Customer service. What is it all about? How important is it to the development and success of a company? How can outsourcing help your company deliver modern customer service in line with the expectations of our times? Below are our answers to all these essential questions.
What is customer service?
The term “customer service” covers all direct and individual interaction between the company and a customer, both before and after the purchase. The company is supposed to offer each customer the assistance they need to buy from them with confidence and ensure they get full value from their purchase.
Customer service completes the customer experience!
The customer experience is the result of the interactions between a person and a company, its brand. It starts from awareness to purchase and every step in between. In short, the customer experience, or CX in the jargon, expresses the global perception that customers have towards a company and its brand.
Customer experience is made up of a myriad of small, interconnected elements:
- Customer service quality;
- The advertising;
- Product and service features;
- Ease of use and reliability;
- Website navigation.
All of these factors have an inevitable impact on the customer’s perception and decision to return…or not. It is therefore vital for the company to be careful about the customer experience it wants to offer, in order to convert and build loyalty.
How can you do this, when you know that customer service is expensive and difficult to manage? Thanks to outsourcing! With ProContact!
As specialists in customer service outsourcing, we have concrete solutions for finding new customers:
- Multi-channel prospecting,
- Market research,
- Lead generation,
- Quotation management,
- Order taking,
- Remote sales in B2B or B2C
But also to develop the loyalty of your current customers:
- Regular and multi-channel contact
- Quality service
- Active listening
Choose outsourcing if you are looking for a solution to improve your reputation and your employer image. With a better employer brand, your customers will be more loyal and your prospects will find it easier to trust you.
A portrait of the modern customer
In a blog post entitled “7 characteristics of the modern customer”, Oracle, the world’s largest database company, paints a picture of today’s customers. In a nutshell, they have some very specific characteristics:
- Customers want the top treatment. They control the experience they want; they search, explore and share.
- Customers are ALWAYS connected, 24/7, on any internet-enabled device.
- Customers expect personal interactions. 3 out of 5 consumers are likely to buy from a company that has personalized their experience. (Movable Ink)
- Customers don’t like to wait for the items they want. When U.S. consumers were faced with an out-of-stock situation, only 13% waited for the item to be back in stock, while 39% switched brands or products and 32% switched retailers altogether. (McKinsey)
- Customers trust influencers over brands. 43% of Gen Z consumers rely on influencers more than brands to learn how to use a product or service. (Oracle and CRM Essentials)
- -Customers care about sustainability. 65% of consumers want brands that are environmentally friendly and invest in sustainability. (Accenture)
- Customers have a very strong opinion. And they are 5.1 times more likely to recommend a brand after having a positive customer experience. (Qualtrics)
Let’s add to that:
- That they take the time to learn about the companies they are interested in, the industry and their events;
- They want to find solutions first and foremost;
- They are acquainted with other customers;
- They are connected to various devices and communication channels;
- They always have an opinion, usually very strong;
- They show a real desire for self-sufficiency;
- They don’t hesitate to criticize competitors’ customer experiences;
- They expect companies to be proactive.
Portrait of the modern customer service sector
Reading the many points above, it is in a company’s best interest to take care of its customer service, which can be difficult when skills, expertise, tools and resources are lacking internally. This is where outsourcing becomes a concrete solution, a powerful business strategy, provided that it is in line with customer expectations. How do you do this?
By having all the expected problem-solving skills
The customer service department must ensure that each customer is satisfied, which requires dealing with a complex set of questions and problems to find a satisfactory and concrete solution.
By having clear communication
How to communicate clearly and what is clear communication? It is the ability to put yourself in the client’s shoes and use concise explanations to reach a solution as quickly as possible. And more importantly, this applies to internal communication as well!
Displaying a friendly attitude
The modern customer does not like to talk to a robot and be a mere reference! Authenticity is the secret to show the customer that he really matters to the company.
By showing empathy
The customer service department must understand the frustrations of its customers in order to offer them the right solutions. Empathy helps to alleviate frustration and preserve the brand’s reputation.
By having a good business acumen
Of course, customer service doesn’t have to do the work of the sales department, but the reality is a bit more complex than that! By solving a customer’s problem and being their advocate, customer service is at the same time representing the commercial interests of your company.
By having a genuine knowledge of the product/service
Customer service must know the ins and outs of any product or service they represent. How can you reassure a customer who finds himself on the phone with an interlocutor unable to identify his problem?
By having good time management
A customer service department must naturally deal with several customers at the same time. For a concrete result, it must be organized and have excellent time management skills.