and Technology used by Customer Support Services
Customer support service agencies support their agents with available software to interact with you and your customers.
- Freshworks: online cloud-based customer service software used for multichannel support and to streamline processes. The tool allows agents to track and manage omnichannel customer support. For digital, web-based customers, using Freshchat and Freshdesk is a typical setup.
- Zendesk: self-service platform which connects you and your customers from any channel. Equipped with all Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, the software helps businesses keep up with customer demands.
- Gorgias: centralized, all-in-one platform for customer service. The software helps agents access multiple channels: social media, phones, emails, and websites.
- Intercom: integrated helpdesk with access to group conversations, customer context keeping, call-out collaborations, scheduling, CRM, and more. Has a mobile app on iOS and Android for on-the-go users.
Global companies that outsource customer support services
Knowing how to perfectly manage the disadvantages of outsourcing, here are the well-known enterprises hiring service providers for customer support:
Google: In 2011, they outsourced 1,000 representatives from 60 countries as Adwords advertisers. In 2018, half of their workforce were outsourced contractors.
Microsoft: Along with infrastructure and application support, the tech company outsources its help desk to Infosys in India.
Amazon: The eCommerce company outsources its customer support to several call center agencies in the Philippines. This is to provide their customers from North America and the United Kingdom with 24/7 customer support.
Telstra: In 2013, the company outsourced as the majority of their customers seek support online. They delegated 391 customer service positions to the Philippines and India.
Wells Fargo & Co.: The fourth largest bank in the world chose the Philippines to outsource to buy a ‘vote of confidence.‘ From credit card concerns to credit collections, Wells Fargo & Co. opened 120,000 jobs to Filipinos in 2012.
Other companies outsourcing customer support services include:
- The Wall Street Journal
- Capital One
- And more.
Notable customer support service statistics
69% of customers stop engaging with a business after one negative experience.
And more than half of these customers are willing to pay more for a positive experience. Their high expectations in customer service pushed leaders to invest in customer support.
Aside from phone calls and emails, customers expect a response in social media too. Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are usually the places where customers complain the most.
85% of customers wait for a response within 6 hours on Facebook.
Facebook gives you a ‘very responsive to messages’ badge when you respond to 90% of your messages within five minutes.
64% of customers want a reply within an hour on Twitter.
No matter the platform, customers want a thoughtful and immediate response to their queries and complaints on social media platforms.
52% of customers prefer transactions with companies with quick resolution while 80% believe the companies they are interacting with can still improve their customer service.
To shorten your response time, you can add your customer-facing full-time employees or delegate tasks to service providers.
81% of customer service leaders are investing in live chat and messaging.
Live chats solely for customer support increases the good feelings of the customer towards a business. And they are more likely to recommend the positive service to their friends and family.
Outsourcing is more than cost-cutting but it’s a factor to consider when quality customer service doesn’t need to cost so much.
The cost structure of outsourcing customer support service
The prices of outsourcing customer support services vary by country, industry, and other factors. The following are the reasonable factors to base the prices of an outsourced customer service representative.
- How many agents do you need?
- How long are you hiring these customer service representatives?
- What level of expertise do you need?
- The more people you need, the longer the time you need them, and the higher their expertise, the more expensive your total will be
Labor Market Rate:
Offshoring to a customer services company from the Philippines can cost 70% less than hiring in-house customer support.
The cost structure of outsourcing customer support services is percentage-based or flat-fee retainer agreements. Percentage-based have hidden charges and businesses consider this a red flag when outsourcing to a service provider.
The following are the cost structure you can pay for your outsourced customer support:
Staffing model: The payment includes all the tools used by their outsourced employee. These are workstations, desktops, and internet phones.
Fixed-priced model: The service provider set the standard rate. Clients can choose to pay monthly, annually, or quarterly which already includes the costs of tools and software.
Consumption-based pricing model: Clients pay for what they use either by minute, hour, month, or year.
Incentive-based pricing model: Usually for seasonal accounts, clients can choose to send bonuses or commissions on top of the usual pricing to the service provider to increase their performance.
Standing out with customer service
55% of customers want the companies they care about to know more about them. Reach them digitally; via email, live chat, instant messages, and video calls. As the driving force of your business, make your customer feel special with a quality customer experience.
Prioritize your customers with on-brand quick resolutions wherever they are: social media, live chat, or emails. Outsource customer support services to third-party providers with omnichannel customer support like USource.