It is fair to say that customers today expect a higher level of service than they did just a couple of years ago. With easier access to information than ever before, clients are more informed and very quick to switch providers should they feel even slightly dissatisfied or neglected.
Higher service levels are required to satisfy customers’ demands as many companies struggle to respond to client issues fast enough and retain their client base. It is now possible for just a single angry customer to ruin your company’s reputation by posting a negative review online.
Flawless customer support is not optional anymore – it is critical. The issue is that it is also very expensive. Hiring a customer service agent in the UK costs upward of £20K in salary expense only, not to mention overhead costs.
That is why outsourcing the customer support function can be just the solution for fast growing businesses and SMEs focused on lean growth. Here are five unexpected benefits to outsourcing customer support:
Reduce the burden on your current team
If you aren’t currently outsourcing your customer support and don’t have allocated staff specifically for this task, then most likely the responsibility of dealing with customer emails, queries and issues is shared between your team members. However, there is one caveat to this approach – shared responsibility equals confusion.
Involved in their day-to-day responsibilities to build your product or develop your service, your core team may not have the time or focus to communicate fixed issues in a timely manner and maintain service levels.
Even worse, if it’s a busy period, your team members will rightfully prioritise their primary function’s workload over supporting client’s inquiries. Not only will the backlog of customer issues soon start piling up but the work-related stress among team members will inevitably increase.
Having a dedicated outsourced customer support team isn’t only cost-effective, but can seriously reduce the burden on your main team by taking over customer service entirely. Having an extra number of heads proficient in your product or service can enable them to take on background tasks too, freeing more time for your developers, project managers and product specialist to focus on what they are truly great at. Which leads us to benefit number two:
Focus on your primary business functions
Many companies (and most of our clients) that started outsourcing their customer support report that this decision alone allowed them to focus more on what they do best and what matters the most in their businesses. Logically, if you have gathered a fantastic team of software engineers, it will be a distraction and waste of resources to have them respond to client emails instead of developing new features to make the product better.
Some of our clients, for example, even reported that since removing all the customer support burden, their team finally had the time to expand their offering, improve customer retention and even opened a whole new host of opportunities that would not have been available otherwise.
Focusing entirely on their primary business activities proved to be very successful.
Take advantage of trained customer service staff.
Customer support is not an easy job to do properly and can be very difficult for untrained staff to handle. Specialised training is required to prepare your team to adequately handle situations involving frustrated and aggressive clients who shout and threaten with legal actions. If you gave this task to your software engineer, you would end up with two frustrated, angry people instead of one.
Outsourcing partners take great care to properly train staff in service excellence so that they gracefully handle even the most complicated customer issues. Excellent customer experience directly impacts client retention rates which in turn affects your business earnings.
Increase Client Retention and Satisfaction
Delivering outstanding customer service has fantastic return on investment in the long run. Why? Because happy customers turn into fans, which will further promote your products and services and bring you even more business.
Of course, a gold star level of customer service is hard to achieve without a clear customer service strategy, but this is something that a great outsourcing partner can help you do.
Become a 24/7 business
If your company is operating on a global scale, it is essential to offer support to your clients when they need it the most, not only within your official working hours.
Optimisation aside, the real power of outsourced customer support is that hiring dedicated teams in different time zones ensures that a support representative is available at any time of the day or night.
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