It is 2021 and the adage “the customer is always right” is now more important than ever!
With millions of businesses in the market, from corporate giants to your local mom and pop stores, customer loyalty and retention is now more important than it ever was.
Since the beginning of the pandemic and even before, businesses have realized how critical customer experience (CX) is in making or breaking a business, how a good customer experience will lead to a positive relationship between the company and customer. T-Mobile has subscribed to a “highly personalized service” model for their customers resulting in CX remaining at all-time highs with net promoter scores up 60% in post-call surveys completed between 2016 and 2019.
One of the most important ways to ensure customer loyalty is by providing good customer support services. The increased demand for excellent quality customer services has resulted in Amazon, Apple, and other corporate giants vowing to be customer-centric companies. All of them focus on providing round-the-clock and personalized services. Customers and potential buyers expect prompt, responsive, and high-quality services especially as half of the world have grown accustomed to online shopping, courtesy of the pandemic.
With the emergence of more businesses, it becomes difficult for small startups, artisans, and local businesses to compete with the corporate giants especially in terms of customer support services. This entails having a dedicated staff to deal with the customers through various channels. From phone calls to social media tags, emails, and website chat options, there are many avenues available for a customer which results in the companies allocating a bigger portion of their budget and administrative staff towards customer service.
A good solution to this is customer support outsourcing services which are readily available and used by many businesses to cater to their customers’ needs. Customer support outsourcing means that you can hire a third party that helps you to deal with the customer support services. They do so by providing their trained staff, equipment, and premises for these services.
As with every business decision, outsourcing your customer support department comes with its own set of risks, however, it can be argued that the benefits do outweigh the potential loss as listed below:
One of the most important benefits of customer support outsourcing services is the opportunity cost of the money would have spent had insourced your customer services department.
It is important to understand that if you find a third party that fits all your business requirements, it is not going to come cheap, however, outsourcing is a more suitable option than hiring your customer support services team.
According to Glassdoor, the average annual salary of a Customer Service Representative is $33,648 while that of a Customer Service Manager is $49,813. In addition to the salaries, a company provides other benefits to its employees; from medical insurance to taxes, frequent training of the staff to other costs such as rent, phone bills, and daily expenses.
Having customer support services is costly both in the long and short term but outsourcing not only reduces this cost but also eliminates the additional administrative hassle that a small business would have to go through daily, in addition to the usual business stress.
2. Round the clock service
Another important factor that is undermined by many is that most customers do online shopping, returns, or complaints after their usual work hours, sometimes late in the night. A 24/7 customer support service is extremely beneficial to small businesses to retain their existing customers.
In addition to the round-the-clock services, customer support outsourcing services also operate according to the data they have collected over the years. They understand that the holiday and back-to-school seasons result in an increase in the demand for customer support and make arrangements accordingly.
3. Multilingual services
We live in a global community and therefore providing services to people from different geographical and cultural backgrounds has become a necessity. Having multilingual customer support services will result in customers trusting the provided services as they will be more comfortable talking to someone with whom they share a language. This will also help in bridging the gap between the customer and the business resulting in the customer’s loyalty towards the small business.
4. Technology and Prompt service
Technology plays an important role in outsourcing customer services.
Customer support outsourcing services have CRM and other technologies at their disposal, something a small business might not be able to afford, which results in prompt services to the customers. Additionally, they also have well-trained staff on which they also keep checks and balances for quality assurance. This results in an increase in customer loyalty and a subsequent increase in revenue as retaining existing customers are very important, especially for small businesses.
Outsourcing does come with its usual risks ranging from customer service staff being indifferent about the company’s goals to the risk of there being a leak of your customer’s confidential information. However, choosing the right customer support services can solve these issues.
Better outsourcing services keep a check on quality assurance and keep the businesses updated about their performance. Additionally, businesses can ensure that their customers are getting the best services in line with their company’s motto by keeping small training sessions so that the service providers do not feel isolated from the products and are familiar with the company they are providing services for.
Small businesses need to grab the market share to stay in business when companies such as Walmart and Zara are flourishing. Facebook, Google, and others keep voice calls at the center of their customer experience as according to a survey phone calls were on track to influence more than $1 trillion in consumer spending in 2019 which has increased since the beginning of the pandemic.
Customer support outsourcing is beneficial for small businesses as it allows the company to expand according to its needs without worrying about another aspect of the business. With the population facing an income crisis, customers are willing to shop around, looking for the best alternative and good customer service can help in winning such customers.