As a way to deal with the rising cost of doing business, some organisation outsource their call centre operations to specialised third-party call centre. While replacing an in-house call centre staff with an outsourced vendor can often save money, there are also a number of disadvantages associated with call centre outsourcing.

One of the disadvantages of outsourcing the call centre process is the possible decline in quality of service due to the fact that the outsourcing company will not be driven by the same standards and mission that drives the organisation. They will be driven to make a profit from the services that they are providing to their client and other businesses.

Also if the outsourcer is operating from a different site (and even different country), with employees that are motivated by a different set of standards, then the organisation do not have any managerial presence within that operation which could lead to a loss of control of the customer experience. And for any company that values the importance its customers, this disadvantage of outsourcing may outweigh any potential advantages.

To overcome such issue and to create a culture of customer centricity, Ramon Lcasiano of Zynga Inc. shared 7 key guidelines for creating a cultural alignment between customer service partners.

If both the organisation and vendor collaboratively move towards these seven guidelines, they will allow for the creation of a seamless customer experience culture that pays dividends in customer satisfaction and loyalty.

  1. Align on Core Values: A culturally-driven customer experience is about believing more than it is doing. Customer service partners want their paychecks and will step up when asked, but if they are not fundamentally committed to the same priorities and objectives as the brand they represent, they will always fall short in uniting to delight the customer.
  2. Reinvent Partner Engagement: Partnerships cannot be predicated on “us and them” mentalities, let alone “us versus them” mentalities. The “seamless” experience offered to customers must be rooted in a truly seamless internal experience that makes agents from the outsourcing provider feel dialled into the brand and brand staff feel dialled into the vendor. Cultural exchange programs and agent swapping are among the practices that will actualize this concept.
  3. Unite on the Guiding Principle, the “Moment of Truth”: Did you delight the customer? Check yes or no! In addition to sharing core values, the partners must share in recognition of a clear result that occurs at the “moment of truth” when the customer evaluates the experience he had with the brand. Contrasting views of success are unworkable here; if both brand and vendor are not united in their interpretation of that ultimate “moment,” they will struggle to create truly successful customer engagements.
  4. Magnify the Voice of the Customer: Customer service is ultimately about the customer. Excitement about organizational culture often manifests itself as “Kumbaya” initiatives that are nice on the surface but ultimately meaningless for the customer experience. True cultural revolution is about assuring that the service organizations are uniting to create the experience the customer wants, and that means basing call language, metrics, CRM programs, promotions and upsell opportunities on their ability to bridge a real gap for buyers.
  5. Motivate Agents to Excel: Excel is the key word when it comes to agent engagement strategies. Anyone can throw pizza parties or offer up half-hearted cries of, “Good job, sport!” but truly-connected, customer-centric managers know how pivotal agent happiness is to customer satisfaction. Rewards should be meaningful, substantial (think, more than a free cup of coffee) and in the spirit of the organization’s culture. Rewards are only worthwhile if they help make agents want to succeed as brand ambassadors.
  6. Shore Does Not Matter: Focus on Customers at Every Touch Point – As long as customers are at the center of support efforts, shore need not be a concern. Some businesses prefer to keep their processes in-house. Others see value in outsourcing their workloads. But neither is inherently better than the other; the differentiator is a customer focus. The office’s location does not matter if your brand can consistently be there for the customer. Successful agents identify themselves by their role in delivering customer satisfaction rather than by their native accent or office location.
  7. Stand for Something Bigger: Research continues to show that customers gravitate towards brands that stand for something. It might not be wise to vocally support a polarizing political candidate, but showing evidence of morality and support for the community is a clear key to the customer’s heart. It is also a great means of engaging agents, who want to feel a fundamental attachment to the brand they represent. Believing in what the brand believes them will make them infinitely more confident and comfortable representing that organization to customers.
This blog is credited to Brian Cantor – see his full blog for further information.


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