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Should an E-commerce Business Outsource Customer Support Services?

Krutant Iyer
October 28, 2022
9
min read

The pandemic induced lockdown brought about a very important change in the customers’ shopping pattern. From essentials like groceries and food deliveries, to non-essential items like furniture, fashion accessories, customers around the world have turned to online shopping like a firefly to light.  

Meanwhile, e-commerce entrepreneurs have also come to realise that they aren’t just selling products, but a wholesome experience. From contactless deliveries to instantaneous customer support, e-commerce businesses have had to evolve rapidly over the past couple of years.  

Customer service is the foundation on which e-commerce businesses builds the structure for a loyal customer base. In such a scenario, if the pillars supporting the structure are weak, it can bring the entire business down like dominoes.  

Given their lean set-up, it often becomes difficult for many online business entrepreneurs to deliver best customer support experience for their customers. This is where customer service outsourcing comes into play.

What Is E-commerce Customer Service Outsourcing?

E-commerce customer service outsourcing is the practice of allocating the management of customer support enquiries to a third-party provider or contact centre.  

Outsourcing enquiry management for technical and marketing communications is a common practice in many industries. Especially in banking and financial services and e-commerce sector.  

Have you ever received calls from representatives of your bank or financial institution, trying to get you to upgrade your credit card or avail their low-interest loans? There’s a high chance of the caller being part of a similar outsourced service provider that the financial institution partnered with to manage their outbound and inbound communications, leaving them to concentrate on doing what they do best, i.e., provide you with quality services and products.

Should You Outsource E-commerce Customer Support or Set-up an In-house Team?

Now that we know what customer service outsourcing is, let’s look at some scenarios to determine whether your business needs to outsource customer support services or manage customer expectations in-house.

Outsource If the Training Costs Are High Provide In-house Real-Time Training at No Extra Cost


Like we mentioned earlier, many e-commerce businesses in their earlier stages have a lean set-up and struggle to rationally allocate their resources.
 

In such scenarios, when the cost of outsourcing customer support service is less than the cost of hiring and training new staff, and investing the technical infrastructure to power the conversations, it leads to greater savings without compromising on the quality of customers’ experience with your online store. 


If you are like most e-commerce entrepreneurs who bootstrapped their way to the top, you would appreciate a low-cost, hi-tech CX solution like CINNOX that eliminates the need to juggle between multiple channels and platforms with its omnichannel communication platform.

You can start by labelling your customer interactions and segmenting the data into various categories. This labelled data not only empowers you to train your support staff in real-time, using actual feedback received from customers, but also ensures first-time resolution for commonly asked queries.  

Outsource If Delivering Real-time Support Is Not Feasible Easily Build In-House Borderless Support Centre


Customer support services is an extension of the products sold on an e-commerce store. It is not a one-time deal.
Customers and their expectations have evolved with the times we live in. The pandemic-induced lockdown was responsible for the great online shift in shopping behaviour. Unlike in-store shopping, where customers can walk up to the customer care representatives, online pretty much involves self-exploration and purchasing. Customers miss the human-touch, and in-store aided shopping experience. 

If an e-commerce store is unable to provide customer assistance in real-time, it makes sense to outsource the communication to a third-party contact centre to manage customer expectations and be available for them 24/7.  


Most e-commerce businesses are not limited by geographical boundaries when it comes to serving their customers or delivering a shipment of products. In order to build a global business, it is imperative to provide real-time support across multiple time-zones, converse with customers in their language, and build brand affinity with shoppers in new ways.
 

Unlike earlier, it is now very easy to engage with customers, empower your customer facing team, and build geo-targeted and personalised experiences from any corner of the world with a virtual phone system from CINNOX. You can easily set-up an in-house, borderless customer support service to provide 24/7/365 support to your customers in their own language.

Having said that, delivering round-the-clock customer support across multiple time-zones may not always be possible, or necessary. Instead, e-commerce businesses can empower their customers to seek self-help by strengthening their knowledgebase with extensive product and service-related information. Businesses can make use of self-assist tools like an intelligent AI bot or an interactive IVR menu to empower their customers to seek answers to commonly asked questions on their own. These self-assist tools can also be used to qualify leads, leaving your customer support agents to focus on important tasks that drive growth.

Outsource Customer Support for Channel Diversification Gain Competitive Advantage with In-house Omnichannel Strategy


Simply put, when your competitors are offering customer support services only on limited channels, you have a massive opportunity to position yourself as a customer-centric business by offering support services in multiple channels.
 

