How can outsource customer service help your business during the pandemic

The evolving pandemic, coronavirus has made us face new challenges and unforeseen disruptions. Several parts of the world are under complete lock down to stop the spread. This lightning contagion has impacted businesses, from global companies to local start-ups.

The new work environment is challenging but not all companies have the infrastructure to handle remote services, most importantly lack of technical expertise in case of emergency.

Does that mean complete shutdown? Definitely not!

Regardless of any situation, smart businessmen know how to adapt their business service or position their product in response to varied requirements during a crisis.

At present, saving cost, building meaningful relationship with the customer base and venturing in other verticals as well should be your business continuity plan.

If you are spending long duration handling customer calls and processing orders, it is high time to outsource customer service so that you can free your time for working on marketing strategies or new business interests.

Here are some ways a reliable offshore outsourcing partner can give you advantage over your competitors in terms of expert help and smoother customer service with 24/7 virtual assistants.

Outsourcing is not new; it is an old business function to employ expertise or to save cost. During the industrial revolution in Japan after 1868, they employed foreign engineers to set up factories. Even Russia took the assistance of British companies like Singer in their industrial growth.

However, in the 20th century, India became the primary outsourcing destination because of its high skilled, technically sound, English speaking cheap workforce.

Outsourcing good or bad?

Thanks to the latest technological and communication advancements, the quality of outsourcing services has increased manifold and big business giants like Amazon and Facebook have spearheaded the movement to save cost and drive trackable performance metrics.

Here’s how customer service outsourcing can reap benefits for small business owners:

1. Cost-effective – As profit takes a major hit due to the pandemic, businesses need to reduce the overall budget to keep the company afloat. Outsourcing is the logical solution to reduce cost of non-core activities and ensure rightful investment in core activities.

When you have to pay your customer service rep $1500 to $2000 monthly or anything from two digits to three digits an hour, an outsourcing company in India charges a mere $4/hr for expert help, which is huge saving amid the pandemic. You only pay for the working hours and you save on yearly bonus and performance bonus.

The Telegraph claims, companies can save up to 30% of their business budgets with the help of an outsource customer service agency.

2. Emergency management – It is very common for all industries to face unexpected challenges, and for a business leader, managing every aspect of the business can be overwhelming. Outsourcing customer service ensures 24/7 virtual assistance to handle contingencies that might impact productivity.

 

3. Workload division– Productivity increases with smart alignment of several processes run by different departments. With remote working being the new work environment, resulting in backlogs and eventually leading to discontented customer, you can divide the workload between your present employees and a reliable outsource service provider working in a different time zone to finish all assignments even when your business hours is over.

 

4. Access to global talent – Hiring an efficient outsource customer service team is similar to having an overall customer management system in place. You do not have to keep an extra staff for training as every responsibility of quality service lies with the offshore partner.

Outsourcing allows better control of every aspect of the business process while you are in direct touch with the project manager to monitor daily task and measure performance metrics. When a business has a team of skilled specialized 24/7 virtual assistants, it can further customer engagement, vendor management and ensure business growth.

 

5. Remote development expertise – Work from home can be challenging for those who are not accustomed to this process. Infrastructure is a serious obstruction and impacts on scalability.
But, outsource customer service providers are accustomed to remote management of work securely and effectively. They can work in distributed teams and give uninterrupted support for your business.

 

6. Optimized remote infrastructure – Working from home is a very different scenario. With lock down, more and more employees access corporate PCs remotely which increases traffic. Facing bandwidth issues are common. While some of the things are to be handled by the employees, some can be outsourced who can work on different shift timings. This will keep the functionality smooth, devoid of congestion and delays.

 

7. Increased Scalability – As mentioned before, outsource customer service providers are accustomed to remote management of work because they have the required infrastructure. Offshore partners always have a contingency team in hand as they are committed to providing uninterrupted service and can easily scale up the team to handle extra workload.

To achieve that ‘ease at work’ even during a crisis as such, businesses look up for business process outsourcing teams as their 24/7 virtual assistants. This not just keeps the business afloat but keeps it ahead of the competitors.

How to identify a reliable outsourcing partner?

When choosing a reliable customer support outsourcing partner to keep your business agile in the time of coronavirus, look for these aspects:

Their measures in response to the outbreak is something that must be noticed. The way they ensure the security of their company, the employees involved, and the businesses they handle. A reliable outsourcing agency has increased office safety, restricted travel, and smoothly moved to remote working conditions.

Their continuity plans they constructed to maintain the speed and effectiveness of their services. While most companies are dealing with backlogs, an effective outsource customer service providing team is back on track, adjusting their strategies to cope with the new challenges. If your 24/7 virtual assistant has no continuity plan, they are vulnerable and cannot be relied upon.

Trial run for checking agility and flexibility of their services during an emergency. With growing uncertainty, change is what is constant and must be practiced staying in the front-line. When choosing an outsourcing partner, look at how agile and streamlined their methodology is, and check their dedication by asking for a trial run, so that you can investigate their service standard.

Their pliancy with international data security standards to maintain effective security policies. The more reliable the outsource customer service provider, the more attention they pay to security at each level; that too in general times. With the workforce going remote, security must be reinforced.

Their transparency and honesty in understanding your business. A reliable partner is always eager to sign an SLA to build a strong relationship.

Read also: What is SLA and its role in outsourcing customer service

At Technokrats, we provide quality eCommerce support service for Amazon, eBay, Walmart sellers as well as outsourcing customer service for stand-alone eCommerce site, taking care of order management, tickets, listing QC and almost all the verticals like credits, claims, returns, messaging, voice and chat support.