When we talk about Outsourcing, there are millions of items that need to be taken into account before even opening discussions with a possible partner. Research needs to be done, studies to be made, pie charts read, decision makers have to sit around the table and consider logistics, marketing and sales, financial aspects. Outsourcing Customer Service is even harder because the main focus there is the customer. WPGcan help you with the work load and just meet you at the conclusions part. We want to bring to you all the facts that we have collected during our years of experience, all our professional opinions and studies, share with you our knowledge and help you chose what’s right for your customers.
The first thing to take into account would be the channels of contact you want to communicate with your customers on. The three classic channels are: voice, e-mail and chat.
Though digital channels are growing and will likely overtake voice, a 2015 study by Dimension Data showed voice customer support comprising 65 percent of all contact center interactions. Voice customer support will never completely disappear and at the moment it still represents the majority of the interactions provided remaining the biggest focus of any Customer Service center.
Deepening the discussion on voice support, the most determining factors for the customer’s satisfaction are language and accent.
The first, language, is the counterpart of the customer’s need to communicate in their native speech rather than having to use conventional language, which may very well be depending on the continent be English. This is more frequent than anywhere else in Europe, especially Western Europe, where cultural traditions also have a significant impact on the consumer’s availability to use a second language when talking to customer support. Studies have shown that customers prefer the use of their native tongue not because of the lack of English skills, but because of the need to express information in an accurate and precise way and to be certain they understand 100% of the answer they receive. Having this experience WPG offers services in wide variety of languages, including: English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, and Romanian. With us, you, as business owner or operator of a business, would find easy to recruit a call center and make this choice a one stop shop for your international business.
The second, accent, refers to the ability of a Customer Support Representative to properly and efficiently communicate in a second, or even a third language. This request is most frequently found among North American customers. Our location in Romania allows us access to a pool of bilingual or multilingual staff with neutral accents in their second language thanks to our Latin heritage and, more recently, thanks to cosmopolitanism afforded by Romania’s membership in the EU.
Technology market research firm, Radacati, estimated that as of 2015, 205 billion emails were sent per day, that’s 2.5 million emails every second. And there doesn’t appear to be any signs of slowing down. The number of emails sent annually is expected to grow by three percent per year over the next four years, surpassing 245 billion by the end of 2019. E-mail is considered to be the backbone of a Customer Service department. While the Front Office is dealing with all the multitude of calls coming in, it’s the Back-Office specialist that usually deals with inquiries that arrive over e-mail. Our BO Specialists are highly efficient people, with near perfect grammar in two or even more languages that dedicate themselves towards the goal of resolving any query, any inquiry, any issue that will come their way.
Chat is the highest rated of the support channels worldwide, with 92 percent of chat conversations receiving positive customer ratings, according to a recent report from Zendesk. An experienced chat agent would be able to handle multiple chats at the same time and the studies show that this is the channel of the future for Customer Support. Why? Because this non-verbal tool removes any worry about accents altogether and with technology advancing at a fast pace, improved translation software will eventually remove the need for knowledge of a foreign language. Also it’s fairly easy to integrate chat with any website or platform you operate. We use the chat channel either with a dedicated team that is always active and proficient at their tasks, or we use it together with Voice and E-mail in our Front Office teams in order to have them excelling at multi-tasking and multiple issues resolution. Giving an agent access to all the interaction history of a customer provides that agent with every tool he needs to reach the fastest and satisfactory resolution.
Last but not least to be mentioned would be the new way customers chose to communicate with companies, Social Media. This new channel is not a traditional method for Customer Service, however the need of the customers to address their inquiries and show the world their experiences using different channels than the standard ones provided could not go unnoticed or ignored. That is why the majority of Customer Service departments have started to include an individual or a team dedicated to addressing all and any customer inquiries launched on any one of the Social Media Platforms. We specialize our teams and CSRs to deal specifically on Social Media because the experiences are out in the open, one complain or bad review can easily brake all your efforts in consistently deliver good products or services. Just like cell phones are slowly replacing land lines, and the digital age is slowly taking over the analog age, so will this new phenomenon that has taken the world by charge slowly start taking over the classical channels of contact for regular Customer Support.
Another aspect of importance is finding a partner that can integrate all those channels into one platform. If a customer would have called twice, sent an e-mail and now is reaching out via chat, and the CSR will have all the information that was previously discussed at his disposal this will save time for the customer to bring him up to speed with the issue and will help the CSR to reach a viable, satisfactory resolution a lot faster. We have seen the benefits of this while working on our own multi-channel platform and believe this to be an essential step to take into account when looking to outsource your own Customer Service.
A final, but very important, aspect to consider is the hours your customers prefer to communicate with your business. Although every customer would like that his or her support to be 24/7 and we aim as much as possible to make that possible, sometimes it’s not reasonable budgetary wise. In this case, a blended solution such as having live agents during peak hours and using an interactive robot or even voicemail to record any complaint during off hours could be a suitable solution. Office equipment, cloud services, and programing software tend to require support in the normal business hours of the country where they are purchased. Home appliances, self-service products, or do it yourself technology support would be more requested outside of the normal business hours, even in weekends. A lot of factors need to be taken into account when setting up the business hours for a support service. We currently provide coverage from 9 AM EST until 1 AM EST (10AM Pacific Standard Time). Basically, we offer services 16 hours a day and cover both the North American Day and Evening Shifts. We are also open for customers who require 24/7 support on a case by case basis.
Choosing the perfect partner to outsource your Customer Service is a very difficult task. Finding the best KPIs to assess, creating the ideal candidate profile, and setting up the perfect team: this is something we have been doing successfully and will continue to do. We have changed to focus from the Average handling time to First Call Resolution as a target when it comes to KPIs, because in the long run it is proven the latter will generate happier customers than the first. It’s common knowledge that happy customers are returning customers. We build the perfect candidate profile by carefully analyzing the customer typologies that our CSRs will interact with, what the customer needs are and what they require to be satisfied. And finally, we set up the perfect team by constantly analyzing hours of coverage, call entry graphs, peak predictions, to make sure that we cover every possible scenario.
We understand that finding the ideal partner to outsource is an important and challenging undertaking and that’s why we do everything in our power to help our customers in making this decision and cater to all of the needs of our clients and ensure the satisfaction of their customers. It’s not easy, but we are here to help.