Running a business is both a fulfilling and demanding commitment. Unlike a regular eight-hour job, you are accountable for all aspects of your enterprise, such as marketing, accounting, and most especially, customer service. Since customer support is crucial in creating a pleasant customer experience, success in this aspect will switch up your customer retention and lead conversion rates.
If customer service isn’t one of your expertise, outsourcing your support process to a reliable vendor will be in your best interest. With the global market predicted to rise at $496 Billion by 2027, it’s evident that more businesses are powering their operations with call center solutions. But before you look at your options, it’s best to reflect on your needs and know the critical differences between inbound and outbound customer service. Read this infographic to find out which type of customer service is the most suitable for your business.
With the transition to the digital era, providing excellent, accessible, and available customer service is important in keeping your customers happy. Beyond your products and services, how you’ve made your customers feel plays a vital role in retention.
In fact, 79% of consumers believe that customer service is equally essential to the products or services of a company, with 58% cutting ties with businesses that offer poor customer service.
The Differences of Inbound and Outbound Customer Service
What is inbound customer service?
As the name suggests, inbound customer service is the process of accepting calls from existing or potential clients and supporting their purchase inquiries or requests. Overall, inbound representatives assist users with issues they may face with a company’s services. Inbound teams can keep clients satisfied by resolving concerns, answering questions, and taking note of complaints.
With inbound services being the primary mode of interaction of most enterprises to their consumers, it is crucial to provide a seamless customer experience across all platforms and build customer loyalty.
In inbound services, a customer contacts the company first. A machine or a representative assists them in sorting their concerns. The user is then directed to the concerned department or agent. The agent or department helps the customer with their issues and provides an effective solution. The primary metrics of success in inbound services are quick-to-call resolution times and the productivity of customer representatives.
Examples of inbound customer service
Inbound services can touch on many aspects, serving as a knowledge base for technical support, billing questions, consumer care issues, and sales.
1. Product and Service Inquiries
Potential customers will most likely inquire about a company’s offerings before making a purchase. To effectively reach out to customers, inbound services must attract, engage, and delight prospects. Apart from answering concerns, sharing relevant content and providing extensive customer support are sure-fire ways to turn clients into patrons of your brand.
2. Technical Support
Some customers may experience issues with their passwords, gadgets, online purchases, or accounts. Usually, when a product is not functioning correctly or when something breaks on their end, technical support is in charge of solving the problem. Callers who usually inquire about technical issues require having a level-headed technical representative to meet and solve customer demands and concerns.
3. Clerical Tasks
Clerical duties of customer representatives include transferring calls, filing or modifying documents, updating prospects’ accounts, screening leads for marketing and sales, and processing new customer accounts.
4. Payments and Order Processing
Some shoppers like to place their orders over the phone. Inbound agents can take orders from customers, help with their concerns, and complete their purchases over calls. Representatives can assist clients in placing their orders and ensuring that they will be processed in time for a customer’s preferred delivery date. Similarly, if buyers have payment or billing issues, they may also contact inbound services to address their concerns.
5. Inbound Sales
Inbound sales capitalize on consumers requesting information about a company. Agents then take advantage of the opportunity to put their best foot forward and encourage prospective buyers to purchase from an enterprise.
In building rapport, sharing relevant information to the context of prospects, asking open-ended questions, being transparent, and establishing common ground are essential. With a friendly and welcoming interaction, leads can be added to the sales database for future offerings or persuaded to complete a transaction.
What is outbound customer service?
Outbound customer service involves making outgoing calls to leads or existing clients for renewals, cross-selling, product or service upgrades, upselling, or cold calls (calls made to prospects who are not expecting the call). Outbound services are essential, with 87% of consumers wanting proactive customer service from the companies they purchase from.
To make interactions smoother, pique the caller’s interests, and increase conversion rates, customer relationship management software is used to analyze prospect or customer interactions. Different calling techniques are also used to achieve targets and actively contact potential clients.
Examples of outbound customer service
The primary focus of outbound customer service is sales and marketing. It involves reaching out to the prospects listed in the database to publicize a business and complete a transaction.
1. Lead Generation
To generate and qualify leads, representatives call prospects whose needs and interests are aligned with a company’s offerings. Specifically, cold outreach is an effective practice that enables agents to determine opportunities, gather information about prospects, and qualify leads if they seem ready to make a purchase.
2. Customer Surveys
Organizations use customer surveys to assess how potential customers react to a new product, service, or marketing campaign. It is also effective in tracking clients’ satisfaction with the current offerings of a business.
Telemarketing, usually compared to a door-to-door salesperson, is the process of pitching products or services through phone calls. With telemarketing, agents raise brand awareness to customers with different demographics and locations, allowing consumers to realize how a business can address their needs.
Telemarketing is beneficial because organizations with aligned sales and marketing teams result in 38% higher sales-win rates. It also nurtures leads, increasing purchases by 50%.
Telesales is prompted by the goal of closing deals over the phone. Under telesales, agents pursue promising leads (indicated by the data from telemarketers) to increase brand conversion.
With telesales representatives, you can minimize your sales costs by reducing your business’ number of field representatives and their travel expenses. Telesales agents also promote brand recognition by leaving leads with a good impression of your company.
5. Market Research
To gather insights on the market and identify your enterprise’s competitive position in its industry, representatives can call your customers and look into their pain points, the current products they use, their perception of your company, and the solutions they’re looking for.
With market research insights, it helps businesses better modify their products, services, improve their message, adjust marketing tactics, and customize their sales pitches.
Inbound or Outbound? Which is better?
While inbound calls focus on supporting customers, outbound calls are used to close sales, raise brand awareness, and understand market trends. The first is initiated by the customers, with representatives receiving calls, while in the latter, agents reach out to their leads.
The impact of both types of customer support is equally vital in converting prospects to customers and building brand loyalty. If you don’t have enough staffing to answer inquiries about your business, inbound-focused customer service might be a great way to start.
On the other hand, if you have difficulties following up leads or reaching potential clients, then an outbound-focused customer service might be your best bet.
You can also choose a hybrid approach or a mixture of the two. Understanding how to leverage inbound and outbound strategies can help your organization attain success and give you a competitive edge in the long run.
Power Your Business With Reliable Outsourcing Solutions
With your growing customer base and the increasing demands for your business, you’ll need to scale up your customer support process accordingly. Fortunately, both our Inbound Services and Outbound Solutions will enable you to satisfy customers and attain growth in no time. Contact us today to learn more!