Why do some customer service outsourcing deals fail? What easily comes to mind are the shortcomings on the customer-facing units’ end and the leaders where they work directly under. The truth, however, is that the higher-ups can also be at fault when a customer service project fails.
Like any business initiative, the whole customer service function, outsourced or not, needs involvement not just from the people who interact with the customers, but also from those who manage the whole operation. You can’t simply say that the agents are inefficient or that the trainers, recruiters, or team leaders did an inadequate job in selecting and honing your frontliners. Before putting the blame, make sure that the following customer service mistakes are not present in your own organization’s executives:
1. Weak sponsorship from the top management
The problem with some companies is that they don’t regard customer service as highly as other important business areas like finance and technology. Since this unit deals with your main source of income – your customers – you should dedicate enough funding and attention to your customer service practices and strategies.
Another thing: the support should be all-out and not expressed only during brand image crises or during the project’s profit-generating high time.
2. Absence of customer service executive
Regardless of your company’s size, there should be someone in your organization who will oversee the whole customer support unit. We’re not talking about the team leaders here but rather, an executive whom they will report to and will take charge in devising customer experience quality assurance methods and customer service tools. Whether it’s the Chief Customer Officer or any other executive, have someone deeply knowledgeable about your market to rely on for customer service concerns.
3. No main metric
You can use a long list of metrics to be the basis of your agents’ performance and measure your activities’ overall success, but make sure you know which metrics matter the most. What do you really want to measure? What is your customer service unit’s main goal, be it for the long term or for the moment? The top management should be able to answer these questions in order to give processes a clear path.
4. Low service aptitude among leaders
Customer service skills should be present not just among the frontline employees, but also in the people who manage them. Managers are even expected to lead by example through applying empathy, patience, and other people skills that customer service representatives must possess. If your agents have a low aptitude on these areas, then it also speaks low of your management proficiency as well.
5. Poor enforcement of purpose
Never underestimate the power of purpose-driven work. If you don’t instill purpose among your employees, your customer service project would still likely fail even if you don’t face the first four problems listed above.
Like the brain that dictates other parts on what to do, the management should know how every part works and relies on each other in order to put the whole body in motion. Do your function as your company’s brain by knowing the needs and purposes of every aspect of your operation.