Great CX can’t count on numbers alone.
For a long time, effective customer service centers were judged on numbers: low Average Handling Times, high Net Promoter Scores and strong Customer Satisfaction ratings formed the core of business process outsourcing (BPO).
When you measure success by volume instead of value, you disempower service agents to take any ownership of their customer interactions.
They’re not trained, paid or taught to do anything other than sift through as many inquiries as possible.
The result: The job sucks. Service agents have no higher purpose or investment in your brand. So they burn out fast and leave—and you’re on a constant hiring treadmill to keep pace with demand.
This is why outsourced customer service is often a race to the bottom—companies could offload their CX responsibilities to a BPO provider and, as long as the numbers checked out, the transaction stayed in place.
It’s purposeless CX by numbers—what we call transactional BPO.
And here’s the thing: It’s an MO that’s no longer fit for growing, disruptive brands.
Now there’s a new possibility for purpose-driven customer service agents to deliver better customer experiences, satisfaction and retention.
The road to customer service has become a highway
Customers have more avenues than ever to connect with brands. As tech opened up new channels for engagement and interaction, customers became more demanding.
Avenues like live chat, social media comments and direct messages brought brands and consumers closer together than ever before—now customers were meeting brands in the same places as their friends and family.
And that raised the bar—not only on the companies selling through these channels, but on the customer agents serving in them.
Service agents need to add new strings to their bow. Because now they aren’t just churning through customer problems.
Now they hold your company’s reputation in their hands as much as the CEO. A misjudged reply to a tweet or a misinterpreted message can go public, fast—hindering (and even derailing) a retailer’s growth prospects.
Being a service agent now means there’s more at stake than a drop in numbers—you have the potential to unravel an entire brand.
You also have the potential to build one.
The new approach to better customer experiences
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, previously centralized customer service teams fragmented as working from home became the norm.
And for consumers, digital channels became the primary destination—and empathy the primary CX currency within them.
Service agents now have the opportunity to help challengers build huge new audiences by redefining their CX capability from a cost center into a growth center.
This advanced BPO has the potential to drive return on outsourcing: when agents directly impact the bottom line, forge durable customer loyalty and boost the metrics that matter most.
It’s the potential to turn service agents into CX superheroes.
We call it Relationship-based Outsourcing.
Growth-oriented CX is built on relationships
Advanced customer service replaces the transactional nature of BPO with a focus on relationships.
It’s a methodology for ambitious companies to build a long-term, flexible CX strategy that drives customer satisfaction up and costs to serve down.
So how can you tell if your BPO provider has CX superheroes?
Training is just the start
It’s not enough for customer service agents to know the rules and regulations. They have to become embedded and invested in your world.
That means they go further than understanding your business. They contribute to the wider strategy, offer constant feedback and make process improvements.
A truly embedded agent takes on your mindset—they act as an employee trusted with your product, and an extension of your business.
They understand your customers (like, really understand them).
Advanced BPOs that drive return on outsourcing relentlessly focus on building a clearer picture of their customers.
By growing centralized and shared knowledge, agents know the wider context behind customer interactions—what drives customer frustrations and what soothes them; how to settle disputes quickly and painlessly; even sniffing out potential fraudsters and scams.
Over time, truly invested customer service centers understand their partner company and their customers as deeply as any CEO.
They don’t depend on scripts
Scripts are never a substitute for authenticity. A perfectly worded playbook is no match for an organic interaction with an empathetic (and empowered) human being.
Advanced customer service agents with rigorous training, deep customer understanding and investment in your brand have something that can’t be faked: authenticity.
When you bring these facets together, you get CX that builds a loyal customer base.
CX that great agents stick around to deliver—that brings purpose beyond numbers to every interaction.
That’s CX that drives return on outsourcing. Ready to drive return on outsourcing through better customer experiences?