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How to Outsource Your Shopify Customer Service

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by   Influx Insights
April 15, 2024

Over the past 10 years, we’ve built and run support teams for eCommerce companies around the world, like Linktree, Klarna, and Casely. We’ve seen what works when outsourcing Shopify customer service, and what doesn’t. Here’s what we’ve learned.

Jump ahead:

Every successful eCommerce brand needs to invest in customer service. Fast and effective support experiences generate loyalty, positive reviews, and referrals. Many eCommerce brands we work with report that 10-30% of purchases turn into a support ticket. 10-30%!

It’s easy to get bogged down by support tickets. Over-investing time responding to them takes away from your brand, campaigns, partnerships, recruiting, your vision, or the next launch. So, how do you outsource Shopify customer service to clear the backlog consistently without compromising your brand?

Outsourcing Post-Sales Shopify Customer Service

Koala Mattress generated 14,000+ positive reviews on by prioritizing their customer experience from day one.

Their support team uses four KPIs to measure how they’re doing:

  • Customer Effort Score
  • Product NPS
  • Customer Service NPS
  • CSAT

They delight their customers by providing fast responses all day long, but especially in the evenings — when most people receive their mattresses.

They’ve also successfully outsourced a portion of their post-sales support, and their business runs on Shopify, like so many other high-growth online businesses. Shopify customer service outsourcing can come with many benefits and allows a company to improve sales efforts without the trouble of training and managing additional staff members.

Two things stand out here in terms of building an exceptional support experience:

  1. They identified the most important times to deliver fast support (evenings)
  2. They use four metrics to measure how they’re doing

Koala works with Influx to deliver fast, live chat responses in the evenings. They developed their own strategy first, hired their team initially in-house, then hired Influx to work as an extension of their existing team.

How do you effectively outsource your post-purchase support with Shopify? Build the basic team structure locally first, then hire an outsourced Shopify customer service team to do more of what’s already working.

Outsourcing Pre-Sales Shopify Customer Service

Businesses with strong pre-sales consistently achieve win rates of 40-50% in new business. Just like hiring a local retail sales team, by responding quickly to pre-sales questions on your website, especially systems like live chat, you generate more sales.

Manly Bands — another business built on Shopify — invested in customer service early to disrupt the wedding ring buying experience. When you’re selling something as important and personal as a wedding ring, the impact of investing in pre-sales support goes up exponentially.

When Manly Bands began outsourcing 90% of their support experience to Influx, they were able to advance marketing strategies, tackle growth ideas, optimize product inventory, and venture into other business opportunities.

Knowing when to outsource matters. In their own words:

I would bring Influx into the picture when you have about 5 orders a day. You’re not overwhelmed, but you’re busy and generally knowledgeable about what your customers need. The more experience you have with your customers, the more you can prepare your Influx team for success…

Our Influx agents go deep to process returns and exchanges. They interpret gray area scenarios and answer customer questions in detail. They even communicate with our warehouse to troubleshoot shipping issues. This takes a huge load off of us.

How do you outsource effective pre-sales support?

The team at Manly Bands has a detailed playbook on how to communicate with potential customers. This playbook includes sample questions, personality guides, customer personas, and regular 1:1 training.

To outsource your Shopify pre-sales support, and get more sales, you need to write the playbook on how to sell, then train a 24/7 team to act as an extension of your existing team. To write this playbook initially, hire 1-2 agents locally, or a really strong manager, then outsource once that system is working.

Outsourcing Support Management

You might have seen a theme from the above two sections: effective outsourced teams need effective management in place. Managing and leading a support team is no easy task, but the ideal outsourcing solution will have management included.

At Influx, we utilize three levels of management — local, client-specific, and data-driven — to improve response quality, coverage, and channel ownership. Every agent reports to a local manager and we also utilize a client-specific manager to run training, QA, and reviews.

Management is one of the things our clients love most, as shared by Isaac Byers, the Customer Service Manager at Meshki.

For us, one of the best benefits is their recruitment and management of awesome agents. Influx’s quality of work and positive attitude is the perfect solution to provide that first line of support for our customers.

Some businesses choose to outsource 100% of their support experience. Others (like Meshki) work with a provider as an extra layer of coverage while keeping an in-house support team and manager on-staff. Either way, an outsourced team should always come with management layers in place for the highest level of support quality.

How Influx can Outsource your Shopify Customer Service

So, what are the takeaways here to outsource support for your Shopify business? If you’re getting crushed with tickets, you need to take some immediate action. You don’t have time to build all the pieces.

Here’s what you can do:

Step 1: Simplify your support experience

Set the customer expectation with fast delivery by responding to every ticket in 24 hours (including weekends). You might need to temporarily limit your coverage window or channels to just email. One efficient channel is better than multiple fractured channels.

Step 2: Hire a strong support agent/manager locally

If you’re running a fully remote business, this hire needs to be even more experienced. Tasks like ticket triage and setting up automated responses to FAQs should be a priority to help clear any backlog.

Step 3: Outsource a full-service support team

The ideal outsourced support team should be quick to train and launch — starting with just one portion of your support tickets. Business hours support or after-hours support is a good place to begin, with the ability for the team to scale up.

Step 4: Invest in your support systems

As you onboard this team, focus on training, setting up or optimizing a knowledge base, automated emails, macros, KPI reporting, etc.

Step 5: Expand to new channels

Once you see your KPIs are close to where they need to be, then expand to new channels: live chat, voice, and social media.

In short, investing in customer service is just that — an investment. Brands that are serious about delivering an exceptional customer experience invest both their time and hard-earned profits back into the customer experience.

It’s painful and time-consuming, but it pays huge dividends over time.

Interested in building your own outsourced support team? Check out eCommerce support by Influx. Influx works with high-growth eCommerce brands to deliver flexible, scalable support teams that match any brand exactly.

About the author

Photo of Influx Insights

Influx Insights

The Insights team brings you deep analysis of how to build great customer experiences.