Email support services is an important cog in the customer service wheel of any modern-day organization. Enterprises bank on this mode of communication to save a significant amount of time, human resources, and optimize technical support expenses.
It is an effective medium to provide step-by-step guidance in a formal way for a troubleshooting procedure or to promote brand familiarity.
Email support services appeal to customers who do not have a strong Internet connectivity. This communication mode is also favored by customers who seek to attach multiple files with an email to set the context of their queries.
Enterprises must ensure prompt responses to incoming email queries. They must follow the proper format, time, and tone while reaching out to customers via an email. Enterprises outsource email support services to ensure meeting all these parameters to its T.
In this article, we will highlight some of the key factors that enterprise must consider while outsourcing email support services.
Proper Budget Planning
It is highly necessary that enterprises plan out their budget well before partnering with an email support service provider. The budget should be drawn out based on the long- and short-term needs of this support service of an enterprise.
Post planning a budget, enterprises must do a deep dive research into the current market rates of services offered by outsourcing companies.
They should keep an eye out on email support service outsourcing companies who have flexible support packages that cater to small, mid-size, and multinational organizations.
Such companies have packages that let enterprises pay per each email. This enhances service scalability and eliminates the chances of overreaching the pre-planned budget.
Evaluate Service Quality
There are five dimensions to customer support service quality as per the RATER framework which are:
- Reliability: Deliver as per promised service.
- Assurance: Inspire assurance in customers about resolution of their queries.
- Tangibles: Ability to present professionally.
- Empathy: Ability to understand customers’ issues and solve them accordingly
- Responsiveness: Prompt response to customers’ queries
Enterprises must ensure that the service quality of the outsourcing vendor meet the above stated criteria. Such a service quality determines responsiveness and resolution quality offered to customers.
A smart technique to determine whether outsourcing partner’s service quality adheres to the RATER framework is to pose as a customer and check the service quality in real-time.
Check Areas of Expertise
A strategy to outsource email support services is bound to fail if the service provider’s expertise is not aligned with the enterprise’s business.
It is critical that enterprises examine the mode of operation, skill sets of resources, past association with clients, and technology. This helps enterprises to have a proper understanding of the service provider’s area of expertise.
Below listed are some of the ways enterprises can gauge an outsourcing service provider’s area of expertise:
- Evaluate performance record with clients who belong to the same business field as that of the partnering enterprise.
- Experts must have skills specific to the domain relevant to the outsourcing enterprise.
- They are expected to be properly trained and use the most advanced tech stack pertinent to that particular domain.
Ability to Adapt to Company Culture
Every enterprise has their own unique way of communicating with customers over emails. This differentiation is done either on the basis of the target audience or the purpose behind sending emails.
This makes customers habituated with a communication culture that is specific to an enterprise. Any disruption from the standard culture will confuse a customer.
This is why it is important that enterprises must ensure that partnering email support service providers adhere to their clients’ culture. Here’s how it must be done:
- Evaluate the kind of audience who the partnering service providers have catered to in the past. This will help enterprises understand if the providers’ expertise matches with their company culture.
- Educate providers on the do’s and don’t’s that are followed by an enterprise while communicating with customers over emails.
- Clearly list out the exact requirements and expectations behind sending emails to customers.
Evaluate Regulatory and SLA Compliance
This is one of the most critical criteria to consider which has a direct bearing on an enterprise’s brand integrity.
They must evaluate the compliance level maintained by the outsourcing email support service provider. It is reflective of the provider’s ability to maintain the privacy of an enterprise’s patented products and customer data.
It is recommended that enterprises get their outsourcing partners sign a well-drafted service level agreement. An SLA sets expectations outright for both the parties in a partnership.
- The agreement should include the kind of rewards or consequences when the outsourcing email support service partner exceeds or fall behind in performance expectations.
- The agents should be highly adaptable to the changes in the email support field. They should be able to readily integrate the changes in their service.
Email support service agents play the role of a virtual ambassador of a brand. Any inconsistency in their service delivery will have a direct bearing on an enterprise’s brand image. This is why enterprises must practice extreme caution when they decide to outsource email support services. A fruitful partnership will result in numerous benefits for enterprises. Such benefits include boost in lead conversion and subsequent sales, better customer acquisition and retention, and many more.