Customer service is an area that is of critical importance to any company. Outsourcing of such a critical operation would have been unthinkable even a decade back. Today it is a reality. What are the pros and cons of customer service outsourcing, and how should one go about it?
What is customer service?
Customer service has assumed great significance in today’s competitive world, following the realization that the only way to survive is to ensure total customer satisfaction. Customer service refers to all activities that cater to various customer requirements both before and after the sale. Before a sale is concluded a prospective customer may like to know about the products or services of the company, the prices, the availability and outlets, and other terms. The customer may also like to see a demonstration. After the sale, customer service might involve attending to complaints, providing free or charged service, training users and providing support.
Why a Call center?
A call center operates from a dedicated location with dedicated and trained executives and usually continuous availability. In the absence of a call center, customer service becomes one among many activities and therefore might get relegated to lower importance. A call center need not necessarily be outsourced. It could equally well be managed within the company.
Pros and cons
The foremost fear in outsourcing customer services arises from doubts about the quality of the job done by the outsourced party. This can only be resolved by having detailed information and references. Once this fear is overcome, there can be no other major objection to outsourcing customer servicing.
In the right hands, your customer service may actually be much better performed due to a number of reasons. If you have selected the right firm to do this job for you, chances are that they specialize in this activity. With an exclusive focus on customer service as opposed to its being one of the many activities in your own organization, the outsourced company can develop specialized skill sets in this area. Moreover, since their sole activity will be customer service, they will be in a position to bestow greater attention to the activity.
On balance, it appears to be advantageous to outsource your customer service activity, provided you take due care in selecting the party for outsourcing.
R.R.Nathan is a featured writer for CallCentersWorldwide.com. CallCentersWorldWide.com offers free consultation and access to over 100+ call center vendors around the world. For consultation on Customer Service Outsourcing call 888-863-6680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org .
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