There are numerous reasons why you may want to consider outsourcing customer support for your online store, depending on everything from the size and scale of your ecommerce business to the volume of products that you sell.

For example, 59% of businesses outsource support to reduce (or at least regulate) their business costs, whereas 47% do so to resolve existing capacity issues.

Of course, these reasons also offer an insight into the core benefits of outsourcing customer service. Below, we’ll take a closer look at how outsourcing can benefit your ecommerce brand, while looking at the primary circumstances in which this should be deployed.

Why Consider Outsourced Customer Support?

Let’s start by looking at the broad benefits of outsourcing customer support, which are quite diverse in their scope. Here are five in particular that you should keep in mind:

#1. Broaden Your Accessibility

If you have a relatively small ecommerce operation at the time of writing, you may find it hard to grow given the existing level of customer support.

For example, your customer support may currently be capped at core, local business hours, meaning that it’s only available for between eight and 12 hours each day.

This makes it hard when dealing with customers who have full-time jobs, however, or those who may be located overseas. It may also be challenging when dealing with seasonal peaks in demand, which occur during the holidays and the festive period.

In this case, you can look to outsource support (either temporarily or over a longer period of time) and broaden your availability. This can increase agent capacity during evenings and weekends, for example, as you look to answer a much larger range of queries and maintain a happier base of existing customers.

#2. Deliver Support in Customers’ Native Language

One of the benefits of operating an ecommerce business is that it’s much easier to target international markets, but it’s crucial that you’re able to scale your customer service in line with business growth and diversification.

Of course, customer service outsourcing experts like Salesupply can help in this respect, as they provide additional capacity and support that can be tailored to suit your business’s precise needs.

In addition to optimizing the level and flexibility of support that your business can provide without compromising on quality, this also enables you to interact with international customers in their native language.

By also providing this type of support across multiple channels (including live chat, email and social media platforms), you can engage a much broader range of demographics while communicating with them in a way that they can understand.

Make no mistake; using a customer’s native language will optimise satisfaction and engagement levels significantly, while ensuring that you don’t immediately lose ground to local rivals when operating overseas.

#3. Create a Scalable Customer Support Service

Flexibility and scalability is key to the delivery of customer support, both for seasonal ecommerce brands and those that deal in international marketplaces.

Outsourcing can help in both of these respects, not least because providers are specialized in ecommerce and meeting the challenges faced by online stores across a broad range of industries.

For example, the market leading outsource partners will be active in multiple countries across the globe, helping you to flexibly grow and tailor your support in targeted time zones and languages. This translates into a superior level of service across the board, while once again optimizing the reach of your support.

You can also access dedicated or shared support when outsourcing (depending on your choice of provider, of course), enabling you to retain as much or as little control of your customer service as you like.

#4. Access to Specialized Expertise

As we’ve already touched on, outsourcing customer service can unlock strategic expertise at a more than competitive rate.

This is a key advantage of outsourcing, and one that extends far beyond simply delivering customer support in different languages and across multiple channels.

Remember, the employees and customer service agents that you access through outsourcing can be trained to have specialized knowledge of specific subjects. This can be combined with a unique understanding of your products and services, creating a superior level of support that’s informed and intuitive.

Overall, this will add considerable value to your customers’ experience, whether they’re buying products or online or looking to deal with a complaint or query as proactively as possible.

Crucially, this could also unlock opportunities to upsell products and services, which is an often lost and overlooked benefits of good customer service.

#5. Improved Customer Satisfaction

By successfully engaging customers and upselling products and services, you can increase the average consumer spend and optimize the value of each individual transaction in real-time.

This also has a cumulative effect over time, and there’s no doubt that outsourcing support to qualified third parties can improve customer satisfaction and engagement levels across the board.

Certainly, happy customers are more incentivized to make repeat purchases, which increases their lifetime value to your business and minimizes how much you have to spend on acquiring new customers over time.

Remember, it’s much more cost-effective to retain and upsell to existing customers than acquire new ones, so maintaining optimal levels of satisfaction can simultaneously boost revenue and contribute to higher profits.

When is Outsourcing Recommended?

Given these benefits and many of the other advantages that are associated with outsourced customer service, this is an ecommerce strategy that’s arguably suitable for every business at virtually any stage of their development.

However, it’s arguably more likely to be recommended in specific instances. These include:

- When Your Business is Scaling Quickly: When your ecommerce business starts to scale quickly (which has happened to many companies in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic), you may turn to outsourcing to grow your customer support capacity at the same pace. Whether you’re looking to meet seasonal demand or coping with the quicker-than-expected expansion of your ecommerce store, outsourcing provides an accessible solution that delivers a viable ROI.

- Seasonal fluctuations: Experiencing significant seasonal fluctuations alone is good enough reason to consider outsourcing, as you’re liable to lose out on much-needed additional business if you don’t have the capacity to handle an increased number of queries and complaints. For most seasonal businesses, it’s crucial that they optimize revenues during peak periods of demand, and outsourcing customer support on a temporary basis can help you to achieve this objective.

- If You Expand into New, International Markets: If your ecommerce store is growing more scalably as a result of your strategic growth plan, this may evolve moving into targeted, international markets. In this case, outsourcing may also prove helpful, as it allows you to offer support in different time zones and your choice of languages. This increases accessibility and optimizes the relevance of the support provided in different regions.

- When You’re Starting Out: As you can tailor the extent to which you outsource customer support and, in some instances, influence the nature of the training provided, outsourcing may also be viable when starting out. While this may create an additional operational cost, it can also deliver an ROI in the form of increased sales and reduced returns, while it makes perfect sense if you don’t count customer support as one of your core entrepreneurial competencies!