We live in a rapidly changing environment, especially for businesses. Regardless of size and industry, most businesses face many of the same challenges everyday – growing revenue while keeping customers happy.
With things like social media, live chat, help desk, email support, and mobile applications, it has become easier for customers to obtain information about a company and their products or services, as well as their competitors. This instant access to information requires service representatives to not only be equipped to meet the rising customer expectations and demands, but to also be able to upsell and cross-sell to drive more sales.
Today, smart companies have found that customer service teams can contribute in generating overall sales. Whether directly or indirectly, your customer service team has a major impact on your sales. Due to this, many firms have begun hiring outsourced customer service teams, and leveraging them from being a “cost center” into a “profit center”, by building a level of sales skills within the team.
Given customer service representatives are often the key interface with a customer, providing information, can readily turn into selling the right solution.
The shift from Customer Service to Sales
Here are a few ways on how you can use your outsourced customer service team to increase company sales, while still providing great support to your customers.
Focus on being a problem solver, not product sellers
Primarily positioned to solve customer’s problems, service representatives are in a strong unique selling proposition to recommend products or services that help solve customer problems. Service agents can use real-time customer situations to not only resolve an issue, but also become a partner to the customer, and an advocate in making sensible recommendations.
Follow-up on warm leads
Empower agents to interact with customers for upsell and cross-sell opportunities. Use your outsource team to follow-up on prospects and customers that may be unresponsive, or you haven’t spoken to in a period of time. Use the opportunity not as a hard sell, but to share new information such as new content, webinars, or events that may be of interest, as well as understanding where they were at from previous conversations.
Maintain CRM database
An offshore team member can help maintain the CRM, ensuring all data associated with the customer and sales are up to date. This can include sending and managing calendar invites, sending follow up emails, making follow up calls, identifying upsell opportunities for existing customers, and many other tasks to assist your sales team.
Benefits of Outsourcing Customer Support
Every business can reap the benefits of integrating customer service into their sales strategy, and the benefits of outsourcing customer support often includes one or more of the following:
- Lower cost due to lower labour rates
- Improve productivity and efficiency
- Access to highly skilled and experienced professionals
- Increase flexibility to meet customer’s changing demands
- Increase focus on strategy/core competencies
- Access to the latest technology, keeping you innovative and different from competitors
- Provide 24 x 7 customer support coverage in multiple channels
- Drive more bottom-line profits
- Increase business opportunity and growth
Mini case study | Following up on customers with poor engagement
An optiBPO customer has a customer service team that was not sales focused and highly reactive. However, management identified there were a large number of customers that had previously purchased off them, but had not ordered for an extended period of time. A project was established whereby the customer service team reached out to 5000+ old customers over a period of 3 months, in which they sought feedback on why the orders had stopped, and provided information on new products.
This “re-connect strategy” resulted in 500+ new orders in that first 3 month period, and since then further orders, including repeat orders with re-engaged customers who had fallen off the radar. Given the lowest cost of sale is to existing customers, these sales were created by re-opening a customer conversation that had gone quiet. The initiative re-invigorated a number of customers, and has now become an ongoing process.
As can be seen from the case study above, customer service representatives can do a lot more than just answer queries and handle customer complaints. Outsourcing customer service teams, and training them to make sales as part of their service can be an additional driver of growth.
Looking to boost your overall sales?
Consider outsourcing sales resources to boost sales results, exceed business performance, and reduce operational costs. Contact us today!