Today, customer facing activities such as customer service, order management, and technical support are more important than ever. But managing these activities to a level that consistently satisfies customers and creates advocates is getting more complex as needs, preferences, and access to information evolve. With so much on the line for your brand, engaging the expertise of a seasoned and reputable customer-service provider is often the most efficient and effective way to alleviate some of these more common pain points.
1. Too Many Calls, Too Little Time
Whether your company got into the call center business as a necessity of your growing business, or you’ve been in it since day one, it’s most likely not your area of expertise, core business objective, or what you want to focus on daily. You could handle it when the need was small, but it’s grown into a monster gobbling up valuable time and resources. In your battle to retain and grow market share amidst increasing competition, bringing on an experienced contact center partner for customer facing support brings a number of built-in benefits:
- Provides excellent customer service because that’s their main business focus
- Allows you to stay more specialized/focused on business vs. customer care
- Frees you up to do what you do best
- Provides cost savings opportunities
2. The Curse of the Outdated Paradigm
According to Wikipedia, “innovation is the application of better solutions to meet new requirements, unarticulated needs, or existing market needs.” Innovation is about not just doing the same things better, but doing things in new ways. Company executives often suffer from the “curse of knowledge.” They are so close to their company’s products and services that they have difficulty leaving their vision behind and objectively seeing the product from the customer’s viewpoint.
An outsourced technical support partner is free from an internal team’s inherent bias or assumptions. They can see service and support through a variety of lenses reflected by different industries, products, and business goals. Technical support partners have a broader view of customers using a variety of products in a variety of cultures. They possess expertise that spawns innovation by understanding when a process can be executed differently for a better result.
But the most important factor to consider is that innovation is based on change. Innovation and status quo cannot co-exist. The first step is to find a support partner with expertise that you can trust, one that will not just adjust as the market demands but lead in the market innovations.
3. Lack of Understanding
When your customers contact you with a problem, they expect you to be able to understand and solve it no matter what, but the same conversation simply will not suffice for your entire customer base. Support conversations need flexibility to fit the situation depending on the customer’s technological understanding. This is true not only for the tone and depth of the conversation from the agent’s end, but in their ability to understand exactly what the customer is describing, regardless of the level of technical knowledge. Diagnosis is even more critical than resolution, for without it, agents will be spinning their wheels, or worse, solving the wrong problem.
When evaluating technical support partners, you must have a full understanding of the agents’ capabilities as they work with programs and customers similar to yours. But you also need a clear understanding of their recruitment, training, and coaching processes. You need to ensure the partner has processes that will enable them to replicate that environment by supplying the right caliber of agent to fulfill the contract requirements. If the customers are unhappy, it’s likely that discontent will affect their loyalty to your products and brand.
4. Too Slow for the Flow
It’s one thing when change is planned for the next quarter or next year. It’s quite another when a spike in call volume must be dealt with due to a discount offer that wasn’t communicated to the contact center, when a product launches ahead of schedule, or when a power outage happens without warning and takes down customer support with it. For today’s busy customers, quick response and adaptation is essential and expected. That’s where an outsourced customer care partner can really take your pain away and help you shine.
For example, if a heavy spike in call volume occurs, they have the reserves to handle it, and if they don’t, they have processes in place to do more with the agents they have. If a bug is discovered or a recall needs to be issued, a customer care partner is your first line of defense against the spike in call volume from customers who may be more frustrated than usual. Ultimately, they handle the day-to-day so you can focus on other strategic needs.
5. An Unstable Stable
Attrition is one of the biggest challenges that contact centers must manage. Hiring a solid stable of tech support agents — especially at the engineer level — can be even more difficult. As the “face” of your company, matching your corporate brand and values is key for presenting a unified brand. It’s important to understand both the partner’s methods for recruitment and training, and how their usual processes will be modified to meet your product and brand needs. A customer care partner can provide the expertise you require, such as training and certifications in specific technologies, and acquisition of qualified staff to counter agent turnover.
Equally important is the workplace environment and agent lifecycle management processes. Good ones promote enduring workforce relationships and continuous development of the best qualified staff to provide consistent and superior service to your customers.
Ease your pain. Ease your mind.
Due to the level of difficulty in managing technical support and service, enlisting the expertise of a contact center provider may be the best choice to ease your pain points, meet your revenue and customer lifecycle goals, and position your company as the preferred choice.