This week, businesses across the globe are celebrating customer service week, highlighting the dedicated professionals and the sophisticated processes they leverage to thrill customers.
If customer service is a priority for your organization, this week is a perfect time to consider new ways you can improve customer service outsourcing.
And don’t be fooled — businesses that outsource customer service are not dodging their responsibility to their customers, they’re embracing it. Customer service outsourcing through contact center partners represents one of the fastest-growing, most impactful channels that business leaders can deploy.
By trusting experts, your business can deliver customer experiences proven to drive higher customer loyalty and increase overall revenue— all while focusing on your core business priorities.
Here are five of the biggest customer service outsourcing trends to help you elevate customer satisfaction:
1) Fully Remote Contact Center Teams
This trend can be somewhat deceiving, as businesses will still look to BPO partners that can flex between both in-person teams and outsourcing remotely. But the evolution of contact centers will remain disproportionately focused on optimizing for remote teams.
It’s safe to say, somewhere along your customer journey, remote agents will serve your customers. As a leader, you need to emphasize deploying the right people (remote agents) with the right technology to meet your customers’ growing needs.
Additionally, outsourcing partners not only provide fully remote teams but also the resources and expertise to deliver top-notch security and compliance safeguards (a requisite for any service outsourcing).
Fully remote contact center teams offer “do-it-all” coverage from decentralized locations, and demand for their services is growing rapidly, especially with “business-as-usual” not likely returning in the traditional sense.
If this trend feels like an appealing option for your business, consider outsourcing your customer service operations, including nearshore or offshore, with a qualified BPO partner.
Strategic partnerships — a trend we’ll cover next — can deploy skilled agents and key technologies remotely at a cost comparable to building internal teams.
2) Strategic Partnerships
Strategic partnerships are built for the long-term and can safeguard your business against ongoing changes, paying attention to your near-term and far-term needs. They go above and beyond partnerships where a vendor simply performs the tasks within the terms of your contract and calls it a day.
Strategic partners are superior because they can deliver sophisticated customer service quickly, but also develop strategies and best practices to evolve with your brand. By combining best-in-class tools, APIs, and workflows, all to empower highly skilled agents, strategic partners can elevate customer satisfaction over the long term.
A good strategic partner will be just as invested in your roadmap as you are, continually raising the bar on CX, helping you reach new audiences, and strengthening your brand.
Here are some common tasks strategic partners can help you tackle:
- Improve your CX strategy based on real-world, industry-specific experience
- Recommend leading-edge technologies to scale revenue and growth
- Proactively identify and plan resolutions for filling customer service gaps
Want to see what a strategic partner can do for you? Get started.
3) Growth of Self-Service Adoption
Traditional customer service, where agents engage with people one-on-one, is a big part of customer service—but it’s not everything.
Self-service is customer service too.
And not because businesses are cutting corners or dismissing their customers’ preferences (quite the opposite) — self-service is a growing trend because customers embrace it.
67 percent of consumers prefer self-service customer support over live agent assistance.
What’s more, customers will leave in an instant for competitors that offer better experiences, and the rise of self-service is now an expectation that brands must compete with.
When thinking about self-service, it’s important to focus on the characteristics that make it a winner with customers, such as speed, convenience, and seamless omnichannel experience.
For instance, if a customer wants to update simple information, like their address or billing details, there should be simple, intuitive steps for customers to follow.
Additionally, with more customers capable of self-service, your contact center queues are less crowded, meaning live agents can focus their expertise on customers with more complex problems. Prioritizing more complex inquiries means you’re providing more personalized service to customers during the most impactful customer engagements
4) Machine Learning/AI Analytics
Too many organizations have delayed adding much-needed data intelligence features to their customer service processes. Many did so because of the perceived cost and complexity of integration.
Machine learning and AI can provide key insights for helping your live agents access valuable voice-of-customer and consumer data, and they’ve never been more accessible and cost-effective to deploy.
Better yet, 66% of consumers say they’ll pay brands more money if they offer superior customer service. And live agents that have deep data intelligence will be better able to elevate customer service experiences.
Great customer service is knowing what your customer needs — machine learning allows you to analyze all your core data to inform and direct the next best actions for your contact center agents to take.
There are many customer service improvements built on machine learning, including:
- Sophisticated knowledge base systems that direct users to helpful web articles that proactively solve customer problems.
- Algorithmic purchasing data that make product or service suggestions based on previous behavior and likely preferences.
- Customer personalization formed from deep data insights that produce unique persona-based engagements that set your brand apart.
- Machine learning and analytics is especially helpful with customer self-service by:
- Replacing text-based FAQs with chat-based engagements that customers can use to find answers
- Resolving simple, yet common, customer queries, like password changes
- Offering 24/7 response to self-service inquiries without adding staff
5) Customer Experience
And finally, every customer service engagement comes down to one simple thing: experience.
Positive customer experiences drive loyalty and growth; whereas inconsistent or poor experiences harm your customer relationships and ruin brand reputation.
That’s why CX is the main focus of many top executives, because it unlocks creative ways to serve your customer.
- Many online retailers will trigger promotional discounts to customers that visit product pages of “sold out” merchandise.
- Some brands give their contact center agents discretionary allowances each week to dispense to customers as they choose, thrilling customers with unexpected generosity.
Targeting customer service experience is a key differentiator that allows businesses to gain an edge in highly competitive and homogenous industries:
- Highly satisfied customers generate 2.6 times more revenue than just satisfied customers.
- It’s 7 times more affordable to keep an existing customer than to earn a new one.
- 95% of customers will forgive a mistake if their customer experience is great.
So, while you may recognize the opportunity, you may worry about how to get started. By trusting an outsourcing partner, your brand gets the benefit of a sophisticated and cost-effective customer experience at the hands of true CX professionals in your corner.
Putting Trends into Action
Are you worried you’re missing the mark on customer service?
During customer service week, take the time to consider how you can make life easier for your customers with customer service outsourcing that delivers top talent and top technologies to meet top trends in customer service.
Outsource Consultants has decades of hands-on experience delivering outsourced customer service solutions to companies just like yours. With options tailored to your budget and key goals (and a no-risk, no-cost consultation), it’s the perfect time to thrill your customers with unrivaled experiences.