As the e-commerce industry grows rapidly, many companies are looking to outsource e-commerce customer service. However, just because you've decided to outsource your customer service team doesn’t mean you have to go with a big player. You may find valuable benefits to using a boutique outsourcer for e-commerce support.
We are assuming you have already read our pieces outlining outsourced vs. organic expansion of your customer care team, as well as the true cost of outsourcing e-commerce support. In this article, we will be doing a deeper dive into some of the smaller- but every bit as capable- players in the outsourcing customer service market.
Much like in the fashion industry, a boutique outsourcer is a smaller operation, devoted to providing specialized treatment. The boutique outsourcer will typically have a roster of 5-100 e-commerce clients as their customer base, for which they help provide both onsite and off-site customer support. They typically look for like-minded e-commerce businesses that are small but scaling quickly.
When looking into call center outsourcing, the first thing to consider is the large scale at which e-commerce businesses operate. First and foremost, they care about PROTI or “potential return on time invested”. In layman’s terms, if you’re a company that isn’t bringing their business enough bang for its buck, they will begin to prioritize larger accounts. For example, many large outsourcers require companies to staff a minimum of 7-10 of their customer support agents.
If your support team is not growing as fast, large outsourcers may:
Most boutique outsourcers offer you a lower rate than their bigger competitors. At the end of the day, this is usually the most important factor when deciding your e-commerce customer support solution. Instead of convoluted, confusing pricing plans that can sneakily add up, high-quality boutique pricing plans are often more straightforward. Service fees are often already factored into their charges, rather than added on at the tail end of an invoice.
For example, boutique pricing plans offer e-commerce companies fixed hourly pay per head or simply fixed project based pay, so that you know exactly what you’re paying every cycle.
You can also expect that this type of outsourced e-commerce customer service will seek to improve your overall customer satisfaction by bettering your:
By holistically improving every customer interaction, your company can begin to build fruitful cross-selling and up-selling opportunities, as well as reliable brand loyalty.
Remember, enterprise outsourcing companies don't need your account, even if you are a small business on the rise. Their pricing plans are set- serialized and corporate. A boutique outsourcer contact center is much more likely to work alongside your business to hold onto your account, in order to demonstrate their competitive edge.
The biggest detractor of customer service outsourcing is losing personal touch in your customer experience. Boutique outsourcer team members help bridge that gap. It is common for boutique outsourcers to be more involved in recruitment, hiring, training, and managing agents custom within different time zones to fit your business needs and resolve customer inquiries. Boutique outsourcers are also known for pushing business reviews (e.g. across Amazon, social media platforms, and review sites) with their account holders.
In fact, a boutique outsourcer is likely to become a outsourcing partner rather than a simple customer service provider. They understand e-commerce brands and have a vested interest in improving your customer relationships and customer support services. To them, you are not just another account to be added and dropped: you are their ticket to expanding their brand and reputation, just as they are your ticket to maintaining your own.
From our conversation with companies, below are three boutique outsourcers who are known to work with fast-growing e-commerce brands. Check them out to learn more!