Derek is joined by his co-host Arnold in this episode. They will discuss customer service operations, the opportunities and three main modes of doing so.
- Arnold and Derek discussed customer service operations. The opportunity to outsource those and the three main modes of doing so. Here are the three main modes;
- Phone and voice – Voice service is anything done over the phone. One of the fantastic opportunities with this is you can offer 24/7 voice services, customer service at a very affordable rate. And the Philippines as well is very experienced and specialized in voice servicing and customer service. Filipinos have a way of getting to know your company and your product or service and then implement a very effective customer service solution for you.
- Email – Email is not real time. So, it means that you know you can have a lead time. You can have internal objectives to get back to customers within one, two or 24 hours. The staff can seek advice from senior colleagues that they need to know how to answer more appropriately. It can be funneled to the right people to handle things. So, email offers a lot of flexibility in terms of the process for managing it. There’s also the opportunity for 24/7 customer service response via email.
- Chat – This is relatively recent but it’s booming right now. There have been chat functions on websites for nearly 10 years but now there is also the introduction of text chat, messenger chat. A huge difference between chat and the other two is that it’s live, you know it’s real-time but it often provides a better point of access for clients but still has the accountability of emails. Many people now prefer to text or message and especially if there’s a complaint because people don’t like to sit on the phone and people also don’t necessarily like to complain vocally. This provides convenience to customers.
- Messenger chat is now evolving into AI and chatbots and the leaders within this market at the moment is Facebook and the Asian counterpart of that is We Chat which has incredible functionality (i.e. chatbots and semi-automation of conversations).
- If you don’t already outsource your customer service provision then consider the opportunity to do so. Not just because you could save costs but because you can offer a better and more attentive customer service to your customers.
- Filipinos are highly experienced when it comes to customer service through voice, chat, and emails. They have been a forerunner in the business for over 20 years now.
Hi. Welcome back to another episode of Outsource Accelerator. I have a chat again this morning with Arnold San Miguel and we are discussing customer service operations. The opportunity to outsource those and the three main modes of doing so. So, I hope you get a lot of value from this episode. As I said we’re joined by Arnold San Miguel and if you want any of the show notes or any information go to our website you can find this episode at outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode28.
Derek: Hi and welcome to another episode of Outsource Accelerator podcast. I’m excited to be joined by Arnold San Miguel again with us. Hi Arnold.
Arnold: Hi guys. Hi Derek.
Derek: Hi and today we are exploring customer service and that is a very common aspect that is and can and should be outsourced field business.
Customer service is critical to a business and it absolutely needs to be done well. Okay, you’ve got to look after your customers. But it is a great opportunity for it to be done within a cheaper cost center such as the Philippines. And that is so much the case that customer service whether it’s over kind of email or voice has been happening in the Philippines for just over 20 years now. So yeah, it’s a huge sector and huge amount of opportunities there and we’re going to cover three main areas. And they are phone and voice. The next one is email. And then the next one is chat and. So, there’s three primary approaches to customer service provision. Okay, so the first one is phone and voice so it’s referred to in Manila as voice service and that’s anything that’s done over the phone. And one of the fantastic opportunities with this is that very affordably you can offer 24/7 voice services, customer service and the Philippines as well is immensely experienced and specialized in voice servicing and customer service. So, you can not only get very affordable staffing solutions here you can not only provide a 24/7 service in this respect but you can actually go to a service provider and they can provide you with a lot of the expertise. They have the ability to get to know your company and your product or service and then implement a very effective customer service solution for you. So, a huge amount of opportunity there. What are your thoughts on that.
Arnold: Yeah, for voice it’s actually helpful like people would notice bank industry, bank industries or people in the accommodations sector normally have this 24 by 7 customer service hotline wherein people can call and inquire about their card or their booked hotel. So that really just shows you the benefit of having someone on standby that is ready to handle any customer queries that might happen to come your way.
Derek: Yeah, absolutely. And look there is you know let’s be real about this like people, the foreign customer service isn’t always as popular but it is such a reality in today’s day and age of commerce and you know it’s no coincidence that every big conglomerate is doing outsourced or offshore customer service solutions because it really is a huge cost. And if done well then it can be done very well. So, you know it delivers a better customer service experience than what you could afford by doing onshore solutions.
