Customer service is for many organizations a big money sink—a cost center that consumes copious resources but offers little in the way of a quantifiable return on investment. Despite investments made to improve the consistency and quality of customer service, customers often turn on a dime—sometimes after just a single, less-than-stellar experience. A whopping 77 percent of customers say they will take their business elsewhere if they receive poor service, and one in four customers say that a single instance of bad service will ruin their day, according to 2021 research from Pegasystems. Against this backdrop, customer service teams are expected to deliver consistently positive experiences and exceed expectations for every customer who makes contact.
As much as companies want to believe they’ve already invested sufficient resources into customer service operations, the issue may not be with the amount of resources being invested—but instead, a question of if they have all of the right resources on hand. Delivering consistently high-quality, modern customer service requires companies to not just invest in customer service itself, but also in the teams and technology infrastructure that keeps customer service firing on all cylinders. Managed services partners are third-party experts that can provide customer service teams with a range of on-demand operational and planning services. By turning to managed services partners instead of relying on in-house resources, customer service teams gain access to experts with often much deeper experience and perspective. And because these managed services providers are available on-demand, customer service teams can rely on them to perform highly specialized, specific services at precisely the moment they’re needed. Let’s explore five ways an organization can use a managed services partner to empower and upskill its customer service team:
Managed services keeps critical systems running
Modern customer service platforms like Salesforce are incredibly powerful, feature-driven platforms that integrate seamlessly into other parts of the business ecosystem. Keeping a system like Salesforce up and running requires specialized expertise—not just for run-of-the-mill troubleshooting issues, but also to navigate new developments, opportunities, and trends. Managed services partners are ideally suited to serve as a company’s expert eyes and ears. They will work continuously to tweak, improve, and expand the customer service ecosystem behind the scenes, providing expertise and attention that is hard for in-house teams to match.
Managed services ensures customer service is ready to scale
Many companies struggle to staff their customer service teams optimally. Inevitably, in-house teams are left without enough to do at certain times, and too much to do at other times. Meanwhile, as a company grows and demand for customer service changes, in-house teams cannot immediately adjust their operations to effortlessly meet this demand. Managed services partners provide an alternative. They can plug directly into the in-house customer service operation itself during peak periods by taking on some cases themselves. And managed services partners also can rapidly scale the company’s customer service infrastructure to meet changing demand for these services.
Managed services optimizes upsell and cross-sell opportunities
Customer service teams are in the business of providing customer service, but sometimes excellent service involves introducing customers to additional products and services that they didn’t know they wanted or needed. Most customer service teams will say that being expected to sell is a cumbersome expectation. But what if selling and customer service were not mutually exclusive? Managed services partners excel at helping organizations configure their customer service management platform to help customer service teams readily suggest specific upsell and cross-sell opportunities to customers. The platform takes advantage of AI and customer data already on file to generate specific upsell and cross-sell recommendations that can be presented in real-time to customers. Customer service teams appreciate the ease and simplicity with which they can present these recommendations to customers. Meanwhile, customer service teams can feel that they’re directly contributing to the company’s bottom line.
Managed services knows how to build elegant self-service options
Every company knows it can reduce customer service costs by converting full-service customers into self-service customers. Unfortunately, achieving this conversion is harder than it looks. Customers expect self-service options to be as powerful and elegantly designed as the self-service experiences offered by companies like Amazon. Managed services partners make it much more practical and cost-effective for companies to build high-quality self-service options. Managed services providers have extensive experience in this arena, and they know how to build self-service options at maximum speed and minimal cost.
Managed services enable proactive approaches to customer service
Modern customer service is gradually shifting away from reactive service provided to customers on demand—and toward proactive service. With proactive service, the company anticipates what its customers will want to know and what services it will need, and proactively fills this gap. For example, a push notification can be sent to a customer every time there is a shipment, tracking, or delivery update on an order they have placed. Similarly, when a company knows about a planned service disruption that will affect a subset of its customers, the company can send an email in advance notifying them about the disruption and its duration. Managed services partners are highly skilled at building an organization’s capacity to provide proactive customer service. Managed services partners can often implement proactive customer service faster, more efficiently, and with a more informed perspective on which types of proactive service a company should offer —and how to configure these services—than in-house teams.
Managed services partners can be a gamechanger for companies looking to enhance their customer service capabilities. By partnering with a managed services provider, a company gains access to on-demand experts who will keep critical systems running, ensure customer service is ready to scale as needed, optimize the customer service team’s ability to cross-sell and upsell, and build elegant self-service and proactive service capabilities.
Simplus offers industry-leading Strategic Services, our managed services practice, to provide support for companies looking to create better customer service experiences. To learn more about the flexible, on-demand options available through Simplus’s Strategic Services program, please reach out to us today. We can’t wait to help you empower and upskill your customer service team to success.