The very idea of outsourcing customer service requirements elicits a negative response in many quarters. Perhaps the reason is that we have not fully internalized the concept or have not been taught how to do it. We do not understand the value of having a properly aligned approach. Or we might have the mistaken impression that such an approach would be too costly to implement in our organization. Fortunately, it does not have to be so.
Outsourcing is a valuable tool for many reasons. It provides an effective path for increasing the size of the organization, which frees up some capital for investment in other important functions. It is also viewed by many as a way of increasing output while reducing costs. But most importantly, it provides the opportunity to focus on your customer service requirements under a job description that fits you and your organization's strengths. In other words, rather than attempting to re-invent the wheel, outsourcing allows you to focus on providing excellent customer satisfaction.
For example, consider a customer service requirements analysis for a bank's mobile banking operation. The job description would include such phrases as "assisting with loan applications", "assisting in processing transactions", and "assisting in customer service management". Clearly, this list is longer than necessary. The mobile banking operations manager would need to know where to direct each outsourced team based upon their own individual strengths and limitations. However, if those limitations were not being met, then integration to the bank's own in-house systems would make sense.
For example, imagine the following common customer satisfaction scenarios that can be addressed through an outsourcing relationship. First, a bank may notice that its website is consistently slower than its competitors'. Second, a branch manager may notice that there are times when the order-taking process is unusually long. Third, a customer service representative may need additional training regarding common customers' questions. Finally, customers may want self-service checking or debit access at certain branches.
When a company in need of a remote customer service partner wants to outsource to a third party call center, they first must determine their customer service requirements. Most companies have a standard list of services that they offer. Often these services are cross listed within the same group of requirements. However, other companies will list separate requirements for each different type of support. As an example, a bank may require a customer service representative to handle inquiries, complaints, technical issues, and questions pertaining to overdraft protection.
In addition to requiring common customer service experiences across all outsourced call centers, it's important to ensure that the potential service providers have the right mindset for the job. It's not enough to hire someone who comes in wearing a business suit and tie. It's also not enough to hire someone who has worked in the customer service industry as a supervisor and who has no personal knowledge of customer service. Companies need to outsource to providers who are capable of handling all types of customer service experience because on the one hand call centers need to be proficient at resolving routine problems but they also need to be able to anticipate a wide variety of potential situations. Therefore, it's important to find service providers who will have the right mindset and experience for your own company.
A company needs to be careful not to hire an individual who is only concerned with how long it takes for them to complete a certain task. For instance, imagine you had a customer service representative who was only concerned about completion times. They would need to prioritize tasks and contact different agents based on how long it would take them to complete each task. This means that the migration manager would need to keep a record of the different customer interactions as well as progress reports so that the entire organization could understand the direction that each employee was taking the company. This type of proactive customer service would be invaluable for companies that are undergoing major changes.
The final area for consideration is the job description itself. When you're reviewing your customer service manager job description, you need to focus on the three most important sections. First, you need to make sure that you understand what it is that you expect your representative to accomplish on a daily basis. Next, you need to see if the job description is clear enough to ensure that the organization is able to effectively and efficiently handle customer service calls. Finally, you need to focus on the skills that the manager should have. If the job description requires employees to stay on the phone for an extended period of time, this could mean that the organization is either incapable of completing customer service functions or is short on resources.