Just because you have decided to outsource your customer service team doesn’t mean you have to go with a big player. You may find the benefits of using a boutique outsourcer four your e-commerce support to be too good to ignore. We are assuming you have already read our pieces outlining the choice between organically expanding your customer care team vs. outsourcing, as well as the true cost of outsourcing e-commerce. Here we will be doing a deeper dive into some of the smaller, but every bit as capable players in the support outsourcing customer service market.
Much like in the fashion industry, in e-commerce, a boutique outsourcer is a smaller operation, devoted to giving more specialized treatment. The boutique outsourcer will typically have a roster of 5 - 100 e-commerce customers. They provide both onsite, and off-site customer support. The market and demographic these boutique outsourcers are usually looking to sell to are small, up-selling e-commerce/retail businesses.
The first thing you need to consider is how big e-commerce businesses operate. First and foremost they care about PROTI or “potential return on time invested”. In layman’s terms if you’re the company that isn’t bringing the outsourcer enough bang for its buck they may prioritize other larger company accounts. For example, many large outsourcers require companies to staff a minimum of 7-10 of their e-commerce customer support agents.
If your support team is not growing as fast, It isn't uncommon for large outsourcers to:
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 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, boutiques pricing plans offer e-commerce companies fixed hourly pay per head or simply fixed project based pay, you know exactly what you’re paying every cycle.
You can also expect this type of outsourced e-commerce customer service to provide the following services
Here are some metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you can use to measure the success of your outsourced e-commerce partner
Remember, the bigger players don't need your account, even if you’re a small business on the rise. Their pricing plans/contacts are set, serialized and corporate. A boutique outsourcer contact center is much more likely to help work within the confines of your business to hold onto your account, providing a more competitive edge.
The biggest detractor of customer service outsourcing is losing that personal touch on your customer service teams. Boutique outsourcers team members help bridge that gap. It is not uncommon 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 and review sites) with their account holders than larger competitors.
A boutique outsourcer in many ways becomes more of a outsourcing partner than a simple customer service provider. They understand e-commerce brands and has a vested interest in improving your customer relationships, customer experience and your customer support services in general. 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.
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