Reducing complexities for SMBs Contact Center Operations 

During times of growth, small to mid-sized (SMB) businesses often find that scaling customer support to match the expanding needs of the consumers they serve is difficult. Your company may be no exception; are your contact center and support operations feeling needlessly complex?  

Thankfully, even if they are, you can still deliver exemplary SMB customer support without derailing your overall business growth. Join us as we provide customer support tips for a small business that will help you honor your commitment to those who work with your brand. We’ll also outline the challenges associated with scaling customer support so that you know what hurdles to expect as you grow.  

Challenges to Scaling Customer Support 

Every business and the hurdles it faces are unique. However, most SMB customer support issues boil down to one or more of the following hurdles: 

Budgetary Constraints 

Expanding your SMB customer support operations can be expensive, especially if you are trying to handle everything in-house. Even bringing in a single support person will cost you tens of thousands per year in payroll expenses, not to mention benefits and equipment.  

As a result, many SMBs wait until their support teams are stretched thin before they start expanding. That’s understandable — after all, the last thing you want to do is take on bloated payroll costs when you are trying to grow your business — but the problem is that deciding to hire when you need help means it’s already too late.  

Hiring, onboarding, and training new customer support personnel is a collective process that can take months, and in the meantime, your existing service team is going to be bombarded with requests, which can leave them feeling overwhelmed and burnt out. If you waited way too long to start scaling your support efforts, your customers will be feeling the effects, too.  

Talent Shortages 

Even if you’ve chosen the ideal time to start expanding your staff, there’s another problem you’ve got to tackle: the talent shortage.  

Sourcing talent for your SMB customer support team is particularly tough when you manage service operations from a centralized location; you’ll only be able to hire people who are close to your service center, which further shrinks the talent pool.  

Furthermore, finding talent can be difficult when you’re in a hurry; you don’t want to bring in the wrong person, as they probably won’t last. 

A Lack of Know-How 

You know your business inside and out; after all, you’ve built it from the ground up, and you have the rapid growth and loyal customer base to prove it. That said, scaling customer support is an entirely different challenge, and it’s one that may not represent the best use of your time. It’s likely that you’d better serve your company by focusing on your core competencies, like perfecting your products and refining your business model.  

How to Streamline Customer Support  

Learning how to streamline customer support effectively is as easy as one, two, or three: 

1. Leverage Technology and Automation 

Manual processes are the enemy of efficiency, especially when it comes to contact center operations. Your team needs modern tech tools, such as automation software, to ensure they can get more done. 

You can think of automation technologies as a force multiplier; with them, you’ll be able to increase efficiency and empower every team member to reach their full productivity potential. Your customers will enjoy significant benefits, as their service experiences will be faster and more focused on addressing their needs.  

If you’re not sure where to start with automation, consider leveraging custom software development solutions and consultative services. A great outsourcing partner — which we’ll discuss more below — can help you get the most bang for your buck when rolling out new technologies.  

2. Implement Self-Service Options 

Self-service options, like FAQs, knowledge bases, and instructional videos covering common issues and queries, empower customers to find answers to their questions without directly contacting customer support. By providing comprehensive, easily accessible self-service resources, you can reduce the volume of incoming queries, allowing your support team to focus on more complex issues. 

Modern chatbots are another excellent self-service tool, as they are capable of carrying on dynamic conversations with customers, giving them answers to challenges and enabling them to get help fast.  

The bottom line is that offering self-service is a great way to deliver faster, more timely support for your customers while also reducing the workload on agents, but there is a caveat: Do not force your customers into self-service loops. If they get routed to a self-service portal and want to speak to a live agent, make it easy for them to connect with a support agent.  

3. Outsource 

One of the best things you can do for your business is to bring in external support to complement your knowledge base and skill set.  

Outsourcing things like back office processes and other auxiliary activities can save money and allow you to focus on dynamic tasks, in turn eliminating the headaches associated with managing customer care processes in-house and allowing you to enjoy predictable costs. Customer support outsourcing, in particular, gives you access to modern technologies, well-trained agents, and the infrastructure necessary to serve consumers with lightning-fast efficiency. 

Outsourcing doesn’t have to stop with your contact center operations, but keep in mind that the goal isn’t to outsource everything; instead, it is to offload the burden of auxiliary activities so you can focus on your core mission and vision. 

Is It Time to Outsource? 

If scaling customer support has become a recurring nightmare that is holding your business back, it is more than likely time to outsource. Through outsourcing, you can alleviate the burden on your in-house team and reassign them to more dynamic roles that deliver better value for your business.  

Don’t let the challenges of scaling customer support prevent your company from reaching its full growth potential; use these tips to deliver faster, higher-quality service, and don’t hesitate to outsource processes outside of your wheelhouse. Strategically outsourcing and optimizing contact center operations will reduce costs and propel your business forward! 

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