If your company is looking to outsource its customer service, you may already know some benefits of outsourcing, such as lower operational costs, higher productivity, and overall better customer service. Not to mention, choosing the right customer service vendor can give your company a competitive advantage and allow you to focus on the core of your business and product.
However, before you can reap the benefits of an outsourced vendor, you must find the right vendor that works best for your business. The vendor vetting process can be exhaustive, which is why we are here to help to make the process just a little easier.
In this article, we discuss seven questions you should ask customer support vendors before selecting them.
1. What Are Your Customer Satisfaction Scores?
Any customer support vendor that claims they care about the happiness of their clients should have at least some customer satisfaction surveys for you to reference. They can either be standard survey scores or a more rigorous method the company uses internally. CSAT is one example of customer satisfaction survey businesses use that is both simple and effective at gauging the customer service experience.
You should ask your potential vendor what kind of customer surveys they use, how frequently they survey end customers, and the average score of customer surveys. If the vendor does not have any customer satisfaction scores to give, then that should be an immediate red flag. It could mean that either they do not survey end customers or the scores aren’t good enough to share.
2. How Much Management Attention Will You Give My Business?
Chances are you will not be the only client if you partner with a vendor. Ideally, you want a dedicated account manager to handle your business. But if your outsourced team is small, that may not be an option. The vendor may offer a shared account manager to keep it cost effective.
If that’s the case, ask the vendor about the account manager’s availability to your project. Ask, “How much time can she/he spend managing your project?” You should also ask for escalation mechanisms and alternatives in case you are not happy with the account manager or need to discuss issues with higher management.
You need to know the level of vendor commitment to your business.
3. What Is Your Customer Retention Rate?
Finding the right vendor is an extensive process, so businesses stay with a vendor that does a good job. However, if a company has a negative experience with a vendor, they will definitely find a new one. According to PWC, 73% of consumers say customer service matters in their purchasing decision. So, if you have a vendor that cannot deliver satisfactory customer service, it is only going to hurt your bottom line.
Vendors with a low retention rate usually show that the service they provide is not the best available, which is why their past clients decided to leave.
4. Will My Data Be Confidential and secure?
Security should always be a top priority. Cybersecurity threats are more common than ever because of an increasingly internet-connected business environment. In fact, security breaches have increased by an astounding 67% since 2014.
That is why you want a vendor you can trust to keep all of your customer and business information confidential and secure. Any customer data you store in your system must be secure, even if it’s not really sensitive information. You should inquire about the specific security measures they have in place to protect data such as physical access control, NDAs with employees, network and data encryption systems.
5. Can I Talk to References?
Along with customer satisfaction surveys, you could also reach out to some vendor’s clients to verify the claims. You can ask the vendor for people who can provide references. A good practice is to ask for 2-3 references, not just one.
Prepare a detailed list of questions to ask the references so you can collect the information you need to make your decisions. It’s best to talk to the references over phone but you can also send them an email with questions if needed.
Ask responders to give specific examples of situations when the vendor team went beyond the expected to deliver value. It’s also an opportunity to confirm claims vendor has presented in its proposal about access to management, quality of workforce and willingness to adapt to client’s needs.
6. What Makes Your Services Different from Others?
A lot of vendors will claim their customer support service differs from the rest. Don’t take it at face value; ask for data to prove it.
Ask for data that proves or disproves the claim. For example, if the employee retention is high, it usually means there is a strong work culture that contributes to strong customer service. Employee satisfaction, and quality of support they provide, is higher if the company supports employee growth though tuition support, training and promotions.
Some customer support companies provide additional support to employees such as free or subsidized housing, free transport, meal vouchers. All these benefits build employee loyalty and lead to better work culture.
7. How Much for Your Services?
As for any deal, before you put the pen to paper, you want to know how much the vendor will charge for the services. Are there any hidden costs not specified in the proposal?
Likewise, you want to know how the prices may change should you scale up or down your operations. By being completely transparent with pricing, you will be confident in knowing whether the vendor fits your budget and business goals.
The Key to Finding the Right Vendor: Trust GlowTouch
At GlowTouch, we are a strategic outsourcing service partner you can trust. Our dedicated team of outsourcing experts are here to provide quality attention and service to all our customers.
Your goals are our goals, and we will work together to deliver effective business solutions that work for your business.