watch out for outsourcing sirens

A quarter of French companies use the services of an outsourcer in the context of customer relations. If this solution offers multiple advantages, primarily financial, don’t they have consequences on the quality of service provided to the end consumer? The debate is open!

In some business sectors, such as telephony or energy, calling an external service provider to manage customer relationships is common. This outsourcing system makes it possible to manage a large flow of customer contacts at record cost.

A solution that is so attractive that it was adopted by a quarter of French companies in 2019, i.e. 20% more than four years ago. Among outsourced customer contact centers, more than half (52.3%) are outsourced to sites in France, 12% in other European countries, and the rest off the coast, further afield. destinations.

Although is there not a risk of losing control, but also a reduction in the quality of a service that is too far from the heart of the company? Is this practice consistent with a quality customer experience and an organization customer -centered ?

If a company’s only motivation for outsourcing is financial motivation, the outcome is likely to be unfavorable. “If a company views its customer service as a cost center, it’s usually a disaster … Some choose to re-internalize their customer contact center”warns Julien Le Postec, senior sales manager at Zendesk.

This choice, a pure French gamer selling DIY items makes it. Leading to the use of outsourcing for its customer service, by 2020, this e-merchant is operating a bit of a revolution by changing the trend thanks to the internal recruitment of customer relationship managers. “Dealing with detractors is a real fear for employees, who can easily lose confidence. That’s why we train teams of consultants and give them visibility within the company., explained the commercial director. In two months, the company saw an increase in its NPS, and after three months, the customer’s refund rate, associated with dissatisfaction and order errors, fell by 4%, i.e. a significant turnover gain …

Smart outsourcing

One of the main risks of outsourcing is loss of control, with a customer service remote and therefore less concerned. But there are solutions to minimize this risk, and for outside consultants to develop a sense of belonging to a brand they don’t own.

One of these, practiced by a French company in the luxury sector and its outsourcer, involves immersing consultants outside the universe of the brand they represent. Thus, the company and its partner bet on the entire customization of the call center, completely redesigned according to the codes of a physical store. The luxury brand universe is thus in the eyes of all consultants.

Finally, one of the ways to effectively manage outsourcing is to play the card of diversity, between internal and external customer service. Utilizing outsourcing in addition to its internal resources, attempting an international deployment or responding to a seasonal peak of activity is often a winning strategy.

This is the case with many French companies, such as Coyote or Europcar, which support their growth abroad by outsourcing part of their customer service, or the industrialist Weber, whose advisors to within the customer is added by outside consultants when there is a peak of activity.

This mix between internal consultants and external services thus makes it possible to benefit from the advantages of outsourcing (flexibility, agility, savings, etc.) while taking advantage of an integrated service (control, strategic vision, interactions between services, etc.)


Xerfi, 2020; EY/SP2C study 2019; EY/SP2C barometer in 2020


A sponsor-outsourcer relationship charter

Over the years, the outsourcing market has become more professional, as evidenced by the creation of a charter to guarantee responsible and lasting relationships between outsourcers and principals, promoted by the Union of Contact Center Professionals. (SP2C). Written and signed by major market players in 2019, it aims to increase trust and commitment between both parties.

More information at

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