Customer Service

How Outsourcing Customer Support for Small Businesses Works & When It Makes Sense

The customer support tightrope

Running a small business entails wearing every hat imaginable – HR, marketing, operations, finance, business development and more. It's a thrilling ride, and especially rewarding when sales boom and the customer base expands. However, this growth brings a new challenge: keeping up with surging customer support demands.

The loyalty loop: Happy customers are your loyal army. They return for more and sing your praises. These translate to increased sales and a steady stream of new customers. The secret weapon for cultivating customer loyalty? Exceptional customer care.

The downward spiral: Declining customer support quality can send your loyal customer base plummeting. With a limited in-house team, meeting the growing demands of customers feels like constantly playing catch-up. Scaling the team internally seems like the answer, but the additional costs of hiring, training, and office space can be a backbreaker for small businesses.

So, what's the alternative? Look outside.

The power of outsourcing

Imagine having a dedicated team of customer service experts at your fingertips. That's exactly what outsourcing offers! These specialists handle emails, answer calls and offer technical support, ensuring your customers receive top-notch care, while you focus on what matters most – growing your business.

Here are some specific benefits of outsourcing customer support for small businesses:

  • Freed-up team: Outsourcing customer services frees up your internal team from the daily grind. This allows them to focus on core competencies that drive growth, like marketing, product development, and sales.
  • Expertise on demand: Customer support providers are specialists in their field. They leverage cutting-edge technology like automation and data analytical tools to enhance customer care and resolve issues efficiently. In fact, 18% of small businesses outsource specifically to benefit from this specialised knowledge and improved service capabilities.
  • Scalability: Adding staff internally can be expensive and time-consuming. Outsourcing customer support allows you to scale your customer service team seamlessly, adapting to your growing customer base without a hitch.
  • Cost-effectiveness: Outsourcing is often significantly cheaper than hiring and training an in-house team. You pay for the service you need, eliminating overhead costs like salaries, benefits, and office space. Deloitte's research confirms this – 57% of the executives surveyed agreed that outsourcing delivers cost savings.

These benefits all contribute to a more efficient and productive operation. It's no wonder that nearly a quarter (24%) of small businesses are taking advantage of outsourcing customer support!
When to outsource customer support?

However, there is a catch. Although a powerful tool, outsourcing is not a one-size-fits-all solution. It is important to understand when to outsource and when to keep things in-house. Here are some pointers:

Hold onto your team when:  You are new and nimble, and your customer base is modest. This allows you to directly shape customer experience and build brand identity. More importantly, you get to learn the ropes of customer care and establish clear communication guidelines for the future.

Outsource if you find yourself nodding to any of these situations:

  • Founder frenzy: Are you, the CEO or founder fielding all customer inquiries? You've got bigger fish to fry! Outsourcing helps you focus on strategic growth.
  • Seasonal surges: Do peak times like holidays leave your in-house team overwhelmed? Outsourcing provides a flexible solution to handle temporary spikes in inquiries.
  • The after-hours dilemma: Need extended support beyond regular business hours? Outsourcing offers a cost-effective way to provide 24/7 customer care.
  • Challenges of development: Is your business booming, but does your customer support team find it difficult to keep up? Outsourcing lets you scale your support effortlessly, ensuring your growing customer base receives the attention they deserve.

By understanding when to outsource and when to keep things in-house, you can leverage customer support as a strategic advantage for your business.

Who wins big with outsourced customer support?

While any small business can benefit from outsourcing customer support, some industries see particular advantages:

  • Subscription-based businesses: Companies employing a subscription-based model, such as a fitness application, which encounters continuous customer inquiries (billing concerns, plan adjustments, resolving access issues), stand to achieve substantial cost savings through outsourcing.
  • Technical product-based businesses: Businesses with complex technical aspects, like those in smartwatches or virtual reality headsets, can benefit from outsourcing technical support.
  • Beauty and fashion brands: Makeup and handbag businesses can elevate their customer experience, protect their brand image, and handle seasonal spikes efficiently by outsourcing customer support.
  • Direct-to-consumer (D2C) e-commerce businesses: Outsourcing customer support for, say, luxury homeware suppliers, expands their global reach with extended hours tailored to diverse time zones and locations.

Limitless support

The outsourced customer service market is booming, exceeding $70 billion. This surge reflects a growing need for efficient and specialised support solutions, a need acutely felt by small businesses. For them, customer service is vital, but limited resources can make it a challenge to keep up, especially during growth periods. This is where outsourcing customer support becomes a strategic game-changer. It is a strategic move that facilitates seamless scaling of support, exceptional customer experiences, and a competitive edge in a crowded market. Remember, satisfied customers are your loyal advocates, and outstanding customer support is the foundation. Consider outsourcing and witness your business soar.

How can Infosys BPM help?

At Infosys BPM, we believe in providing tailored, comprehensive customer support solutions for a seamless, unified experience across all channels. Our customer service outsourcing solutions go the extra mile to provide value to our partners. Here’s to your success!

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