Is the time for talk dead?
There’s a healthy debate rolling across businesses that rely on BPO services: what’s the right contact center balance between voice and non-voice services?
Many consumers do prefer direct-to-agent voice channels when inquiring about a high-priority task — but many also appreciate the convenience and control of email or live chat, for instance.
Luckily, there’s never been a better time to broaden your customer engagement repertoire with non-voice channels that can stand alone or elevate your existing voice BPO services.
Here are the most common non-voice outsourcing priorities of 2021 — and why they matter.
Instead of reaching for the phone, more and more customers are trusting live chat modules as their preferred customer support channel. Typically a combination of automation and live agent support, the channel has become wildly popular, with 73% of customers saying live chat is the most satisfactory way to engage with brands.
And business leaders like it too, with live chat shown to increase conversion rates by 3.84% while costing considerably less than voice channels.
Deploy deflection techniques as the first line of response. At a minimum, use a canned Q&A series to tackle your most common inquiries, providing answers in the chat interaction itself or via links to relevant content on your website. More complex systems can use artificial intelligence (AI) with natural language processing (NLP) and natural language understanding (NLU) to create a realistic dialogue between the customer and the chatbot. In many cases, your customers will find the answers they need without realizing they never actually spoke with a live agent.
Integrate your live chat into your omnichannel experience. Customers expect your organization to have a complete log of their interactions with your brand. While a standalone system may answer the user’s query at the moment, failure to note it in your customer’s profile may result in frustration down the road.
Provide timely responses by outsourcing support. Customers expect an immediate response when using a live chat system. Therefore, successful live chat support requires the manpower to answer inquires in a matter of seconds – 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Live chat outsourcing ensures fast, professional responses to your customers’ inquiries and allows your in-house support team to shift focus to other areas.
Email Support Outsourcing
Like any inbox, emails can pile up. But if you’re a customer-focused organization, you cannot allow for slow response times or customer inquiries to slip through the cracks.
For many customers, email is their preferred channel. And it represents one of the biggest opportunities to drive customer loyalty and satisfaction.
If your current email support is inefficient, costly, or lacks empathy, you’re hurting your brand and your bottom line. 80% of business leaders cite email and email support as their greatest driver of customer retention. It may be hard to win a customer-for-life with great email support alone, but you can definitely lose one by offering a poor email experience.
Leverage automation wherever possible. Many customer inquiries can be pre-empted by automated emails that correspond with the phases of your current procedures. Utilize email to inform customers that their order has been shipped, that their appointment has been confirmed, or that their inquiry has been escalated. By removing these necessary but tedious email tasks away from live agents, your remaining customer queries (often more complex and difficult) can be proactively tackled by a dedicated email support agent.
Integrate your email into your omnichannel experience. Odds are, your customer’s email address is already a key piece of information in their profile with your company. Whether they initiate their communication through an email option in their account dashboard or by emailing you directly, it’s critical to align the incoming message with the user’s existing information.
Offer fast, professional responses through outsourcing. While customers will likely allow a longer response time than with a chat interaction, prompt response to email inquiries can be a major factor in a positive customer experience. Utilizing a contact center partner that specializes in 24/7 email support outsourcing will reduce the burden on your internal staff – and can reduce your costs by up to 70%.
Social Media Support
There are few (if any) channels that influence customer satisfaction more than social media. More than 4 billion people, comprising 67% of the world’s population, are active on social channels.
And of that group, more than half use social media to research products and services.
So, it’s no wonder it’s becoming one of your customers’ preferred support channels. Quicker and easier than making a call or sending an email, social support allows your customer to quickly (and often publicly) submit a support issue. And they expect a response as quickly in return. Ignoring or even deprioritizing social media support is simply not an option in 2021.
Social media inquiries can be initiated by a variety of sources: direct messages through social media platforms, posts that tag your company directly, and comments on your brand’s social media activity. And these inquiries demand quick, effective attention. 79% of consumers expect same-day social responses from brands, and resolving a social media complaint can increase customer advocacy by 25%.
Actively monitor your social media platforms and mentions. For better or for worse, customers have learned that a public complaint on social media is often an effective way to get an issue resolved quickly. Make sure you are actively monitoring and reviewing user-generated content tied to your social platforms and responding promptly. Additionally, prioritize social media messages the same way you would an email, chat conversation, or help ticket.
Acknowledge publicly, resolve privately. Respond quickly to social media inquiries, and move the conversation to another channel by offering a phone number or email address, or by contacting the user via direct message. This allows you to focus on resolving the issue without distraction.
Have a dedicated social media support team. Effective social media support requires a highly skilled team that is familiar with the platforms and can respond immediately. If you do not have internal staff available, finding a skilled contact center to provide outsource social media support is often the perfect solution.
Selecting a Non-Voice Outsourcing Partner in 2021
Perhaps you’re thinking now is the time to focus on non-voice support channels — but you don’t have the time or budget to build an internal team. Why not let outsourcing professionals attend to your non-voice channels with the same care and professionalism given to your phone inquiries?
Outsourcing non-voice support can have huge benefits to both your brand and your business growth.
Here are some key guidelines for selecting an outsourcing partner:
Are they fluent? You may not need to worry about your agents’ accents when dealing in non-voice channels, but you need partners that can offer language and industry fluency. In short, select partners that can deploy skilled agents that speak the language of your customers and your business.
Can they scale? Find a partner that’s comfortable with quickly scaling up or down. The best outsourcing partners will have the flexibility to grow fast, scale back seasonally, or move in any direction your shifting business priorities dictate.
Are they experienced? There’s no reason you have to settle for a partner that doesn’t have experience in your industry. Outsource Consultants works directly with BPO partners that have produced top results for clients in every industry, and we can find a rockstar partner for you too.
Curious which non-voice outsourcing services are best for your industry? Get started with a no-risk, no-cost call center cost proposal.