Being able to take care of your customers has never been more crucial. Changes in the past year have meant customers aren’t experiencing face-to-face customer care, which is critical to maintaining customer relationships.
To make up for this lack of contact, businesses need to ensure their customer care services are delivering the quality that 80% of consumers expect in the current climate. Some of those things include:
- Reaching the right demographics on the right channels
- Providing prompt responses
- Delivering an omnichannel experience, so customers aren’t repeating themselves
An outsourced customer service provider can help deliver this to keep customers happy while keeping costs low. As such, your customer service strategy should include making strategic partnerships aimed at improving the overall experiences for your customers.
Here, we’ll provide a checklist for businesses to ensure they’re delivering quality customer care throughout 2021 and beyond.
Make sure you’re customer-centric
CX is a critical part of most emerging customer service trends. Your processes should focus on creating positive experiences for your customers. This includes delivering value through your offerings and building stellar relationships. Bear in mind that companies that focus on customers are 60 per cent more profitable than those that don’t. You can be customer-centric by:
- Anticipating customer needs
- Collecting and implementing customer feedback
- Being accessible and approachable (multichannel support and 24-hour service)
- Providing a proactive service to customers
You should also strive to build a customer-centric culture on your sales, marketing, and customer service teams. Your teams must prioritise customers’ needs and work to solve problems quickly and efficiently. They shouldn’t just focus on closing sales but keep customers engaged and fulfilled throughout their entire journey.
Pro Tip: Be sure to build customer-centricity into the DNA of your business, and you’ll never experience difficulty in adapting to changing situations to meet your customers’ needs.
Be on the right channels
Customers want assistance, but they want it via their preferred channels. For that reason, it’s vital to be accommodative of their preferences by delivering multichannel support. Your team should be familiar with the common options, including phone calls, email, live chat, and social media.
Keep in mind that 46% of Gen Z and 47% of millennials prefer using social media when interacting with companies. About 67% of baby boomers opt to use phone calls while the rest find texting a convenient option. Customers tend to go for a channel that either saves them time or has no frustrations.
Providing multi-channel support makes it easy for customers to find you whenever they need help. Even more important, your customer support should be omnichannel, meaning the channels should be connected to accommodate 90 per cent of customers who expect consistent experiences across different channels.
You can also supplement your channels by offering self-service options, such as chatbots, knowledge bases, and products manuals. However, make sure you’re still accessible in case a customer wants to talk to a real human — this means making customer service agents available to seamlessly solve customer problems.
Pro Tip: Remember to use a tool that connects all the channels and allows your agents to access customers’ data and conversation history to prevent frustrations when customers are forced to repeat themselves.
Provide access to high-quality agents
Your customer service agents represent your brand, so it’s vital for them to project a positive attitude when interacting with customers. They should be knowledgeable about your product and be responsive to attend to customer issues quickly.
Some exemplary qualities of great agents include:
- High emotional intelligence
- Great communication skills
- Familiarity with your services and products
- Problem-solving skills
- Flexibility and adaptability
Bear in mind that it’s about having high-quality agents who can solve things efficiently. Customers don’t like waiting when interacting with your customer service. In one study, businesses reported that they lost about 75% of their customers due to long wait times.
Every business needs high-quality agents who are highly skilled and know their products and customers well. If you’re unable to find quality agents for peak seasons, working with outsourced onshore customer service providers like Odondo can be relatively cost-effective and time-saving.
Odondo has a distributed workforce working on a remote model — meaning that agents can efficiently deliver quality customer care from home under any circumstance. This saves you money on adding more physical space for agents. You can easily add or reduce agents, depending on your needs.
Scale your customer care as needed
In 2020, more people spent time at home due to lockdowns and other pandemic restrictions. Consequently, they turned to online shopping for their everyday shopping needs, ranging from groceries to furniture. In the UK, 60% of the customers were shopping online more often.
This surge in online shopping also fueled customer demands, putting more pressure on customer service teams. In July 2020, retail and eCommerce sectors experienced an increase of 48 per cent in customer requests. The ability to quickly scale your customer care was a differentiating factor during this time.
As you refine your customer service strategy for 2021, be sure to consider scalability as a vital element for customer service functions. One solution to consider is eCommerce customer service outsourcing, which provides an effective way to cope with fluctuating customer service demand. Being able to prepare for and adapt to seasonal changes is crucial for ensuring consistency in customer experiences. Regardless of the circumstance, you should be able to offer the same level and quality of customer care.
Customers don’t want to endure long wait times during holiday seasons or other peak times for online shopping. About 75 per cent of customers believe that it takes too long to connect with a live agent. That doesn’t need to be the sentiment about your business when you can work with an outsourced service provider to scale your operations as needed.
Ensure your customer service function is flexible
Flexibility in your customer service functions means the ability to adapt to different situations at any time. The year 2021 offers a chance to implement your 2020 experiences and reshape your functions to deliver unique experiences to your customers.
One of the ways of ensuring agility is by partnering with outsourced customer service providers like Odondo. Such services allow you to scale up your operations during peak seasons to quickly and satisfactorily meet your customer needs, but customer service outsourcing pricing can vary depending on the type of provider.
At Odondo, we understand that it can be demanding to resolve issues and attend to different customer needs during peak seasons. As such, we’ve created a flexible model that works for any business, allowing us to be an extension of your customer service function. We’re able to offer:
- High-quality agents – Our work from home (WFH) model attracts quality, industry-specific agents with diverse backgrounds. We can train them as needed to meet your unique requirements.
- No fixed contracts – Our pay-as-you-go model lets you use only what you want, saving you money. You don’t need to enter into fixed contracts that are likely to leave you with unused resources during off-peak seasons.
- Scalable services – Regardless of your needs, we’re able to add or reduce your agents as needed. You can rely on us to meet your needs when you want the most help.
- Better customer experiences – With our high-quality agents, we’re able to deliver faster response times to your customers. This means better experiences for customers whenever they need help.
Working as an extension to your team, we allow companies to create agile customer service teams that can quickly adapt to changing circumstances while keeping the overall costs low. We can deliver bespoke customer service that your specific business needs, making it easy to deliver unique customer experiences in 2021.
Do you need help with customer service demands? Be sure to contact us today, and we’ll be glad to help!
Bobby spent 11 years as an Investment Banker before going on to co-found his own e-commerce start-up, where Customer Service was one of the core functions that fell under his remit.
He has spent the past 9 years in and around the start-up space, most recently co-founding Odondo with the aim of reimagining the delivery of Customer Service. Bobby has pursued a very traditional career path for someone who ultimately aspires to be a hardcore gangsta rapper.