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Improving Customer Experience with Automation

For any business owner, one of the best things that you can do is make your customer support service as good as it can be. While a good business often believes its product/service is good enough to avoid customer support queries, great businesses have a customer service standard to match their products. However, when time is of the essence, you might wish to consider using automation for customer experience improvement.

How, though, could you be using automation to help make sure that anyone getting in contact with your business can get the answers they require?

Start moving things along

When you are looking to make customer service more impressive, it has to be quicker. Taking hours – even days – to respond to an opening customer query is a poor look. By 2020, it’s expected that just 15% of customer support interactions will be human-handled: that makes sense.

Automation allows for most basic problems – returns, repairs, replacements – to be handled without a member of staff having to get involved. If you wish to minimise support staff costs whilst making sure customers get faster responses and automated resolutions to key issues, start using automation to improve the wider customer experience.

Stop limiting support hours

A major mistake of many a business is to have customer support hours in line with your opening hours. With the help of automation, you can have a 24/7 support network that handles all but the most challenging tasks without anyone having to intervene.

This could see you turn around response rates into minutes, not days. While it will allow for simple queries to be handled without any input, it will allow customers to feel like you care. If you respond quickly, they know that you want to find a resolution, and will appreciate that.

Start sending automated responses

A major improvement to any modern customer service platform that is automated, though, is automated responses. Send an automated message to let them know that their query is being received and dealt with. It lets them know that you have take their words into consideration and are now taking action on what they have said.

Also, if there are likely to be any delays to a response, automated messages allow you to make that clear. From making clear about customer service hours to other issues, you can remove the annoyance around waiting times on responses.

Let customers serve themselves

Today, self-service is a major part of retail and commerce. Customers often don’t want to have to sit and talk to an agent; they just want a refund/replacement etc. – this is why you have to make self-servicing possible.

Make it so by ensuring that they can handle things like returns etc. through a system that means they do not have to talk to anyone. From having them include the RMI number to ensuring your system is notified of an incoming return/refund/replacement request, this ensures that customers spend less time waiting for a response, and more time getting a resolution.

 

With these factors in mind, you should be able to quickly transform the quality of your customer experience. Customers will feel more valued, and your business will seem far more professional and on-the-ball. With enough customer support staff to take over the minority or more personal concerns, you can start to make sure that all customers receive the best possible experience. 

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Build vs. Buy: The Pros and Cons of Developing an Internal CX Department or Going with a Turnkey BPO Solution

Establishing a startup is riddled with challenges and hurdles that a CEO, Operations Manager, or someone in charge of customer service faces everyday. Your clients are expecting a complete product or service – including a robust customer experience to keep them loyal to your brand. As a vital component to launching a successful startup, here are the pros and cons of building an internal CX department versus choosing to go with a turnkey BPO solution.

 

Pros:

  • Being able to create and provide jobs in your local community
  • Startups typically consist of small teams, and it would be nice to give the company more faces and more people around the office
  • Having “control” of the operations if the team is in-house

Cons:

  • Job creation is good, but does someone in tech-dominated cities like San Francisco, Seattle, and New York want an entry-level CS job? Think of outsourcing as an extension of your internal team, not a replacement! We’re assisting the internal team to stay focused on scale, ultimately helping the company grow by not focusing on menial tasks.
  • It is wise to set up at least the foundation of your CS process internally so you know what you’re event outsourcing.
  • It may not be wise to outsource the ENTIRE function. Outsource the low-level issues and 1-2 internal reps handle urgent issues.
  • Remember, they are YOUR vendor. You have more control and influence over a vendor than an unruly CS employee, you get them paid!

Having a solid CX team is vital to a startup’s success – it’s up to you as a decision maker to grow your company in the most cost-effective, productive and organic way possible. In this rapidly evolving world, BPO solutions are only one of the multitude of services that you can use to expand your company to its full potential.

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The Top Trends in Customer Service in 2019

For many years now, the customer service industry has been in a period of significant change. That constant adjustment has seen many customer service norms we grew up with consigned to the dustbin of history. Today, customer service in 2019 is very much different to how it was even in 2018. With that in mind, it pays to understand and grasp the top trends in customer service in 2019. The problem is, where do you start?

Let us help you work out what the most important trends to follow with regards to customer service are.

People want faster resolutions

One problem with customer service in the past is that it was acceptable for a period of 48-hours to pass before the first reply. Now, anything beyond a couple of hours is going to leave someone tapping their timepiece, waiting for you to get a response to them.

So, make sure that you get used to the art of solving the entire issue within 48-hours; two working days to merely begin parlay isn’t acceptable, even if it was the norm once.

Customers want a personal approach

Making sure that every customer on your service comes with a full profile for you to look through is essential. Why? Because your staff will be expected to know who this person is; what they bought, what they looked at on your site etc.

If your business is not doing enough to personalise customer service, you will lose business. People want you to know who they are; they bought from you, so they expect your undivided attention.

Customers no longer want to explain themselves

Moving on from the above, when a customer is contacted regarding a query they have made, they expect you to know what it is already. A customer now knows how much data a business holds about them; they expect you to use that data to know what their problem is before they tell you.

The most common trend, then, comes from customers who want you to know what the problem is – and what the solution is – before you even talk.

