Outsourcing Customer Service: 10 Best Practices

31 Jul 2023 By: Michael Kansky


Offshore outsourcing has helped a lot of business become more efficient.

Choosing to outsource business tasks is a big move for growth. More businesses seek offshore outsourcing partners, and providers are increasing. About 66% of U.S. businesses outsource at least one department.

Deciding to outsource is just the start. Next, define your project’s scope, find a trusted partner, handle legal needs, and keep communication strong. This article covers ten key tips for outsourcing customer service

Key Takeaways

Offshore outsourcing demands thorough planning and strong practices for success.
Defining service requirements is key, including your customer service needs, expectations, and performance standards.
Picking the right outsourcing partner is essential. They must be dependable, skilled, diligent, and have experience with similar businesses.
Setting up solid communication channels with the outsourcing partner ensures quick issue resolution.
Establish clear SLAs, specifying benchmarks for resolution rates, response times, and customer satisfaction.
The chosen partner must prioritize data security, follow data protection laws, and secure customer information effectively.
Investing in detailed training for the partner firm ensures quality customer service and better represents your company.
Applying quality-assurance measures and regularly checking standards ensure consistent, high-quality customer service.
Feedback and improvement strategies refine customer service and streamline operations.
Creating a structured handover process ensures a smooth shift from in-house to outsourced work, reducing customer service disruptions.
Regular reviews and updates in the outsourcing partnership keep the relationship dynamic, adapting to changes.

Trending now

The latest GBS World Competitiveness Index has mixed things up in the outsourcing world! Interviews with executives from around the globe put countries like the Philippines, India, Malaysia, Mexico, and Poland in the spotlight for excelling in customer experience and back-office tasks. The Philippines snagged the top spot from India for back-office services, while Mexico and Poland shone for customer support and digital chats. Africa is stepping up as a go-to region for outsourcing, thanks to its young, smart workforce and cost-effectiveness, joining the ranks with the popular Asia-Pacific region. With a blend of old favorites and new faces leading the pack, the outsourcing landscape is getting a vibrant makeover.

In June, Outsource Accelerator saw a boom, with 639 inquiries from businesses looking to outsource 1,935 roles, reflecting a lively $58 million market. This uptick—2.5% more than May and a whopping 602% leap from last year—shows how the pandemic has pushed companies towards finding smarter, cost-effective ways to work. The platform connected 3,600 businesses with global talent over the past year, showcasing the demand for remote work that cuts costs but still taps into top skills. With a surge in website traffic and Derek Gallimore, the CEO, noting the pandemic’s role in reshaping work norms, it’s clear that outsourcing is not just surviving but thriving, especially as companies everywhere look to streamline and go global.

1. Clearly Define Service Requirements

As you talk to different offshore outsourcing partners, make sure your customer service needs, expectations, and performance standards are perfectly understood. This lets potential partners know what you expect and helps them create custom solutions for you. You don’t want to waste time on a team that can’t meet your service goals.

If you’re looking for a partner to handle online chats, calls, or multi-channel support, ensure they provide these services. If needed, put extra time into establishing expectations and asking questions. Doing this helps prevent issues and eliminates performance standard issues down the line.

2. Choose the Best Outsourcing Match

Selecting the best offshore partner is vital. It means giving a part of your business to another’s hands. Make sure they are dependable, skilled, and diligent.

When exploring outsourcing options, dive into customer feedback from multiple places. Check out case studies and chat with existing customers if you can. It’s key to find a partner experienced with businesses like yours. Consider using an agency to find a dedicated support team that communicates well.

A good method to find an offshore outsourcing partner is through your network. Often, friends or colleagues can recommend a reliable company. Although not the top priority, it’s also wise to choose a partner that aligns with your company culture.

3. Establish Strong Communication Channels 

After starting an outsourcing partnership, stay in touch regularly. Schedule weekly or monthly meetings. Ensure there’s a fast way for both you and your partner to communicate.

Open communication channels greatly reduce the time it takes to correct problems. Regular meetings can ensure that minor customer service issues are addressed before they escalate into major problems.

4. Set Clear Service-Level Agreements (SLAs)

Setting clear SLAs is an important part of forming a partnership with customer service providers.Feel free to set clear goals for resolution rates, response times, and customer happiness. Remember, your company’s success and reputation are on the line if service quality drops.

