Business process outsourcing

10 Advantages of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)

In today’s competitive market, you need to find various ways to make your business stand out. Outsourcing customer service can provide that edge, offering enhanced customer support that’s cost-effective and scalable. This strategy to distinguish your business from your competitors offers numerous benefits, but it also comes with its challenges.

In this blog, we look at the pros and cons of customer service outsourcing. By understanding both sides, you can make an informed decision that aligns with your business goals and customer’s expectations.

What is Outsourced Customer Service?

An outsourced customer support service involves hiring a third-party specialist provider to handle your customer service tasks. This approach allows you to delegate either some or all of your customer service operations.

Customer support tasks typically include:

Inbound Customer Support

The third-party provider will offer customer support across various channels, including:

  • Phone Support: Offering customer support through inbound and outbound calls. This includes handling customer inquiries, resolving issues, and providing technical support for products or services.
  • Email Support: Managing customer communication through email, responding to queries, and resolving complaints or issues that customers may have.
  • Live Chat Support: Providing real-time assistance to customers visiting your website. Live chat support helps in addressing customer queries instantly, improving engagement and satisfaction.

Outbound Customer Support

Outbound customer support includes proactively reaching out to customers. This helps with building stronger relationships and ensuring customer satisfaction.

  • Gather Customer Feedback: Engaging directly with customers to collect feedback provides invaluable insights into their experiences and expectations. This proactive approach enables you to adjust your offerings to better align with their needs.
  • Send Surveys: This involves sending out surveys to collect detailed feedback about your customers' satisfaction and opinions. This structured feedback is invaluable for making necessary improvements.
  • Promotion: Utilize your outsourced customer support team to inform your customers about new products, services, or special deals. This not only boosts your sales but also keeps your customers informed about what you have to offer.

Order Processing and Fulfillment:

Outsourced customer service can streamline your order processing and fulfillment, taking care of everything from handling orders to tracking shipments and managing returns or exchanges. This ensures all logistical aspects of your customer service are efficiently managed.

Social Media Customer Care:

The third-party customer service provider can monitor and respond to customer interactions across your social media platforms. This includes addressing concerns, engaging with customers, and promoting a positive brand image online.

Advantages of Outsourcing Customer Service

Customer service outsourcing has been adopted by small to large businesses across a wide range of industries, including retail and wholesale, healthcare, hospitality, and more. This widespread adoption stems from the numerous benefits that outsourcing provides.

1. Focus on Core Business Activities

Outsourced customer service means having a dedicated team that can handle all your customer questions, complaints, and other support needs. This frees up valuable time and resources, allowing you and your team to concentrate on core business activities. This can lead to innovation or improvements, further driving your business growth and success.

2. Cost Efficiency

The major benefit of outsourced customer service is that you can improve the quality of support you offer while reducing your operational costs. This cost efficiency allows you to allocate more of your budget to other core aspects of your business.

Here's how you benefit financially:

  • Lower Staff Costs: You avoid the expenses related to hiring, training, and maintaining an in-house customer service team, such as salaries, benefits, and the need for extra office space.
  • Access to Advanced Technology: With outsourcing, you gain access to the latest customer service technologies and systems without the investment.

3. Access to Expertise

Choosing to outsource your customer service connects you to professionals specialized in delivering exceptional customer support. These experts have extensive experience and an understanding of customer service best practices. This guarantees your customers will receive high-quality support when they need it.

4. Scalability

As your business grows, the quantity of customer interactions is bound to increase. Scaling customer support becomes easier when you outsource to third-party specialists. This approach gives you the flexibility to adjust your support capacity as needed, ensuring you can effectively manage customer inquiries during peak times or as your operations grow without compromising on service quality.

5. 24/7 Support

Providing round-the-clock support is crucial for global businesses. Outsourcing enables your business to offer 24/7 customer service, ensuring that customer inquiries are addressed promptly.

6. Multilingual Service

Outsourced customer service can offer multilingual support, catering to a global customer base. This capability enhances customer experience and satisfaction by allowing customers to communicate in their preferred language.

7. Omnichannel Coverage

By outsourcing your customer service, you gain comprehensive omnichannel support. This allows your customers to reach out via their preferred channels, whether it's email, social media, chat, or phone. This integrated approach provides a consistent customer experience across all platforms.

Drawbacks of Outsourcing Customer Service

While outsourcing customer service has its advantages, there are also potential downsides that you should consider.

1. Quality Control Issues

When you outsource your customer service, keeping your standards high can become more challenging. There might be differences in how the third-party provider understands and implements your company's vision and standards, which can result in uneven quality of customer service. Ensuring consistent service quality requires clear communication and regular monitoring of the outsourced team's performance.

2. Lack of Company Knowledge

The external customer service team might not have an in-depth understanding of your products, services, or company culture. This gap can result in responses to customers that lack personalization or fail to address their needs accurately. Ensuring that your outsourced team is as knowledgeable as your in-house staff is crucial to maintaining the quality of your customer service.

3. Security Risks

Outsourcing your customer service can expose your business to potential security risks. Sharing sensitive customer or business information with an external provider requires robust security measures to prevent data breaches or unauthorized access. It's essential to check your outsourcing partner's security protocols to protect your customers' information and maintain their trust.

Is Outsourcing Customer Service a Good Idea?

Despite the potential drawbacks, outsourced customer service is a strategic decision for any business. To ensure a high standard of customer service, it’s essential to partner with the right BPO customer service provider. This will allow you and your customers to enjoy all the benefits of a dedicated, external team handling your customer inquiries or issues.

How To Choose The Best Outsourced Customer Service

Here are our top tips for choosing the right outsourced customer service provider:

Check The Provider’s Expertise

Focus on finding providers who have a solid reputation and years of experience within your specific industry. Their proven track record should give you confidence that they understand the unique needs of your business and the expectations of your customers. This expertise ensures that the outsourced team can add significant value to your customer service operations.

Assess The Provider’s Quality Control Processes

It’s important to understand the mechanisms a provider has in place to maintain high standards of service quality. Look for providers who implement rigorous quality control measures to guarantee consistency and reliability in customer interactions. This commitment to quality should align with your business standards, ensuring a seamless extension of your customer service.

Enquire About The Provider’s Training Program

Ask the customer service provider to explain their training program for their staff. Their training should include a process for understanding of your products or services, essential communication skills, and aligning with your company’s core values. This will help you choose a provider with confidence, knowing that they will be equipped to meet your customer service needs efficiently and knowledgeably.

Verify Security Measures

Ensure the outsourcing company has strong security protocols to protect your data and customer information. Strong security measures to look out for include controlled access, data encryption, regulatory compliance protocols, and regular security audits. This step is crucial to prevent security risks and safeguard your business's reputation.

FAQs About Outsourcing Customer Service Pros and Cons

How can multilingual customer service impact customer satisfaction?

Multilingual customer service enhances customer satisfaction by providing support in the customer's native language. This personalized approach fosters a better understanding and builds trust between the customer and the company.

Why is lack of company knowledge a problem in outsourced customer service?

A lack of company knowledge in outsourced customer service can lead to misinformation and unsatisfactory support experiences. Customers expect accurate and informed responses, which require a deep understanding of the company's products or services.

What should businesses look for in a customer service provider’s training program?

Businesses should look for comprehensive training programs that include product or service knowledge, customer service skills, and alignment with the company’s culture and values. Effective training ensures that outsourced agents can deliver the level of service that customers expect.