No matter your business, customer service is at the cornerstone of your success. Good customer service will make customers feel like you really care about their experience. But bad customer service is enough to send customers into the arms of your competition.
Unfortunately, customer service is very hard to get “just right.” Because of this, many companies have turned to solutions such as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) and using crowd-sourced “superfans.”
But what are these solutions about, and which one is best for your business? Keep reading to discover the answer!
What Is BPO?
BPO is one of the most popular options for companies that need help with customer service. But what is BPO, and what does it mean for your business?
Business Process Outsourcing is the process where a business hires a third party to perform certain services. These services may include everything from sales and marketing to payment processing and customer service.
With BPO, you can let customers contact your company via phone or chat whenever you’d like. In fact, you can set up a 24/7 service if you want. But you should be aware that BPO is not your only option for effectively outsourcing your customer service needs.
What Are Crowd-sourced Superfans?
An alternative to using BPO for customer service is using crowd-sourced superfans. However, many businesses don’t know what this means or how they could implement this model into their own business.
In this case, “crowd-sourced” means that you find the best potential brand ambassadors for your business among your existing customers. These “superfans” may be apparent by the way they engage with your brand and other customers, especially on social media.
How can such fans help with customer service? The easiest method is to officially name them as administrators for things like your social media account and other accounts (including platforms like Youtube and Reddit). This person will monitor for references to your company, answer questions, mediate disputes, and elevate certain customer inquiries to the right people.
Why Would My Business Need Either BPO or Superfans?
We’re about to compare using BPO with using superfans to determine which model is best for your business. However, it’s important to answer another question first: why would your business need to rely on either one of these sources?
The short answer is that it can save time and money. Many businesses, especially smaller businesses, don’t have enough resources to dedicate to an in-house customer service team. It may be overly expensive to pay a full team a salary and benefits.
Alternatively, a business can assign customer service duties to other employees, but employees who lack customer service experience may do a poor job. On top of that, handling customer service duties takes them away from their primary responsibilities, increasing their time to complete important tasks.
By using BPO or crowd-sourced superfans, you can achieve great customer service while saving time and money. But which should you use? Let’s look at the different benefits each approach has to offer.
Benefits of Using BPO For Your Business
There are many benefits of using Business Process Outsourcing for your customer service. First, you are hiring trained professionals. Unlike “superfans,” these are experts with extensive customer service experience.
Second, using BPO for customer service gives you more flexibility. If you want customers to be able to call you, for instance, you can do that with BPO but cannot really do that with superfans.
Finally, a good BPO company offers many more services beyond customer service. If you need it, a BPO can also handle things like sales, marketing, payment processing, and much more that community fans simply cannot do.
Benefits of Using Superfans For Your Business
There are clearly some major advantages to using BPO for your customer service needs. But there are also some major benefits to using superfans that you should be aware of.
The first is that superfans know your fan community and your customers as well (or quite possibly better) than you do. Because of this, they can potentially provide a very high level of customer service.
The second is that superfans make for natural salesmen. Their sheer enthusiasm for your brand and your products can help get people who are on the fence to try out new products and services.
Finally, superfans can meet customers where they are by answering questions and mediating disputes over social media. Unfortunately, there is no real way for superfans to answer customer questions via phone, so this is an area where BPO has the advantage.
Questions of Security
So, should you go with BPO or crowd-sourced superfans? While each solution has advantages and disadvantages, the simple fact is that using superfans doesn’t offer enough safety for your business.
Think about it: customer service is how you represent your brand to the world. But superfans can’t provide great service if you don’t provide them with secure information about products, release dates, disputes, and so on. At this point, all you can do is hope that the superfan doesn’t become disgruntled and leak this sensitive information online.
However, with a BPO company, you have a firm contract in place regarding sensitive information. And you are able to immediately hire professionals instead of spending countless hours finding fans you hope are trustworthy.
Long story short? It’s worth cultivating some brand ambassadors, and you may even trust superfans to be admins over social media. But when it comes to the nuts and bolts of customer service, you are far better off going with a BPO.
Get BPO For Your Customer Service Today
Here at Confie, we specialize in BPO and helping your business reach the next level. To learn more about what we can do to help your company reach its full potential with customer service and much more, all you have to do is contact us today!