#52: Three Ways to Outsource Your Customer Service

Jan 13, 2019 | Office Operations

When you begin your online business, no matter if you are a coach, speaker, or run an online store, you will spend a lot of your time handling customer service. This includes everything from responding to questions about a product or a program to processing payments and everything in between.

Solopreneurs or those of us who have small teams, this is a great area to outsource because day to day customer service is something that doesn’t require your expertise to handle.

Other pros are that you may have shorter response times and better customer experience. Think about the times you were out of town at a conference and couldn’t get to your email to respond to something, or someone bought something and couldn’t download their item – something really small – but the customer had to wait a long time until you could give your attention to it. I don’t know about you, but when that was me, I would think about nothing else until I took care of that request.

The cons, of course, are that you may be concerned about the quality of the service because you want someone to treat your customers as you would treat them. And finally, there’s the cost. As far as this being an expense… you should be working on your core business areas such as speaking, coaching, marketing, creating content, and other revenue-producing activities and customer service is NOT producing you revenue. Plus, how much is it worth to you to enjoy your downtime or weekend and not have to worry or stress out about your customers being taken care of?

In this short video, I cover the 3 most popular ways to outsource your customer service.

When you begin your online business, no matter if you are a coach, speaker, or have an online store, you will spend a lot of your time handling customer service. This includes everything from responding to questions about a product or a program

And for those of us who have online businesses, mostly solopreneurs or who have small teams, this is a great service to outsource because this is something that doesn’t require your expertise, as the business owner, to handle.

Other pros are that you may have shorter response times and better customer experience– think about the times you were out of town or maybe at a conference and someone bought something and couldn’t download or needed you to resend an email, something really small, but the customer had to wait a long time until you could give your attention to it. I don’t know about you, but when that was me, I would think about nothing else until I took care of that request.

The cons, of course, are that you may be concerned about the quality of the service – you want someone to treat your customers as you would, and cost. When it comes to finding the right person, I have a resource for you. And as far as cost, you should be working on your core business areas – speaking, coaching, marketing, creating content, and other revenue-producing activities and customer service is not revenue-producing. Plus, how much is it worth to you to enjoy your downtime or weekend and not have to worry about your customers being taken care of?

Let’s talk about three options for outsourcing your customer service. And this will depend on your specific needs and how your business is setup up, but here are the three most popular:

Believe it or not, email is still the most popular method of problem resolution. But instead of running your customer service through an email where things can sometimes fall through the cracks, using a program Zendesk, Zoho, and Groove, keeps things organized and this is something you can easily delegate to a virtual assistant.

Second, live phone answering. You may think in this day and age that live phone answering is a luxury or only used by big companies and this isn’t true. There are many companies out there that cater to the solopreneur or small business owner. For example, MBS Administrative Services provides 24/7 coverage and reasonable plans.

And then you have the people who don’t want to pick up a phone, would rather not do the back and forth of email, but would prefer to use chatbot or other messaging apps. Its instant nature really appeals to Gen X or millennials and can be programmed to provide quick answers, problem resolution, getting a detailed explanation, buying an item, subscribing to a list or a service, even paying for something. It’s a great way to automate simple inquiries.

So you have helpdesk using email, live phone answering, and virtual apps or chatbots – which one do you think would work for your business today and going forward? Because the great thing is, these are scalable. You doing it all yourself is not scalable.

I have some resources for you to check out and a downloadable. Facebook Messenger Bots are super easy to get started and can save you time especially if you have people trying to contact you on FB for help. This is an FAQ Template that you can use as an example for automating your FAQ. For example, when someone messages you on your FB page, you can reply instantly with thank you for contacting us, what is your question related to? Then provide some selections. From there, you can have them select the general topic and from there provide more links or suggestions.

 

Catch up on other Outsourcing Strategies episodes + resources mentioned in the video:

Sign up for my free simple systems for virtual assistants weekly videos and get this Free Download

Did you enjoy this episode and want to put it into action? Grab this template pack!

Outsourcing Templates

$24.00

As a busy entrepreneur, you know that it’s not possible to do ALL the tasks for your business and do them effectively. It’s easy enough to say you should outsource, but then you have to do the training. And when faced with that daunting task, it’s often easier to just say, “I’ll just do it myself.” 

But that would be a mistake.

There are only so many hours in a day and you can only fully develop so many skills. Instead, these outsourcing templates will give you a giant head start and gives you all you need to find and hire that perfect contractor. Problem solved! 

Here’s what you get:

  • 4 Project Listing Templates
    • You’ll get 4 fill in the blank Project Listing templates to use when you are looking to outsource specific projects for your business (perfect for submitting a request for proposal):
      • Graphic Design Work
      • Virtual Assistants
      • Writing Work
      • Web Development
  • 4 Project Specifications Templates
    • You’ll get 4 fill-in-the-blank Project Specification templates to use to ensure you don’t leave out the important details as you outsource your projects. You’ll get specification templates that are specific to the following type of projects:
      • Graphic Design Work
      • Virtual Assistants
      • Writing Work
      • Web Development
  • Evaluating Applications Checklist
    • Part of the struggle with outsourcing is not knowing who to choose to work with. This checklist will help you thoroughly evaluate the responses and applications you receive back from potential outsourcers to ensure you make the right choice for your business.
  • Quality Check Checklist
    • I want you to get the best work out of your contractor, so I’ve included a detailed quality check checklist that you can go through to ensure you are receiving quality service for your outsourced project.
  • Constructive Feedback Template
    • It can be difficult to provide constructive feedback when outsourcing. I’ve made it easy for you by providing a fill in the blanks template you can use to address any questions or concerns you may be having with your projects. No more struggling to find the right words.
  • Big List of Outsourcing Sites
    • Finding the perfect person for the job can seem overwhelming at first, but I’ve provided a comprehensive list of websites for you that will help you in your outsourcing search.
  • Suggested Interview Questions
    • Finally, I’ve included a list of interview questions you can use as you begin talking to and assessing potential contractors.

As you can see, all of the templates included in the Outsourcing Templates bundle will give you the boost you need to get started outsourcing for your business so you can finally focus on the tasks that will grow your business.

0 Comments

Ready to get the most out of your viewing time?

Pick a collection below to get actionable, momentum-building advice with what you need help with right now.

WORKING WITH CLIENTS

Setting rates, client boundaries, & onboarding systems

MARKETING

Social media, email marketing, automation, & funnels

OFFICE OPERATIONS

Processes, planning tools, outsourcing, & scaling systems

Simple Systems for Virtual Assistants

Grow, market, organize, and scale your business with FREE simple systems!

With short actionable insights brought to you every week, Systems Sunday videos have earned its spot as *can’t miss* watching for thousands of results-driven virtual pros just like you.