As your small business begins to attract more customers, you may feel as though the workload is becoming overwhelming. Greater volume also means it can be difficult to keep up with service requests and offer your customers the best experience possible.
Don’t worry — you’re not alone. Many small and growing businesses don’t have the time or resources to provide dedicated and high-quality customer service at all times.
How can you continue to grow while reducing the stress on yourself and your team?
You are likely familiar with the term “outsourcing” and may have heard it referred to as “managed services”. The terms are sometimes used interchangeably which isn’t entirely correct.
Although the two terms share some similarities, there are key differences separating them to enough degree it’s important to gain a deeper understanding of their proper meanings.
Today we’re going to examine the differences between outsourcing your customer service and receiving comprehensive support from a managed customer service company. While both options have their benefits, we believe managed customer service is ideal for small businesses looking to grow and optimize their customer service experience.
What is Outsourced Customer Service?
Your business has planned and existing activities that need to be completed on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. Outsourcing is assigning some of these activities to a third-party organization for a price in order to take some of the workload off of your team.
Outsourced tasks tend to be fairly narrow and do not involve overall strategy or new business development. When you think of outsourcing, think of basic tasks like data entry, editing documents, translating, or transcribing.
In the context of customer service, outsourced tasks might include sending incoming calls to a call centre or having a third-party reply to incoming messages.
The outside organization simply takes care of the task, sends the work back, and bills your company. The nature of the relationship may be temporary — the third-party’s primary goal is to finish the job in front of them and getting paid. They are unlikely to offer any long-term solutions.
Depending on the complexity of the task, outsourcing can be cheaper than completing the work yourself. Another benefit of outsourcing is that they can work after hours when your staff on hand may not be available.
Although this work can normally be completed in-house, outsourcing may save costs on things like equipment, salaries, or rent — it also allows your team to focus on the high-level business activities that really matter.
As we mentioned above, outsourcing and managed services are terms that are often confused as being one and the same — which isn’t the case. Let’s take a look at what a managed customer service approach looks like.
What is Managed Customer Service?
Managed customer service offers greater engagement with your customers through comprehensive packages catering to your business’ specific needs. While outsourced customer service companies typically only take on routine tasks, managed customer service providers offer a proactive approach to problems.
What does it mean to take a proactive approach? When your customers are actively looking to make a purchase, a managed customer service provider will engage with them without being prompted. It means they can be directed to where they need to go without needing to ask or search for themselves.
Managed customer service providers can also assist with higher-level strategic functions, improve upon systemic issues, and drive revenue through long-term customer satisfaction.
Typically managed customer service providers operate on a subscription based model as opposed to being paid-per-job. As a result, these companies are forward facing and have a desire to see your business grow for years to come.
In short, it is in their best interest to provide premium quality service to increase your revenues and foster a lasting business relationship.
Managed customer service providers also offer scalable solutions to fit seasonal or growing demand needs.
Depending on the nature of your business, you may only need an entry level package for a portion of the year — but when the holiday rush comes around, a managed service provider can improve your customer service experience by altering your solution to match your current situation.
Why Choose Managed Customer Service Over Outsourcing?
Both outsourcing and managed customer service have their place depending on what you hope to achieve. You may also make different decisions based on the work that needs to be done or the time of year.
For one-off tasks with narrowly defined answers, it may be best to choose to outsource the work. These types of tasks are repetitive and can often be completed by someone with limited knowledge of your business. Outsourcing is a good option if you hope to save a bit of money in the short run and are not looking for ongoing support.
Outsourcing can also be difficult during peak periods. Depending on where you outsource your work to, they may find themselves unable to take on the extra tasks during their busy periods as well.
Managed customer service offers ongoing support with the goal of increasing your revenues in the long run. Think of managed customer service as a business partner — these companies can provide valuable insights into your customer service strategy in addition to solving day to day customer concerns.
Using tools like chatbots, data analytics, self-service pages, and taking a proactive approach to your customer service strategy, a managed customer service company can help you streamline your business practices and increase customer satisfaction.
Additionally, these services can be brand integrated. When you choose a managed customer service model there is a meticulous onboarding process to ensure your customers expectations are met and exceeded.
Customer requests and questions can build up quickly — let a managed customer service provider improve your customer experience, reduce your workload, and raise your bottom line.
Omnie Integrated Services
If a managed customer service model sounds like it is right for your long term goals, Omnie can help. We believe that every interaction is an opportunity to build your brand with your customers — with our team supporting your customers, you’ll have more time and resources to focus on creating innovative products and services.
We offer a wide range of services to suit your industry, customer preferences, and budget. Learn more about our managed customer service solutions or speak with one of our team members who can walk you through which service may work best for your business — contact us today.