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Inbound Calls – Customer Service

Every business wants to give the best customer experience. Similarly, every customer desires the best experience out of using a product or service. From reading a much-awaited novel to getting a shirt as a gift for a friend, both a business and a customer hope to give and obtain the best experience respectively. However, nothing is ever perfect in this world. There are times when a book can have missing pages or a shirt that was meant to be a gift didn’t fit the recipient. In these inevitable scenarios is where customer service comes in.

What Is Customer Service?

In a nutshell, customer service refers to the assistance that a company gives to customers. It involves answering questions and addressing complaints. Usually, a customer seeks it before, during, and after a purchase has been made.

Many think that customer service is only for customers. “The customer is always right” will not be a popular statement if this is not the case. But contrary to popular belief, customer service entails a benefit both for the customer and the business. For the former, it is issue resolution. For the latter, it is customer loyalty. Through customer service, a customer can replace a book with complete pages and a business can make up for its defective product.

Providing an Excellent Customer Service

Customers and businesses can only achieve said benefits through an excellent customer service. To give this, a business should make sure that its staff possesses the following:

Willingness to listen

Employees can only assist customers if they know their exact problems. They have to listen to customers intently and fully. They can’t be complacent just because a customer speaks of a familiar issue.

Problem-solving skills

Customer service is ground zero for customer problems. Customer service employees must be prepared to ask the right questions to solve issues. But more importantly, they should know how to ask questions properly. They must be careful not to sound offensive or disrespectful.

Product knowledge

A thorough understanding of products or services is a prerequisite to assisting customers properly. The staff should know the ins and outs of a product or service to give accurate responses.

Critical thinking skills

Customer service employees must be prudent. They must exercise proper judgment to know the best decision to apply in a situation.

Customer service is often confused with customer care. But for the record, these are two different concepts. The latter is a higher level than the former because it involves establishing an emotional connection with customers. Nonetheless, both services contribute to a customer’s total experience with a brand.

Customer Service via Inbound Call Center

With the advancements in technology, a business can now offer customer service through other channels besides in-personal and phone. This includes email, chat, social media, and mobile SMS. But despite the availability of other options, research shows that a majority of customers still opt for the phone medium. Most customers believe that calling is still the best way to resolve issues, receive accurate information, and explain complaints. They also see it as the medium for complex issues.

In an inbound call center, employees for customer service are known as Customer Service Representatives or CSRs. Their main duties comprise addressing product/service inquiries, account inquiries, billing issues, and complaints.

Benefits of Outsourcing Customer Service

During the early days of outsourcing, customer service is the primary function that BPOs compete to manage. This is why a BPO is more known as a call center. Although companies are now seeking BPO firms for other functions such as web development, customer service remains a key function outsourced. For the benefits of outsourcing customer service, see the list below.

Option to provide 24/7 customer support

Outsourcing gives a business the option to have round-the-clock operations for customer support. Through BPO, there will be someone to pick up the phone always.

Increase savings

Outsourcing enables the access to quality but affordable talent. The total payment of outsourcing also includes the equipment that outsourced agents shall need.

Concentrate on core functions

Outsourcing customer service can help a business focus on its core function. With the right BPO partner, a business can work on improving its product or service offerings without worry.

Obtain skilled talent immediately

Outsourcing relieves a business from the burden of recruiting staff. A BPO firm has a pool of talent ready to enable operations immediately. 

Fortify the process

Customer loyalty is a result of positive interactions with a brand. An outsourcing firm has the expertise to make every interaction count. It has a tried and tested process in achieving customer satisfaction.

Industries That Outsource Customer Service

Retail

Healthcare

Legal Services

Tourism

Hospitality

IT and Software

Logistics

Electronics

Banking and Finance

Insurance

E-commerce

Telecommunications

When You Should Outsource Customer Service

Customer service is an essential department of a business. While there are some who choose to establish customer support operations in-house, there are also some who choose to outsource. Here are the common situations that prompt the latter type of companies to outsource the task:

  • Loss of customers
  • A large volume of calls
  • Poor brand reputation
  • A low number of customers
  • High operational expenses
  • Low customer satisfaction rate
  • A high number of abandoned calls
  • Difficulty in recruiting skilled talent
  • Want to start operations immediately
  • Customers are complaining about long queueing
  • Limited resources to support business expansion plans

Are these challenges familiar to you? Yes? Then maybe it’s time to outsource the task offshore. But before you venture into outsourcing, do a lot of research on it first. Look into the top outsourcing destinations in the world and their outsourcing vendors. You will see a lot. To give you something to start with, the major players in BPO are India, China, and the Philippines. But among the three, or even among all other outsourcing countries actually, the Philippines is the number one for voice BPO services such as appointment setting and lead generation because of its competent workforce.