Outsource HQ

Customer Service in the Digital Age

Episode Summary

Join us at Outsource HQ for an insightful episode on digital-age customer support. Discover the formats customers expect, the power of convenience, and how outsourcing can transform your business. Elevate your support game and tune in now!

Episode Transcription

Hey there! It’s Adam from Outsource HQ. For today’s episode, we will be talking about the importance of customer service.

Customer service is one of the integral parts of any business. It is increasingly important in this day and age when most of our transactions are digital.

In digital, customer service has evolved from the big shift to voice support a decade ago. Now there are relatively new but now commonplace customer service formats that customers expect.  

That’s live chat, social media, customer service, email, and voice. These customer service formats are sorted by communication types and synchronicity, whether they’re in real-time or not.  

For example, email. The communication is text-based and it is asynchronous: meaning the communications are not done in real-time.

The opposite to this would be live chat. It’s the same text-based communication but there is someone that a customer can interact with in real-time.  

Then there’s the most common form of customer service, still through the phone: it’s speech-based and in real-time.

The last format, social media customer service, can be both real-time and asynchronous because platforms have the chat function or customer service reps can interact through comments.

There’s also the rise of customer service in e-commerce. Some ecommerce platforms integrate this into the user experience so it has become its own category. Customers can have live chat and other options through email or voice.  

Decades ago, people had hotlines for customer service, and they could get a number on the queue, when a company representative could get in touch with them to address their issues. They can wait hours, days, or even weeks.  

That’s unthinkable in today’s digital age. People expect instant customer service.  

Customers want customer support to be expedient and convenient. That convenience comes from the ease and options to reach you.  

Say that you have an awesome website with a built-in real-time chat and even great customer service reps behind that chat.  

It’s amazing on paper, but customers are not going to hang out on your website. Some would even consider it to be tedious to go on a website just to get a hold of a customer service rep.

But if you have customer service reps standing by on your social media pages or on your e-commerce page, real people who are ready to reply in live chat, it would be more effective.

Then there’s speed. Perhaps most important of all. You might have heard of the saying, “Done is better than perfect.” That’s the same for customer service.  

Get it done fast, even if it’s an automatic reply on live chat saying an agent will be with them shortly. Just make sure you make good on that promise.  

Of course, delivery, professionalism, and the actual resolution are all important factors to customer service. But nothing beats a fast reply, acknowledging the receipt of their message and the assurance that you’ll address the issue.  

Convenience also comes from options. Like I mentioned earlier, most customers are already on social media and expect you to be reachable there. But that’s just “most” customers, not all.  

It depends on your customer demographics. Some customers will still prefer to call and talk to reps. Some will prefer live chat or even chatbots.  

It also depends on your particular service or product. There can be issues better described through a call or even a video. If your service helps people on the go, they might connect through SMS.  

Now all of these expectations of the customer: Convenience, expedience, and options, all need resources: people and money.  

You need people across multiple platforms. Or you need a team dedicated to delivering fast and accurate replies on one specific format (voice, email, live chat). Either way, it’s definitely an investment.  

Perhaps the best value for your investment is outsourcing your customer service. At USource we have entire teams clients hire for their customer support. An outsourced team answers the speed and convenience your customers expect when it comes to customer service.  

Outsourced teams are far cheaper than hiring people in-house. It’s scalable. For example, you might have high demand during certain times of the year. You can downscale on off-peak seasons.  

You also save money from in-house training. When you outsource customer service to an agency like USource, you can expect experienced and trained specialists.

When you outsource, you also bypass the learning curve where your team is still getting trained and onboarded.  

While there would still be a realistic onboarding period, customer service specialists from digital agencies are trained to absorb company information fast and adapt to your customers seamlessly, flexible in learning new protocols and niches.  

That is due to the fact that outsourced pros currently or previously worked with many clients across various fields.  

Another option is to outsource training your in-house team. Your outsourced team can handle your customer service temporarily while creating SOPs for your in-house team.  

Outsourcing is the perfect solution not only for businesses to start consistent customer service for customers, but also for transitory periods such as migrating online or for heavy customer support periods during peak hours.  

Customer service is not only an important part of your brand reputation. It also helps you save money: Think about it, customer service reps can provide resolutions for customers that might prevent a refund. Not to mention great customer service helps in customer retention.  

Preventing customer churn keeps customers on your funnel or flywheel for upsells and future marketing. It’s also less money spent on acquiring new customers.

Lastly, providing great customer service helps in making loyal customers become advocates. Even those who submit complaints turn out to be your best evangelists, depending on how you handle them.  

Show them they can trust your brand. They may have a bad experience initially, which prompts them to get in touch with you in the first place, but that bad experience should end there. Turn things around with customer service.  

Customers who experience excellent customer support are the ones who sing your praises on social media. They make referrals for you and free positive marketing on social media, which multiplies the effectiveness of your marketing efforts.

So in summary, customer service is important for businesses. The type of customer service depends on your audience demographics, and your services or products.

Whichever format you choose, customers expect expedience, convenience, and options, when it comes to customer service.  

Outsourcing is the best solution to most scenarios of implementing customer service. And proper customer service saves you money and helps you to earn more money.

Thank you for listening. We talked about saving money through customer service this episode. Next episode, we’ll talk about saving time through business automation.

Until next time!