Outsourcing Support Services: Strategies for Success in Today's Competitive Market


March 29, 2024

Written by

Alyssa Maano

Maintaining excellent customer service is crucial for business success. However, hiring an in-house customer support team to handle all communication channels can result in overhead expenses.

To reduce costs while gaining a competitive advantage, businesses often resort to outsourcing support services. This refers to hiring a third-party company to provide customer support solutions through calls, emails, or live chat.

Outsourcing customer service for business scaling is necessary in today’s globalized market. Aside from being cost-effective, it is a dynamic strategy for increasing efficiency and building larger networks of competencies.

Key Strategies for Successful Outsourcing Support Services

woman call center agent

As technology and digital trends evolve, the contact center outsourcing services market has expanded. In fact, the outsourcing market is expected to reach a 9.1% compound annual growth rate from 2022 to 2030.

Contact center services are vital in streamlining business operations, which boosts an organization’s efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. Thus, finding the right one among a vast pool of customer service support companies is essential.

Here are some tips on how to outsource customer support:

  1. Define Your Business Objectives and Expectations

Before looking for customer support outsourcing companies, you must determine your business goals and the services you need to outsource. This will help you and your partner navigate a clear roadmap for finding the best solutions and improving business functions.

Are you looking for voice support services offering multilingual customer support? What specific tasks will the employees handle to achieve your business goal?

Since you are signing up for a business partnership, it is essential to outline your needs to the potential outsourcing partner to set clear expectations and ensure they are attainable.

  1. Choose The Right Outsourcing Partner

The next step is to find companies that offer customer support outsourcing services that fit your business needs and goals. With a clear scope of work, you can narrow your options to those that meet your defined criteria. 

Once you have shortlisted potential third-party providers, you need to evaluate them based on the following factors:

  • Expertise

The ideal outsourcing partner must be equipped with the right expertise and skill set to meet client demands on time. For contact center service, the vendor must provide agents adept at handling inbound and outbound calls, email ticketing, and live chat assistance.

For instance, if your company caters to a global audience, you must ensure that your outsourcing partner offers multilingual voice customer support.

  • Reputation

To learn about the outsourcing company’s reputation, you should search for client testimonials or customer references. Reviews on their websites, social media pages, or third-party review sites should also be available so you can properly assess the quality of their customer support outsourcing service.

  • Pricing

Outsourced customer support services are cheaper compared to hiring in-house employees. However, the first rule of thumb in outsourcing is never to compromise the quality of service over lower costs.

Instead of choosing the vendor with the lowest fees, compare their service-to-cost ratios and determine how the external company will utilize your allocated budget.

  • Data Security Measures

Another factor to consider when outsourcing support services is how the company manages sensitive client information. A vendor that values its clients' safety must have the tools to prevent data leaks and regularly conduct network security audits.

  • Flexibility

Selecting a flexible partner is also critical, especially if you plan to choose a company operating in a different time zone. The outsourcing vendor must attend to urgent matters and adapt to the client’s changing needs.

  1. Establish Effective Communication Channels

A partnership with an outsourcing company does not end in hiring. Constant communication is essential to check on updates and apply quick resolutions to existing or potentially arising problems. Thus, effective and accessible communication channels must be in place.

For example, you can use communication tools like Slack or Skype to facilitate video conferences to discuss goals, progress, and future strategies regularly. When both parties are on the same page, you can ensure smooth workflow and transparency in your operations.

  1. Monitor and Evaluate Performance

Lastly, you must implement performance metrics to monitor and review the vendor's services. These metrics include input or output metrics, such as allocated resources or contributed efforts and measurement of positive impact on the business. 

To ensure accurate evaluation results, you must guarantee that the objectives of each metric are attainable, quantifiable, and relevant to your business's overall goals.

Leveraging Technology for Efficient Support Services

man using laptop

A reliable vendor has state-of-the-art infrastructure and technology to provide outstanding customer support services. The quality and capacity of technological platforms and software used have a vast impact on customer experience and contact center agent performance.