But also, be fair and avoid setting unrealistic expectations for your outsourcing partner. No company will be able to deliver perfection. Make sure that the SLAs are reachable, and both parties will be happy. 

5. Prioritize Data Security and Privacy 

Outsourcing, especially to other countries, can raise security and privacy issues. Different countries have different data protection laws, making it tricky to share customer information.

Ensure your outsourcing partner puts data security and privacy first. What are their internal practices around security and privacy? Are they able to adapt to the measures you’ll put in place to secure your customers’ private information? The customer service team handles a lot of personal data. No one wants to tell their customers about a data breach.

If you’re working with a call-center, check they use secure software and train their staff in protecting customer data.

6 Ways to Ensure the Best Customer Service

6. Invest in Comprehensive Training

Some of the most popular departments to outsource include IT and customer support operations. These departments need to know your company and what it offers inside out. Plan on thorough training to bring your outsourcing partner up to par. You can expect them to do internal training as well, but providing training yourself is the quickest way to ensure quality customer service.

As you’re monitoring calls, interactions, and metrics, don’t hesitate to provide training to correct any issues with poor customer service as you see them. You might ask your outsourcing partner to provide training for specific call center agents and new agents, assuming you’re confident in their level of knowledge.

An outsourcing partner needs to know your company’s mission, products, services, and brand values if they want to represent your business well.

7. Implement Quality-Assurance Measures

Outsourcing needs ongoing attention, just like managing an in-house team. Set up quality checks to maintain standards. These might include listening to recorded customer interactions or live customer service calls, reviewing customer feedback after an interaction, reviewing chat support records, and reviewing all recent metrics to make sure quality standards are being met. 

You should never assume or hope that your customers will receive quality service. You can best do this through quality-assurance measures. This doesn’t mean you’re listening to every call and checking every email thread. Keep checking in to make sure the service quality stays up to standard.

8.Promote Feedback and Continuous Growth

Your outsourced team might be helping other companies with similar needs. Because of their experience, they may have feedback that could streamline your customer service strategy. Be open to hearing from them and listening to their suggestions.

Listen to the feedback of your customer base as well. See how they are responding to your new service team. Note any commonalities that indicate a problem in the service, if they exist. Keep a close eye on customer feedback, especially at the beginning. You may need to refine your new approach to customer support.

9. Create a Seamless Handover Process

The transition between in-house and outsourced work can be complicated. In the case of customer service, there are likely multiple customer service tickets in various stages of the customer support journey. Eventually, you’ll need to plan the timing and method for handing over this work to your outsourcing partner.

Whatever your approach, have a plan. Moving forward without one could lead to overlooked customers and frustration with your service. Your customer retention could be seriously affected if this handover is done poorly.

10. Regularly Review and Improve the Partnership

Businesses grow and change with time. The customer service industry is always changing. Your outsourcing partnership may need to change and grow as well. Periodically review your partnership. Look for ways to improve and streamline your relationship. 

Furthermore, as your business changes and adds new products, pause and consider if your strategic partner still meets your evolving needs. If they can’t meet your new needs, talk to them. They might adjust to suit you, or you might need to find a new partner who aligns better with your business’s direction.

Outsourcing customer service can cut costs and bring major perks, yet it’s not without its challenges. Stick to the best practices, and you can sidestep typical problems, secure a solid partner, and join the businesses thriving with outsourced support.

Offshore outsourcing FAQ


Offshore outsourcing can eventually boost business growth, but it’s not straightforward. It demands careful planning, choosing the right partner, ensuring solid communication, setting realistic agreements, and prioritizing data security. Each decision is crucial for the success of your outsourcing journey.

Keeping up with thorough training, quality checks, feedback, and smooth transitions is key to boosting customer service. Regularly evaluating the partnership and being open to changes can enhance its value. Properly managed, outsourcing customer service can be a win, driving customer happiness and business growth.

Customer Service Outsourcing Guide
Michael Kansky

Michael Kansky, Founder of LiveHelpNow and HelpSquad, has leveraged his 20 years of industry experience and innovative support strategies to revolutionize customer service approaches, making LiveHelpNow a leading customer service software provider, and establishing HelpSquad as a bridge between businesses and customer needs. You may contact Michael on LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mkansky/