Outsourcing Basic Support/Front of House

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Matt Kitch
Matt Kitch Member Posts: 5 Seeker
Hi guys!

First time poster, so please tell me if this isn't relevant, but at FileInvite we have Support under CS and I'm trying to free my CS agents up as much as possible, from doing support, or front of house activities.

Therefore we are looking to outsource support for what we call tier 0.5 - basically anything that can be scripted or for setting appointments to our CS agents, and filling gaps so we have 24/7 coverage.

This is to empower our Tier 1 and above agents to be more productive and focus on escalations, and actually making customers Successful!

Has anyone got any recommendations for outsourced contact centers fit for these purposes? We ideally would like something that is pay for contact as we don't expect large volumes on them.
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  • Markus Siebeneick
    Markus Siebeneick Member Posts: 33 Expert
    edited September 2020
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    This is interesting as you mention you don't see a high volume of touches for the First Level Support team.
    Before I jump into some solutions, I guess the question would be what tooling and automation have you already looked into.
    There are some really great support tools for these types of templated responses that you might want to provide.
    Using something like https://summit.csdemoday.com/talks/insided-demo/ community for answering questions via the community or kb can be a way to help offset some of the support.

    Previously, I have used both Upwork and Narrasoft to build-out tier 1 support teams similar to the scenario you are describing.  
    If it is a really limited engagement, you might be able to get someone via Upwork to work on a per-incident basis.
    https://www.linkedin.com/company/narrasoft/  - talk to Phil about what you are thinking about.
  • Matt Kitch
    Matt Kitch Member Posts: 5 Seeker
    edited September 2020
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    Thanks for this Markus, I'll take a look

    My main goal is someone who is there so that if we did have a major incident they could triage and raise the alarm, and help buffer our engineering team, and mean our CS agents can remove themself from this kind of monitoring.

    The Insided Demo looks great for as we scale even further!
  • Pippa Parker
    Pippa Parker Member Posts: 1 Navigator
    edited September 2020
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    Hi Matt,

    This sounds very similar to where my team is at the moment. We have an increasing number of international customers and are looking to add in additional coverage over American time zones (we are based in the UK). We have been speaking to a few support-as-a-service companies such as 'The saasy people' and 'Support your app'. We haven't committed to either yet but might be worth checking them out.

    Thanks,
    Pippa  
  • Matt Kitch
    Matt Kitch Member Posts: 5 Seeker
    edited October 2020
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    Thanks Pippa

    Would be great to hear who you end up going with, will take a look ?
  • Broc Bebout
    Broc Bebout Member Posts: 2 Navigator
    edited January 2022
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    Hi @Matt Kitch and @Pippa Parker...would you be open to updating this thread on what you ended up going with and any learnings? I'm going through something similar as Pippa as we have customers in both the US and EU and are looking to outsource some very basic Level 1 support to cover our non-core US hours. Volume is very minimal at the moment but anticipate it growing in the 2nd half of the year.

    Thanks for any guidance you can share!
  • Matt Kitch
    Matt Kitch Member Posts: 5 Seeker
    edited January 2022
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    Hi Broc

    Thanks for reaching out,

    We did implement a contact center approach, but couldn't find any pay-per-contact models, in the end, we were paying low-cost operators out of the Philippines. This was through an office that managed the team from a contract/general admin purpose, and we leveraged and managed them from the workload side.

    This wasn't the best approach and we are now looking to do direct hiring again (We already had a couple of direct hires that worked well, but were looking to scale faster) as the overhead of someone between the team members led to us not knowing how much the agent actually got paid (As the manager between them managed that) and also a feeling of them not being as involved in our culture, with the intermediaries office culture creeping in as well (Which we couldn't control). 

    So I think the main learning for us is to hire directly in the Philippines, as then you control the pay & also the culture that gets instilled.

    Start off seeing if you can find someone to do checking in every hour or 2 hours (Whatever works for your business), and gradually increase their hours as they grow. I think when interviewing candidates it's really important to set this expectation early as well, i.e. right now the role is 4 hours a day, spread out across these checkins, but we hope to grow it over the next 1, 2 or 3 years (Whatever is appropriate).

    The other side is the internal resources to support these team members, hand books, process guides etc, so they feel supported as well.

    Another final learning is that a lot of 'Support center' roles in the Philippines are for hardware companies such as telecoms, so finding a person who is comfortable learning software/educating people on using software/not running off of a script is also super valuable as those that only have telecom  experience are used to scripts which can make them struggle in a software support role (Even things we think are basic level 1 tasks!)

    Hopefully this provides some insights ?