AI is becoming more important

More and more businesses are now using AI to help make sure that they can do all of the above. It should make it easier for you to ensure that people get a more customer-centric, specific message delivered to them. Expand out over time; AI for customer service is still growing, but it has a huge amount of potential.

Start small, build big

Many companies make the mistake of trying to edit their entire customer service philosophy in one go. We recommend adding in small amounts of technological adjustment, more information per customer to each customer profile etc. – start small and build up the customer experience solution over time.

 

Good customer service needs buy-in from the business executives. As such, gradually improving the customer service platform is far more likely to receive financial and executive backing. Keep that in mind: a wholesale change has to be made, but can it really be made all at once without lasting damage? 

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How to Elevate Your Phone and Email Support

As a business, one of the single most important things that you can have in-house is a quality level of e-mail and phone support. Many businesses suffer from a lack of quality when it comes to their support system. If you are unsure about what changes to make to improve upon your present support platform, we have some ideas that you can utilise below.

If you are intending on making changes to any part of your business, make it your support platform. What, then, do you need to change for a more robust support network?

Make service emails a priority

One of the biggest mistakes that many businesses make is they do not prioritise answering customer emails. Emails are still by far and away one of the best ways to get in touch with your business: failing to prioritise it as a form of communication is very poor business sense.

Indeed, you should also make sure that you allow customers to know that A) you received their email and B) you will respond in-person ASAP. Many companies can be hours, even days, before they even respond to a customer: without even letting them know the e-mail was received in the first place. An automated response to every e-mail is a good way to let the customer know that you are on the case.

Make service responses more efficient

As mentioned above, many companies have shockingly poor response times. A response time can be as much as 12+ hours in the business world. You might be surprised to find out that customers don’t like waiting half-a-day for a response!

Make sure that you take the time needed to repair and improve the speed of response. Making use of additional e-mail support staff to help get answers back within an hour or two is much, much more likely to improve customer confidence in your ability to service their needs.

You still need phone agents

While many companies are cutting back on the use of phone agents as they have live chat systems, it’s nowhere near strong enough to do it all on its own. A computer AI can never match a human for their ability to solve problems, provide empathy, and let the customer know that the problem is being handled. As such, having phone agents who can immediately contact a customer regarding their query is going to show an immediacy and urgency that chat boats cannot show.

Don’t start cutting down the number of phone agents you have: this will help to avoid waiting times to speak to support staff, and will avoid giving people a scripted, unprofessional, impersonal customer support experience.

Make everything more specific to the person

Before a single reply is given to a customer, though, make sure the phone/e-mail support agent has looked over their file. What is the problem? What could they be getting in touch over? Have your staff look at the problem prior to picking up the phone/sending an e-mail response.

If you do that, you make sure that your responses are going to be much more personal in relation to the problem. Giving people cookie-cutter responses to their problems will not produce the positive response you think it might!

 

Make everything more personal; five minutes of reading over each customer profile prior to answering their query can go a long, long way to improving workplace performance. 

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Why Outsource to the Philippines in 2019?

Are you looking for a way to make your working days a lot less stressful? Then you need to take a look at outsourcing. Outsourcing allows you to pass on jobs to experts who are not part of your staff. From getting a cool logo designed to turning to a copywriter to make your blog bigger, you have many options to consider.

One option you need to look at, though, is where you will outsource from. The Philippines, for example, is among the world-leaders in producing top-quality freelancers and support specialists in most industries. Why, then, should you be looking to work with one of the countries with the fastest rate of growth for outsourcing in the world?

Affordable pricing

One major benefit of turning to the Philippines for outsourcing is the affordability of everything. The value for money that you receive on a daily basis is impressive indeed. You will pay around half of what you would to a UK or US employee, so you will spend far less on getting jobs done at a price you can easily afford.

A young nation

A good reason to look at Filipino outsourcing opportunities, though, is because of the age of the populace. This is a nation with the average age being just 23; many people, then, are tech-savvy and have grown around internet-based commerce.

As such, many of them are highly educated in top IT areas and have a fuller understanding of the skills that you might need. This is a young nation with a hungry, ambitious populace.

Legal protection

Another excellent benefit of using an outsourcing firm in the Philippines is they tend to be legally strong. This helps you to avoid the potential for litigation through work carried out by a member of staff. Their knowledge of their legal obligations allows you to hire without worrying you have hired someone who might not suit your needs.

This helps to keep client relations at an all-time high, whilst making sure that your business can get the right person for each job without worrying about expensive legal problems.

Greater cultural diversity

An interesting part of Filipino culture is that, compared to other popular outsourcing nations, they have a much richer grasp of Western culture. If you are looking for someone to write about pop culture, events happening across the world, cultural content etc. then you will find outsourcing in the Philippines is much easier.

They have a much richer connection to popular culture and non-Philippines culture than you might expect. This means that you can outsource without having to worry about a misunderstanding of the cultural meaning of the content you have asked for.

Authentic language

Lastly, you will find that the Philippines is a good place to outsource to as it is an English-speaking nation. As the official second language, Filipino workers are often excellent at making sure they can do the job that you need in a shorter space of time – all without the gluttony of mistakes often found from non-English speaking nations.

 

This helps to ensure you can communicate with your remote staff better, too, reducing confusion about the job.