Customer Experience

What is quality customer experience for a visa outsourcer? 


4 min to read

What is quality customer experience for a visa outsourcer? 

Visa outsourcing companies act as intermediaries between applicants and government decision-makers and therefore play a crucial role in ensuring a smooth and efficient process for all parties. But what exactly does “quality customer experience” mean in this context? Understanding customer needs and expectations, measuring and monitoring feedback, and continuously improving processes and services, are all factors in a successful customer experience. 

We sat down with three of our Zone and Centre Managers to find out first-hand what their secret to quality customer experience is. 

How would you define “quality customer experience” for a visa outsourcer? 

Visa applications can be a stressful experience, especially if it’s an applicant’s first time. We need to do our best to simplify the process, remove complexities, and explain the distinction between the outsourcer and the decision-maker if needed. Consistency is also key: everyone should have a good experience at our centre. 

We make sure that we never treat people as a number. We are often part of an important milestone in their lives, whether happy, like studying abroad or joining a family member, or sad, like attending the funeral of a loved one. That’s why it’s important that our interactions are based on empathy and respect. 

How do Added-Value Services (AVS) elevate the customer experience? 

We’re not in the business of selling people services they don’t need. What we do is identify the cases where a service would be helpful and suggest it. If we know a customer is travelling from a remote area in Ireland, they’ve probably taken a day off from work or school and spent money on transportation to come to us. That’s why we will suggest the courier service for their passport return and save them the trip back to our centre if they prefer. 

How do you make the customer feel more comfortable throughout the process? 

We have a very supportive team of agents who have had proper training on communication, hospitality, and process monitoring, and who feel empowered to provide the best service they can. 

We also try as much as possible to take into consideration the specificities of our city and people. TLScontact is present in over 90 countries, and not all standards can be applied to all cultures and communities. For example, during the biometric data collection, female applicants from Indonesia’s Muslim majority who do not wish to remove their veil in front of our male colleagues can be accompanied and processed by a female employee in a private booth. 

What role does communication play, especially when the customer is not at the centre? 

The amount of information available can be overwhelming. Our responsibility is to provide correct and quick information. Like our colleagues across the globe, we use our local website and the signage in the centre to relay relevant and up-to-date information. We also complement this with more regular communication on our local social media page about centre closures, service updates, and anything that the applicants might need to know before, during, or after their process. As you can imagine, the page proved particularly helpful during Covid-19. 

When we think of customer experience, we generally think of the agents in the centre. But another piece of the customer experience puzzle is the call centre. How does it fit in the bigger picture? 

We make sure our call centres are two-way. They’re not only a channel for customers to contact us for inquiries or complaints. We also call them to follow up on their questions and complaints, provide the right information, listen to them, and figure out how we can help them. When you take the initiative and call the customer, you’ve already solved 80% of the problem, because they want empathy and understanding beyond anything else, and it’s our way of saying, “we see you, we hear you, we’re here for you.”  

Do you receive customer feedback and how do you utilise it?

It’s important to receive customer feedback continuously, so we can work on improving the process as we go. We rely heavily on our Enterprise Feedback Management platform to get data based on the surveys that the customers complete at different steps in the visa journey and see what they really need from us. We can’t influence the final visa decision and we can’t influence the timeline of the decision, but what we can do is make sure that our customers have the best experience possible from the first moment they start interacting with us. 

For TLScontact, the customer experience begins online, before the visa applicant arrives at the centre, and ends when the applicant receives their passport back. Read our other Insights articles to learn more about the measures we are taking to improve both the online journey and the in-centre experience for our visa customers. 

These articles might interest you