Customer Service is the direct one-on-one interaction between a consumer making a purchase and a representative of the company that is selling it. Needless to say that customer experience is one of the most crucial areas of any business.
It plays a vital role in the success of a company, because this provides the opportunity to connect directly with your customers to better evaluate your products or services. Therefore, in Customer Service lies the power to retain existing customers and gain new ones through word-of-mouth and especially on social networks, where these days enough bad reviews can damage a company’s reputation beyond repair.
The customer perceptions of the product and the company are shaped in part by their experience during the interaction with the Customer Service Representative, for this reason, many companies constantly work hard to increase their customer satisfaction levels.
In small businesses it is easy to have a direct relationship with most of your clients, but you can find this task overwhelming as the company grows and it gets harder to do it properly, losing valuable interactions to upsell or simply reach your customer on an emotional level. This is why CEO’s devote a complete department to communicate with clients, to give them constant support about product questions and concerns, and listen to the feedback. The constant needs and demands made by your clients can become a real challenge when your business is healthy, and especially when it is growing; therefore, it is best to study your options before this happens, and not when responding to customers is already a messy process.
It is possible to build an in-house customer service department, but it takes time. You would have to focus on building a team of agents, in many cases professionals, find a system to collect the data and train the team, trusting they know your brand’s tone and communicate as your own voice. There isn’t a one-size-fits-all set of instructions, and without some strategy, things can fall apart at the worst possible time. If you prefer to offer a solid, reliable and efficient level of customer service from your support team, it’s best to follow a plan that includes precautionary measures, contingency plans, redundancy and disaster relief strategies.
This is why businesses of all sizes are outsourcing more everyday, so management teams can maintain their focus on the expansion of the business and the customer base. Remember, it is a cost-effective strategy as well.
There is no bad timing to start looking for a BPO company. Your business can have everything at your office one day, and switch to outsourcing the next, no matter the size. It’s a matter of proper planning. If you own a small or mid-sized business, and it suddenly becomes overwhelmed by customer queries or you are providing an incomplete experience, your lack of availability can result in major loss of business after a sudden increase in customer volume simply because you were not prepared to handle the larger workload.
When thinking of outsourcing a Customer Service department, you need to define the level of service you need to provide, and you should include your entire team in crafting that definition, and in this definition you need to include your company values. If your company values include speed or integrity, then those values should be part of your definition of great service, and you should set your mind on finding the right BPO company to provide this to your customers.
A way to be certain of the quality of the customer experience you are providing your final customers is to consider a BPO company that matches the size and intentions of your own company. A well-prepared BPO company makes sure their mission includes employing only qualified agents with top training to assure the best communication between the company and your customers. Ongoing training should be part of their programs to give you always top qualified agents at your customer’s service.
When you partner with an outsourcing company you benefit from many years of experience in providing customer support, so a wealth of experience in your area is key. Making use of this expertise to provide a higher level of service to your clients is another reason to consider a new partner. It will also be easier for you to keep track of the data your customers are providing and make better informed decisions.
While it is true every business seeks cost efficiencies, and cost savings are the biggest driver of outsourcing, this should not be the sole motive. A business should place its main emphasis on the quality of service provided to its customers and consider the competencies and track record of any prospective outsourcing company before making the move.
The connection with your clients is crucial, so hiring a BPO company can give you the power to expand your business in many ways, because Customer Service should always take care of the customer’s needs by providing and delivering professional, helpful, high quality service and assistance before, during, and after the customer’s requirements are met. The best Customer Service focuses on first-call resolution, and meets the needs and desires of any customer.