What is Inbound Customer Service and How to Manage It

Inbound Customer Service

Most business owners are familiar with the concept of inbound marketing. The goal is to become a valuable resource for your target market. Businesses use educational content to gently lead consumers to the conclusion that their product is best. It’s far more subtle and effective than a pushy sales routine.

Many businesses believe that the process ends when they make the sale. Consumers feel differently. 84% of respondents to Salesforce’s “State of the Connected Customer Report” for 2019 stated that experience was as important as a company’s products and services.

The nature of the support that a business provides is central to exceptional customer experience. One in three customers rate dealing with a friendly, knowledgeable support consultant as one of the most critical parts of that experience.

That explains, in part, why more companies are choosing to outsource their inbound customer service teams to specialist providers. One such firm, SupportYourApp, reports having achieved consistent growth despite the current economic downturn. They credit this growth to their simple customer-centric focus.

The team goes beyond providing polite answers to client queries. Consultants study and use their client’s products so that they can provide simple solutions for clients. Agents learn to build relationships with clients and work towards achieving customer success.

The forward-thinking approach is an excellent example of how to embrace the principles of inbound customer service.

Are you asking yourself, “What is inbound customer service?” In the following section, we’ll define the concept more clearly. We’ll then look at key elements of how to manage your inbound customer service.

Inbound Customer Support and Service: Definitions and Key Management Elements

What is inbound customer service?

Inbound customer service is where your client contacts your business. This could be concerning product information, queries, or an issue that they’re experiencing. The concept goes beyond merely providing answers.

It encompasses delighting your clients to build the relationship.

Why is it essential to get this aspect right?

Every interaction with your company impacts the client’s perception of your brand. The stakes here are high. 32% of clients globally will break ties with a beloved brand after just one bad experience.

Manage Your Inbound Customer Service

Getting inbound service right is all about the small details that turn clients into brand ambassadors. It’s like the Rackspace consultant who was busy on a lengthy support call to a client. The agent overhead the client tell their colleague that they were hungry.

The consultant put the client on hold and ordered a pizza for them. The call was still live when the pizza arrived at the client’s office. That’s a story that, almost ten years later, the client still relates. 

An effective strategy entails the following.

Keep Your Promises

If you say that you offer 24/7 support, you must have someone operating the phone lines all the time. Select your support hours according to what’s most convenient to your client. Then ensure that you have a team of well-trained agents available.

Where a consultant cannot provide immediate support, they must give the client a reasonably accurate timeline. Most importantly, however, they must follow through. If they tell the customer that someone will contact them within 24 hours, they must ensure that someone calls on time. 

By keeping your promises to your clients, you prove that your company is trustworthy.

Consultants Must Have the Correct Attitude

Agents should be committed to ensuring the customer and the company’s success. They should work hard to build a relationship.

Providing empathetic support is only part of the equation. Consultants must also be careful not to embarrass the client. A response such as, “The process is confusing,” is far better than saying something like, “You misunderstood.”

These small nuances make a big difference to the customer experience. Cultivating the right attitude in a support consultant takes extensive training and much experience to get right. Companies without the resources or time for this training will benefit by outsourcing the function instead.

Analyze In-Coming Calls

Firms must analyze the statistics related to the calls. How many calls does the team handle? Are calls being answered quickly enough? How many dropped calls are there. These are all critical statistics that enable companies to maintain outstanding service levels.

Final Notes

Top companies take advantage of every opportunity to improve the client relationship. Providing outstanding support gives firms the edge.

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