The business processes that small to mid-sized ecommerce companies and third-party logistics providers often outsource to offshore staff can cover a wide range of activities that include back-office support, customer service, and online marketing. If you're outsourcing your ecommerce support, here are several tips in optimizing your outsourcing strategy.
#1 You could hire some folks locally, but if you wanted to be flexible and scale up or down your ecommerce operations on a need-to-need basis, then outsource some of the tasks to highly competent offshore staff.
Choose the right outsourcing partner to assemble a team in the shortest time possible. Your offshore team can fill in the gaps in your operations, ensuring continuity and minimizing costs without sacrificing the quality and timeliness of your customer service delivery.
Communication and technical skills aren't the only qualities to watch out for when interviewing. Seek out candidates who have the talent and optimism to competently process your customer's requests and complaints. Once you accomplish this, you'll never go astray from your objectives.
#2 Choose reputable vendors for your software, hardware, hosting and other technologies you'll need to run your online business smoothly and efficiently.
Don't settle for a promise of 99% uptime from your vendor; make sure your site is accessible and your customers can immediately talk to your customer support more than 99.95% of the time. A 1% downtime translates to 3.65 days in a year. Yes, it's just 3 or 4 days, but let's be honest here: can you really afford to lose customers on a Black Friday sale or on any given day during the holiday season?
And, it's not just your infrastructure provider you should be concerned about. Consider outsourcing to a service provider that has the capability to shift workloads on the fly and recover from losses through the use of load balancing systems for their power supply and internet connection.
#3 Take advantage of your offshore team's location and timezone when trying to penetrate international markets or introduce new products and services to a global audience.
Offshore outsourcing has advantages that you cannot have with a centralized customer contact center. When you distribute the work to ecommerce support staff located in regions where your target markets reside, you're taking advantage of their extensive knowledge of the local culture and language of your desired audience. This is perfect for ecommerce campaigns designed to help your company penetrate new markets or introduce new products and services to a global audience.
The fact that your offshore team work at different hours than you do is also an advantage. This assures your customers that service will not be interrupted and there will always be someone to take their call or answer their emails and chat messages.
#4 Gather valuable feedback from your customers by outsourcing not only the repetitive and mundane tasks, but also the research and analysis.
You may be already doing this, but harnessing the power of big data requires intelligence software and a team of data specialists. Your offshore team can help you manage your data, i.e. clean up old records, update the database, and add new info. They can also be trusted to sweep through your customer's contact information and randomly survey them for their opinions and suggestions.