We’re about to break down the six biggest myths in outsourced customer service for you. These are myths that have been propagated for decades - you’ve likely heard many of them before - and they apply to all industries, from Retail & Ecommerce, to Wireless & Telecommunications, to Health Care.
But first, let’s take a moment to talk about you, the customer experience executive. Often, when you first start the dialog within your company about outsourcing, you can be met with some serious pushback...
Bill in Marketing & Communications...“But they’re our customers - only we can help them!” and…Steve in Product & R&D...“Who could possibly know our products and services like we do?” and…Cheryl in Operations...“We’ve never outsourced anything before - we can’t start now!”
But the reality is that outsourcing is like any other strategic business activity. The goals are to maximize outputs, minimize investment, and communicate transparently, both inside the firm and with the firm’s partners and vendors. Today, there are firms surviving specifically because of their ability to outsource the right business activities with the right partners.
If you were to bring in an outside firm to handle any other aspect of your business - legal, logistics, operations, advertising - you need to do your research and find not just the best partner for the job, but the best partner for your firm.
A partner who doesn’t communicate often enough, transparently enough, or effectively enough is not a good partner, and any strategic initiative will be doomed from the start.
That’s why everything we do at Vcare is done with transparency in mind, from our call center services, to our data analytics, to our CSAT scores, to our Customer Care Specialists, themselves. That’s what makes a good partner, and that’s what makes outsourcing anything a success.
So, by looking at outsourced call centers and customer support through this lens, we are able to see through these common myths, thoroughly debunk them, and get you back on your mission to minimize cost, keep your customers thrilled with your brand, and maximize the ROI of your customer care experience.
Here They Are...The 6 Most Outdated Myths About Outsourced Customer Care
1. “We will lose control of an outsourcing arrangement!”
Often, there’s a fear that by outsourcing something, you will lose control of it. In reality, though, when you bring on a partner who strives for collaboration and transparency, you actually have as much control over the discipline as if it were your own staff.
From the point of kickoff with a partner like Vcare, from the way that the processes are set up, to the method of brand, product, and culture training, to how calls, emails, and live chat need to be handled, to the staffing and scaling of the Customer Care Team, you have full control over how the whole machine works.
With the right outsourced call center partner, you’ll also get dashboards, core metrics that align with how you measure success, and detailed analysis reports so that you can stay on top of the day-to-day customer experience. Ideally, you can even audit calls, emails, and other customer service contacts, see how everything is running, and make recommendations or collaborate on optimizations, as we hope our clients do.
It’s all about clear two-way communication, data sharing and accountability, and choosing an outsource partner that embraces transparency.
2. “We will lose skill-set in the department!”
Fortunately (or unfortunately, depending on your particular point of view), when you outsource a call center or your customer support experience, it’s not as if the whole operation is going away, and you never have to touch it again.
The reality of the situation is that you are still going to have collaborate with the vendor on the customer care process, benchmark core metrics, analyze customer care reports, monitor the customer experience, audit calls and contacts, and optimize the customer support machine.
By having brand leadership and customer experience executives fully engaged in this process, the customer service skill set is actually honed even more when you outsource, as you’re hyper aware of all of the holistic elements, and you have an expert team helping you along the way.
3. “We’re not sure how the outsourced call center will treat our customers.”
This might be the easiest one on our list, as Vcare clients remain tightly connected to their customers. Our brands see the customer care reports, they audit their customer support calls, and they even jump in to optimize our co-created processes over time.
And that’s not just after the fact, either - our clients can even jump in on calls and messages in real-time. We provide our clients with transparency and unlimited control over their customers.
4. "But how can the outsourced Care Specialists be as effective as our own people?”
This myth is understandable, and we hear this concern a lot. Unfortunately - and it pains some customer experience executives to hear this - but our collaborative process actually breeds the absolute best Care Specialists for your brand and for your customers.
By setting up a very solid process, conducting rigorous brand training with our expert trainers alongside your Marketing and Customer Experience leaders, and completely absorbing your corporate culture and brand, we position your team of Customer Care Specialists for success.
You have put immeasurable hours and sweat equity into your brand. We make sure that valuable branding shines through to your customers in every interaction with our Care Specialists.
5. “But we’ve tried this before, and we can’t try it again!”
As with anything, sometimes you don’t succeed on the first try with an outsourced partner. That doesn’t mean, though, that all future failures are doomed.
It’s about learning from the past and finding the right partner who preaches collaboration and transparency. One who will build a process together, who encourages co-analysis of data, and one who is invested in your brand and your customers.
The brand executives, too, need to be at the top of their customer experience game, even (and especially) after a partner is brought on. Monitoring, optimization, and strategic vision are necessary for any outsourced initiative to succeed in the long run.
6. “We’ve never outsourced before, though!” or “That’s just not our culture!”
If the status quo was the way that all firms operated, then we wouldn’t have Apples, Amazons, Fords, or Pixars - we wouldn’t have any innovators at all!
Just because your firm has handled customer care one way in the past, does not mean that there may be better, more effective, more efficient alternatives in the market worth exploring.
There are many benefits to an outsourced partner in customer care, major efficiencies that are created in working with many brands across a set of specialized industries with similar needs. The right partner is able to incorporate learnings more broadly, integrate best practices more efficiently, and ultimately, lower costs while maximizing the customer experience in the process.
That’s what we do at Vcare - why not let us show you?
Which of these myths have you experienced in the past? Have any we missed? Let us know on Twitter by mentioning us @vcaretec.
Don’t forget to reach out to a Customer Care Specialist at Vcare with any questions about outsourced customer service or call center services.