Customer service is mission-critical to any business, regardless of its size or sophistication. In this age of relationship marketing, it’s vital to make every interaction as positive and productive as possible. Discover how partnering with a reputable Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) company to manage your customer care operations can give your business a substantial advantage over your competitors.
1. Why Customer Service Outsourcing?
Customer service outsourcing is not about doing things as cheaply as possible and providing your customers with a second-rate experience. The old-school offshore call centers and BPOs that earned such a bad reputation in the past are on their way out and are being replaced by more niche-specific companies that are staffed with highly-trained specialists. Today, customer service outsourcing is about doing your best to fulfill the needs and expectations of your customers and leaving them with positive experiences.
A well-serviced customer is a returning customer so customer service outsourcing is also about that most fundamental element of business success – customer retention. The cost of acquiring a new customer can be five times more than the cost of retaining an existing one and the probability of selling to an existing customer is 60-70% while the probability of selling to a new prospect is just 5-20%. Clearly, any business with an eye on growth through maximizing returns and reducing costs has to take customer service seriously.
So rather than being a cost-cutting option for a struggling business, customer service outsourcing can help a successful business grow beyond what is possible with exclusively in-house business processes. For example: If your business is experiencing a surge of new customers and increased interest in your product or services, you might think it’s a great situation to be in. However, as your voicemail fills up, emails go unanswered, and no one is responding to the live chat inquiries, you’re missing opportunities to capitalize on demand and grow your business.
Customer Service Outsourcing offers solutions that are scalable with little to no significant upfront investment. A growing business can allow its in-house staff to handle the core activities that drive revenue and growth, while highly-trained outsourced customer service specialists deal with high-volume and low-value inquiries. You can read more about the potential benefits that BPO companies can bring your business here but for now, we’re going to delve into the many distinct channels of customer service and the best approach for your business to begin outsourcing customer services today.
2. Different types of customer service outsourcing
2.1 Email Support Outsourcing
With the rise in social media apps, you might be forgiven for thinking that emails have become old fashioned. However, with almost 320 billion emails predicted to be sent each day in 2021, it’s still a vitally important communication channel for your customers.
Outsourcing email support is generally a safe bet. Your customers won’t expect an instant turnaround and 24 hours is the current industry standard for a response. This gives customer service agents plenty of time to research any issues as needed and respond to your customers’ queries in the most informed way possible.
Also, one of the most common consumer complaints about outsourced customer service is difficulty understanding the agent or the agent being unable to understand the customer. Email interaction eliminates this issue.
2.2 Live Chat Outsourcing
Live chat has become the most preferred channel used by consumers with 73% of live chat users rating their satisfaction with the channel as ‘high’. It’s easy to use too. A customer visiting your website simply clicks the “Live Chat” window to start a live, text-based conversation with an agent if they have any inquiries or concerns.
What immediately sets live chat apart from traditional support channels is the ability to engage customers in real-time without the need to make a phone call. Millennials are fast overtaking Baby Boomers to become the dominant consumers in the U.S economy, and studies have shown that many Millenials much prefer to avoid phone calls where possible.
Live chat is also an excellent way to reduce operating costs and boost revenue. According to a 2012 report, companies that use live chat save up to 50% or more on support costs when compared to other methods and almost 62% of internet users said that they were more likely to purchase more products online if live chat support was available.
There are enormous advantages to using live chat support and when potential customers visit your site, you need to be ready to provide the answers they seek, in real-time, 24/7, 365 days a year. Hiring, training, and managing in-house staff to do all that will be expensive and time-consuming. Live chat outsourcing with a company such as Pure Moderation is a sensible option to explore.
2.3 Multilingual Call Center/Live Phone Support
2021 will see 145 years since Alexander Graham Bell made the world’s first telephone call. In all that time nobody can deny that the telephone has been the leading communication channel for facilitating business and conversation. As the generational landscape changes, however, there’s much debate surrounding the phone as a delivery channel for the future.
