Why does the term “customer service” evoke such an uneasy feeling? After all, the field of customer service carries out one of the most effective ways for potential and recurring customers to directly communicate with your business. However, if you have experience in a customer service role, then you know that most people’s reasoning for contacting you isn’t usually to give accolades.
A clay tablet currently housed in the British Museum contains what is believed to be the first documented customer complaint. Dated 1750 BC from Babylonia, this tablet conveys a man’s disappointment regarding the quality of purchased copper ingots.
Jump ahead about 3770 years to today and businesses are still fielding customer complaints with regularity. This is not a criticism towards businesses, because customer complaints—whether they are due to elements within your control or not—are inevitable. And while anyone who is filling in for customer service duty may not be directly fielding phone calls, tasks such as answering emails and responding to social media concerns are now on your plate.
If the scenarios above sound familiar, then outsourcing customer service has likely become a recurring thought. But how can you know when the time is right? For a professional opinion on all things customer service, we can turn to Datapak’s own Monica Clark. Among Clark’s responsibilities as Customer Service Manager is the oversight and training of her team as the first point of contact for several of Datapak’s clients.
We asked Clark: “At what point in a business’s life should outsourcing customer service be considered?” and, “What should a business look for when outsourcing?”
Any business that is drowning in calls, emails, chat or other ways of servicing customers should have already looked into outsourcing. This also holds true for companies that are either growing too fast and are in danger of tarnishing their reputation, or companies with a bad reputation which they are trying to overcome.
One needs to be extremely selective when approaching and using outsourcers. It is always best to use someone who is closely matched with your company’s morals and values and that can identify with your mission statement. Obviously, experience is important as well. When lacking experience, an outsourcer can do more harm than good.
One of the most important things to consider when selecting an outsourcer is their training system. It is crucial to choose an outsourcer with great training practices. These trainers must be experienced, capable of learning a variety of information, and have the ability to teach everything they learn.
One of the end goals here is that if the company providing the service is on point, then outsourcing should be seamless and your customers unaware of any transitional period.
Check back for upcoming posts in which we’ll explore other topics regarding call centers and customer service.