It’s no exaggeration to say that, all else being equal, the quality of customer service can make or break a business. Most customers who abandon a brand say it was because of a negative customer service experience. So, for your business to succeed, you need to deliver first-class customer service.
The problem for small businesses is how to manage the training, staffing, monitoring, technological upgrades, and everything else needed to deliver quality service. It’s hard for most to deliver the specialized, round-the-clock, response, and support customers expect. That’s where outsourcing your customer service comes into play.
Not only can you make your service more cost-effective by outsourcing, but you avoid the need to divert already limited resources from other essential business processes. Add to that the many other benefits of a professional, multi-channel customer service provider such as feedback and data analysis, and it’s a solution worth taking seriously. But you may not be sure it’s the right solution for your business, so here are seven powerful benefits of outsourcing your customer service.
1. Cost Efficiency
For a small business, cutting expenditure is always a priority. Compared to setting up and running the show in-house, outsourcing your customer service can drastically reduce your overhead cost. But make sure the company you go with offers a high-quality service too to avoid a false economy.
2. Responsiveness and Resilience
Many small businesses operate in industries that go through seasonal fluctuations in demand, such as hospitality and retail. Outsourcing customer service to a reputable third-party provider, you make your business more responsive and resilient to these peaks and troughs. When demand is high, you know you’ve covered your back and can fulfill orders and deliver services while still providing an excellent customer experience.
3. Round-the-Clock Service
24-hour customer service is now a common expectation of almost any business with an online presence. If you’re involved in global eCommerce, then you need to offer 24/7 support to your customers who may want to contact you from several time-zones. Many small businesses trade globally or have an online retail dimension that takes and delivers orders round-the-clock. Outsourcing to a competent third-party customer services provider means you can get your beauty sleep knowing that all inquiries and complaints will be handled professionally at all times of day and night.
You need not outsource all of your customer services provision. If you deal in technical products or services, you may need to handle specialist customer enquiries in-house to make sure you deliver the right level of expertise. But that doesn’t mean you can’t take advantage of responding to other types of enquiry via an outsourced service. In fact, outsourcing routine enquiries leaves your technical staff free to deal with the calls only they can instead of needing to respond to non-technical questions, too.
When you outsource your customer services to a third-party you should negotiate a flexible agreement that allows for your business to grow. As your business expands and becomes more successful, your customer service demands will increase. If you experience a sudden growth, your in-house team may not cope with the rise in demand. If you’ve outsourced, the provider has a vast pool of staff to allocate to your changing needs. Small business answering services already have the built-in capacity to deal with changes in call volume and can add additional staff faster than you could in-house.
6. Data Collection and Reporting
Even if a small business copes with delivering a competitive in-house customer experience, it would be difficult to collect, collate, and analyze the potential data that’s available. But a good customer service provider will make sure your business captures useful customer data which you can then deploy to improve your products, services, and marketing. Many also use customer calls to offer surveys, so you can tailor the feedback and information you get to your business needs.
While major global corporations may manage their own executive customer service departments, it’s rarely an option for small businesses. The cost of setting up the infrastructure, employing and training staff, reallocating technical resources, and data collection and management can be prohibitive. In a world in which first class customer service is no longer optional but essential, outsourcing enables small businesses to stay in the game.