Customer Service Outsourcing in the Cloud Communication Age

Businesses that have a national, multi-national or global market reach are often challenged by how to serve their clients across multiple channels, including voice, SMS text, social media and live chat on their website. Many companies don't have the technology, real estate, personnel or management resources to dedicate to a 24x7x365 contact center. Or they may not have enough interaction volume to justify the investment in full-time employees for an in-house contact center. 

Customer service outsourcing enables a business to focus on what they are good at, and delegate responsibility for managing customer interactions to a 3rd party Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) business. Successful onshore and offshore contract BPOs understand the ingredients to successful outsourced customer service operations, including these six factors:

1. Hiring, Training and Retaining Customer Service Representatives

A recent Customer Think article mentions that by 2027, human agents will handle 300 billion interactions annually. To be clear, this is after digital self-service and virtual agents "siphon off" simple customer interactions. The right contract BPO provider will foster an environment of ongoing learning about your company's products and/or services, and how to serve clients across multiple interaction channels. Unemployment rates are historically low, so it is becoming increasingly difficult to recruit, motivate and retain high-performing agents. 

Empowering agents to specialize in a given product or service, then routing interactions through an IVR or defined workflow will benefit your business and your customers. 

2. Motivating Agents to Meet Service Level Goals

Talk time, call resolution volume, interaction etiquette and providing customers with the correct information are all important metrics for customer service BPO providers.  Enabling supervisors to listen in on calls or observe live web chats creates excellent coaching opportunities. 

The value of an intuitive, easy-to-use agent console in motivating a CSR to excel in their role cannot be overlooked. The same goes for an agent's ability to work remotely or conference a subject matter expert in on a live discussion. Contract call centers can be provided designated people from your company to conference in on sales opportunities or complex support or service matters. 

3. Analysis of Real-Time and Historical Dashboards

Customer service BPOs succeed or fail based on their ability to meet their service level agreements. Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS) solutions provide multiple analytics dashboards which provide your contact center BPO partner with a window into performance trends. If call, social media or live chat queues aren't meeting response times, agents can be reassigned according to their skills and strengths.   

4. Services for Business Continuity and Disaster Recovery 

If internet connectivity to your building failed, how would your business be able to restore customer service delivery? Could your employees move to an alternate location, even their home office to get back to serving your customers? CCaaS enables redirection of customer calls to alternate locations. When interaction volume spikes, queued callbacks are a great way to maintain customer satisfaction.

The industry standards for agent responsiveness are:

  • 80% of calls answered in 20 seconds
  • 80% of web chats answered within 40 seconds
  • 80% of SMS/Messaging requests answered within 40 seconds
  • 80% of social media inquiries answered within 20 minutes

If you feel these service levels aren't achievable all the time, queued callbacks and additional agents are the most effective remedies. 

5. CRM and Knowledge Base Integration

For BPO contact center agents to do their best work, seamless integration with information resources like your CRM application, and your FAQ knowledge base is a great way to enhance customer experience. These applications provide context to conversations and give agents confidence in their day-to-day discussions. 

6. The Role of Security and Privacy

Contact center BPOs that represent companies in regulated industries need to meet the same strict regulatory compliance standards their clients are bound to, including:

  • HIPAA
  • FISMA
  • ISO 27001
  • UK Government ATO

Customer service outsourcing providers that serve regulated businesses internationally can shift the responsibility of meeting these standards (from a communications perspective) to a service provider like 8x8, and win more lucrative contracts. 

Are you a contact center BPO seeking a CCaaS service that is easy to use, secure, and can integrate with key elements of your communications technology stack? Or do you run a business in another industry, but need to build a business case for outsourcing your customer service function?   

Your business has enough on its plate. Outsource what makes sense for your business, choose a world-class SaaS technology solution and focus on what's important: your clients. Call 1-866-879-8647 or fill out an online form to request a no-obligation quote from an 8x8 product specialist.

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