Every industry needs customer service and the one that deals with thousands of customers every day is no different. The e-Commerce industry is more than just a mediator between the buyer and the seller. It is a framework of functions that drive businesses and enhance customer experiences.
An e-commerce company seeks e-commerce customer support services to ensure that all its customers receive the support that they need at every stage of purchase. Some basic tasks of a customer support service are to answer the queries related to products, their fulfillment, and returns. A small ignorance can be off-putting for the customers who may never return after having a terrible experience.
5 Key Aspects To Consider
No matter how bad the interface is or how many technical issues a customer faces, an amazing customer support service can always balance it out. The agency to which the customer service is outsourced plays the role of showcasing loyalty to the customer on behalf of the company.
Here are a few aspects that must be considered before outsourcing the customer service department to an agency.
It can be important to follow the policies as they are, but allowing little space to make the policies flexible can harm the quality of service.
The volume can increase and decrease at a given time. Advanced notice is never served. The agency, therefore, must be flexible to take more calls if the demand rises. A simple no would harm the reputation of the company and this will indirectly affect the relationship of the agency with the company.
Every customer acts differently and has different issues. The agents must be trained to satisfy all of them equally. The demand related to the scalability of the company must be respected by the agency. It cannot deny the company’s growth. The preparedness to present a wide range of analytics for chat and call support matters a lot.
Being an agency to whom the process is outsourced, it must have the will to integrate itself into the company. This refers to acting as an extended arm of the company instead of acting like a third-party vendor.
A company functions on various objectives. They must align with the ones that the agency has. It is only then the integration would be fruitful. With everything in line, the customer would be able to experience a consistent support service. There can always be a difference of opinion like if profits should be prioritized.
All the best customer services for e-commerce companies would generally focus on serving the customer before earning profits. They would also cooperate during the integration process, which normally occurs while finalizing the contracts. The company must take its time to choose which agency it would go with.
Outsourcing the customer service process to an agency is a strategic partnership between the company and the agency. It gives access to the company over a lot of things.
While an agency takes due care while hiring employees, the company has all the right to supervise and regulate the criteria that the agency sets in its recruitment process. Reviewing the entire hiring process is what gives the company an assurance of everything being on the right track. The employees who are hired would ultimately be the bridge between the company and the customer.
The training sessions can be supervised by the company. In the majority of the cases, companies themselves offer guidelines on how the new employees must be trained. The training phase builds a base and the work culture, both of them later affect how well a customer is served by the agency.
A customer support service center that receives the calls are mostly on the safer side. They have to receive and answer the calls. But the agency that deals with outbound calling services face a large number of terms and conditions.
The terms and conditions apply to both types of customer support centers but it is majorly the outbound calling service that must respect the privacy that company places. The process to serve the customers involves sharing some of their details with the agency. These details include name, email id, phone number, location, and services being used, to name a few. The responsibility to keep these pieces of information secured is of the company.
The agency plays a crucial role as well. It can restrict the amount of data that its agents can access, hence avoiding unauthorized access. Moreover, the claim of ownership over the customer’s data must be clarified while signing the contract.
A lock period takes away the right of the company to cancel the contract at any time. This is generally done to ensure the employees have a stable job and the agency does not immediately go out of business.
That’s respected as long as it does not negate the concept of flexibility. An agency may lock a company for, say, 12 months and then not perform well. In such cases, the company must have the right to cancel the contract and look for other vendors in the market. The other way to keep the locking period productive is by clarifying the expectations and KPIs in the contract.
The contract and its terms & conditions play an important role while finalizing the locking period with the agency.
Overall, it is important to take every possible precaution before proceeding with customer support outsourcing. A well-curated strategic partnership can break the brand as well as make the brand.