Streamlining Customer Service: Key Strategies for Reduced Costs and Improved Customer Satisfaction

Customer service is no longer just a cost; it’s an asset in the competition for customers. With 30 years of expertise in delivering outsourced customer service, we know that the right strategy can reduce costs and improve customer satisfaction, leading to increased sales.

Companies often face challenges such as inefficiency, high costs, and missed opportunities for improved customer satisfaction due to a reactive rather than a proactive approach to customer service. This is costly and harms customer relationships.

Why Outsource with 3C Online?

We offer a mix of cost-effectiveness, expertise, technology, and a flexible and scalable organization. Our solutions:

  • Reduce case volume by up to 30%
  • Decrease handling time by up to 25%
  • Maintain or increase customer satisfaction
  • Our efforts have resulted in a reduction of customer support costs for our clients by over 20%. We strive to go beyond standard solutions and tailor customer service so that both case volumes and handling times decrease while customer satisfaction increases.

Our Offer: Your Customer Service, Redefined and Optimized

We provide customized outsourced customer service tailored to your unique needs, including integration with existing systems and technology platforms. Through close collaboration, we ensure that our solutions not only lower costs but also strengthen customer relationships and promote growth.

Our business model is based on a mutual success principle. It is based not only on the volume of customer cases but also on the actual effect of our services. By reducing both the number of cases and handling time, we manage to lower your customer support costs while increasing customer satisfaction. Our success is directly linked to yours, creating a strong motivation for continuous improvement.

Example Calculation

An example calculation illustrates the potential for savings. The customer support team handles 100,000 cases, in which each case takes an average of 4 minutes to resolve at a cost of £ 3,80 per case. We manage to reduce the number of cases by 30% to 84,000 and the time per case by 25% to 3 minutes. The cost per case is reduced to £ 2,80, which corresponds to a saving of 26%, a total cost reduction from £ 376,000 to £ 236,000. Our experience shows that such savings are fully possible without major investments.

How Do We Do Customer Service So Well?

Our method is based on working with existing structures and assets. In cooperation with our client, we focus on three main areas: 1) Key metrics, 2) Analysis, and 3) Cost-effective improvements.

Key Metrics

To reduce customer service costs, we use three specific key metrics:

  • Cost per order: We aim to minimize the customer service cost per customer invoice/order. By reducing the number of customer service cases generated per order, we can directly influence and lower the total customer service cost.
  • Customer service proportion relative to order volume: By reducing the proportion of customer cases relative to the number of invoices/orders issued, we work towards a more efficient customer service where fewer problems arise from the outset.
  • Cost per case: Although this figure can increase as total case volumes decrease, the overall result is a lower total cost for customer support, which is our common goal.

Analysis

Through analysis of customer service metrics, we gain insights into areas needing improvement. We focus on:

  • Case volume per category: We identify the most common reasons for customer contact to direct efforts where they have the greatest effect.
  • Handling time and first contact resolution (FCR): Shortening the time it takes to resolve cases and increasing the proportion of cases resolved at first contact are crucial for efficiency.
  • Escalation and customer satisfaction: By reducing the need for escalations and improving customer satisfaction, we create a more positive customer experience.
  • Cost-effective Measures Leading to Improvement

Cost-effective improvements

We generally do not believe that large investments in new systems or tools are necessary for a more efficient customer support. Much can be achieved with existing resources. We focus on:

  • Training and education: Our agents received regular training to efficiently handle the most common queries, and know where to find information to independently problem solve.
  • Dialogue management: Through our methodology where our agents actively guide the dialogue, the focus is on affirming the customer so that they feel seen and listened to. This builds trust and understanding even when the problem cannot be immediately solved.
  • Handling: Many routines often do not add enough value to be justified. By removing or simplifying routines in case handling, valuable time is saved, contributing to higher efficiency.

Other Ways We Increase Efficiency Within Customer Support

To further reduce case volume and increase efficiency within customer support, we expand our strategy to prevent problems before they arise and streamline handling when they do occur.

Simple Communication – Fewer Cases

No one wants to contact customer service. When they do, it’s because they feel uncertain about something or a direct problem has occurred.

With our client, we actively work to simplify and clarify communication during the customer journey. By keeping the information short and relevant and only communicating at times when the customer needs the information, the risk of the customer feeling uncertainty, a direct cause of making contact, is minimized. A consistent message across channels using clear expressions and formulations reduces the number of cases arising from confusion and uncertainty.

Increased Resolution Rate (FCR) – Increased Efficiency

Training and giving our agents the competence and authority to resolve cases directly at first contact is key to increasing the case resolution at first contact (FCR) to reduce case volume and handling time. A high FCR metric means that customer service is working more efficiently, leading to better customer experiences and lower costs.

Why Invest in Technology?

Investments in new technology are not a universal solution for challenges within customer service. Introducing new technology must be based on a clear understanding of which key metrics are affected and what the consequences are. Technology is like a knife and fork- they are tools that help but do not contribute to how the food tastes.

Automation should be used for handling routine, quantitative tasks that do not require human interaction. Simple information transfer is perfectly suited for automation. By automating such processes, both efficiency can increase and allow the customer service team to focus on relationship-building dialogues that require human qualities– key components for creating trust and loyalty among customers.

Technical solutions that complement and enhance the human aspect of customer service can ensure that every customer interaction, whether technology-driven or human, is a positive customer experience that strengthens the relationship with the brand.

Concerns About Increased Costs in Other Departments

Effective customer service does not mean shifting the workload to another part of the organization. To address this concern, we implement several measures:

Preventing additional work: By handling cases in the dialogue with the customer in such a way that no further work is created. This means actively directing the conversation, utilising available information, and packaging this in a way that makes the customer feel affirmed without generating additional work.

Extended mandate: Giving our agents access to the systems and mandate to resolve cases directly, without needing to escalate them. This requires close cooperation with our client to ensure the right level of access and training.

Investments: Jointly with the client, making a calculation of any investments that can remove recurring problems. The investment is compared against the costs that the problem entails to assess whether it is economically justifiable.

We strive to create a customer service that is cost-effective and contributes to higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. Our ambition is to create strong value for our clients where customer service solves problems and reinforces the customer’s trust and relationship with the brand.

Our approach optimizes the customer service process with cost control. When we succeed, our business model means that we both share in the success. By working together, we can create a cost-effective cooperation that increases customer satisfaction and contributes to long-term growth.

Further Reading

Want to learn more? Read our series on how customer service can contribute to a lower climate footprint while also increasing the company’s sales and customer loyalty. You can read the articles here:

Part 1: How can customer service reduce carbon emissions?

Part 2: How can inclusive customer dialouges increase sustainability?

Part 3: How do you create a sustainable work environment in customer service?

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