What is Customer Service Representative? What is a customer service representative?
A customer service representative (CSR) is an individual who interacts with customers on behalf of the company, usually to address their concerns.
Customer service reps are the front lines of service providers in customer support. They know first-hand how satisfied and dissatisfied customers are with the services they receive. Most importantly, CSRs prevent delivering poor customer service as much as possible.
A good customer service rep possesses a lot of skills they need to effectively deliver customer service. This includes good communication and problem-solving skills, quick wit, and interpersonal skills.
Customer service representatives are also called customer service associates and customer service advisors or consultants. Duties of a customer service representative
Customer service representatives typically aim to maintain customer satisfaction and answer questions regarding a company or product. Their duties depend on what type of customer service they handle, whether inbound or outbound.
Inbound customer service representatives are the ones who handle incoming customer inquiries and concerns. More so, they are responsible for the following tasks. Do basic troubleshooting
Pull up customer accounts
Handle and resolve customer complaints
Help determine solutions for each problem
Outbound CSRs, meanwhile, are the ones who reach out to customers either through cold calling or emails. They deal mostly with the following aspects. Lead generation
Market surveys Key skills of customer service representatives
Most customer service representatives enter the industry with a high school diploma. However, a good customer service representative should have the following key skills and traits needed to be competitive at work. Good communication. Customer service representatives must have good communication skills, especially since they will talk to customers all day. They have to listen carefully to their clients and be able to speak with them at the same time. Problem-solving. A good customer service representative should be able to analyze customer inquiries correctly and provide the best solutions for their concerns. Time management. Customer service representatives work in a fast-paced environment, handling volumes of calls and workload each day. This is why they need to manage their time properly so they can accommodate their target calls in a given period. Empathy. Most importantly, they must be able to handle their customers in a professional manner and with empathy. Customer service representatives should be able to place themselves in their client's shoes and understand their situations at hand. How to become a customer service representative
Anyone can ace a customer service representative job by doing the following steps. Complete at least a secondary education. Many customer service representatives enter the industry with a high school diploma. This is since they have developed basic communication and interpersonal skills needed at work. Develop necessary skills. As much as possible, customer service reps should work on developing other necessary skills, including those mentioned above. Consider getting certifications. Lastly, a certification or license from institutions can be used as strong proof of their proficiency and skills. This is why getting certifications is most recommended, especially for CSRs looking to advance their employment. BPO customer service
BPO customer service means hiring a third-party service provider to handle inbound and outbound calls and other non-verbal communication with customers. In most cases, customer service outsourcing teams are part of a call center service.
For businesses, partnering with an outsourcing company is an ideal option to offer the best possible level of service to clients. After all, the more positive the experience is, the more it drives loyalty and brand recognition.
To find the best partner for your customer service tasks, you have to be open to assessing new and innovative service providers — either nearshore, onshore, or offshore.
Be diligent in searching for the right fit for your company.
Remember that it is critical to choose a partner that understands the latest market demand to help you grow your business, maintain clients and gain new patrons.
Customer service representative in the Philippines
Outsource Accelerator provides you access to great customer service representatives that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour. By doing this, you can save up to 70% on staffing costs.
We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about and engage with customer service outsourcing.
To get started with customer service outsourcing, take a look at our list of the Top 40 BPO Companies in the Philippines.
What is Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSAT)? What is customer satisfaction (CSAT)?
Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a popular key performance indicator that tracks customer satisfaction. The process involves a survey question or a set of questions.
The customers answer by indicating their level of satisfaction. The most popular scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being the least satisfied and 10 as the most satisfying level.
The result gives a business the necessary output whether or not to improve customer service right there and then. However, the possible ambiguity might be a disadvantage, especially if a customer is dissatisfied with the service. Why is CSAT important
CSAT tells a business about how satisfied their customers are with their services. From this, they can also understand the needs of their customers through feedback and comments they give in each survey.
