By 2025, 32.6 million Americans will work remotely. What is remote customer service, and why is it vital in the modern world? In today’s digital world, businesses must adapt to the changing dynamics of customer interaction. Remote customer service has become the norm, surpassing the traditional in-store experience. In this comprehensive guide, we’re going to […]
Looking to save some time and money? If you’re an entrepreneur, there are plenty of things you need to focus on that don’t relate to your business, so hiring someone to help can not only free up your time but also make your work more efficient. Read this guide on how to outsource customer service and support services in 2022 and find out how it will benefit your business.
Customer Satisfaction Is The New Marketing
Customer service is critical to business success. In fact, these days, customer satisfaction is so important that it’s actually one of the most reliable indicators of how a company will perform financially. Which is why smart companies outsource their customer support services when they want to get ahead—because it lets them focus on what really matters. Let’s look at outsourcing customer service in 2022!
In fact, there are four key reasons that outsource customer service is so important. First, it’s efficient. By outsourcing your customer support services to a service provider, you allow them to do what they do best—provide customer support. You can focus on doing what you do best: running your business.
Secondly, it saves you money. Not only does outsourcing customer support services save you money on salaries, but it also reduces your costs for office space, utilities, equipment, and other overhead expenses. If your company is still growing its business in 2022—or even if it’s already been profitable for a while—keeping costs down will be crucial to making sure you stay ahead of competitors who may be trying to gain ground on you.
The Rise of AI
In 2021, we saw a significant spike in artificial intelligence (AI). Most of us are familiar with chatbots—the world’s best have been able to assist customers with basic inquiries for years now. But 2017-2021 was all about refinement. AI is only going to get better as time goes on, so businesses of all sizes will want to consider how they can best incorporate it into their customer service systems. Customer support via AI will not just be good enough; it will be a necessity.
Some of our most popular chatbots from 2017 and 2018 have already added natural language processing capabilities to allow for more fluid, real-time communication. It will only get better from here, so now is a great time to start planning for artificial intelligence integration into your customer service strategy. AI can take on some of your basic inquiries while you devote more of your time to larger or more complex cases.
There are numerous ways to incorporate AI into your customer service team. Start by determining which types of inquiries are most common for your business and where customers struggle with communication. Then, identify a chatbot platform that can be easily integrated into your existing support infrastructure.
Imagine a world where AI-driven customer service agents can solve customers’ problems without any manual intervention. Robots might sound like something from a sci-fi movie, but many experts believe that such automation is likely to change how customers expect to be served today. In addition, when these robo-agents are integrated with chatbots—which have already become increasingly popular in recent years—customers will have even more options for self-service.
For example, imagine being able to self-serve by chatting with a customer service representative through an AI-driven chatbot. You might ask a basic question like What’s your return policy? Once you’ve been redirected to a live agent, she can ask further questions based on your initial request: What’s wrong with what you received? Was it damaged or defective?
This kind of deep personalization can significantly improve customers’ experience, but it requires significant amounts of data to work. It is not hard to imagine a future where chatbots are able to interact with customers using natural language—and even understand complex requests like What would you like me to do? or What should I do next? Although these kinds of requests are common today, they require considerable training on behalf of customer service representatives.
In addition, robots will also make it easier for customers to file complaints. Today, they often need to call a customer service representative directly or fill out an online form on a website. That process can be difficult when customers are upset, and it increases response times. With robots handling these interactions, customers will be able to connect immediately with a live agent—even if that agent is located halfway around the world.
The days of calling a helpline to get your computer problems fixed are over. The next 5 years will see a dramatic rise in tech support experts visiting people at their homes or offices. Think Uber for fixing computers and technology, but on a much larger scale. Customers will pay based on time spent at home or office, with an extra charge for travel time if they live far away from their support specialist.
Customers can choose from a wide range of specialists, who will visit them at home or work depending on where they are most comfortable. Some specialists will specialise in hardware, others software, some networking issues. But it’s not just technology that is being outsourced. Specialist support workers from other areas like retail or hospitality are also being used to solve customer problems.
Through all of these developments, it’s becoming much more convenient for customers to get support, while businesses can reduce overheads by using a wider range of specialists rather than investing heavily in one or two employees. Mobile support combined with flexibility for customer and specialist will allow people to work from anywhere at any time.
What changes do you think need to be made to support a mobile-first world of business? How will your business change? We would love to hear from you so why not join us on Facebook or Twitter where we’d love to hear your thoughts.
Self-Service And Knowledgebase
Self-service systems (such as knowledgebases) are becoming increasingly popular with organizations of all sizes, and for good reason. Providing self-service allows customers to take control of their own inquiries, giving them quick answers instead of waiting for someone else to help them. Self-service support systems can also allow your organization to handle a higher volume of inquiries at lower costs.
This guide will outline best practices for both creating your first self-service support system, as well as how to maintain it over time. We’ll also review key metrics that you can use to measure your success with self-service systems.