A third-party contact centre can help your business provide support services across multiple channels, leaving you to focus on your core competencies.


Although the benefits of outsourcing customer support to an external contact centre are manifold, it also results in loss of important customer data. By adapting an omnichannel approach you can provide both, digital and telephony customer service, backed by total experience solution like CINNOX. It opens the communication door for your customers to seek support from your business from any channel of their choosing. From Live Chat, WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, Facebook Messenger, to Calls, Video Calls, IVR, SMS, and emails; your customers would have the option to connect with your business as per their convenience.
 

Adopting an omnichannel strategy immediately gives you an edge over your competitors, and the results will reflect in higher customer retention rate, a drop in cart abandonment and RTO percentages. It also ensures that your customers’ interaction history and data is available for you to be able to derive key insights and base your growth plans on. 

Advantages of Adapting an Omnichannel Support Strategy for your E-store

Customers expect your business to meet their needs on more than just your website. A wholesome e-commerce experience is beyond the transactional relation between customers and you, it also comprises of the experience your customers receive from discovery to advocacy stage.

Let's understand this with an example of a furniture store.  

Usually, customers prefer purchasing furniture and electronics from a physical store, but over the past few years, many such customers have migrated to shopping online.  

EXAMPLE: Imagine that a customer has bought a beautiful nordic solid wood dining table from an online furniture store. But when the customer receives the delivery, he notices that one of the legs of the dining table is missing. The customer clicks a picture of the disassembled furniture and then goes on to scan the QR code pasted on the packaging it arrived in. He is immediately connected to a live chat support personnel, who then proceeds to help the customer. After the customers shares the image of the furniture’s missing leg as proof, the support agent initiates the free-exchange procedure and arranges for pick-up, while also emailing a gift coupon to the customer for the inconvenience.

This is a straightforward scenario, but we can see how this furniture store was able to provide a no-nonsense, phygital experience to the customer that is not frustrating and will even encourage the customer to continue shopping with the same store in future.  

Let’s explore some key advantages of adapting an omnichannel communication strategy for your online store.

A. 24/7/365 Access to Highly Specialised Workforce

An e-commerce business operated beyond the geographical boundaries and the pressure of maintaining consistent, quality customer support services for all the customers can quickly overwhelm the business owners.  

A growing e-commerce store must invest in a specialised customer-facing team that is well-equipped to manage customer support and drive marketing initiatives remotely, from anywhere in the world.  

Backed by a powerful CX solution like CINNOX that enables businesses to intelligently routecustomer enquiries to the right agent or department based on the expertise, you can configure routing rules based on language, location, time, or even history of interaction. The mode of communication can seamlessly switch from chat to call or even a conference call to satisfy a customer’s need to the optimum level.  

An omnichannel platform also business to build a highly specialised virtual team that is not restricted by edifices and can operate remotely to support the growth vision of the business.

B. Speaking the Customer’s Language

60% customers expect to interact with customer support experts in their native language. CINNOX’s web widget is equipped with the capabilities to route enquiries based on the customer’s browser language setting, turn live chat into a web call or video call, a proactively guide customers through their shopping journey with smart greeting, and have an all-inclusive visibility of labelled customer interaction data at all times, and more. Thus, positioning your customer service team to not just match, but exceed customer expectations.  

CINNOX’s lean-tech, cloud-based communication solution empowers you to set-up virtual teams all over the world to be able to service customers in their own languages, which can be determined based on the customer’s browser language settings.

This not only acts as a strong foundation for building trust between the customers and business, but also helps e-commerce businesses in expanding their global reach without needing to maintain a physical presence in all countries.

C. Access to State-of-the-art CX Technology

When communication channels are managed in siloes, businesses are left with fragmented data that fails to provide a wholesome picture of the customer expectations.  

CINNOX’s solution is able to bridge the gaps between datacom, telecom, and internet networks to provide reliable communications solutions across protocols, devices, and services. From intelligent routing, data retention, and customer journey mapper to an all-in-one convergent solution a total-experience CX solution helps unifying various touchpoints of customer journey, from attraction and engagement to support and retention.  

Businesses can also derive benefit from a comprehensive communication platform by leveraging the powerful APIs and tech integrations to improve your workflow automations by bringing over their tech-stack to a single interface for synchronised management.

D. Focus on Core Competencies

After your e-commerce store crosses a certain threshold, you will find it necessary to work together with several partners to manage your fulfilment process. Scaling operations would require you to tie up with 3PL partners, who can provide you warehouse and shipping facilities.  

