Sixty percent of businesses think customer service is the most critical part of any organization.
That’s not at all surprising when you consider how fast news travels in today’s interconnected era. In fact, the average customer who has a bad experience with a company will tell up to 15 people about it. It’s even worse for the company if that disgruntled customer complains online. Once something is on the internet, it’s there for good.
It’s undeniable that customer service is one of the keys to maintaining a good business reputation. What are the key benefits of having excellent customer service and support?
- Excellent customer service maintains a brand’s image and reputation.
- Having an excellent customer service reputation helps brands stay competitive.
- Customers expect to be taken care of and valued during the sales journey.
- User experience is paramount to retaining customer loyalty.
- A small increase in customer service can increase sales anywhere between 25% and 95%.
In today’s world, it’s imperative that businesses stay competitive.
The most effective way to do that is to make the customer experience a critical factor in your business plans. Without it, your company can quickly lose otherwise loyal members of its customer base.
But customer service and support require representatives to possess a particular set of skills and knowledge. Having a team of well-trained, dedicated, and knowledgeable customer service representatives is crucial to your brand’s success. But it takes time and money to find, train, and retain a team of representatives that’s going to serve your brand best and protect its carefully curated image.
Do you have the time and budget to train an expert team – or is your business suffering from a lack of customer service and support?
This a major issue that many companies, both new and established, face.
Many companies will choose to outsource their customer service to an external support business or network. After all, outsourcing this critical task can free up much need time and resources for your business. In-house teams can focus on growth-based tasks instead. Sometimes, it’s better to leave something as vital to your business success as customer support to the leading experts.
Unfortunately, though, many companies are slow to recognize the need for external help for business growth. That’s why it’s important to look at the reasons for outsourcing – and to know when it’s time to find outsourcing suppliers for your business.
So, what are the signs that you should be outsourcing your customer service tasks to an external company?
Why Do Businesses Choose to Outsource?
There are several benefits to outsourcing various tasks for a business of any size. Outsourcing enables you to cut down on costs, free up valuable time, and give your company the opportunities it needs to continue to grow and capture valuable market share.
Below, we’ll explore the top benefits your company will experience when you outsource your customer service and support.
Reduce Running Costs
Every business, regardless of its size and industry, must keep its operating costs reasonable. The downside of customer service and support is that operating in-house can significantly expand a company’s running costs. But, increased savings and reduced running costs are two of the most significant benefits your business will see once you decide to outsource your customer service and support.
Small startups and SMEs often outsource to keep running costs down. A monthly service will usually work out cheaper than an in-house staff member, especially in the early days of business. When you have an in-house customer service team, you’ll have to deal with higher overhead costs. High overhead is inescapable when you choose to go the in-house route. You have to pay the customer service team a full salary, plus benefits. Not only is it more expensive up front to use an in-house team, but it’s also more time-consuming and there are more logistics involved with hiring customer support in-house. You have to worry about taxes, liability issues, increased need for desk space, and other issues you acquire when you take on a whole new team of employees.
When you outsource, you only have to pay a monthly, or yearly fee for customer support and service. Precious time, resources, and finances are freed-up, and your business is able to focus on generating growth. You don’t have to take into account the taxes, desk space, and employment benefits for anyone on an outsourced team.
Speed Up Business Growth
Instead of taking the time to recruit and train new staff members, an external company can deliver expertise on-the-spot. Sourcing for the right talent that’s going to fit into your company culture, setting up interviews, conducting interviews, and training are huge resource and time drains. There’s a much better way to focus your business efforts, and this is especially true for start-ups and small businesses. Instead of jeopardizing crucial momentum, you can protect your business growth by outsourcing your customer service and support.
With a lot of hard work, startups that can gain a foothold in their niche and grow will often go on to invest in an in-house service and support team. By outsourcing when the company is small, it enables a small company to take its time when finding a permanent tea of in-house, customer service employees. When time is on your side, you can make better investment decisions and hiring decisions. The rapid business support an outsourcing company can offer means you’re more able to dedicate in-house staff to growth opportunities.
It also gives you more time to recruit and suitable staff for an in-house customer service team when your business has grown.
