4 Strategies For Getting The Most Out Of Your Outsourced Customer Service Agents During Q4
It goes without saying that the end-of-year shopping season is a pivotal time for E-Commerce brands, especially those that are preparing for growth in order to expand and scale operations in the new year.
As we make our way toward the end of Q4, now is the time to consider how your brand can maximize profits during the busiest shopping season of the entire year by taking full advantage of your outsourced customer service team.
After all, your customer service agents are the front lines of your brand: they’re often the first point of human contact that customers have when interacting with your business, and the experience they provide will either make or break the relationships you wish to build with your customers.
Passive management is SO last year – instead, let’s take the proactive approach and make the most of your outsourced customer service teams to meet heightened customer service demands, elevate your business, and ensure that your holiday season is both rewarding and profitable.
Why Outsourcing Customer Service Can Elevate Your E-Commerce Brand In Time For The Holiday Shopping Season
When your customer service team isn’t equipped to handle everything that will be thrown at them during the holiday shopping frenzy, being on the inside of the chaos can feel a lot like the snowball fight scene from Elf – while there’s lots of enthusiasm, your brand will ultimately take a LOT of hits.
However, we also know all too well that hiring and onboarding new agents independently is a tough task to complete in the final busy weeks of the year.
Typically, this is why many brands choose to outsource their customer service needs to an agency like TalentPop – while you keep operations running smoothly, we’ll work behind the scenes to partner you with agents who will be the best fit for your brand (and help you manage your team long after onboarding is complete).
Use These 4 Strategies To Maximize Your Outsourced Customer Service Team’s Efforts During Q4
During the craze of the Q4 shopping season, you don’t want your brand to just “scrape by” – you want to provide the best possible experience for customers to keep them coming back again for more (and encourage them to refer their family and friends).
To help you maximize the efforts of your outsourced customer service agents, we’ve put together a list of 4 strategies that we encourage our very own clients to implement before, during, and all throughout their support.
1. Practice Proactive Preparation
Preparedness is the name of the game when it comes to customer service (especially leading up to your busy seasons).
When your team knows the boundaries of their job duties along with your brand’s processes and procedures, everything runs smoother and more efficiently.
Here are a few tips to help prepare your team before the busy season hits:
- Prep Early For The Holidays: The winter holidays are no walk in the park for E-Commerce customer service teams. To set yours up for success, ensure your customer service agents receive specialized training focused on key holiday shopping-related issues that will crop up at one point or another during the mad holiday rush.
- Create A Holiday Knowledge Base: During the holiday season, your brand will typically offer discounts, sales, and other incentives (like free shipping or returns) to maximize sales and profits. To keep everyone on the same page with the temporary updates and changes, create a comprehensive knowledge base that your agents can rely on when activity starts to pick up that includes holiday season-specific FAQs, product information, and policies.
- Establish Roles: Take the time to define clear roles and responsibilities for both in-house and outsourced agents to avoid duplication or confusion.
2. Streamline Response & Resolution Processes
Customers are just as busy as E-Commerce businesses during the holidays, which often means that they’re easily frustrated when their service is prolonged by excessive response and resolution times.
In fact, 71% of consumers between the ages of 16 and 24 believe that a quick response from a service team can drastically improve their customer experience.
To ensure your outsourced customer service agents are able to meet customers’ expectations, give the following tips a shot:
- Offer SOPs & Cheatsheets: By developing standard operating procedures (SOPs) and “cheat sheets,” agents will be able to close more tickets at a faster rate, either by finding and implementing accurate resolutions or escalating the ticket to the proper department in order to expedite the resolution.
- Use A Helpdesk Software: Helpdesk software like Gorgias, Zendesk, and Gladly make it easier to quickly resolve inquiries, handle multiple tickets at once, and get a bird’s-eye view of each customer's history.
3. Prepare To Adapt
The E-Commerce industry is a busy one on even the slowest of days, which means activity is at an all-time high during peak shopping seasons in Q4. As we often see, more activity also typically leaves more room for unexpected issues to come up, making adaptability one of the most important skills for your entire team to have.
Here are a few ways we recommend that you prepare your team to adapt quickly in a fast-paced environment:
- Cross-Train Agents: When everyone is working at full capacity, making customers happy ultimately becomes a team effort. By cross-training your outsourced customer service agents to perform a variety of tasks, you’ll be able to seamlessly shift resources based on demand during the rush and ensure a more agile response to a breadth of common customer inquiries.
- Collaborative Communication: Communication is everything in customer service, both in an internal and external sense. Be sure to keep an open line of communication with your customer service agents to ensure that they have everything they need to do the best job possible for your brand’s customers.
- Encourage Agents To Go Above & Beyond: Once your outsourced customer service agents are comfortable handling tickets on each of your preferred customer service channels, empower them to offer “above-and-beyond” customer care while handling inquiries that may enhance or improve experiences (particularly ones that may have gone awry for one reason or another).
4. Regularly Review Metrics
At the end of the day, your data is the ultimate tell of what’s succeeding in your business and what needs to be improved. To make sure your team is performing and your customers are satisfied, we recommend regularly reviewing and utilizing the insights in your metrics via the following tips:
- Feedback Collection: During and after your busy holiday season, use surveys, social media interactions, and recurring tickets to collect customer feedback. We also recommend gathering feedback from your in-house and outsourced customer service agents, as these team members often have helpful, direct insight into where operations may be improved for the future.
- Complete A Thorough Analysis: Once you’ve collected your data, get together with your team to analyze it on a deeper level to identify areas for improvement and learn from the experiences of the holiday rush.
- Continuous Improvement: The E-Commerce industry changes often, and it’s crucial for your brand to keep up with the pace. By regularly updating your processes and implementing changes & improvements based on data, your team can set your brand up for predictable growth during future holiday seasons, enhance your overall customer experience, and maintain an edge over your competitors.
Make The Most Of Your Outsourced Customer Service Agents In Q4 With TalentPop’s Support Team
At TalentPop, we’ve been in the E-Commerce industry long enough to know that simply investing in customer service outsourcing isn’t enough to make your business successful, especially during the holidays when the stakes are higher than ever.
However, we know most brands don’t have the time to create effective strategies all on their own. That’s why we’ve developed a proven process to help you not only hire the best agents for your brand but also utilize them to their fullest potential.
When you partner with TalentPop to outsource customer service for your E-Commerce brand, we’ll pair you with a dedicated Customer Success Manager who will help oversee operations and ensure your agents are doing their best work for you.
Plus, with our scalable solutions and seamless pricing starting as low as $8/hour per agent, you’ll feel confident knowing that your brand is supported by top agents at the most affordable price out there.
It’s not too late to elevate customer service before the end of Q4 – schedule a call with us today, and we’ll tell you more about how we can support you this year.
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