When Does Outsourced Customer Service Hurt Brands?

Outsourced Customer Service

Outsourced Customer ServiceCustomers always want to feel that they are important to the businesses they support. When they have a problem with a product or service, they expect fast, personalized assistance. However, handling all customer service in-house is next to impossible once a company reaches a certain size.

Outsourcing provides a cost-effective way for businesses to meet the needs of their customers, but it isn’t always a perfect solution. If you choose the wrong agency to represent you, it can be disastrous. Poor customer support can ruin your reputation and make buyers swear off your products for life.

According to Outsource Consultants, your choice must be compatible, experienced, and reliable to keep this from happening. But what exactly are the risks involved?

  1. Communication issues –There is a serious risk of communication problems, especially if you outsource to a different country. This doesn’t just mean poor grammar or heavy accents; even cultural differences can lead to misunderstandings. You need to make sure that the agency you hire trains their employees well, and has an established reputation in the business.
  2. Scripted responses – Nothing frustrates a customer more than heavily scripted responses. When a buyer speaks to an agent who is obviously just reading from a script, spouting irrelevant lines and not bothering to understand their specific concerns, they will feel extremely offended. Good representatives should be flexible, and can actually hold conversations with the caller.
  3. Lack of knowledge – Lastly, an outsourced customer service agent is not as familiar with your company’s products or services as an employee would be. This isn’t a problem if what your business offers is easy to understand, but it is a serious issue for companies in highly technical or niche industries. Again, make sure that the representatives are well-trained and go through a thorough orientation.

When you weigh the benefits and costs, you will usually find that outsourcing customer service is still the best choice. However, make sure that you do your research and hire the right one. Picking an agency just because they were the lowest bidder is a recipe for disaster.