3 Tips For Ecommerce Customer Service Outsourcing
Building strong customer loyalty is no child’s play. Ecommerce leaders can find success by adding a human touch to their customer relationships, at scale.
Although most consumers expect the shopping process to be automated and on-demand, they still prefer customer service that is highly personalized and involves a human touch.
High-touch interactions like customized thank you cards, exclusive sales, and reliably empathetic customer support can be integral in establishing brand loyalty and positive customer relationships. But how can they be scaled?
And whether this in house or is contracted out to a third-party, how do you ensure it remains of the highest of quality?
Outsourcing your ecommerce and social media customer service is one way to grow, but be sure to take these three important tips into account:
Tip 1 – Make sure the outsourcing vendor is flexible
Tip 2 – Avoid lock periods and overtime pricing
Tip 3 – Understand the vendor’s training and hiring practices
First things first. What is ecommerce customer service outsourcing?
Ecommerce customer service outsourcing means hiring a third-party provider to manage a company’s web shop inquires and communications with customers. Common inbound channels for technical and marketing-related communications include email, social media, instant messaging/live chat and phone.
This form of outsourcing is now being used by a growing number of ecommerce and retail companies to save expenses, drive more revenue, reduce workloads, and create customer “superfans.”
Customer service (CS) for retail and Ecommerce can be outsourced through a call center or contact center, which maintains agents who are trained to handle incoming calls.
Taking care of customers is the cornerstone of every ecommerce business since customers depend on it for requests, complaints, as well as prior to purchasing! Having dependable customer relationship management support helps companies work more efficiently. In a sea of competitors, one of the easiest ways to differentiate your CS from rival companies is to make your customers truly happy.
Business owners can be hesitant to transfer their customer success solutions to a third party. And there are of course pros and cons that must be carefully considered first.
It’s important to understand that outsourcing customer care isn’t about cutting corners; rather, it’s about trying your best to satisfy clients’ expectations in a timely manner, while making your business more efficient and lucrative.
An influx in new clients and renewed brand interest is a fantastic thing to have. However, when voicemail message fills up, emails go unacknowledged, and no one is handling live chat inquiries, you are losing out on opportunities to leverage on-demand service and expand your brand.
There comes a time when all ecommerce companies, especially high-growth and enterprise brands, must decide if it’s a good idea to outsource their customer care.
The best times to outsource ecommerce customer support
Deciding to outsource your store’s technical support or social media customer service is a personal choice that is unique to each company’s needs and resources. Check out these four scenarios in which transferring to a third party could be a smart move:
1. If your company is a startup.
Say your company is a startup that is up and running. You have a small staff and want to concentrate on the main market operations rather than devoting a lot of time and resources to your CS operation. For the moment, it would be useful to adopt a working business model to handle this particular responsibility. Consider employing a contract model that will handle your contact us page and phone inquiries.
The complexity of your ecommerce customer care experience is often determined by the networks you use and the languages your customers speak. If your customers come from various countries, or if you use a range of networks, you should consider subcontracting customer service to overcome language barriers, maximize revenue, and minimize customer neglect.
2. When you require customer support in many languages.
Your customer base could be scattered all around the world. You’ll need agents who can communicate in your customers’ native language if you want to have an exceptional customer experience (CX).
If you receive questions in several languages, with a low amount of each, it makes sense to collaborate with a firm that can have joint members. These joint teams work on several tasks at the same time 24/7, resulting in reduced expenses per project that are passed on to you as a client.
Furthermore, working with a joint team allows you to cover a broad variety of languages, around the clock, across different time zones for the same cost as hiring a single in-house agent.
3. If you require multi-channel customer support.
Each platform is viewed as its own discipline. Social media sites are very different from phone calls, and text messages are very different from live chat.
Each channel necessitates its own collection of capabilities and infrastructure. If you want to add a different platform to your corporation’s omnichannel customer care offering, it makes sense to hire an agency that is well-versed in this new channel, plus equipped with the first-class experts and digital tools.
4. If you need professional personnel, urgently.
When you deal with a reliable partner who has a lot of experience recruiting agents and managing customer success, you can be reassured that they know what to look for in every new recruit.
Realistically, ecommerce businesses could build their own in-house support center with all rights reserved service, but most tend to outsource this support task to professional partners.
Why? Because this straightforward structure provides many advantages. Let’s take a closer look at five of these advantages.
Benefits of outsourcing your shop’s customer service
1. Create a positive image
When the outsourcing firm has quality customer care team coaching and resources, it can result in high levels of customer loyalty, which assists your brand management. It will protect the company’s image and prevent it from being compromised by the negative publicity that could be associated with a bad customer service experience, such as delayed responses.