Customer service technology can be broadly classified into the following categories:

  • Analytics Tools

Contact centers thrive on data, which provides valuable information about clients' customers. Using analytics tools, they can efficiently perform reporting, interaction analysis, and surveys to understand better key aspects, such as customer volume, behavior, and satisfaction, and improve their services.

  • Software Solutions

Customer service companies must invest in the latest software to efficiently manage inbound and outbound calls and other modes of communication. They can choose between an on-premise or cloud-based software solution. On the one hand, on-premise software is a more expensive option that requires licenses, hardware installation, and maintenance.

On the other hand, a cloud-based option is an affordable alternative that utilizes an open cloud platform. However, in this solution, the company must provide the servers, perform routine updates, and implement security measures to ward off hackers.

  • Routing Software

Routing software helps identify where the incoming call needs to be directed. Through an interactive voice response (IVR) system, the caller is given a set of automated prompts to determine the type of service they need. After that, the automatic call distributor (ACD) system directs the caller to an agent in the appropriate department. 

  • Management Systems

The company must also use workforce management software to supervise a team of contact center agents. This allows efficient management of day-to-day tasks, including schedule allocation and forecasting call volume.

Performance management tools are also integrated to highlight employee performance and boost morale.

Building a Sustainable Outsourcing Support Services Model

two man shake hands

For third-party companies, laying out the blueprint of a sustainable outsourcing support services model is a fundamental strategy. This allows vendors to maintain high-quality service and preserve an excellent market reputation.

Here are some strategies for building a successful outsourcing model:

  • Proper Budget Allocation

When it comes to budget allocation, vendors must consider current employee needs and unexpected expenses due to sudden staff turnover or new contract proposals that require more expertise.

Additionally, it is crucial to strike a balance between affordability and expected outcomes to avoid hidden costs. A reputable vendor must allow flexibility to increase or decrease supplemental employees as necessary.

  • Continuous Improvement and Adaptation

An outsourcing vendor must also establish clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to assess the efficacy of their current model. Soliciting feedback from clients, employees, and business partners can help identify areas for improvement and innovation.

To respond to changing market dynamics and ensure continued outsourcing success, fostering a culture of continuous learning and adaptation to technological advancements is also imperative.

  • Developing a Strong Vendor Relationship

Another obvious approach is cultivating a good partnership by being professional, responsive, and transparent about their operations. This allows for easier progress tracking, performance evaluation, and prompt response to existing and potentially arising issues. This also fosters trust that serves as a solid foundation for a lasting business partnership.

Ensuring Compliance and Security in Outsourcing Support Services

man hovering

Outsourcing customer support services also comes with some risks, including compliance and security issues, which can greatly affect client relationships. But what measures do external companies take to mitigate these risks?

  • Legal and Compliance Measures

Before partnering with a third-party provider, it is necessary to review contracts and service level agreements (SLAs), which set fair guidelines for both parties involved.

An SLA typically includes:

  • Summary of the Agreement
  • Client and Customer Goals
  • Responsibilities of Both Parties
  • Reporting Procedures
  • Cancellation Terms

Non-compliance with SLAs often incurs penalties to ensure adherence to the agreed terms. Before moving forward, it is recommended that you double-check the details of the agreement and revise it as needed.

  • Data Encryption and Network Security

Outsourcing companies implement robust data security and privacy measures to protect sensitive information and mitigate the risk of data breaches or cyberattacks. They also uphold network security to maintain the confidentiality and integrity of the client’s information.

Achieving Success Through Strategic Outsourcing

Outsourcing support services offer businesses an invaluable opportunity to enhance efficiency, lower costs, and expand their global reach. By strategically choosing an outsourcing partner, companies can guarantee seamless operations and exceptional customer service.

In an era of global competition and technological innovation, New Media Services can provide the contact center service you need to navigate the current marketplace and thrive in the face of emerging challenges. With a sustainable outsourcing model, NMS upholds service quality and develops robust client relationships.

By adhering to legal and security measures, risks of data privacy and regulatory compliance are mitigated. Moreover, leveraging advanced technologies for streamlining processes and monitoring performance enables continuous improvement and adaptation to evolving market trends. Take one step ahead of your competitors. Contact us for more details!

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