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How to Slim Down Customer Service Costs Without Sacrificing Support Erica Bell

Multiple ChannelsCus­tomer ser­vice costs can quickly add up. In fact, they can quickly add up to A LOT. Whether you’re look­ing to bet­ter your business’s bot­tom line, improve cus­tomer ser­vice, or dis­cover new ways to save your busi­ness, there are meth­ods to cut cus­tomer ser­vice costs with­out sac­ri­fic­ing sup­port. From re-evaluating your equip­ment and team to branch­ing out your com­mu­ni­ca­tion chan­nels, here is how you can get started slim­ming cus­tomer ser­vice costs.

Use Mul­ti­ple Channels

Your call cen­ter isn’t enough to cre­ate sat­is­fied cus­tomers with much of today’s tech­nol­ogy read­ily avail­able. Your cus­tomer ser­vice team needs to be using mul­ti­ple chan­nels. Make sure your team can han­dle cus­tomer ser­vice ques­tions com­ing in over the phone, via email or live chat, and social net­work­ing. Also it's impor­tant that you have a FAQ or Cus­tomer Ser­vice page on your site. You’ll be able to respond to more ques­tions and pro­vide more solu­tions more effi­ciently when doing so. While ded­i­cat­ing one or two peo­ple to each chan­nel may seem the eas­i­est thing to do, doing so could cost you more in the long run. Instead, train each rep­re­sen­ta­tive to be able to pro­vide high-quality sup­port across mul­ti­ple chan­nels. You can increase the level of per­son­al­iza­tion, as one rep works with the same cus­tomer every­where, save on spe­cial­ist salary costs, and increase the effi­ciency of your team as a whole.

  • For­rester reported in Jan­u­ary 2010 that Lenovo used online cus­tomer ser­vice to align mar­ket­ing, sales, ser­vice, and other depart­ments. This lead to a 20% decrease in lap­top ser­vice calls, an increase in customer-service agent pro­duc­tiv­ity, a short­ened problem-resolution cycle, and higher net-promoter scores.

Re-Evaluate Your Equipment

Your equip­ment could be cost­ing you more money than you think. Automat­ing your tele­phone sys­tem for spe­cific cus­tomer ser­vice func­tions could mean hir­ing fewer employ­ees, allow­ing you to save on pay­roll and train­ing. Using cloud-based tech­nol­ogy can also con­sol­i­date func­tions into one cen­tral­ized cus­tomer ser­vice center.

  • Phone Sys­tem: Do you have an auto­mated atten­dant or a sys­tem that reroutes calls to the cor­rect cus­tomer ser­vice agent quickly? Find a phone sys­tem for your busi­ness that will stream­line call­ing processes.
  • Soft­ware: Does your inven­tory soft­ware inte­grate with your CRM soft­ware? It should because doing so can help with bet­ter inven­tory plan­ning so you meet cus­tomer demand with­out overstocking.
  • Stor­age: Do on-site sys­tems take up valu­able space or resources? If you have on-site sys­tems that can move to the cloud, con­sider mak­ing the change and eval­u­ate whether or not doing so will help you save on util­i­ties, rent, etc.

In order to cut cus­tomer ser­vice costs, look for ways to make your busi­ness more effi­cient. Soft­ware and tech­nol­ogy sys­tem inte­gra­tions as well as com­mu­ni­cat­ing with cus­tomers across mul­ti­ple chan­nels can lead to an increase in cus­tomer reten­tion and the level of ser­vice while sav­ing your busi­ness money. The best way to get started is to do an eval­u­a­tion of where within your cus­tomer ser­vice depart­ment the largest bud­gets are going and if there are ways to increase effi­ciency and cut costs.

Erica Bell is a web copy­writer for Business.com Media, Inc., and a guest writer for Impact Learn­ing Sys­tems. She cov­ers a wide range of top­ics includ­ing online mar­ket­ing and cus­tomer ser­vice costs. Find Business.com on Face­book at https://www.facebook.com/businessdotcom.
Erica Bell
View all posts by Erica Bell
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