Exceptional customer service is critical for a small business to thrive. And in the modern world, customer service often starts on mobile. But how do you ensure you’re offering reliable customer service when mobile encompasses so many different channels?
One practical approach to achieve this would be to outsource your customer service operations. Not only does it improve your customer satisfaction, but it can streamline your day-to-day operations and reduce costs, too.
What is outsourced customer service?
Outsourcing customer service involves entrusting your customer support operations to an external service provider. These providers are specialists who manage customer interactions, answer your calls, handle inquiries and solve problems on your behalf. In terms of mobile customer service, this can include your phone lines, your website and your social media messaging platforms.
According to the UK Customer Satisfaction Index (2023), ‘Poor customer service is costing UK businesses £11.4bn a month in lost productivity’.
How does outsourcing customer service work?
When you outsource your customer service to a third party, they operate as an extension of your business. They represent your brand. Most importantly, they connect with your customers through various channels, including phone, email and live chat. They do this using information provided by you, so you know any answers are accurate and consistent.
In this article, we’ll
- Explore the concept of outsourced customer service
- How it works in conjunction with a mobile-first customer approach
- Provide actionable strategies to enhance your mobile customer experience.
Understanding your customer base.
Outsourcing your customer service requires you to know your customer base fully—everything from their characteristics, desires and challenges to how they prefer to interact. You can gain invaluable insights through detailed customer profile analysis. This analysis includes studying customer demographics (age, location, occupation, etc.) and business firmographics (business size, sector, location, etc.)
But your analysis can and should go further.
The importance of understanding demographic channels.
To give your customers the best possible service, understand their communication preferences. Do your customers prefer emails over phone calls? Would they instead prefer live chat or interaction through social media?
7 of 10 businesses say the telephone is their best customer service tool. And even then, you need to know the proportion of your customers who prefer to direct message you rather than call.
This information will help you mould the approach so the outsourced team can seamlessly work with the unique requirements of your customers.
Optimise your website.
70% of mobile searchers have used the ‘click-to-call’ feature directly from the search results page on their mobile phone. 61% of these searchers said calling a business is the ‘most important’ phase in their shopping process.
Ensure your company telephone number is clear and clickable throughout your website. Add live chat to your website to enable mobile leads to ask questions as they browse. And always check your web pages are optimised for mobile first.
Offer cross-channel communication.
You also need to ensure you’re prepared to respond to leads in the channels they use.
These channels can include:
- Live chat
- Phone call
An outsourced customer service solution can help you cover all your comms bases. But just as importantly, you need to ensure your comms channels are unified.
So what does that mean?
It means offering a consistent experience across channels.
Mobile leads might move between different channels as they engage with your company – beginning with your website, then chatting with a live chat agent, and then moving to a phone call to confirm details. But that only works when you offer a consistent experience.
31% of consumers say the most frustrating aspect of poor customer service is having to repeat themselves multiple times.
So, how do you ensure you’re offering a consistent, cross-channel customer experience?
Seamless integration of technology.
With a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, you can empower your outsourced team with access to essential customer information. That ensures they’re able to offer consistent, informed and efficient interactions. It’s this harmonious blend of technology that exceptional customer service thrives on.
A CRM system helps avoid the instance of your customers having to repeat themselves. It means regardless of who they speak to, the service operator can give a seamless continuation of previous interactions. With that information at their fingertips, your outsourced customer service team can create solutions that align with the unique journey of each customer.
Offer 24/7 customer support.
Your customers might come from different time zones and have varying schedules. They may need assistance at any time, day or night. By offering 24/7 customer support through your outsourced service team, you can be there whenever your customers need you. It shows you’re committed to being readily available and accommodating to their needs.
This level of support can boost customer satisfaction and loyalty, as it leads to quicker problem resolution and demonstrates a dedication to meeting their needs on their terms.
How to enhance your mobile customer experience through outsourced customer service.
Outsourced customer service, combined with a mobile-first approach, offers small businesses a valuable opportunity to enhance the customer experience while streamlining communication channels.
As you embark on this journey, remember that outsourcing customer service isn’t an instant, one-time solution. It’s an investment in building lasting relationships with your customers.