Things to Consider Before Outsourcing Email Support Services
Email support has become mission-critical to all online businesses as a convenient customer support channel, resolving emergency customer queries and challenges for a service or product. Long-term gain depends on customer retention, which in-turn relies heavily on after-sales services. While outsourcing email support services, consider the following points:
Many tech-support agencies have different e-mail packages (including “pay per email”) in order to provide to companies ranging from small startups to large & expanding online businesses.
Plan a budget, in advance, to outsource email support services. This helps in analyzing the pricing plans offered by various agencies to settle with the one that best corresponds with your business needs. After all, every company looks for cost efficiency, especially while outsourcing a major business function.
Customers care about 5 service dimensions which compiles under the RATER framework.
- Reliability: do you deliver as promised?
- Assurance: does your organization inspire confidence?
- Tangibles: does your company present itself professionally?
- Empathy: are your team members understanding and empowered to solve problems?
- Responsiveness: does your support team look into queries within an expected time?
To ensure customer satisfaction, the Rater Technique proves to be crucial in evaluating the reliability of email customer support agency.
How will check you whether the agency providing email support services adheres to the technique and is thus, reliable? There are a couple of ways to test this. One among them is ‘planting an undercover customer’ where you pretend to be a customer & verify whether the agency is handling tasks as per the Rater standards or not.
A reliable tech-support company will be willing to share customer feedback from time to time. So, check for transparency in this regard, from their end, because it is the key to constantly evaluate if you’ve invested in the right agency.
Verify areas of expertise in email support services
When you’re outsourcing e-mail support services, you’re basically hiring the workers of the agency company. Thus, it is vital to hire an agency with engineers who are equipped with the knowledge & expertise of your industry. How else will you ensure optimum gain from email support outsourcing?
There are many agencies in the market whose expertise are restricted to a few industries. You need to check whether the tech-support that you’re considering is passionate about and has viable experience in your given field.
- Good service is key to increased sales & customer retention. So, evaluate their expertise by verifying their record of performance & quality.
- Analyse their previous claim work for companies belonging to the same industry as yours.
- Make sure they work with skilled professionals and used updated technology.
Cultural Compatibility for smooth communication
Remember that your customers are used to the tone in which you talk to them. Due to lack of cultural context, outsourced email support service can either make or break your brand image. Thus, many organizations hold back from outsourcing this crucial business function.
You need to ensure that the external tech-support team that you hire matches with the voice of your in-house support staff. So, how do you overcome the cultural and communication barrier?
- Provide the agency with a set of tonal guidelines that clarifies the do’s and don’t’s while communicating with your customers. Establish a brand voice to be precise.
- Specify the customer service requirements that your company is looking for.
- Make it easier for the agent company to relate to the customers by giving them a cultural context.
Consider compliance mandates & SLA (Service Legal Agreement)
Before hiring a third-party service provider, you need to check legal compliance. Get your legal team working on reviewing your companies internal security prior to giving the tech-support agency access to your documents. Once they identify the sensitive customer data, you can restrict their access to that information to an extent. Nonetheless, risks remain. Thus, it is crucial to consider whether the agency, that you’re planning to hire, complies with your regulations about client information confidentiality. Ensure data security!
Make sure your outsourcing contract contains a well-drafted SLA. A service legal agreement is a mandate as it sets the expectation bar for both parties. It acts as a guide in setting targets & measuring accurate performance. Ensure the following:
- SLA must include a bonus term to be given to the service agency when they exceed performance standards. Also, the consequences if they fail to meet the expectation.
- It must be adaptable to technological updates.
Final Thoughts on Email Support Services
There are ample email support service agencies in the market, one of which is Vserve Ebusiness Solutions. They cater to multiple industries with strong domain knowledge and are well-equipped with an experienced team of professionals. The outsource company does not compromise when it comes to response time, ensures improved management, tracking as well as privacy of data. Keep these basic pre-requisites in mind while outsourcing your email support services.
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