Whether you’re outsourcing your IT support or customer service tasks, an external supplier will be able to offer your business and customers 24/7 support. Again, it all comes back to keeping those operating and running costs lean and mean. If you were to provide customer support services twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, you’d experience some serious overhead costs that will put a massive strain on your business. For small companies and start-ups, it’s a much better idea to outsource for out-of-hours communication to a pay-as-you-go service.
Also, it’s not enough to ignore customer expectations, either. Even if you were to only offer in-house communications for the standard M-F, 9-5 hours, your customers have much higher expectations for the companies they choose to give their loyalty, and their hard-earned money to. A way to differentiate yourself from competitors in your niche is to offer 24/7 access to knowledgeable, helpful customer service representatives. Your customers will appreciate it.
Some of the most successful, lucrative companies in the world got to those levels because they made the customer experience paramount to their business plans. For the sake of your company’s growth, it’s much better to replicate proven ways to reach success than to try and reinvent the wheel.
4 Signs It’s Time to Outsource Your Customer Service
Are you still not sure if it’s time to find external support to grow your business? While the benefits of outsourcing support are apparent, it’s not always easy to know if your company is at a point where it needs to go this route. You might be thinking that your company seems to be doing all right without making support and service a crucial component of your future business plans. Below are the top four signs indicating that it’s time for you to outsource your customer service.
1. Super-Fast Growth is Straining Your Resources
Ambitious business growth adds extra stress to your staff. You don’t want to let an excellent opportunity go to waste. If you fail to take this new momentum and ride the wave to the next level of business growth, you might not be able ever to get this opportunity back.
Failing to grow your company when the time’s right, especially when it comes to customer support, can lead to costly mistakes. The staff that is under pressure or staff numbers that are inadequate to handle increased queries and concerns from your customers can hurt your company’s reputation. And when it comes to a growing business, your reputation is priceless, and something that you must protect and maintain.
While your staff can focus on growth opportunities, a customer service support supplier will be able to handle the day-to-day customer queries that inevitably arise when a company is in a growth spurt.
2. Your Current Customer Service Strategy Isn’t Working
Do you spend a lot on refunds and complaints every month? These things happen, but it’s not okay to let something like this continue for long.
Over 50% of customers report that they won’t use a business again if they have a terrible customer service experience. A failure to address bottlenecks and routine snafus in the customer service experience can hurt your brand’s reputation and stifle your business growth.
But outsourcing your customer support is a simple, effective solution for this type of problem.
An external expert team will be able to reinvent your strategy, reduce your error rates, and improve the customer experience to boost repeat business.
3. You Don’t Have Time to Train a Team
Recruiting and training a new team takes time. When your company is experiencing increased momentum and growth, then time is of the essence. A fast-growth business won’t have the time to find the best people for the job and then train them to deliver superior service straight away. On top of that, hiring the wrong person for the job is almost worse than hiring no one at all.
But an external support center has already taken the time and the energy to find, train, and retain the right personnel for the job. When you outsource, you’re taking advantage of someone else’s investment in the support and service team. You’re going to get an excellent team as soon as you partner with an external support system. Outsourcing customer service means you immediately have an expert group available, no recruitment or training required. It’s easy, convenient, and affordable.
4. Your Business Needs Flexibility
Seasonal demand means peaks in customer service demand. Many businesses will experience peak and off-peak seasons. When your goods or services are in-demand, and the company is busy, then it makes sense that you’ll have an increased need for customer support and assistance. But, hiring and training new staff to handle a short-term seasonal peak doesn’t make much financial sense!
An external answering service can be held on a flexible contract, meaning you’re only paying for the services you need when you need them. So when staff has their hands full, and goods are flying off the shelves, you can rest a little easier when you increase your external support and service needs. When times are slow, it’s no problem at all to lower your customer service and support needs from an external agency.
When it comes to business momentum, you need to ride the wave while still protecting your company’s reputation. Customer support and service are critical to doing just that. To stay competitive and keep your valued customers happy and content, you’ll want to consider outsourcing your support services. Finding the right supplier doesn’t have to be confusing or complicated, either.
Get Help Finding a Customer Service Supplier
Now you know that you need to outsource your customer service tasks, it’s time to speak to an expert. AnswerFirst is one of the leading customer support service centers in the U.S. We’ve helped hundreds of companies in a wide range of industries take their customer support and services to the next level. Get in touch with us today to find out more about the different types of customer service support options available, and how your business will benefit from these packages.