Small business owners are faced with numerous challenges on a daily basis. Primarily, most small business owners should be concerned with expanding their business, hiring the right staff members, and providing the best possible product or service to their existing client base. One area that a business owner cannot afford to sacrifice quality in is customer service; after all, word of mouth will likely remain one of the most important aspects of .
Why consider outsourcing customer service?
Chances are that as a small business owner, one of your chief concerns is keeping your costs as low as possible. Generally speaking, most small business owners have a few key employees, and those employees have specific concentrations that allow your business to continue to grow and develop. Unfortunately, most small business owners cannot afford the cost of having a full-time customer contact force available around the clock. This is when outsourcing your customer service can provide long-term dividends.
Some of the ways that outsourcing this important function can benefit your company include:
· • : Customers often have inquiries long after you have closed for the day or they have questions that need to be addressed on weekends. Unless you are prepared to have a staff member available around the clock to serve these clients, you could be doing long-term damage to your reputation. Having a call center operation means your customers get the answers they want when they need them.
· • : Unless you have time to take away from the day-to-day operations of your business and business operations, dealing with important customer service issues can sway your focus from providing your products or services to dealing with customers the entire day. This can result in an inability to further grow your business. Having a call center available to take care of your clients allows you to focus on other important issues.
· • : As your business grows, you will likely have more customer service-related inquiries. When you are working with a call center, they can accommodate your business growth because they are specially trained to handle calls in volume.
· • : Perhaps one of the most important reasons to consider outsourcing customer contact is cost. Can you afford to hire a full-time customer service team, which will potentially be idle part of the time? Can this team be available 24/7 as your business grows?
While no two businesses operate the same, all businesses, regardless of the products or services they offer, should always make sure customer service is a top priority. Since most of us are not able to justify a 24-hours-a-day dedicated customer service team, a contact center provides clients access to someone with the knowledge and skills necessary to address their concerns.
Communicating with customers, regardless of your business sector, is an important way to show customers that they are more than just a sale. Call centers provide training for their employees, your calls are handled in an appropriate and professional manner, and your customers get the service they demand and are entitled to while you keep your staffing to a minimum and save money. Call center outsourcing provides a winning solution for everyone involved.
Darcy Tudor is the executive vice president at Marketing Alternatives Inc. MAI provides integrated call center, fulfillment, and marketing communications solutions. Darcy has been with MAI for over 17 years and she has an extensive background in the call center industry. At MAI, Darcy’s role includes: business development, process improvement, telecom management, and budget adherence.