When communicating with multiple suppliers, partners, affiliates, resellers, an e-commerce business needs a sound solution to avoid information loopholes during important shopping events such as year-end holiday season, or festive occasions.  

For businesses to be able to focus on improving their products and services, it is important to maintain a resilient communication flow between multiple external and internal parties.  

You can even conduct pre-sales and after-purchase surveys by bringing over your support email to CINNOX. An SMS survey campaign takes only few minutes to kickstart and can prove handy in gaining key insights into product’s reception and helps understand the areas of improvements.

E. Offer Personalisation at Scale

Without an agile system in place, the growing global customer base can quickly overwhelm any business. It is easier to provide personalised services and communicate on a one-to-one basis with your customers when the business is still in its nascent stage, but when it comes to managing the expectations of customers from different walks of life, and from distributed geographies things can quickly go south.  

Amid the changing macroeconomic conditions, e-commerce store owners need to adapt a proactive approach to be able meet the demand for personalised services across every touchpoint based on immediate context as well as previously observed behaviour. As the cost of advertising continues to rise, e-commerce business around the world have come to realise the importance of retaining customers is far less than the cost of acquiring new customers. Without a unified communication tool businesses are left with disjointed experiences that fails to tie the physical, in-store experience with digital store’s shopping experience.  

CINNOX CX solution comes packed with 360-degree interaction history, that enables customer support agents to view all the previous interactions and get context about the customer’s enquiry and situation, allowing them to provide personalised service.  

Business owners with brick-and-mortar stores can also extend their support services by embedding a QR link to their dedicated customer support staff in their product packaging or debit receipt so that the customers can seek instant-assistance. Embedding a QR Code not only helps the customers, but also helps businesses in keeping a track of customer interaction data.


Irrespective of which stage of growth your business in in, you can guide customers along the purchase journey from awareness to sale and beyond with rich, multimedia support. If you are just starting out with your ecommerce store, you should subscribe to our Digital Commerce Plan that is not only affordable, but it immediately puts you in the big leagues when it comes to managing customers experience on your website. If you are looking to scale your business globally, then you can opt for the omnichannel contact centre plan that will add wings to your growth plan.

By subscribing you agree to with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The pandemic induced lockdown brought about a very important change in the customers’ shopping pattern. From essentials like groceries and food deliveries, to non-essential items like furniture, fashion accessories, customers around the world have turned to online shopping like a firefly to light.  

Meanwhile, e-commerce entrepreneurs have also come to realise that they aren’t just selling products, but a wholesome experience. From contactless deliveries to instantaneous customer support, e-commerce businesses have had to evolve rapidly over the past couple of years.  

Customer service is the foundation on which e-commerce businesses builds the structure for a loyal customer base. In such a scenario, if the pillars supporting the structure are weak, it can bring the entire business down like dominoes.  

Given their lean set-up, it often becomes difficult for many online business entrepreneurs to deliver best customer support experience for their customers. This is where customer service outsourcing comes into play.

What Is E-commerce Customer Service Outsourcing?

E-commerce customer service outsourcing is the practice of allocating the management of customer support enquiries to a third-party provider or contact centre.  

Outsourcing enquiry management for technical and marketing communications is a common practice in many industries. Especially in banking and financial services and e-commerce sector.  

Have you ever received calls from representatives of your bank or financial institution, trying to get you to upgrade your credit card or avail their low-interest loans? There’s a high chance of the caller being part of a similar outsourced service provider that the financial institution partnered with to manage their outbound and inbound communications, leaving them to concentrate on doing what they do best, i.e., provide you with quality services and products.

Should You Outsource E-commerce Customer Support or Set-up an In-house Team?

Now that we know what customer service outsourcing is, let’s look at some scenarios to determine whether your business needs to outsource customer support services or manage customer expectations in-house.

Outsource If the Training Costs Are High Provide In-house Real-Time Training at No Extra Cost


Like we mentioned earlier, many e-commerce businesses in their earlier stages have a lean set-up and struggle to rationally allocate their resources.
 

In such scenarios, when the cost of outsourcing customer support service is less than the cost of hiring and training new staff, and investing the technical infrastructure to power the conversations, it leads to greater savings without compromising on the quality of customers’ experience with your online store. 


If you are like most e-commerce entrepreneurs who bootstrapped their way to the top, you would appreciate a low-cost, hi-tech CX solution like CINNOX that eliminates the need to juggle between multiple channels and platforms with its omnichannel communication platform.

