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May 30, 2024

7 Keys to Successful Property Management Customer Service Outsourcing




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Customer service as a concept goes beyond keeping your clients happy. When it comes to the intersection of customer service in the Property Management Industry, you need to find the balance between protecting your property and your customers. You might be asking yourself questions like…

  • How do you handle customer complaints and keep them happy? 
  • How do you minimize cost and resource expenditure as you manage?
  • How do you present your property to prospective and returning customers?

Today, we’re answering these questions and more. Let’s discuss seven crucial elements that can impact the success of your Property Management Customer Service Outsourcing, and explore how you can maximize your benefits when you outsource.

Defining Customer Service Objectives

Customer service objectives are often defined in broad terms or cliché practices such as “The customer is always right.” If you’re working in customer service, we all know that’s not always the case, but it’s still our job to ensure every client feels heard, validated, and supported. That’s true even when we cannot necessarily get them the outcome they’re looking for. 

Defining your customer service objectives isn’t limiting. Rather, it’s freeing — enabling you to better serve your customers in a way that offers mutual benefit, transparency, and trustworthiness. 

How To Align Outsourcing with Your Business Goals

Your customer service objectives typically vary depending on the industry you’re in and your company’s desired goal. However, there are some key points of intersection across industries.

For example: Customer service objectives are centered around keeping the customers happy. To achieve this baseline level of consumer happiness, businesses must deliver on their promises, resolve issues on time, and make life easier for customers. 

Understanding the customer’s perspective is crucial for understanding their needs and informs the quality of the company’s customer service objectives. In turn, these objectives help companies focus on their desired goals and motivate their employees to achieve those goals across the customer service spectrum.

To align the two, simply take your previously existing business goals and evaluate them through a single perspective: How could I better serve my customers via delegation and outsourcing

Once you can answer this question, alignment has begun. Now, you can continue to address client needs in a more brand- and customer-forward way.

Partnering with experts in outsourcing

1. Choosing the Right Partner for Outsourcing

Outsourcing can promote sustainable business growth, strategically allocating and preserving your resources. Before beginning your search, it’s important to understand your business goals, needs, and preferences, as every provider option offers different capabilities and strengths. Taking the time to complete this step allows you to choose a resource as effectively as possible.

Essential Criteria for Vendor Selection

There are many factors to consider when choosing the right partner for your outsourcing needs. Our experts have put together helpful self-reflection questions to consider as you go through the decision-making process: 

  • What tasks do I need help with? What solutions do I need?
  • Does the proposed service offer these solutions? How do they present their offer?
  • Does the proposed solution have a reliable reputation in the outsourcing industry?
  • Does the proposed solution offer services that fit my budget? Are there flexible pricing options available?
  • What security measures does the proposed solution take to protect their clients and relevant client data?

Prioritizing your needs helps you decide on the best trade-offs, ensuring the outsourcing relationship aligns with your business and expectations. By setting goals early on, you can make wise decisions and help set your company up for success.

2. Crafting Effective Service Level Agreements (SLAs)

A service-level agreement (SLA) is a document that outlines the terms and conditions of a service provision. SLAs are crucial for service providers to manage customer expectations and set performance standards. Outsourcing SLAs are often tailored to specific customer projects.

Essential Elements of a Strong SLA

A well-crafted SLA outlines the stakeholders, tracking intervals, and reporting structure of a given arrangement. It might also include the following elements:

  • An agreement overview
  • A detailed description of services that will be/are being rendered
  • Agreed-upon performance metrics and standards
  • Security measures and risk management profiles
  • Disaster recovery plans
  • Exclusions and/or penalties for breach of contract

As you review your proposals, consider the recommended elements we’ve listed above. In addition to these elements, an SLA typically outlines a clear termination process. The termination circumstances and notice period should be clearly defined to proactively ensure clarity and avoid confusion.

Lastly, regular reviews and changes to SLA and KPIs are helpful to ensure mutual understanding between the provider and client. When coupled together, those factors help lay the foundation for a stronger business relationship.

3. Streamlining Knowledge Transfer

Knowledge transfer is the exchange of knowledge, skills, and expertise between individuals or groups. It’s crucial for companies to check as it helps ensure employees have the necessary resources for effective job performance.

