One of the reasons why some companies are uncomfortable about the idea of outsourcing customer support is their fear that they will lose their brand identity. After all, your customer service representatives are your front liners, whether in-house or outsourced. The way they interact with your customers must be aligned with your company’s culture. Every time they fail to represent your values during a customer interaction, you run the risk of confusing your customers about your brand’s identity.
Companies providing customer support in the Philippines are widely regarded as among the best in the world, as evidenced by their steady growth and large contribution to the national economy. If you think your business can benefit from outsourcing customer support but you are unsure how you can keep your brand’s identity, read on. The following are proven ways to help you maintain your brand identity while outsourcing your customer support.
1. Communicate with your provider with clarity and transparency. Your outsourcing provider can only help your business if you help them understand first what it is that you need them to do. Clearly communicate to them your work culture, and how you want their customer support representatives to fit in with that. Do not assume they know your company’s values as well as you do. Explicitly state your expectations, responsibilities, desired skills and preferred qualities from a customer service agent who will be assigned to your account. Doing this from the very beginning of your partnership will help them select the right people who are fit to represent your company, even if they are outsourced.
2. Be proactive during the hiring process of your customer support staff. It would be ideal if you or an internal staff can be present during the interviews, to personally gauge each applicant’s fit with your company. In case this is impossible, you may request their HR to send you copies of the applicants’ resumes that they have accepted, as well as rejected, for your review. Consistently asking their HR for updates regarding their hiring process will also keep you in the loop, even though you are not personally there conducting the interviews.
3. Take a hands-on approach during their skills trainings. Having an internal employee train your outsourced customer service representatives can increase the chances of them projecting their brand identity. They will be exposed and trained by someone who knows your company inside-out and speaks your company’s language. If an in-house training manager is not available, make sure that their trainor has been thoroughly informed of your requirements and preferences. Similar to the hiring process, make sure their training staff updates you on how the hired agents performed during the training.
4. Monitor their performance on a regular basis. Conducting routine performance evaluations can help you assess if the agents are actually communicating your brand’s identity to your customers. You may also do a surprise check by calling in as a mystery customer. The latter will give you firsthand experience of how their agents are closely aligned to your brand’s identity at work.
5. Constantly give points for improvement to the agents. Ensure that all the evaluations and checks are fruitful by following them up with suggestions for improvement on how they can better represent your brand when dealing with your customers.
Open communication lines between you and your customer support outsourcing provider is critical to ensuring your brand’s identity is still being projected by their outsourced agents. Playing an active role in this collaboration also helps in ensuring a consistent brand communication.