Email support outsourcing: A guide to enhancing your CX
Email support is a necessary method for businesses for assisting customers. Resolving customer concerns over email saves time & human resource engagement which eventually reduces the cost of technical support. The customers can be guided through proper step-by-step troubleshooting procedures that can be sent to them via email support services.
According to Statista, 20% of customers prefer email support channels for customer service, second, after-call support. Businesses must have an immediate email support service to guarantee that customers get a quick response and should feel satisfied with the resolution of their issues. Email support outsourcing services allow you to balance the pressure between peak and off-peak periods.
Difference between chat support and email support
Email and chat are becoming more and more popular in customer service, but just like in any other, they have some differences.
Let’s look at some of the key differences here.
E-mails don’t expect a real quick response. Contact centers can schedule them for off-peak periods for greater efficiency. On the other hand, chat support requires a prompt response, but businesses count on one agent being able to handle three chat interactions at the same time. This makes chat support less than half as expensive as call support.
FCR (First Contact Resolution)
With email support, it’s desirable to achieve high rates of FCR if a customer support team has properly identified Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) and agents are well-trained, and can immediately understand the customer’s concerns and provide the correct resolution.
Chat support offers the possibility for a more adaptable response, as well as the chance to clarify the customer’s understanding both before and while providing a solution.
How to email support outsourcing helps your business
As the term refers, email support services are provided by applying email as the channel of communication between a business and its customers. These services offer a handy way for customers to reach the business and vice versa. The real advantage of email support services lies in their ease of use. Unlike a direct phone conversation from a call center agent which may interrupt the customer in between other important work, emails stay stored safely. Customers get the luxury of accessing them at the time of their choice, which makes them the simplest and non-interrupting form of communication channel available for brands.
As email support is usually asked by certain segments of customers, who do not prefer either call or chat support. Then it becomes the responsibility of the brands to impart them with due attention. However, not all businesses are capable of providing email support services at the required level due to a lack of expertise and the availability of necessary tools. This is why; it is better to outsource email support from an experienced outsourcing partner. Some major advantages of outsourcing email support services offered are:
Access to email response management software:
Today, the quantity of emails is so high that a business may find it hard to answer all the emails of customers. Of course, this may result in missed emails and as well as incorrect responses, which compromise its business prospects. An email support outsourcing provider employs email response management software and makes sure all emails that are received are answered properly. It also produces data reports that give information to the managers about the efficiency of their employees. It has a positive effect on the overall performance and helps you in improving your CSAT score.
Brings you the services of experts
In order to ensure that email response management software is used perfectly, you need the services of a capable team with good knowledge about the tool. With email support outsourcing, you instantly get access to a workforce that knows your technology inside out.
Email services at a lower price
Running a complete in-house email support operation can be expensive for a business. The cost of procuring the infrastructure, hiring agents on the payroll, and providing employee benefits can hurt your bottom line. On the other hand, when you outsource email support services, it reduces the cost of operation. Moreover, if you offshore to a company located in a country with a currency value lower than yours e.g. a company in the US outsourcing to a company in India, you benefit from the currency exchange rate.
Allows you to focus on the core process
With email support outsourcing, you no longer have to struggle with managing an additional team. This allows you to focus more on your core business, which in turn, helps you in improving the quality of your product and service. You also share the burden of your business with your new outsourcing partner, which allows you peace of mind.
Best practices of email support outsourcing for better CX
Email support outsourcing should be tailored to the requirements. Use various customer service email templates, but you should not be too reliant on a generic reply. When replying to a customer email, you should:
Read the email thoroughly
The quality of your reply matters more than speed. Read the customer’s email thoroughly, and absorb and understand all the information you can. If the information is lacking, you can ask the customer to provide the required information.
Address the customer by name
Addressing your customer by their name is necessary for creating a personalized CX. This also makes the customer feel that they are interacting with an actual person, not with a bot or an IVR.
Empathize with the customer
Tell the customers that you truly acknowledge and understand why they feel disappointed about the situation. Concisely convey this using positive words, and not in a generic, customer service manner. Now customers would feel that you are on their side.
Give no excuses, only focus on the solution
If the customer asks for it, you may be required to explain why the customer encountered this problem. However, never dwell on it. Always, focus on fixing the customer’s issue instead.
Provide links to relevant web pages
If the resolution to the issue requires the customer to navigate your business website, it is only better to provide them with the link to the page destination), instead of guiding them to get there.
Be casual but formal
Email support demands a more formal approach to communicate with your customers. However, your customers should still feel that they are interacting with a human agent. Balance out the formal and casual tone in your emails, so that your customers get comfortable.
