Onboarding Outsourced Customer Service Teams: Tips and Best Practices


WRITTEN BY Tina Miller ON 14 June 2023

You’ve hired an outsourced customer service team. Great! Now what?

Navigating the world of outsourced customer service can often feel like learning to drive a stick shift vehicle in a bustling city centre—confusing, slightly chaotic and with an acute sense of pressure. However, much like mastering that tricky clutch-gear interplay, successfully onboarding an outsourced customer service team is all about understanding the rules of the road and practising until it becomes second nature.

Step One: Building a Bridge of Understanding

Clear Communication: More Than Just Lip Service

Clear, effective communication is at the heart of all successful relationships. This is no less true when you’re working with an outsourced customer service team. You need to translate your brand vision into something that your outsourced team can understand and implement. 

You wouldn’t leave a pilot without a flight plan, would you?

Here, your task is to create a comprehensive communication strategy that ensures your new partners are in sync with your company’s goals, culture and standards.

Dive Deep into Company Culture

Every company has its unique quirks, its distinctive heartbeat. But how do you transmit your company’s ethos to a team that might be halfway around the world? By creating a cultural immersion programme. Think of it as a deep dive into the essence of your business, like a scuba diver exploring a coral reef.

Step Two: Establishing Trust and Accountability

Mutual Trust: The Unseen Glue

Building trust is akin to building a castle. It takes time, patience and hard work, but once it’s there, it stands firm against most adversities. And let’s be clear here, trust isn’t a one-way street. It’s a mutual agreement, a bridge built from both ends. So how do you build trust with an outsourced team? Transparency, clear expectations and a well-defined accountability structure are your best bricks.

The Accountability Quotient: Clear Roles and Responsibilities

Imagine a football match where no one knows their position or the rules. Sounds like mayhem, doesn’t it? It’s crucial to establish clear roles, responsibilities and expectations from the get-go. It’s not just about preventing confusion—it’s about creating a well-oiled machine that knows when and how to move.

Craving more insights like these? Dive deeper into the world of virtual services with these recommended read:

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Step Three: Learning and Development

Upskilling: The Never-Ending Journey

Learning is to the mind what exercise is to the body—a necessary stimulus for growth and strength. Investing in upskilling and training for your outsourced team not only improves their competency but also boosts morale and productivity. And who doesn’t want a team of confident, competent customer service representatives who can ride the waves of challenges like seasoned surfers?

Regular Feedback: The Constructive Criticism Conundrum

We’ve all been there—receiving criticism, no matter how constructive, can be a bitter pill to swallow. However, regular, thoughtful feedback is a crucial ingredient in the recipe for success. It’s the compass that guides your team, showing them when they’re off course and how to steer back.

Step Four: Ensuring Quality and Consistency

Quality Assurance: The Unsung Hero

When we bite into our favourite chocolate bar, we expect a certain taste, a specific experience. That’s the magic of consistency—it creates trust and loyalty. The same rule applies to your customer service. Regular quality checks ensure that your customer experience remains consistent, regardless of who’s at the helm.

Celebrate Success: The Power of Positive Reinforcement

What’s sweeter than the taste of success? The taste of success celebrated. Recognising and celebrating the achievements of your outsourced team not only boosts morale but also encourages the repetition of successful behaviours. It’s the sugar on top of a well-baked cake.

Final Thoughts: The Symphony of Success

Partnership, Not Ownership

It’s important to remember that your outsourced customer service team isn’t just an extension of your business—they’re your partners. Treating them as such, and nurturing that partnership, is the key to unlocking a harmonious and productive relationship.

Onboarding an outsourced customer service team isn’t a walk in the park. It’s more akin to conducting an orchestra. It requires patience, precision and a deep understanding of all the instruments at play. But, once you hit that perfect note, the music it creates is well worth the effort.

So, are you ready to take on the conductor’s role and create a symphony of customer service success? The stage is all yours.