Your business works hard to market and sell products and services to customers that have the choice between your brand or a competitor’s. Even though your product may be superior and more cost-effective, customers often choose based on the experience. In the past, companies chose to offshore call center operations based on labor cost, but as dissatisfaction rose and loss in sales was experienced, businesses are once again outsourcing to US-based inbound customer service providers.
By outsourcing to a team of customer service agents that is native to the language(s) and culture of your customers, you have a greater potential to make your customers feel more comfortable. Even those representatives that have a good command of the language, often struggle with getting questions answered, or may struggle with omnichannel communication and the differences between speaking and writing, and putting the customer at ease. This is true, as well, when customers are asked to give their personal information as a verification of identity.
Though the information may be secure and cybercrimes can happen anywhere, there is still a certain unease or hesitance to share the information with someone who is not in their native country.
Who Defines Customer Service Success?
Simply put, the customer defines the success of customer service. It is up to businesses to interpret that success by paying attention to the data:
- Customer feedback
- Repeat customer purchases
- Data clusters built around customer experience improvement initiatives.
The customer experience is so important, that a customer who resolves an issue and is pleased with the total customer service is more likely to purchase again than a customer who has no interaction at all.
Some customers may define customer service success as fewer phone calls, speedier problem resolution, and an overall positive experience with the representative that services their call. Because of language and cultural barriers, as well as differences in time zones and unfamiliarity with locations, some customers may not feel they are being given the respect for their time or their problem.
What a Familiar-Sounding US-Based Agent Delivers to Your Customer
Good customer service isn’t just about answering the phone on the first ring or resolving a customer’s issue by directing them back to your website. In fact, they probably have already tried to resolve the issue on their own and are dreading sitting on hold, listening to the unending music and advertising loop in their ears. In fact, a study by Consumer Reports found that 57% of people are so frustrated that they end up hanging up before they ever get a resolution. Before your customer feels this frustration, your US-based agent should be able to resolve the problem in the following ways:
- Treat the customer with courtesy and respect. This should begin by calling the customer by their name and offering them options for resolving their problem. The customer service agent should ask questions, respond promptly, and thank them for being a valued customer.
- Listen intently. The customer may be angry or confused, so the agent should ask them to define the issue and even repeat what they have said so the problem is clearly defined and the customer knows that the agent has made them their number one priority.
- Be empathetic. The agent should let the customer know that this is important to resolve, and understand the stress that it is causing the customer.
- Communicate clearly. One of the main differences between US-based customer service and off-shore outsourcing is communication. It is natural for people to trust others who are more like them-who sound like them, know about where they live and are familiar with the same things they know.
- Possess a positive attitude and remain calm and patient. Even though the customer may not be acting in a positive way, it is important that the representative be positive and calm at all times. A customer is more likely to respond to an agent who is patient, understanding, and positive, than someone who is impatient or angry.
- Customer service agents must be willing to serve, have the product knowledge and be able to solve problems effectively.
Why Your Company Should Outsource to US-Based Customer Service Agents
Many companies choose outsourcing because of cost savings. Although cost is key, choosing a SU-based customer service company can result in increased customer satisfaction and in turn, promote your brand. The reasons to choose a US-based call center all center around providing your customers with the best experience possible.
- There will be language barriers, or at least the perception of barriers if your customer service agents are offshore. Customers naturally feel frustrated if they think they are not being understood. They may also believe that your company has attempted to cut costs by providing cheaper labor overseas.
- Customers often find that foreign agents seem rude, even if they are not. This could be a result of a translation problem or a misunderstanding in the normal social interactions that native customers and agents may have.
- Customers sometimes feel that the responses are scripted and that their problem is not unique or special to them.
- Because of geographical differences, sometimes technology can be an issue. Not only could this result in unanswered calls, but could also cause security concerns.
Do You Have Questions About Outsourcing a US-Based Customer Service Team?
If you are thinking about outsourcing your customer service, or if you are considering moving from an overseas team to one located within the US, give us a call. We can answer your questions and show you how we can improve your customer service, increase your retention level, and ultimately save you time and money.