You can start by labelling your customer interactions and segmenting the data into various categories. This labelled data not only empowers you to train your support staff in real-time, using actual feedback received from customers, but also ensures first-time resolution for commonly asked queries.  

Outsource If Delivering Real-time Support Is Not Feasible Easily Build In-House Borderless Support Centre


Customer support services is an extension of the products sold on an e-commerce store. It is not a one-time deal.
Customers and their expectations have evolved with the times we live in. The pandemic-induced lockdown was responsible for the great online shift in shopping behaviour. Unlike in-store shopping, where customers can walk up to the customer care representatives, online pretty much involves self-exploration and purchasing. Customers miss the human-touch, and in-store aided shopping experience. 

If an e-commerce store is unable to provide customer assistance in real-time, it makes sense to outsource the communication to a third-party contact centre to manage customer expectations and be available for them 24/7.  


Most e-commerce businesses are not limited by geographical boundaries when it comes to serving their customers or delivering a shipment of products. In order to build a global business, it is imperative to provide real-time support across multiple time-zones, converse with customers in their language, and build brand affinity with shoppers in new ways.
 

Unlike earlier, it is now very easy to engage with customers, empower your customer facing team, and build geo-targeted and personalised experiences from any corner of the world with a virtual phone system from CINNOX. You can easily set-up an in-house, borderless customer support service to provide 24/7/365 support to your customers in their own language.

Having said that, delivering round-the-clock customer support across multiple time-zones may not always be possible, or necessary. Instead, e-commerce businesses can empower their customers to seek self-help by strengthening their knowledgebase with extensive product and service-related information. Businesses can make use of self-assist tools like an intelligent AI bot or an interactive IVR menu to empower their customers to seek answers to commonly asked questions on their own. These self-assist tools can also be used to qualify leads, leaving your customer support agents to focus on important tasks that drive growth.

Outsource Customer Support for Channel Diversification Gain Competitive Advantage with In-house Omnichannel Strategy


Simply put, when your competitors are offering customer support services only on limited channels, you have a massive opportunity to position yourself as a customer-centric business by offering support services in multiple channels.
 

A third-party contact centre can help your business provide support services across multiple channels, leaving you to focus on your core competencies.


Although the benefits of outsourcing customer support to an external contact centre are manifold, it also results in loss of important customer data. By adapting an omnichannel approach you can provide both, digital and telephony customer service, backed by total experience solution like CINNOX. It opens the communication door for your customers to seek support from your business from any channel of their choosing. From Live Chat, WhatsApp, WeChat, LINE, Facebook Messenger, to Calls, Video Calls, IVR, SMS, and emails; your customers would have the option to connect with your business as per their convenience.
 

Adopting an omnichannel strategy immediately gives you an edge over your competitors, and the results will reflect in higher customer retention rate, a drop in cart abandonment and RTO percentages. It also ensures that your customers’ interaction history and data is available for you to be able to derive key insights and base your growth plans on. 

Advantages of Adapting an Omnichannel Support Strategy for your E-store

Customers expect your business to meet their needs on more than just your website. A wholesome e-commerce experience is beyond the transactional relation between customers and you, it also comprises of the experience your customers receive from discovery to advocacy stage.

Let's understand this with an example of a furniture store.  

Usually, customers prefer purchasing furniture and electronics from a physical store, but over the past few years, many such customers have migrated to shopping online.  

EXAMPLE: Imagine that a customer has bought a beautiful nordic solid wood dining table from an online furniture store. But when the customer receives the delivery, he notices that one of the legs of the dining table is missing. The customer clicks a picture of the disassembled furniture and then goes on to scan the QR code pasted on the packaging it arrived in. He is immediately connected to a live chat support personnel, who then proceeds to help the customer. After the customers shares the image of the furniture’s missing leg as proof, the support agent initiates the free-exchange procedure and arranges for pick-up, while also emailing a gift coupon to the customer for the inconvenience.

This is a straightforward scenario, but we can see how this furniture store was able to provide a no-nonsense, phygital experience to the customer that is not frustrating and will even encourage the customer to continue shopping with the same store in future.  

Let’s explore some key advantages of adapting an omnichannel communication strategy for your online store.

A. 24/7/365 Access to Highly Specialised Workforce

An e-commerce business operated beyond the geographical boundaries and the pressure of maintaining consistent, quality customer support services for all the customers can quickly overwhelm the business owners.  