For now, though, there are still plenty of older consumers out there who have been slower to adopt new technologies and for whom the phone is still a preferred method of communication. For them, there are distinct advantages that live phone support offers, such as:
People can feel the tone, inflection, and emotion in a phone call so your customers feel a more personal connection when they speak to someone over the phone.
Better Handling of Complex Issues
Phone calls enable a more direct conversation. It’s easier for the agent to ask follow-up questions, or gain a better understanding of the customer’s needs. Customers can better explain their issues and agents can handle more difficult questions and inquiries more efficiently and effectively than live chat.
Measuring data and metrics through telephone calls can be easier as it’s a one-to-one interaction, as opposed to multiple chats at one time that require complex systems to calculate advanced data. With phone support and call tracking tools, your business can gain in-depth knowledge concerning customer needs, customer trends, customer satisfaction, and service quality levels.
With all that said, there are still some obvious weaknesses with live phone support, such as the extra cost when compared to other channels or customers’ frustration at waiting for an available agent and being put on hold. There is no one-size-fits-all answer and different approaches and solutions will work best in different conditions. With the right BPO partner, you don’t need to get hung up on outsourcing live phone support.
2.4 Social media management outsourcing
In 2019, there were more than 3.48 billion social media users worldwide. Social media is clearly a huge marketing opportunity for businesses who are looking to gain new customers through increased brand visibility and provide relationship-building opportunities for their existing customers. 99% of Fortune 500 corporations are on LinkedIn, 95% are on Facebook, and 96% are on Twitter, however, many companies are still online without a clear strategy in mind.
Social media management isn’t for everyone, it requires a lot of special attention and creativity. The day-to-day tasks of running a business generally take up enough time and setting aside 1-2 hours a week to update posts or tweets isn’t going to cut it. A recent Forbes article suggested it takes a minimum of 32 hours a month for a business to manage social media adequately.
A good social media management team should be able to:
- Track your brand mentions on social media.
- Conduct sentiment analysis to learn more about the conversation around your brand.
- Monitor the conversations that are happening to protect your brand’s reputation.
- Explore new growth hack methods.
- Respond immediately to any inquiries.
And all of this needs to happen 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 52 weeks a year.
Taking advantage of social media and reaping its various benefits for your business requires a highly knowledgeable and experienced team creating your social media content and running your campaigns. If you can find, hire, and manage such a team without it costing an arm and a leg, then go for it. However, partnering with a BPO firm skilled in social media management can be far more effective, and not just in terms of cost. Outsourcing to Pure Moderation can also help to build a more highly effective and broader digital marketing campaign that could lead to a very positive status update for your business.
2.5 Mobile App Customer Support Outsourcing
The mobile app market is booming due to the huge demand from smartphone users. The average American checks their phone every 12 minutes and 90% of that time is spent using mobile apps. This opens up fresh new revenue streams for tech-savvy companies. Mobile apps provide a unique platform for companies to build their brands, improve customer relations, and increase competitive advantage.
However, many mobile app developers simply neglect to provide a way for consumers to provide feedback and as a consequence, consumers feel like their voices go unheard.
Don’t expect to be given a second chance either; more than half (51.6%) of respondents to one survey said they would delete and forget an app that they were experiencing issues with.
If your customers want an issue to be resolved by a customer support agent, then there must be some way to do that from the app itself. No one wants to find and copy the appropriate email address, leave the app, open their email account, and then send an email manually. By providing an instant and accessible help desk within your mobile app, you can increase positive reviews, improve app ratings, and turn users into loyal, happy, and engaged customers.
The problem is not many companies can run such a department in-house efficiently. Outsourcing mobile app support to a professional and talented team of experts that carry years of experience in delivering dependable & consistent services can give a huge advantage to your business.
Pure Moderation covers the full range of outsourced mobile app support services, on both the technical and customer service side, so you can concentrate on your core business. Please chat with us on our website for a free consultation and trial.