2. Improve customer satisfaction
The outsourcing firm will be able to equip your company with improved support and customer relationship management competency, elevating the brand’s reputation and commitment to customer happiness. Being viewed as a corporation that emphasizes customer satisfaction will allow you to thrive and increase your number of positive customer reviews, which essentially act as free peer-to-peer advertising. It will also help improve customer satisfaction KPIs, such as net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES).
3. Make your organization more profitable
Outsourcing also increases the profitability and effectiveness of your brand. When you contract a third party to take over customer service, you have more time to spend on other activities that add value to your business, such as sales, lead generation, market research, web content development, and public relations.
Outsourcing firms are highly experienced and trained, with a strong track record in the industry. They will quickly offer programs that will boost revenues while lowering expenses. Hiring a firm that specializes in customer support is the perfect way to ensure high standards of efficiency, while giving you more time and energy to focus on capturing more market share.
4. Save money AND drive revenue
Your business can save money by subcontracting customer support roles. You can now concentrate on other facets that will be more prosperous for your brand financially as you subcontract customer care roles. In fact, having a stellar customer support system can actually drive loyalty and revenue for the business.
Some companies save even more money and ensure a higher return on investment (ROI) by also outsourcing other business processes like recruitment, engineering, sales, promotions, order fulfillment, web analytics, SEO, information technology, and the production of goods.
5. Cater to international customers
Call center outsourcing remains your best bet when you are selling your products and services to foreign destinations. Since you’ve contracted your customer support to the region that the marked demography is, it eliminates challenges associated with working across time zones.
For example, if you want to market your goods and services to those in Asia, you can use the call center services of one of the Philippines’ largest outsourcing firms. Responding quickly to inquiries in real-time and having immediate access to customer care reps can go a long way in terms making consumers happy.
Now that you understand some of the benefits and best times to outsource customer service, let’s move on to our main course: how to effectively outsource call center operations.
3 ultimate tips for outsourcing
Tip 1 – Ensure the vendor is flexible
Flexibility in customer care refers to the ability to respond to shifting conditions. Customers have diverse expectations, and versatility means being able to manage the complexities of each unique customer experience in an efficient way.
When hiring providers for a Ecommerce use case, make sure you find one that can help you build great relationships with your customers by improving all phases of CX. Choose a vendor that offers a wide range of technology integrations and can handle everything from phone support to computer program software to CS analytics. Vendors that are quick and flexible allow retailers to easily adapt to changing customer expectations and scale as they grow.
Tip 2 – No lock periods
Lock periods are an indication of inflexibility. If a contact center still employs 30- or 90-day lock periods, they’re ignoring a fundamental challenge of today’s CX: forecasting volume. Flexibility has never been more essential. A customer support solution that operates with lock periods is more than likely inflexible in other areas as well. Exercise extreme caution and ensure your vendor is up to date with the latest information in ecommerce CX trends.
Tip 3 – Understand the vendor’s training and hiring practices
Excellent customer service is a strategic advantage in any industry and will give you a competitive edge. It is a vital player in the game of customer satisfaction and retention.
Consider this question. If a customer had a pressing question and called a customer service agent, which approach do you think would make the customer happier and more likely to hang around: a standardized email response or a well-researched and tailored response from a support team that truly cares about their success? Definitely the latter.
Properly and effectively training your support team is just as critical (if not more) than training your marketing or sales team. Contact center services are what keeps your clients coming back for more and encourage feedback and word-of-mouth referrals. It’s important to be highly selective when contracting your CS.
The bottom line
The decision is yours. Whether you decide to manage your ecommerce customer care in house or transition it to an outsourced team, your customer base will continue to be the ultimate judge of your customer experience. Continue to listen to consumers, collect their feedback, and pivot accordingly in order to execute an excellent CS strategy that will drive customer engagement, loyalty, and success for your business.
Running an ecommerce store is no easy job. It involves creating an amazing product, targeting a specific market, developing an inbound marketing plan, identifying the best shipping and delivery methods, operating customer care with diligence, and managing inventory… Just to name a few!
Do you even have time to properly address the customer side of things yourself? Or would you like a helping hand to guide you and take some weight off of your shoulders?
Are you ready to take the next step and outsource your ecommerce customer service? Interested in learning how you can transform your CS team into a heavy-hitting revenue driver through increased customer satisfaction, repeat purchases, and conversational commerce?