Customer 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.