Whether answering the phone or responding to email inquiries, in today’s fast paced business climate, failure to respond to customer inquiries in a timely fashion, could be the difference between success and failure.
Your customers don’t want to wait days or even hours for responses to their questions or help with their problems and, in most cases, if you force them to wait they will take their business elsewhere.
Timely customer support does not necessarily mean “on the spot” resolution; it just means a timely response that sets a proper expectation for follow-up and resolution.
For example, if you list a phone number on your website, be sure that there is someone on the other end to pick up the phone.
Did you know that 60% of people will no longer leave a message on a voice mail??
If you provide live answering after-hours, you are building rapport with your customers even when you cannot personally answer your phones.
(Unless you are outsourcing your calls to call centers with agents that do not speak the language of your clients properly and provide frustrating customer service experiences.)
A good after-hours service can log issues, put callers at ease, and set expectations for follow-up calls or emails, from the appropriate person in your company, with resolution.
Companies that do not offer live agent service after-hours will typically leave clients to the next available channel of communication like a contact form on a website or email. Good business practice suggests you answer emails within 24 hours, however, if you answer within 10 to 30 minutes, clients will be impressed. Even if the response only lets them know that you’re aware of the issue and that you’ll be getting back to them during normal business hours.
Provide timely service and create the absolute best customer service experience possible, right? But how can you ensure you’re providing prompt customer service?
Have you ever considered outsourcing your customer service?
There are a lot of reasons why so many businesses have decided that third party contact centers are the best option for providing their customers with excellent customer service experiences.
Research shows that 60% of businesses consider customer service to be one of the most important aspects of running a successful business so it’s important to get it right. Plus, an in-house customer service operation can be prohibitively expensive and cumbersome to manage.
Fortunately, there are skilled and reliable service providers in this industry that you can trust to help you maintain the integrity of your business while also reducing your overhead.
As nice as it might be to have your own in-house customer service team or call center, it can be very costly. Customer service outsourcing offers a convenient and affordable solution.
The technology and payroll liability that are required to run a professional customer service team or contact center can be quite pricey. However, getting the support services you need for your customers doesn’t have to put you over budget if you know who to hire.
A professional contact center or answering service will already have everything required to handle your customers professionally, efficiently and affordably.
Saving Your Resources
Running an in-house customer service team doesn’t just increase your overhead, it can also devour your resources. When you hire an outside firm to handle your customer service needs, you will be able to keep your employees focused on other important aspects of running the business.
No Training Required
Companies that decide to run an in-house customer service team may need to train their employees about how to provide consistent and reliable customer service. Assuming you already have the right employees on your team to fill the customer service positions, training them is time consuming and expensive.
The professionals that you outsource these responsibilities to will already have the training and knowledge necessary to meet all of your needs.
When you make the decision to outsource customer service, you won’t have to deal with all of the stress that comes with managing it. You will have a whole team of professionals to take care of the day-to-day responsibilities, freeing you up to focus on other crucial components of your business.
The less stress you are under, the more effectively you will be able to run everything. There is no question that running a business can be mentally and emotionally draining, which is why you should do everything you can to keep stress to a minimum.
Give Your Customers the Best Experience Possible
Hiring the right customer service provider ensures that your customers get the best possible experiences. Happy customers are loyal customers. Top notch customer service might be one of the main reasons customers buy from you.
A bad customer service experience can make someone go somewhere else for the products or services they need or want. As long as you choose the right company for these solutions, you won’t have to worry about whether or not your customers will be looked after properly.
Fewer Security Concerns
Due to regulations like HIPAA, most outsourcing companies take every precaution to ensure that client data is kept safe and secure. At best, data breaches can cost you clients and harm your reputation, but at worst you can be charged with crimes and issued fines. Implementing proper security standards in-house can be complex and expensive so this is another benefit to outsourcing.
Make sure you look for a customer service provider that is in full compliance with modern security standards, so data leaks and other issues will not be a problem.
Ability to Handle Large Call Volumes
Companies that offer customer service solutions for businesses are able to handle large call volumes. Most of these companies provide services to thousands of businesses and, therefore, have the infrastructure and staff required to handle thousands (if not millions) of customer communications effectively.
The fact is that you won’t be able to maintain a good customer satisfaction rate if every other person who calls in for help has to wait. These companies can handle all of the calls you get, even when it’s really busy. This in turn will make your customers very happy and more likely to keep buying your products or services.
Multi-Channel & Omni-Channel Support
One very important aspect of customer service is offering numerous ways for people to get the assistance they need. Modern technologies allow customers to contact businesses via the communication channels they prefer. Popular support channels include: phone, email, social media, live web chat and SMS.
Providing support across more than one channel is called multi-channel support. And, providing consistent customer experiences across all channels is omni0channel support.
Without the proper software and infrastructure in place, it can be very difficult to effectively handle providing support on more than one channel. Customer service providers already have these systems in place and your customers will benefit from receiving support via the communication channels they prefer.
24/7 Customer Support
One of the most common complaints about customer service from the general public is about availability.
If you want your customers to get the help and answers they need at any time of any day of the week, you will find that outsourcing is a great idea. An overwhelming majority of companies that do customer service work for other businesses operate round-the-clock, which your customers will be sure to love.
When you have a live chat feature and phone line that is open 24/7, your customers will never have to deal with waiting for hours until they can get help. This is something that isn’t feasible for a lot of small to medium size businesses, but outsourcing makes it very affordable.
Special Industry Knowledge
A lot of the outsourcers that you will come across will have special industry knowledge that can benefit both you and your customers. The years of experience that many of these professionals possess makes them particularly effective at what they do.
Since your own employees most likely do not have this knowledge or experience, outsourcing is the way to go. The more knowledgeable the people you hire are, the better they will be able to handle each call from your customers.
Representation for Your Brand
It can be difficult to work out exactly how you are going to promote brand awareness for your business, but outsourcing your customer service is one effective solution to consider.
Each of the professionals that interact with your customers become your brand ambassadors. When your customers come away from these interactions happy, your brand starts to grow by leaps and bounds. Quality customer service is one of the very best ways that you can create a positive image for your business as a whole, and it won’t be long before you start noticing effects.
Considering outsourcing your customer service?
While some business owners are a bit apprehensive to outsource their customer service, there are many benefits for those that take the leap. And, the better your customer service is, the more likely it is that your business will thrive.
The fact is that customer support has lots of complexities that you don’t want to attempt to handle yourself. Learn more about how outsourcing can work for you by contacting us today!
*Updated February 10, 2019