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Building a Thriving Customer Support Team | Customers, Etc

Building a Thriving Customer Support Team | Customers, Etc
By Ben McCormack • Issue #37 • View online

The main content of this week’s newsletter is an interview I did with Boldr on Building a Thriving Customer Support Team. In that interview, I answer 3 questions:
  1. What do you think is the biggest roadblock for companies wanting to change their mindset as they transition from focusing on the numbers to focusing on people?
  2. Can you briefly describe some key features of an environment where customer support agents can flourish?
  3. One of the biggest myths around outsourcing customer support is that it is detrimental to the in-house customer support team. What do you think are the key factors to consider when pursuing outsourcing, and what characteristics would you look for when selecting an outsourced CS team?
If reading my answers to those questions is of interest you, go read the interview!
For those of you still reading the newsletter, or perhaps those of you who may have already read through the interview, I’ll provide a bit of a background about how that interview came to be. I’ll also share a bit about why you might give Boldr a look if you’re a Customer Experience leader in the market for Business Process Outsourcer (BPO).
Photo by Bas van Wylick on Unsplash
Photo by Bas van Wylick on Unsplash
Thinking about exploitive customer service
Back in mid-October, Marjorie from Boldr reached out to me to ask if I’d be interested in doing an interview about scheduling customer support for the holidays. It’s a perfectly fine topic, and of course the timing was right, it’s just, I don’t know, scheduling support for the holidays, uh, it’s boring.
(Okay, okay, if you want my opinion: rather than assigning work schedules or asking people to sign up for work shifts, first have everybody sign up for vacation shifts—what are they dates and times they most want off during the holidays? Encourage everyone to be greedy because it’s important to take time away from work. Then, after everyone has their schedule in, ask people to sign up for work shifts. If there are gaps, see what people can do to creatively close them. It works.)
Anyway, I asked Marjorie if there were any recent topics in my newsletter archives that she might be interested in. She immediately came back with the article on Exploitive Customer Service, which was the one about Arise engaging in exploitive pseudo-employment practices with customer service professionals. I was still ruminating pretty heavily after having published that newsletter, so it was perfect timing and I was ready to dive in.
Even though the teams I’ve built have been on the smaller side compared to Arise, which is gargantuan, I was happy to share my story with Boldr about how I’ve approached building out customer support teams.
Why Boldr
I get requests to collaborate on content marketing from time to time and my default position is to say no, but this was different. First, the topic of building a thriving support team was top of mind for me because of the recent Arise article. But perhaps more importantly, Boldr is the type of BPO that I believe represents the positive side of customer service outsourcing, so I was happy to share my story with Boldr as the mouthpiece.
To give you an idea of who Boldr is, here’s their manifesto, taken from their website:
Boldr is a purpose-driven outsourcing company. We provide our partners with high-quality, custom solutions that include Customer Experience, Data Management, and Sales Enablement. Above all, we prioritize nurturing positive and measurable growth within our Clients, Company, and Community.
I started Boldr with the goal of revolutionizing the outsourcing industry in the Philippines. A tall order, right? Well, at 23, when I moved from my hometown in California to Manila, I realized that most outsourcing companies were focused on revenue and scaling their workforces. I wondered, why not set an example of how a company could be?
Since mentorship has played a huge role in my own career, I committed to building a company culture that invests in continual professional development, honoring each team member’s potential for long-term growth. In addition to that, I wanted to make sure that we were empowering the communities around us. So, we’ve partnered with nonprofits to provide long-term, sustainable support to the under-resourced youth in our communities.
The best part? Our model works. Over the past two years, 70% of our new business has come from referrals. Within Boldr, we’ve promoted 14% of our team members and seen under 5% in voluntary turnover (compared to an industry average of 20% turnover). We’ve also logged over 4,338 volunteer hours with our community partners and supported 43 young scholars worldwide.
As Boldr grows, we’ll continue to be purpose-driven. We’re committed to making it the standard for outsourcing companies to upskill their workforce and connect their talent pool with social good.
David Sudolsky, CEO / Founder
So good! This isn’t an advertisement for Boldr, but if you’re a CX leader exploring working with a BPO, you should consider reaching out.
If you’ve made it to the end of this newsletter, hit reply and tell me what you look for when it comes to building a thriving customer support team. What’s your approach?
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ben McCormack

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