It can seem like the holy grail at times, but really, there’s nothing secretive or magical about succeeding with your outsourced customer service. You’ve just got to do the work – and commit.
What’s the secret to efficient, outsourced customer service in the UK? In this post, we’ll endeavour to answer that question as simply and clearly as possible. To make it extra digestible, we’ve divided our advice into five top tips.
Partner with a reputable outsourcing company
Why outsource at all if you’re going to skimp on experience and expertise? After all, getting professionals who know their stuff on the case is what outsourcing is all about. Find a company with a proven track record of providing high-quality customer service, ideally with evidence of both happy customers and good results. That’s a solid first sign that your outsourced customer service will be based on well-established processes propped up by experienced staff and all the necessary resources.
Invest in training and technology
Speaking of processes and staff – always ask about the customer service company’s onboarding and training policies and processes, and find out what platforms and technology they use. Reliable customer service providers invest in the latest technology for a reason, and if you’re going to invest in expert customer service, you want to know that they’re truly experts in the full sense of the word.
Remember language and culture
There are two sides to this coin. Firstly, you need to make sure that the outsourced customer service team speaks fluent English in the true sense of the word. There’s no getting around this: the agents need to be able to communicate effectively in the primary language used in the UK.
The flipside is a tad more complex. While your outsourcing company must have experience of working with UK customers and fully understand the nuances of British culture, including local customs and service expectations, an awareness of the ways in which customers from other cultures might need to be greeted and treated slightly differently is hugely valuable too. Perhaps you can find a company that’s based in the UK but with experience of working in other markets as well?
Consider flexibility and scalability
Always of paramount importance, but particularly so during times of financial uncertainty, is flexibility. What happens if you suddenly need to tighten the belt? Can the outsourcing company respond and meet the demand when there’s a spike in customer service queries?
Always ask about scalability. Few organisations have an always steady and constant stream of business and customer service needs, and the more flexible the outsourcing company is the less likely that you’ll need to go looking for another one anytime soon.
Foster a culture of continuous improvement
How will the outsourcing relationship work? How will you be kept in the loop of progress, problems and other news? Regular performance evaluations including customer feedback and the latest figures should be worked into your plan, one way or another. Some customer service agencies even provide valuable ongoing input that can help you effectivize and improve your business.
To summarise, what’s the secret to efficient, outsourced customer service in the UK? Asking the right questions before you enter an agreement is a very good place to start.
If in doubt, start with some of these questions and you’ll be sure to hit the ground running:
- Can you provide examples of successful customer service outsourcing partnerships you have had with other UK companies, along with references or testimonials?
- What is your company’s experience and expertise in dealing with UK customers, including understanding local customs and service expectations?
- How do you ensure that your customer service agents are fluent in English and have a strong understanding of the nuances of British culture?
- What onboarding and training processes do you have in place for your customer service agents to ensure they are well-prepared to handle our specific industry and customer base?
- What technology platforms and tools do you use to manage customer service interactions, and how do they align with industry best practices?
- How do you handle fluctuations in customer service demand, and what is your capacity for scaling your services up or down to meet our changing needs?
- What processes do you have in place for tracking and reporting on customer service performance, including customer satisfaction metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs)?
Establishing an honest relationship where continuing to ask questions is not just allowed, but encouraged, is another part of the recipe for success. After all, you need a business partner that will really listen – but you’ll get the most out of the relationship if you’re able to listen and learn too.
Consider asking these questions as well:
- How do you promote a culture of continuous improvement within your organisation, and how do you involve your clients in that process?
- How will you maintain open communication with our company to ensure that we stay informed about progress, issues, and updates related to our outsourced customer service operations?
If you consider all of the above, you’ll be in a great position to find a reliable, reputable customer service outsourcing company. So much of it is about knowing where to start and asking the right questions. So are you ready? It’s time to outsource your customer service to someone who really knows what they’re doing and who can help you thrive.