Knowledge Transfer Process

The steps for implementing a knowledge transfer process can vary, depending on the type of process. However, many find that the general workflow can be completed across four primary steps:

  1. Identification of which information or abilities need to be shared.
  2. Selection of the people who need to be involved in the process.
  3. Execution of knowledge transfer. 
  4. Ongoing assessment to determine if the knowledge transfer process was effective. 

Beyond providing vital information for successful job completion, knowledge transfer helps companies preserve expertise, accelerate learning, and enhance problem-solving. It can promote collaboration and improve employee engagement by transferring real-life experiences and insights.

4. Strategies for Effective Training and Onboarding

Once you’re familiar with the knowledge transfer process, it’s time to proceed with the training and onboarding process. 

Here are three points to remember to effectively get started with an outsourced team:

Promote Mutual Communication

Challenges may arise during onboarding, but clear communication is key to overcoming them. Discussing company policies, training schedules, and job roles clearly and openly is crucial for a smooth transition process.

Focus on Establishing a Clear and Simple Training Process

Training is about preparing your team, the front line of your company, to meet client needs and uphold company values. Establishing a clear and simple training process can help your team understand their goals and responsibilities. This clarity prevents overwhelm and boosts efficiency and skill over time, creating a positive feedback loop that can serve a company for a lifetime.

Foster a Positive Working Environment

Once you’re off to a strong start, consider taking a break from the details of onboarding and training to relax and build camaraderie. There are plenty of ways you can do this. Many choose to encourage bonding through in-person or online activities. You can also try organizing both face-to-face activities or virtual workshops. 

While this step may seem counterproductive to your productivity, it’s important to remember that a relaxed and connected team plays a big role in the success of your outsourcing efforts.

5. Setting Clear Performance Metrics

Performance goals can significantly benefit both employees and companies by increasing revenue, improving morale, and boosting employee retention and engagement. They provide a clear path to success and provide a sense of purpose to your team, directly ensuring a positive work environment.

Here are some simple steps to help you set proper performance metrics:

  1. Review your company’s overall performance and goals to discuss and align with your outsourcing partner.
  2. Make your performance metrics measurable, reasonable, and aligned with your goals. 
  3. Offer help and support to your employees so they can achieve their goals and performance metrics.
  4. Evaluate your performance metrics regularly. Measuring the effectiveness of your performance metrics allows you to make necessary adjustments and improvements.

6. Encouraging Ongoing Improvement

Part of being successful in property management customer service is recognizing the importance of regular check-ins. Weekly check-ins and feedback sessions can enhance their learning experience and job satisfaction. Plus, it also can result in a better overall product quality over time. 

Strategies for Quality Assurance and Enhancement 

Consider the guide questions below the next time you sit with a team member:

  • Are there any tasks or aspects of your job that you find challenging?
  • What areas do you need more training and support?
  • Do you need more tools and resources to perform your job effectively?
  • How can we support your professional development and achieve your performance metrics?
  • Are you satisfied with the current performance metrics in place? 

While these sessions might be time-consuming, it can be rewarding knowing you are actively contributing to consistent and successful customer service.

7. Ensuring Transparent Communication

Like they always say, for a partnership to be successful, communication is the key! Communication serves as a bridge between you and your outsourcing partner. Beyond the benefit of transparency, implementing a standard communication framework ensures that both parties understand the project objectives, scope, and timeline. 

Additionally, fostering open and transparent communication helps reach common ground, establish trust, and create a thriving working environment. This ensures that goals are achieved and obstacles are proactively addressed. 

It’s Time To Outsource Your Property Management Customer Service Tasks

Outsourcing customer service is a growing trend across various industries, including property management. As businesses onboard with their provider of choice, it’s important to keep the keys to successful Property Management Customer Service as a guide. They’ll support you in choosing the right outsourcing partner for your property management customer service needs. 

At STAFFVIRTUAL, prioritizing our clients’ needs is our foremost commitment. We value transparency and encourage open communication with our clients, which enables us to work towards and achieve our shared goals seamlessly. 

With nearly 15 years of outsourcing experience, our long-term partnerships with our clients prove the offer we bring them in a sustainable, affordable, and consistent way — and we want to help you have the same experience. Connect with us today to learn more about how you can benefit from STAFFVIRTUAL’s support. 


What is a Service-Level Agreement (SLA)? | TechTarget

What is outsourcing? Definitions, benefits, challenges, processes, advice | CIO

Choosing the Right Outsourcing Partner | Business.com

A Guide to Onboarding New Hires (For First-Time Managers) | HBR