What makes a business succeed? You might think the factors are endless and nearly impossible to rank. However, from the US Chamber of Commerce
to Forbes Magazine
, articles explaining how to succeed in business seem to have one reasonably consistent conclusion: Of all the many components that lead to a successful business, good customer service is one of the most important.
In this article, we’ll explore the importance of customer care for customer retention
, the pros
of customer care outsourcing, and why outsourcing your customer service
can be a crucial business strategy.
The Importance of Customer Care
The numbers are hard to argue. According to the Small Business Administration, poor customer service is the number one reason
people stop doing business with a company. It costs five times more
to attract a new customer to your business than to retain an existing customer.
We’ve all been there. We all have our top ten lists of pet peeves when it comes to customer service:
- Endless phone menus
- Bots that point us to unhelpful information
- Repetitive transfers until we connect with someone who can answer our questions.
Positive experiences can garner huge benefits, while negative ones can bring a company down. Word-of-mouth and personal reviews have become more critical than ever.
To sum up: it’s evident that for a business to succeed, its customer service needs to be effective, knowledgeable, and fast. But the key to customer retention lies in one fundamental decision: should support be kept within a company or outsourced to specialists? There are reasons for and against both choices. We’ll get to the pros and cons of outsourcing, but first – why would you want to outsource in the first place?
As long as commerce has existed, outsourcing – using outside resources to handle specific services and functions of a company – has played some part in maximizing profits while minimizing effort and time. As technologies became more complex, specialization allowed partnerships to become mutually beneficial.
This concept can be applied to services and goods, allowing specialized professionals to work together instead of one company trying to spread itself too thin and performing every function poorly instead of some with excellence. Business process outsourcing and third-party customer care can make a huge difference.
The Pros of Customer Care Outsourcing
The statistics demonstrate how vital good customer support is to a company’s success. This fact leads us to the first and perhaps most essential “pro” of customer care outsourcing.
There are two sides to this coin. When a business contracts its customer support division to an outsourcing company, the quality of care receives a focus that often can’t be matched by an in-house team. Customer management specialists like J-Curve have research-supported workflows, technological resources, and a long history of expertise that they can apply to your brand. And outsourcing that vital function to experts allows your business to focus on its core products and services, taking a significant worry off your plate.
The world is becoming increasingly interconnected, and the scope of customer pools has grown accordingly. When you localize services within a business, in-house staff can only cover so much time and so many methods of communication. Outsourced customer support extends your reach to 24/7 omnichannel coverage across multiple time zones and languages, allowing your customer base to become location-independent and consistently supporting online sales.
Hiring enough full-time office staff to focus on customer service adequately is expensive. Benefits and overtime make it more so. Outsourcing allows you to hire as many people as you need for as long as you need and no more. Thus, scaling and flexibility become easy to handle. Average issue-handling time, hold time, and the number of multiple calls decreases, and customer satisfaction increases.
The Cons of Customer Care Outsourcing
It may seem obvious that customer care outsourcing is the way to go. But before you bring in outside expertise to handle your customer management, there are some potential downsides to consider.
Making your business stand out with consistent and unique brand messaging is another one of the qualities that are necessary for success. No matter how excellent the product or how expert the service you provide, your marketing department will constantly be working uphill to make you memorable without good branding.
When you outsource customer service, you’ll trust the company you hire to be just as knowledgeable about your product, and as loyal to your brand, as the people who work in-house. Since service outsourcing companies handle multiple clients, it’s rare to find one that recognizes the importance of keeping messaging on-brand consistently. That’s why it’s so important to find an agent who can understand and capitalize on your brand’s strengths, so they can market for you while helping you succeed.
When you give control of any part of your business to an outside organization, you need to choose that organization with care. Maintaining quality standards is hard without direct contact, and there is always a risk of miscommunication or misunderstanding.
Luckily, the powerful customer feedback that can work so well for your business can also serve you when you choose a customer management provider, and reviews can help you narrow your choices.
suggests, “Before hiring an outsourced customer service provider, know what you want regarding their expertise, quality control, security, and training, and have the company you are considering hiring explain how they address these issues.”
If you outsource only part of your customer management system (for example, if you hire an outside team to provide support but choose to handle sales in-house), your product team loses the ability to respond immediately to customer feedback and trends. Brand consistency may suffer. Selecting a customer care outsourcing team to manage incoming and outgoing communication and marketing messages can negate this problem.
Customer care outsourcing can help you succeed
Running a business is challenging, and it may feel like you’re trying to keep one too many balls in the air. Customer care is a critical factor in the success or failure of a company, one you may wish to maintain close control over.
However, outsourcing with a reputable company you trust can help immensely. There’s a lot to be said for calling in the experts. If you do your homework and choose a reputable company to handle your customer care outsourcing, you can be confident that your customer management is in good hands.
At J-Curve, we help our partners stand out – without sacrificing brand loyalty, quality, or flexibility. To learn about how we’ve transformed customer care for our partners, check out our industry-crossing use cases, or tap into our knowledge base on our blog.