So you’re running your own startup. You’ve done the research, and you’ve developed a great product. Your product or service starts selling and things are running smoothly. Then your customers start calling, e-mailing, or contacting you on social media. They’ve got questions. How do certain features work? Where do they get replacement parts? Who do they talk to about billing issues?
Running a startup requires a very diverse skillset. Chances are you’ve been laser-focused on getting your product on the market and not as concerned with how to provide customer support as a startup. Initially you handle customer service personally. But once you get bigger you’ll also get busier, and the phone starts ringing non-stop. So what is the best way to handle customer support as a startup?
The first strategic decision involves deciding whether to keep your customer support in-house or to outsource.
An often-heard argument is that keeping your support in-house puts you closer to the action and in more direct contact with your customers. The feedback you get from your customers is invaluable in the early stages of your business as customer contact gives you a finger on the pulse of the market, helps you gauge your success and can inspire further improvements to your product. The downside here is higher costs. You will need to invest in the right tools, build support processes, and hire the right people.
There is no reason why an outsourcing partner could not provide you with this same customer feedback just as regularly, giving you the benefit of lower costs without missing out on valuable feedback. The key advice here:
Don’t think of outsourcing as passing off the work, but as partnering up with an expert. (Tweet this)
The advantages of outsourcing customer support as a startup include
- You work with a partner experienced in delivering customer support, in recruiting customer support representatives, and has established processes, best practices and systems
- You save costs compared to keeping your support team in-house
- You can make use of shared resources covering multiple languages and time zones while keeping your expenses under control
- You can focus on growing your core product
Choosing the right partner is the most important customer service decision you’ll make. You’ll need to be able to confidently trust them to represent your company towards your customers and you’ll need to make watertight agreements on what service levels you expect, how exceptional cases will be handled, and how you’ll receive feedback. Any outsourcing partner worth their salt has established customer support processes and best practices so there is no reason for you to reinvent the wheel.
Get in touch with us here to talk about how we can help your startup.
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