Outsource your live chat or not? 10 questions to ask

Are your customer service staff already very busy? What about during special promotions? Are they responsible for both incoming phone calls and e-mails? Are you struggling with long waiting times, unanswered calls, or even drops in service quality while your employees want to finish every conversation or e-mail quickly because the next customer is already waiting? And are you now considering using live chat as well?

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you will definitely need to outsource live chat. For many companies, making the decision to deploy an outsourced live chat contact center can be challenging. They often worry about the quality of the operator, the availability, and high turnover. But managed live chat can improve First Call Resolution KPIs, reduce the number of calls and e-mails, and offer the latest technology that guarantees safe processing of sensitive data. But how do you know you have chosen the right provider?

What questions to ask yourself?

Like many other service providers, outsourced contact centers may seem similar at first glance, but if you ask a few questions, there are quite clear differences between the providers. Here are the top 10 questions you can ask when assessing an external contact center:

  1. Are they specialized in live chat or are they a generic contact center?
  2. Do they have knowledge of my industry?
  3. How long does it take to train the chat operators?
  4. Will the operators have sufficient knowledge about my products to solve first-line issues, retain uncertain customers, and upsell?
  5. Can they strive for the same goals I have internally?
  6. Is the service scalable? Does it offer the possibility to upscale and downscale the capacity based on needs?
  7. Do they provide Service Level Agreements?
  8. Can the technology be integrated with my existing software/CRM?
  9. What other tools and reporting features are available?
  10. What measures have been taken to ensure that customer information is safe?

These questions were ‘top of mind’ when two retailers were considering outsourcing live chat to us. Both retailers had difficulty keeping up with the chat volume and their service quality was declining.

After a pilot with Outsourcechats.com, the decision suddenly became easy, and they soon enjoyed the benefits of the current generation of customer service staff. WithOutsourcechats.com, these retailers discovered that a dozen operators could be trained and certified within three weeks. The retailers were also able to improve their ability to retain customers and their upselling by using their current customer service staff more effectively. With Outsourcechats.com, these retailers were able to lower their contact center costs by only paying for operators who were needed at a certain time. Moreover, our technology was seamlessly integrated with their existing CRM systems.

The most important thing, however, was the improvement that was visible in the overall customer experience. According to Forrester Research, the impact of an improvement of 10 percent in the customer service experience score of a company can result in over $1 billion in sales. That is a lot of money. And it may easily be within your reach. Thorough research and asking the right questions will lead you toward a service that has the potential to make your company grow and improve the customer experience. It may require a slight leap of faith, but it is negligible if you consider what is at stake. After all, the satisfaction of potential or existing customers is at stake.

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