A growing e-commerce store must invest in a specialised customer-facing team that is well-equipped to manage customer support and drive marketing initiatives remotely, from anywhere in the world.  

Backed by a powerful CX solution like CINNOX that enables businesses to intelligently routecustomer enquiries to the right agent or department based on the expertise, you can configure routing rules based on language, location, time, or even history of interaction. The mode of communication can seamlessly switch from chat to call or even a conference call to satisfy a customer’s need to the optimum level.  

An omnichannel platform also business to build a highly specialised virtual team that is not restricted by edifices and can operate remotely to support the growth vision of the business.

B. Speaking the Customer’s Language

60% customers expect to interact with customer support experts in their native language. CINNOX’s web widget is equipped with the capabilities to route enquiries based on the customer’s browser language setting, turn live chat into a web call or video call, a proactively guide customers through their shopping journey with smart greeting, and have an all-inclusive visibility of labelled customer interaction data at all times, and more. Thus, positioning your customer service team to not just match, but exceed customer expectations.  

CINNOX’s lean-tech, cloud-based communication solution empowers you to set-up virtual teams all over the world to be able to service customers in their own languages, which can be determined based on the customer’s browser language settings.

This not only acts as a strong foundation for building trust between the customers and business, but also helps e-commerce businesses in expanding their global reach without needing to maintain a physical presence in all countries.

C. Access to State-of-the-art CX Technology

When communication channels are managed in siloes, businesses are left with fragmented data that fails to provide a wholesome picture of the customer expectations.  

CINNOX’s solution is able to bridge the gaps between datacom, telecom, and internet networks to provide reliable communications solutions across protocols, devices, and services. From intelligent routing, data retention, and customer journey mapper to an all-in-one convergent solution a total-experience CX solution helps unifying various touchpoints of customer journey, from attraction and engagement to support and retention.  

Businesses can also derive benefit from a comprehensive communication platform by leveraging the powerful APIs and tech integrations to improve your workflow automations by bringing over their tech-stack to a single interface for synchronised management.

D. Focus on Core Competencies

After your e-commerce store crosses a certain threshold, you will find it necessary to work together with several partners to manage your fulfilment process. Scaling operations would require you to tie up with 3PL partners, who can provide you warehouse and shipping facilities.  

When communicating with multiple suppliers, partners, affiliates, resellers, an e-commerce business needs a sound solution to avoid information loopholes during important shopping events such as year-end holiday season, or festive occasions.  

For businesses to be able to focus on improving their products and services, it is important to maintain a resilient communication flow between multiple external and internal parties.  

You can even conduct pre-sales and after-purchase surveys by bringing over your support email to CINNOX. An SMS survey campaign takes only few minutes to kickstart and can prove handy in gaining key insights into product’s reception and helps understand the areas of improvements.

E. Offer Personalisation at Scale

Without an agile system in place, the growing global customer base can quickly overwhelm any business. It is easier to provide personalised services and communicate on a one-to-one basis with your customers when the business is still in its nascent stage, but when it comes to managing the expectations of customers from different walks of life, and from distributed geographies things can quickly go south.  

Amid the changing macroeconomic conditions, e-commerce store owners need to adapt a proactive approach to be able meet the demand for personalised services across every touchpoint based on immediate context as well as previously observed behaviour. As the cost of advertising continues to rise, e-commerce business around the world have come to realise the importance of retaining customers is far less than the cost of acquiring new customers. Without a unified communication tool businesses are left with disjointed experiences that fails to tie the physical, in-store experience with digital store’s shopping experience.  

CINNOX CX solution comes packed with 360-degree interaction history, that enables customer support agents to view all the previous interactions and get context about the customer’s enquiry and situation, allowing them to provide personalised service.  

Business owners with brick-and-mortar stores can also extend their support services by embedding a QR link to their dedicated customer support staff in their product packaging or debit receipt so that the customers can seek instant-assistance. Embedding a QR Code not only helps the customers, but also helps businesses in keeping a track of customer interaction data.


Irrespective of which stage of growth your business in in, you can guide customers along the purchase journey from awareness to sale and beyond with rich, multimedia support. If you are just starting out with your ecommerce store, you should subscribe to our Digital Commerce Plan that is not only affordable, but it immediately puts you in the big leagues when it comes to managing customers experience on your website. If you are looking to scale your business globally, then you can opt for the omnichannel contact centre plan that will add wings to your growth plan.

By subscribing you agree to with our Privacy Policy.
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

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