Is the cost of customer service eroding your profits?

Is the cost of customer service eroding your profits?
Beth McConnachy
Beth McConnachy
    3 minute read

Customers are more time poor than ever. So much so that when they are researching a product or service online, the most frustrating thing can be waiting for a response to a simple question. Often, if they cannot find an answer to their question, they will move onto the next company that is ready to answer their questions promptly. Internet search engines make it easier than ever for customers to compare providers, which can have a devastating impact on companies with poor customer support.

To avoid losing customers, excellent multi-channel customer service is vital. However, the costs of customer service can quickly add up and damage your profits. With so many options for customer support; including, live chat, chat bots, email, social media and phone support, it can be hard to prioritise and adequately allocate resources to each option. We have found that a triage system works best in terms of delivering great efficiency and world class customer satisfaction. The most effective customer service system involves automated AI responses, mixed with lower level responders, and an escalation process to senior staff members where required. This blog explores these three levels in more detail.

Customer Levels

First Level Support

Chatbots are becoming extremely popular as a customer service tool. They work 24/7 and can answer most basic customer queries. Chatbots harness the power of AI to become ‘smarter’ and more efficient over time. They can also recognise when the issue needs escalation to a physical person and will transfer the customer automatically.

Data from chat-bots can help you to improve your overall customer experience. Once you have used a chatbot for a while, you might start to see trends in customer questions and concerns. Picking the most popular questions and concerns and creating a frequently asked questions page can further save you resources and improve customer relations.

Second Level Support

Live chat, email and phone response require a physical person and will be either your first or second point of customer contact, depending if you use chat-bots or not. Outsourcing this lower-level customer service is a great way to control costs and improve customer retention. Having offshore team members answering basic questions from customers can not only improve your customer service, but also drastically reduce your costs and improve business efficiency.

Third Level Support

If an issue is more complex and cannot be solved by the first or second level support staff, then it will need to be sent on to a more senior staff member with specialist expertise. Generally, when issues are more complex, the customer’s expected response time increases. In this scenario, customers will generally respect that extra time is needed to resolve their query.

With all of these options for customer support, it doesn’t make any business sense to have an onshore employee, who may be costing you in excess of $70k per year, to be handling basic customer enquiries when they could be focusing on higher value tasks. Learn more about the importance of excellent customer support.

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