4 common risks associated with outsourcing your customer support and tips to help mitigate them

To outsource your customer support services or not! Now that is an important decision to make as it has far-reaching implications and consequences on your business. When performed correctly, outsourcing your customer support can help streamline various processes and functions in your organization and enable it in becoming more customer-oriented. 

But in a few instances, customer service outsourcing can result in unhappy and frustrated customers and a noteworthy loss in business. But judgements aside, failing to thoroughly select, analyse and evaluate prospective vendors tends to pose some real risks for the business especially when their needs and services are not congruent with each other. 

Risks of Outsourcing:

  1. Compromised security quality 
    For outsourcing companies to perform their jobs well, they must have access to necessary information and data. While this is a mandatory requirement for BPO companies, there is a serious risk associated with sharing information and sensitive data with third party agencies. Cybersecurity is a massive concern for most organizations especially when it comes to industries handling sensitive information or data. In this case, it is obvious that most companies are uneasy about risking their information and their customer’s information by way of outsourcing. BPO parties may not have the same level of dedication or may not maintain the same level of vigilance when handling security threats compared to the outsourcer or the organization. They may even lack skilled specialists who are experts are handling breaches when they occur. In addition to all this, sharing information with outsourcing agencies that lack robust safety systems and protocols will most definitely increase the likelihood of putting the customer data at risk. 
  1. Decreased control over business processes
    It should not come off as a surprise when company leaders and representatives are apprehensive about handing over the reins of an entire business process to a third-party vendor and in this case, the only human touchpoint of the company which is customer support. It can be extremely difficult to monitor customer support interactions, quality assurance, etc when they are being outsourced. If the outsourcing agents fail to follow the policies and protocols of the organization or lack the required knowledge to resolve customer issues, it can impact the company negatively forcing the customer to conduct business with a competitor. It is often hard to be informed of the quality of customer service until and unless irreparable harm has been done to the company’s client base and reputation.
  1. Shortage of innovation or flexibility
    It is often noted that some BPO companies do not have the expertise or technology to meet the most challenging, current and cardinal expectations, needs and requirements of their client’s business. This can occur when their offering does not include cutting edge technology and platforms designed for integrated services, scalability and automation. It also occurs when the third party vendor has not adjusted their hiring or training practices to reflect the ever-evolving expectations and needs of customers for the call centre agents. Always make sure to research the previous project accomplishments of the BPO to avoid this issue. This way organizations can be sure of the solutions and services offered by the BPO agencies in areas of competitiveness and success for the business. An organization looks to a customer service BPO vendor to scale and boost its brand by providing top-notch customer service. This is why companies require a BPO agency that is actively involved in improving and enhancing their services as this is the kind of flexibility that every company needs in their customer service BPO partner. 
  1. Compromised quality in service 
    Outsourcing brings along with it its share of service-related inconsistencies. Often when customer support is outsourced, customers are less likely to be on the receiving end of consistent quality of service. This can often leave your customers feeling frustrated and dissatisfied, negatively affecting the business in the long run. Compromised service quality is a risk that companies are faced with and a side effect that is accompanied by hiring third party vendors based on price only. Delivering at low prices means that outsourcers will focus on cutting corners by recruiting fewer supervisors for training and monitoring, hiring less-qualified employees, skimping on coaching time etc. 

Make sure the BPO company you are getting into a contract with, has a reputation for the ability to meet Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in addition to having managerial teams who consistently evaluates important KPIs and implements strategies to improve productivity and performance levels especially in the event of not meeting the SLAs and KPIs. 

Each of these challenges clearly demonstrates how an outsourcing partnership can transform from being an asset to an instant liability if the vendors are not in alignment with shared values and visions. Knowing the potential risks associated with outsourcing your customer centre in advance, can help you find the perfect outsourcing solution, that can help you manage customers and processes with greater efficiency, ultimately resulting in the success of your business.

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