“Increasingly, customers are associating brand not with a message but with their entire experience surrounding the product or service.”
— Bryan Eisenberg
From C-suite executives of large corporations to entrepreneurs of startups, every business leader can agree that customer service is an essential business asset. Without it, customer satisfaction can drop and repeat sales are highly unlikely, even if the business product or service is an outstanding one. But did you also know that customer service is an umbrella function covering two other types of customer service? They are customer care and customer support. While all three client-centric processes focus on assisting customers, the interactions differ. Here are the key points to consider:
- Customer service representatives interact transactionally and reactively with a customer who has a complaint.
- Customer care officers come up with strategies and unique ways to increase a business patron’s loyalty.
- Customer support staff use customer support channels to answer a customer’s questions and troubleshoot follow-up concerns.
More often than not, conglomerates employ different teams of customer service representatives, customer care officers, and customer support staff. As a startup founder or small-business entrepreneur, you can still maximise customer service as a business asset by outsourcing it and hiring a customer support virtual assistant. Customer support virtual assistants have the customer-centric skills of customer service representatives and the technical know-how of customer support staff. They know their way around crucial support channels, including voice, live chat, email, and social media. When you partner with a reputable outsourcing company, you gain access to a competent and talented pool of customer support virtual assistants who possess at least three years of customer service experience. The flexibility and cost benefits are bonuses, too.
If you decide to do every aspect of customer service yourself, you can miss opportunities to attract new clients and engage with repeat customers who impact your bottom line. There also other ways your business can suffer without the help of a customer support virtual assistant:
1. Your business experiences high customer churn
Retaining loyal clients is more affordable than attracting new customers, as proven by the customer acquisition cost (CAC). Even when your business’ customer retention increases by as little as 5%, your profit can go up by at least 25%. By not investing in customer support, especially an on-demand virtual staff that can provide extra support quickly, you won’t be able to address all of your customers’ concerns promptly. Unmet expectations lead to unhappy customer experiences, discouraging your patrons from coming back and supporting your business.
2. Your brand’s image, reputation, and competitive edge suffer
Customers use multiple support channels to contact businesses. They also like to get in touch whenever it’s convenient for them. When any helpful customer support is not available at the point of contact, customers can share their frustrations on social media and tag your brand. You risk losing business as soon as a negative review or comment gets posted online. At the same time, you lose the trust of your existing customer base and allow your competitors to steal them away.
3. You lose out on customer experience insights that a professional and experienced customer support virtual assistant can offer
Virtual customer support staff are experts in customer service. They’re comfortable and very familiar with seamless customer support processes and industry-standard tools. They also know how to decipher and evaluate customer insights that many invaluable processes and tools present. More importantly, the interactions between a customer support virtual assistant and a customer provide data-driven customer perceptions—data you can use to improve your company’s products, services, promotions, and overall goals.
4. You lose focus on high-value and income-generating activities
If your work calendar is full of tasks that experts can do instead, then these tasks become distractions that only waste your time. Once you outsource customer support to a customer support virtual assistant, you have more time to focus on your core competencies and pursue revenue-building objectives for your business.
5. You may experience solopreneur burnout
It’s understandable that you’re protective of your brand and believe that you can do all of the customer service functions yourself. As an entrepreneur, you do it all. But accomplishing every necessary task can soon become mundane and even stressful. The sooner you turn over your customer support channels to a customer support virtual assistant, the sooner you don’t burn out by constantly responding to customer queries day in, day out.
Are you ready to take back your precious time so you can focus on what you do best and grow your business as stress-free as possible? Leave customer service to experienced customer service representatives and customer support staff. They can revolutionise the way your brand interacts with prospects and loyal customers. Best of all, an empowered and well-trained customer support virtual assistant protects your brand’s reputation and connects with your customers in a timely and professional manner.