Outsourcing. You wouldn't be the only one to say this word with a bit of fear. Its previously negative perception has dramatically improved in our now technology-driven, cost-efficient, and process-smart world. Now more than ever, companies are deciding that outsourcing is the best way to grow their business. Scalability, cost efficiency and global coverage are just a few reasons why companies turn to outsourcing for many of their business needs.
Social media outsourcing is still relatively new in Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) companies, but some (like 5CA) have already added this service to their offering and are proving its success year after year. Most of the time, companies are just getting to know how to offer customer service through social media, so when a BPO partner like 5CA can step in and help set that up, they're very grateful. We also see companies that aren't quite big enough to house their own social media support team seek out an outsourcing partner who can do the job.
So how do you know if outsourcing social media is right for your company? I've included some key signs that might indicate an outsourcing partner would benefit your company's social media efforts.
1. Your social media followers are asking for support, but you can't provide it.
2. Your customer support is already outsourced.
If your company already has an outsourcing partner that manages your support volume, it makes sense to also ask them to handle your social media support volume. All of your customer support processes are already well-defined, and it's pretty easy to throw social into the mix. Social media is now one of the most common customer service channels (58 percent of businesses use social media as part of their customer care programs), so if your outsourcing partner doesn't offer this, it might be time to look for a new one.
3. Your social media customers are everywhere.
When your customers are seeking social media support, they're also expecting pretty good response times. 52 percent of customers tweeting at your brand expect a reply within one hour, and if it's a complaint that rises to 72 percent.
However, no one likes having to work at 10 pm on a Friday night. It's not an easy task building a social media support team that can work during weeknights or weekends, but when you outsource you can get access to a pool of customer service and social media experts from all over the world, speaking many languages, at any time of the day.
4. You're redirecting your customers to other channels for support.
This is a huge red flag that might be telling you you're in need of some help. Redirection is one of the worst customer experiences, but unfortunately only 36% of consumers who use social media for customer support reported having their issue resolved quickly and effectively, according to Incite's State of Social Customer Service report. If you're redirecting your social media followers to contact support, you're not alone. Take a look at some of the largest brands in the world redirecting their customers:
@Ateek07 Hi, kindly contact our Global Support team, they will look into it. ^OG.— Amazon Help (@AmazonHelp) April 11, 2017
@mtcauliflower Hi Martha. We apologize for the inconvenience. Please contact our AOL Customer Support Team at 1-800-827-6364.— AOL Customer Support (@AOLSupportHelp) April 11, 2017
It just makes sense to save these customers some time and effort by supporting them right then and there on the channel they chose. If you see a lot of this on your own Facebook page, you might want to consider offering social media customer support. And if that's not something you can manage to do internally, talk to an expert to see if outsourcing is the right move for you.