The best timing to use this methodology is after-sales, before the renewal of subscription, and after customer support. These times are crucial especially for repeat customers.
With this, a business should have first-hand knowledge of its customer satisfaction. A simple interview or a feedback form after a sale would do. How to calculate CSAT?
Calculating a CSAT score is pretty straightforward.
All you have to do is add the positive responses together, divide them by the total number of responses collected, then multiplied by 100. The outcome leaves you with the overall percentage of customer satisfaction in your business.
For example, if 50 people took part in your survey and 30 of them gave positive feedback — your CSAT score would then be 60%
(30 positive responses / 50 total responses = .60 x 100 = 60%).
This indicates that while the majority of your clients are satisfied with your service, you can still improve it to better serve your customers. CSAT in outsourcing
Customer satisfaction score might be the simplest metric but it’s a powerful tool for all businesses. It closes the loop on first customer interaction and helps businesses move on to the next level.
Computation is quick and easy. You add up all the ratings and divide the total score by the number of respondents. Most likely, you’ll get a percentage.
Get your customer satisfaction score a notch higher by outsourcing your customer service team. Check out Outsource Accelerator’s extensive list of outsourcing companies in the Philippines.
What is Escalation? What is escalation?
Escalation is when the first-hand customer service representative was not able to resolve a complaint raised by the customer. Complaints are then raised to tier-2 agents who can give better solutions to the problems. These tier-2 agents have better knowledge about the matter.
The most common recipients of escalations are team supervisors. Therefore, team supervisors are expected to be experts on the processes and procedures of the company that they are representing.
Customers tend to be on the verge of their emotions when seeking escalations; thus, the senior agent who will handle the escalation should always be prepared. Professionalism and being courteous are required when dealing with irate customers. What is an escalation process?
An escalation process is out in place to clarify the boundaries and channels of decision-making throughout an organization. It helps sales representatives in solving a customer’s problems quickly and with clarity.
Designed around the whole customer service operations, this process outlines a path that allows the customer service reps to make decisions that reflect the rules of the management.
It minimizes the time it takes to escalate decisions that are beyond their scope of authority.
An efficient escalation process helps minimize service delays, drives employee accountability, and saves both the customer’s and rep’s time and energy.
With a defined system on how to deal with client escalations, customer support agents can act faster and reduce the severity of the situation. Managing escalations
Escalations are expected to be controlled or restrained and are considered essential in the Business Processing Industry (BPO) industry.
The best customer service outsourcing companies should be brimming with fully-equipped professionals who can handle complaints, and find immediate resolutions for the client.
One should expect to work with people who have been given proper training and handled by experienced team managers who can brush off escalations easily and with the highest level of restraint and professionalism.
Outsource Accelerator has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn more about managing an outsourcing team and ensuring that escalations are handled properly.
What is What is business process outsourcing? What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?
Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.
Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following. Payroll
In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.
BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.
With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.
Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees. How does Business Process Outsourcing work?
Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.
It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.
Now, business process outsourcing has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing. What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?
There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. The common benefits include: Cost savings
Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India. Global market
Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries. Global presence
At the same time, business process outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area. Flexible workforce
BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm. Leverage skill
Companies cannot always do everything on their own. BPO enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT. Focus
Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider. Business process outsourcing examples
The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.
BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team. Some examples of BPO include: Big enterprise
Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber Medium-size businesses
A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines. Small business and entrepreneur
It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines. What are the different types of BPO?
The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size. Generalist or specialist BPOs
Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.
Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following. Legal process outsourcing
Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.
Knowledge process outsourcing
Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives. Location
Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages. Size of BPO
The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people. Functions of business process outsourcing
Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include: Finance and accounting
Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss. Healthcare
Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries. Creative and content
Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content. Tech, IT and development
IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries. Sales & customer support
Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase. Marketing
BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way. Talent and HR
Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management. Administration
Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions. Supply chain management
Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes. Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs
A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.
Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below. Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services
With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.
Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.
Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ BPOs from different locations.
Outsource Accelerator's offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.
Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!