Let your customer service agents express themselves while staying loyal to your brand values. If your brand is known for being quirky, for example, and the issue is not severe, you can encourage your agents to insert some humor into their engagements.
Promise and deliver a timely result
Let your customers know that their issues will be addressed promptly, and give them a realistic but quick time frame for the resolution of their issues. Most importantly, you should be able to deliver the resolution within that given time.
Be generous to deserving customers
In the customer service business, you get your fair share of unreasonably annoyed customers. Having said that, some customers truly deserve to be rewarded. Whether they are very loyal to your brand, or their concerns were critical. Never hesitate to give your deserving customers something extra.
Use your real name and attach your personalized email signature
Being anonymous and using a generic email signature can discourage customers. Your customer should know who they are talking to and if they are interacting with a real person or not. By using your name and signature, your customers will be comfortable with you and it will foster your relationship.
Always thank your customers
Making your customers feel valued and appreciated is essential in any customer service, and gratitude goes a long way. Regardless of the tone or content of their email, always appreciate your customer for reaching out to you.
Measure customer satisfaction
After wrapping up, make sure to measure how the customer felt about the interaction with your business. You can do this by sending them an automated CSAT survey email, or sending them a link to your survey page.
Build your own email support outsourcing strategy
Email support has become mission-critical to all online businesses as a convenient customer support channel, resolving emergency customer queries and challenges for a service or product. The long-term gain depends on customer retention, which in turn relies heavily on after-sales services. While outsourcing email support services, consider the following points:
Many tech-support agencies have different email packages-including “pay per email”, to provide to companies ranging from small startups to large & expanding online businesses.
Plan a budget, in advance, to outsource email support services. This helps in analyzing the pricing plans offered by various agencies to settle on the one that best corresponds with your business needs. After all, every company looks for cost efficiency, especially while outsourcing a major business function.
Customers care about 5 service dimensions :
Reliability: do you deliver as promised?
Assurance: does your organization inspire confidence?
Tangibles: does your company present itself professionally?
Empathy: are your team members understanding and empowered to solve problems?
Responsiveness: does your support team look into queries within an expected time?
To ensure customer satisfaction, the technique proves to be crucial in evaluating the reliability of the email support outsourcing partner.
A reliable tech-support company will be willing to share customer feedback from time to time. So, check for transparency in this regard, from their end, because it is the key to constantly evaluate if you’ve invested in the right agency.
Verify areas of expertise in email support outsourcing
When you’re outsourcing e-mail support services, you’re hiring the workers of the agency company. Thus, it is vital to hire an agency with engineers who are equipped with the knowledge & expertise of your industry. How else will you ensure optimum gain from email support outsourcing?
There are many agencies in the market whose expertise is restricted to a few industries. You need to check whether the tech support that you’re considering is passionate about and has viable experience in your given field.
Good service is key to increased sales & customer retention. So, evaluate their expertise by verifying their record of performance & quality.
Analyze their previous claim work for companies belonging to the same industry as yours.
Make sure they work with skilled professionals and use updated technology.
Cultural Compatibility for smooth communication
Remember that your customers are used to the tone in which you talk to them. Due to a lack of cultural context, outsourced customer support services can either make or break your brand image. Thus, many organizations hold back from outsourcing this crucial business function.
You need to ensure that the external tech-support team that you hire matches the voice of your in-house support staff. So, how do you overcome the cultural and communication barrier?
Provide the agency with a set of tonal guidelines that clarify the do’s and don’ts while communicating with your customers. Establish a brand voice to be precise.
Specify the customer service requirements that your company is looking for.
Make it easier for the agent company to relate to the customers by giving them a cultural context.
Before hiring an email customer service provider, you need to check legal compliance. Get your legal team working on reviewing your companies internal security before giving the tech-support agency access to your documents. Once they identify the sensitive customer data, you can restrict their access to that information to an extent. Nonetheless, risks remain. Thus, it is crucial to consider whether the outsourcing partner that you’re planning to hire, complies with your regulations about client information confidentiality. Ensure data security!
Make sure your outsourcing contract contains a well-drafted service legal agreement, which is a mandate as it sets the expectation bar for both parties. It acts as a guide in setting targets & measuring accurate performance.
Outsourcing email support to an experienced service provider can help you to efficiently tackle these issues and benefit from increased customer satisfaction. Maxicus can help you gain prospective customers and increased customer satisfaction by providing accurate answers to email queries. Email support outsourcing can help you save on manpower and costs while seeing an increase in your revenue.