Self-service support systems can help improve customer satisfaction, increase retention, and reduce costs. By implementing a self-service system, you’ll be making your customers happier while improving efficiency of your own team.
To prepare a customer or client for your product or service, you’ll need to make an onboarding process. It is important to maintain a balance between going too far overboard with instructions and making it easy for users to get started without guidance. This can be helped by gamifying on-boarding (aka using game mechanics), which is used to make it fun, engaging, and memorable.
It’s also important to make sure you invest in marketing for your product or service, not just once you’re live but also during on-boarding. You want to build an audience before you start, so people already know about what you’re offering and how to get it when you launch. An email list is a great way to do that because all new users will receive a welcome email explaining everything they need to know as they sign up.
You should also look at using marketing automation during on-boarding to take care of tedious tasks. One task that’s perfect for automation is welcome emails; you don’t want to spend hours sending them individually every time someone signs up, so you can set up an automated sequence that sends a series of personalised messages over time.
Many experts believe that gamification is one of the most useful tools to leverage when outsourcing customer service services, as it encourages competition between employees, helping to weed out those who are not qualified or do not produce desired results. One study showed that companies using gamification experienced a 16% increase in customer retention over those who did not use gamification.
Other experts believe that artificial intelligence will have advanced enough by 2022 to allow chatbots to communicate with customers on a personal level. This technology is already being implemented by many of today’s companies, but it will be more refined at that time. One study showed that 83% of millennials preferred chatbots over customer service agents, so it’s likely they’ll continue to be used for customer service work as well.
Regardless of what you believe, there is one thing everyone can agree on: by 2022, customer service and support will be even more crucial than it is today. We may not know exactly how it will be implemented, but we do know that outsourcing these services will become an increasingly important part of doing business over time.
No matter what methods you choose to use, it’s important to stay up-to-date on industry trends so that you can continue to improve your business. Utilizing expert advice will help ensure that you remain competitive, which is crucial if you want to outsource customer service in 2022.
Shifting The Emphasis From Routine Activities To Problem Solving
In four years’ time, outsourced customer service will focus less on answering routine questions, but rather on helping customers understand why they are having issues and then resolving those problems. Agents will still assist customers with common questions such as how to download software or change their password, but these solutions will be provided over automated solutions that can be accessed at any time.
It’s important to recognize that customer service is not a static field. To remain competitive, customer service teams will need to evolve with customer needs, which means providing customers with information that helps them solve their problems as quickly as possible. Look for candidates who are passionate about helping customers solve issues rather than just getting them answers.
Another area that customer service will shift focus is resolving issues instead of delivering cookie-cutter solutions. For example, if a customer has an issue that can be resolved with an update or patch, they’ll be guided through how to solve it on their own. This approach shifts some level of responsibility from support agents to customers but requires them to become more tech savvy.
Similarly, automated systems are gaining momentum. While they won’t offer comprehensive support, they can help customers who know what they need but just can’t find it. For example, an automated service might ask a customer to describe their issue and then present them with a list of common solutions. Shifting some routine requests to automated tools allows more time for agents to focus on problems that need custom resolutions.
Monitoring And Reporting
Once your support systems are up, it’s important to monitor them constantly to ensure they stay that way. In addition, you should also report regularly on how well your solutions are performing. This will let you know if a new system is necessary to keep your customers happy or if what you have works just fine.
You’ll also want to track everything you’re doing so you can measure it against your goals. For example, if you wanted to decrease support ticket response time by 10 percent, you could keep track of when tickets are received, when they’re closed out and how long they take to answer during a specific period. This will help you know how well your team is performing over time as things inevitably change for various reasons.
Tracking your performance will also help you figure out when it’s time to make changes to how things are done, like adding additional staff or moving from outsourced customer support to an in-house team. Doing so will help you stay ahead of any potential problems and ensure customers have a positive experience every time they interact with your company.
Delegating Activities That Do Not Require Cognitive Intelligence
Cognitive intelligence is required for higher-level thinking such as problem solving. For activities that require less cognitive thinking, try delegating them to a junior or an intern employee. You can start by teaching them your workflow process, so that they know what needs to be done when you’re not around. When you do delegate tasks, make sure that their focus remains on tasks at hand instead of getting distracted with external factors.
If you do plan to hire an employee or a junior employee, make sure that they know what their tasks are before delegating them. Make sure that they fully understand your workflow process so that they can do things on their own without any guidance from you. When you delegate tasks, avoid micromanaging as it may distract them from performing well at work.
Some of your daily routine tasks can be delegated to interns or junior employees. You can delegate tasks such as scheduling meetings, answering emails, organizing files, etc. An intern may do menial tasks that require little thinking. The only thing is to make sure that they don’t get distracted from their work by external factors such as social media or meetings with other employees. Remember that you will have a lot of pressure on your shoulders, so it is important to delegate some responsibilities to others.