Resolving the issues of your customer service is a major obstacle for a lot of small enterprises. The first big question you’ll have to solve is whether to handle these things in-house or outsource them to an outside agency. The second question you’ll have to tackle is whether to hire virtually or have people work on site.
It goes without saying that having people work remotely makes a lot of things easier from a logistical standpoint. With all of this in mind and without further ado, here are several benefits of having a virtual customer service representative rather than handling this the old-fashioned way.
By hiring a customer service representative, you’ll save money on training a member of your staff to perform these tasks on their own. Sure, ideally, you would have someone from the development team answer these questions, but the truth is that this would take your top talent (creatives, developers, and inventors) too much time.
Second, by having a virtual customer service representative, you’re actually reducing the need for office space. For you as an entrepreneur or a manager, this means the option to move to a smaller office (with lower rent and lower cost of utilities). In other words, this also makes future expansion less costly. For a lot of people, this is one of the amazing business opportunities they can start from home.
A full-time customer service representative would imply a lot of costly benefits, ranging from potential medical benefits all the way to leave benefits. With virtual customer service representatives, you have no such obligations. All of this money can, therefore, be directed someplace else, which means that you’ll get more maneuverability, as well.
While you could technically spend the money on the chatbot, the end result is really never the same. After all, your audience wants to know that there’s a real person on the other end of the line. A virtual assistant will be able to interact with them on a personal level. This is definitely going to make a difference to your bottom line and makes virtual customer service a viable choice.
By having an actual human on the other end of the line at all times, you would have an easier time impressing your audience. You would also boost your customer loyalty, even achieving a much higher level of customer satisfaction.
Another thing you need to keep in mind is the importance of offering multi-lingual support in scenarios where you’re trying to penetrate a foreign market. It’s far simpler to hire a native speaker (a bilingual one) than to make a new website or complicate the programming of your chatbot even further.
Simplify the Logistics
One of the greatest logistical issues of hiring a virtual customer representative is the around-the-clock availability. An in-house employee would have to be paid overtime, not to mention the fact that scheduling so that everyone’s content would be near-impossible. With virtual assistants, putting odd work hours in the job description wouldn’t be as difficult.
Another massive advantage is the fact that virtual employees act semi-autonomously. After all, they’re there to help you out with administrative tasks, not increase your workload as a manager. This gives you time and energy to focus on core tasks.
As we’ve mentioned before, you no longer have to keep track of different pay models or overtime. This means that managing payroll becomes a lot simpler. Now, regardless if you’re handling this on your own or if this is something that you’re entrusting to an accountant/bookkeeper, it is still a massive help.
Quicker Access to Expertise
Previously, we’ve mentioned the idea of having the team that was involved in the development handle customer service. This only solves one-half of your problem. You see, the skills of a virtual customer service representative are focused both on providing customer service and understanding the nature of your work.
In fact, in the majority of cases, the solution won’t require a high level of expertise. With all the information that you’ll make available, your customer service representatives will have an easy job fixing the majority of these issues. Now, for that 1 in a 100 situation where a more technical answer is required, they can always ask the team behind development/distribution.
To make the long story short, it would take quite a bit of time and resources to train your own team member (especially someone with a different specialty) to become good at customer service. It’s not necessarily just about the training either. Some personality types are more communicative and empathetic, which makes them better suited for roles in customer service. By hiring a virtual customer service specialist, you’re skipping a couple of steps and getting the target level of expertise directly.
What happens if you have 2-3 customer service representatives and one of them decides to quit? How long will it take you to find a suitable replacement? Now, the answer to this question varies depending on whether you’re hiring someone in-house or looking for a virtual customer service representative. If the latter is the case, chances are that your problems can be resolved a lot easier.
One more factor to take into consideration is whether you’re hiring a specialist directly or via an agency. If the latter is the case, the situation will be resolved even more efficiently. In an ideal scenario (which is not that unlikely either), you’ll just receive a notification that the person will be replaced.
The replacement mentioned will be someone of a similar skill level and expertise. Seeing as how in the majority of enterprises, talent abandonment is a huge problem, being able to leave this issue behind you (or delegate it to a third party) will make all the difference. Keep in mind that this is a massive issue when it comes to the resilience and long-term consistency of your enterprise.
Finally, you need to embrace the fact that a customer service representative is the voice of your enterprise. They’re the ones who have direct contact with your target audience. This means that when forming an impression of your business, your customers might use their experience with your customer service as a basis.
Being able to solve a problem is sometimes better for your brand loyalty than there not being a problem in the first place. You see, this puts people’s minds at ease. They’ll know that when there’s an issue, it will be resolved rapidly and efficiently.
Lastly, people you get to represent you via your customer service will help humanize your business. Similarly, what we mentioned two paragraphs before, you want them to associate your business with the person on the other end of the line. The alternative is for them to see it as yet another faceless, soulless corporate entity.
The last thing you need to keep in mind is the matter of availability. Once you make up your mind about virtual customer service, it takes a remarkably low level of effort to enact your decision. A single outreach instance will have these things sorted out, and you can start reaping the benefits we’ve previously described. You simplify things, save money, improve your brand, and provide your business presence with more consistency.