There seems to be more and more competition entering the marketplace all the time and across all types of industries. Part of the increase is the fact that technology has made it easier for people to get companies up and running in a relatively short amount of time. Competition is simply part of doing business so there is no need to worry about the fact that more people are entering the marketplace. But, you do need to find ways to stand out from the competition.
The key to standing out in the marketplace and outlasting the competition is to provide a top-notch customer experience. One thing that people have come to expect is 24-hour access to a representative. It is important to the success of your business that people can get the help they need, right when they need it. If you serve markets overseas then only providing access to assistance during ‘regular business hours’ could prevent them from ever having the chance to get the help they need. A delay or unavailability in this area can cause a potential customer to quickly move on to your competition.
It is one thing to know you need 24-hour customer service but it is another thing to actually be able to afford to offer it. Is it possible for small businesses to offer this? The answer is a resounding ‘Yes’! But, it will require you to consider options other than the traditional models.
The traditional customer service model
The traditional way to offer customer service is to have a dedicated department full of CSR's as a part of your business. If you are a small business, this department is likely small as well. This makes the prospect of offering all day access to a help desk seem impossible. You cannot expect a small staff to take on the task of being available for calls at all hours of the day. You can always hire more people to cover the additional shifts needed to provide around-the-clock care, but the cost could become prohibitive. When small businesses only consider the traditional model for customer care they often come to the conclusion that offering 24-hour service is simply not an option.
The new customer service model
It is no longer necessary to keep an entire department in-house. You can find highly trained professionals to provide your customers with excellent service, remotely. The new standard in customer service is to use a high-quality outsourcing agency to provide customer service at all hours. It is a less expensive option than having to hire several additional people to get "anytime" service. You can minimize overhead and time used for hiring and training by allowing an outsourcing company to take care of your customer service needs.
The new customer service model can allow you to offer around-the-clock customer service for much less than you would spend using the traditional model. Look for a top-notch outsourcing company that can provide you with CSR's who can communicate clearly and efficiently with your clients. Once you implement your new 24-hour customer service plan, you can rest assured that you will not lose customers to the competition simply because they could not get help when they needed it.