Arnold: And just to add you know normally people within the customer service role ideally just logs in the report that you are calling in then they pass it on to the right department or to the right people. So, they can attend to your needs as soon as possible. So, for example if your TV signal went down and then you called in the middle of the night the person who answered your call is most likely going to transfer your details to the technician’s department. So that at 8:00 a.m. the following day they can go to your house and fix your TV and signal. So that is the power of customer service.
Derek: Absolutely. And again, that’s the power of you know if you are developing a system it’s the power of working with experienced customer service outsourcing service providers because they know how to set these things up and they know the best processes to put in place. There’s a lot of value to be gained there.
Okay so moving on the second one of customer service is e-mail and maybe for what 15 years now e-mail has been one of the primary ways of communication and it’s pretty amazing. But funnily enough you know a lot of the big conglomerates there only in the last five years really getting on to e-mail communication because they’re often very limited in the process as they can engage with but email is here and of course it’s a fantastic opportunity for outsourcing your customer service over email. Email is not real time. So, it means that you know you can have lead times. You can have internal objectives to get back to people within one hour two hours 24 hours and then within that lead time it enables a lot of systems to be put in place. If people can read and process the original emails they can seek advice from senior colleagues that they need to know how to answer more appropriately. It can be funneled to the right people to handle things. So, email has a hell of a lot of flexibility in terms of the process for managing it. And again, you know there’s opportunity for 24/7 customer service responses via email. And of course, a lot of the helpdesk solutions you can log in from anywhere. So, you can literally have customer service people sitting side by side digitally. And you know, one can be in your hometown and the other one can be supporting in an offshore location. So very, very valuable opportunity there.
Arnold: Yeah. So, one of the main advantages of emailing is that when a customer service staff responds to a query email is that they get the opportunity to detail or to make the response very detailed in terms of providing information that is very relevant to the question at hand. So mostly people have a hard time of explaining their situation or the hurdle that they are in right now over the phone. But if they outline it in an email either by bullet points or numbered sentences then getting a response to each query. Really, you know solves the issue in the first response which is a big help for any customer.
Derek: Yeah absolutely. Absolutely. And some emails you know they do allow for a lot more training within the backend process as opposed to a live call where people have to think on their feet a lot more. Emails allow for better systems to be built to handle processes more efficiently to give a better experience to the customer which is important.
Okay so moving on, the third one the main form of customer services is through chat. This is relatively recent but is now just booming. There have been chat functions on websites for nearly 10 years but now there is also the introduction of text, chat, messenger chat and interestingly that is now evolving into AI and chat bots and the leaders within this market at the moment is Facebook within the general Western market. But interestingly there’s also We Chat from the Asian market and that has incredible functionality of which one of them chat bots and semi automation of conversations. So, the significant difference with chatter’s obviously shorter form. It’s live, you know it’s real time but it often provides a better point of access for clients but still has the accountability of emails. Also, significantly with chat, many people are now preferring to text or message and especially if there’s a complaint because people don’t like to sit on the phone. And people also don’t necessarily like to complain vocally. So, the chatters actually enables people to attend to their problems maybe a little more easily which contributes to a happier customer at the end of the day.
Arnold: Yeah, a good example for chat is let’s say someone is doing an online shopping in a particular website. If there is a chat functionality within that website that helps me understand you know the product better for me to make that decision to buy it. It definitely helps both parties. So, there’s a quicker response for the query of the customer.
Derek: Yeah absolutely and there’s a lot of good softwares for that isn’t there? Where if people are in the checkout cart then you know where they are and you can help them through the process. And yeah that’s a good point Arnold that it does help secure sales a lot and so much so that actually there are standalone chat support functions that you can pay among the amount for. Install the software on your website and it comes with no human chat support which is all outsourced. So, it’s a huge and growing industry and suddenly with the AI and bots it’s gonna be really interesting to watch in the near future.
Okay so, thanks for joining us. That rounds off the customer service provisions the predominant ones are voice, email and chat and the Philippines very much as an expert in all of these. So, if you don’t already outsource your customer service provision then consider the opportunity to do so. And it’s not just because you’re gonna save costs but it is actually because you can offer a better and more attentive customer service to customers. That’s all from us. Thanks Arnold.
Arnold: Thanks guys. Bye.
Okay, I hope you enjoyed that. Thanks Arnold for your time there and insight. And if you want any show notes then that is at, over at the website at outsourceaccelerator.com/podcast/episode28. And we will see you next time.