When people talk about growing their business, chances are the first thing they’ll talk about is marketing so that they can get more sales. Yet, as consumers have long stopped responding to traditional marketing, businesses have to look to other means to appeal to their customers and build brand loyalty.
Customer Service is a must in today’s business environment
According to a study by the US Small Business Administration and the US Chamber of Commerce, 68% of customers leave a company because they’re upset with the treatment they’ve received, and the data is even more damning from Rightnow Technologies, whose data points to 73% of customers leaving because they are dissatisfied with customer service. In contrast, only 21% of businesses believe that customers leave for this reason. If your business is part of that 21%, you may want to rethink your position.
In addition, the common business knowledge of many companies today is to offer the customer service package. A Gartner report shows that 89% of companies now compete mostly on the basis of the customer experience, up from 36% back in 2012. If you aren’t thinking along these lines, your company may not even be on the same playing field and may not be able to keep up with the competition.
You need to keep on top of the Social Media pie
Customer service used to just be about being an after sales activity to keep existing customers happy or fix their problems, but that’s no longer the case. Today’s consumer is fully-present on social media and expect brands to engage them way before they made the decision to purchase a product or service, and they expect to be engaged long after the sale has been done. And it’s not just on social media; customer-brand interaction happens on so many channels.
Sprout Social points out that social media is the most preferred channel customers use to engage with brands. It’s become more and more important to have a strong social media arm when it comes to connecting with your customers, and the sense of urgency required is even more poignant: a study from the Northbridge Group found that 42% of consumers expect a response from a company’s social media accounts within the hour.
Offering a strong contact point through social media is one of the strongest ways to improve your customer experience, and it’s a point many modern contact centers have covered. Contact centers evolved from being simply call centers were phones were the primary focus, to offering coverage for social media, chat, email, and other important points of contact. If you are looking to provide prompt, timely responses to customers’ social media inquiries, a contact center has all the right tools and expertise for the job.
Having a Contact Center actually saves money
Contact centers can handle all the important channels that your business uses to interact with your customers. But perhaps the idea of having an additional cost center is daunting to your company’s finances. This is a common concern, but if you’re serious about growing your business, having a contact center may actually save money in the long run.
Offering quality customer service can be difficult and expensive if you build it from the ground up. Hiring a full-time receptionist to field calls and answer emails can be a huge investment in itself, with time taken away both from other managers and Human Resources personnel, as well as providing standard benefits for paid vacations, sick leaves, and other expenses. And when all's said and done, you still won’t have 100% coverage at the end of a 40 hour work week as inquiries come in after hours or during weekends and holidays.
Having a dedicated contact center deals with these issues through expertise, domain depth and economies of scale. Instead of training key personnel to answer calls and inquiries and maintaining them full time, a dedicated contact center frees up your business to focus on its core function while allowing customer service professionals to leverage their expertise with full 24/7 coverage. Contact centers are also easily scalable upwards or downwards, in case you need more coverage during holiday seasons, or find that you need to dial back depending on your business goals.
Contact Centers can make you bigger
In addition, having a larger company serve as the face for your company when interacting with customers allows you to present your company as a larger organization, getting more sales from clients who may hesitate to work with a smaller organization.
There are contact center solutions for a cloud-based virtual private branch exchange (PBX) option to service customers. This allows you to provide multiple number extensions within your company that would normally require thousands of dollars to set up in a traditional PBX system. With a virtual PBX system, you can provide your business with a toll-free number with virtual answering services to the correct departments, making your business look big while you’re still growing it. There’s nothing wrong with putting on a bigger face to your customers, and size does matter. Contact centers can help you with that and inspire confidence in your brand.
In the end, what matters is what’s right for your business. The beauty of contact centers is that you can easily scale it towards your needs. By leveraging modern contact centers solutions, you can create a delightful customer experience that can make the difference in growing your business.