One of the most important ways to build brand loyalty and have your customers become lifelong fans is to have a thoughtful customer experience at every touchpoint. However, if you’re the owner of a small or medium-sized business, you may wonder how to provide excellent customer experiences while balancing all the other tasks that go along with running a business. Before you decide to outsource Customer Experience (CX) tasks like customer service, make sure you consider all the factors.
The importance and impact of customer experience
CX is the way a business interacts with its customers. It is the sum of a customer’s interactions with a company, from brand awareness and identification through the transaction and follow-up process. From liking your company’s post on social media to calling a sales representative, these elements come together to create your brand’s CX and shape the overall feeling a customer has when interacting with your company. A critical part of your company’s CX is its customer service. Although the terms “customer experience” and “customer service” are used synonymously, they aren’t the same. Customer service is only one part of the customer’s experience—but it’s one of the most critical. Forbes found that 96% of customers stated that a company’s customer service practices were a vital factor when choosing to stay loyal to a brand.
Customer service is one of the most personal interactions a customer will have with your brand. However, many companies are at a disadvantage when choosing to put their customer service in the hands of call centers that have no interest in promoting a brand or retaining customers.
Why you shouldn't outsource customer service
Brand identity and culture
Customer service is one of the critical ways a brand develops its identity and culture, so leaving such a massive part of your customer experience in the hands of a third party could be detrimental to business growth. Keeping your customer service representatives on your internal team means everyone is working to grow your business and create lifelong customers. Another benefit of having your customer experience team nestled internally is their ability to partake in your company culture and therefore pass that onto customers. Maybe it's how you greet customers on the phone or the interactions that come afterwards. As small as they may seem, a positive, personal, and warm customer service experience has the ability to delight your customers in ways no marketing or even product can.
Impersonal customer experience
There is nothing worse than a customer receiving inaccurate or outdated information from a customer service representative. Even if you keep outsourced customer service agents regularly informed about your company’s policies and practices, no one will ever know your brand like your team members. Customers know when they’re not speaking directly with someone at the company. In many cases, they may not be speaking to a human at all!
So what's one way for you to streamline your customer service experience? Make sure customers aren't repeating themselves over. A common source of frustration for many customers is the need to repeat their 'story' every time they're transferred from one rep to another. At TABLE, we solved this with our unique chat experience, powered by our intelligent chatbot Zoe, which keeps the conversation going, no matter the platform your customer arrives to you by. So what exactly does that mean? It means that if a customer reached out to you via an Instagram ad, only to close their app and connect with you the next day to your website, they'll enter the same chat as they started previously, and your team members will see the entire previous history—reducing the need for the customer to repeat themselves and speeding up service delivery for a personal experience. Try Zoe for yourself and see all the options she offers you.
When outsourcing customer service, you’re trusting another company with your brand and your customer’s personal information. It requires a high level of trust and ongoing relationship-building to ensure the protection of this information. Any violation or exploitation of this data will negatively reflect on your company, even if you had nothing to do with the breach.
Long wait times and red tape
People want quick resolutions to their problems with a product or service — and outsourcing customer service hinders this process. Automated telephone lines, nonintuitive bots, and uninformed representatives make customers less likely to purchase from you again and to seek help elsewhere.
Zoe is none of those—not only can she serve your customers 24/7, but she has the ability to route calls during online hours for your team, direct customers to key pieces of information they might seek, and never forgets a conversation.
Internal customer service solutions
Many business owners may find developing a CX strategy time-consuming and nearly impossible to keep track of, especially when your company deals with high-volume customer interactions that may be difficult for one department to manage.
The solution is to integrate an on-demand CX program that is easy to use for your internal customer service team and customers. TABLE is an all-in-one customer experience platform that offers automated live website chats with robust integrations, including screen sharing, placing transactions, document downloads, and signing. TABLE allows you to keep your customer service team internal, better aligning with your brand and saving you time. Learn more by scheduling a free demo with one of our CX Advisors and see all the powerful ways our platform can empower your teams and customers.