Customer service is often underfunded. However, at the same time, it’s becoming an integral part of the customer experience and the health of your business. Customer service is crucial for customer retention, increasing revenue and customer loyalty.
Without adequate funding, poor customer service could lead to increased expenses and a hemorrhaging of customers. Making sure your team has the resources they need to succeed is critical to staying competitive in an increasingly crowded market.
However, providing excellent customer service doesn’t require you to break the bank. Below, you’ll read about budget trends in telecom, how to budget for customer service and why device and app support should be a priority in your budget.
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Budget trends in telecom
Providing excellent customer support is critical for retention and having a robust business. But how do you know what customer service options to budget for in 2023 so your company can stay competitive? Below we share some of the top customer service trends to include in your budget for the new year.
Competitive customer support
Did you know that 96% of customers will leave a company due to bad customer support? This means providing robust, comprehensive resources to create a seamless customer support experience is paramount.
One way to stay competitive in an increasingly crowded market is with omnichannel support experiences. Whether it’s through virtualization or self-serve options, it’s crucial to provide 24/7 access to up-to-date resources to assist with customer inquiries.
Did you know self-serve support is one of the most utilized forms of customer service? Yet, according to a survey by Broadband Communities, 43% of companies don’t offer self-serve options. The popularity of self-serve support is something telecommunications and broadband companies can no longer ignore.
Investing in self-serve options has huge benefits for businesses. Companies that adopt self-serve options reduce contact center wait times and call volume. In turn, this reduces costs, allowing your organization to spend less while increasing customer satisfaction and net promoter score (NPS).
Supplying contact center agents with hand-held devices can be expensive. They might be used by multiple people and require repairs or maintenance. Even if your contact center agent has the same tablet as the customer, they may have a different software version of that tablet, making it more difficult to provide relevant support when customers have questions.
Virtualization is a much more cost-effective way to supply agents with the necessary tools they need to assist customers. Virtual devices and apps offer contact center agents the same functionalities as a physical product, such as a smartphone or a router. However, unlike the physical device, virtualization allows agents to explore multiple versions of an app or software to provide more accurate and tailored customer service.
Adopting virtual devices and apps creates significant cost savings for businesses since companies no longer have to maintain a library of physical devices. In addition, virtualization lets agents more confidently assist customers with various inquiries. It also improves first call resolution and NPS.
How much does customer service cost for businesses?
While you might be tempted to prioritize other areas over customer service, not allocating sufficient funds to customer support could be costly for your business. Worldwide, businesses spend $126 billion on customer service each year and it’s estimated that poor customer service costs businesses as much as $1.6 trillion every year. This is usually because businesses don’t understand customer needs or invest in the appropriate infrastructure to provide optimal customer service. Therefore, you should prepare your budget for 2023 with customer service at the top of mind.
When are 2023 budgets usually submitted?
When a company should submit their budget for next year largely depends on the organizations’ fiscal year.
Sometimes, the company may choose for the fiscal year to align with the calendar year, meaning that planning next year’s budget starts in the fall. However, some may choose to begin their fiscal year at a later date. In either case, many companies start budgeting for next year before December 1st.
How to budget for customer support in 2023
How do you provide exceptional customer service without breaking the bank? Below are a few steps your company can take to budget for customer support.
Outline your team’s goals for the upcoming year
The first step to creating a budget for your customer service team is identifying your goals. A best practice is to use SMART goals. SMART goals are specific, measurable, attainable, relevant and timebound. Taking the time to set measurable support goals will help you more easily identify the resources you need for your customer service team to be successful in the new year.
Assess setbacks and challenges from the previous year
When creating your budget for the new year, take time to analyze the data from the previous year. Where did your team excel? Are there any areas for improvement? Look for trends in the data to help identify challenges and setbacks so you can determine the appropriate steps and tools you need to include in your budget.
Consider steps to aid employee retention
Amid the Great Resignation, many employees continue to quit their jobs to pursue better opportunities. This can have serious repercussions for your budget. It’s estimated that replacing an employee can cost a company as much as twice the employee’s salary. In customer service, the average turnover rate is 45%.
To avoid the expense of hiring new employees, consider taking steps to retain team members. For example, your company could potentially offer hybrid or remote work options in the new year. Modern tools, such as virtualization, make it easier than ever to provide remote contact center agents the tools they need to perform their jobs from home.
Once you’ve taken these steps, it’s time to implement your new customer support budget.
Why device and app support is a priority for your budget
Customer support is the heart of a successful business. In fact, 89% of companies that prioritize providing excellent customer support experience higher financial performance than their competitors who don’t. Below are a few reasons why device and app support should be a priority for your 2023 budget.
Increase positive brand sentiment
One of the most important reasons to adequately budget for customer service is to foster positive brand sentiment among customers throughout the customer journey. Customers who have a positive experience with your brand are more likely to recommend your products or services to others.
In an age of social media and online review sites, word of mouth can be amplified so thousands of people can read their positive review of your company. In turn, this increases brand loyalty and your company’s NPS.
Allocating the appropriate amount of resources to customer service creates a better customer experience and also helps your company’s bottomline. Providing top notch customer service increases a customer’s lifetime value. Research has also shown that customers who experience excellent customer support with a company are more likely to do business with them in the future.
For example, if your company has invested in virtual devices for contact center agents, they’ll be able to provide more accurate, up-to-date support for customers with different versions of various devices. A more personalized customer support experience will increase customer satisfaction.
Not only does this reduce customer churn, but it also provides an opportunity for your customer service team to upsell or cross-sell services and products. Every customer service interaction has the potential to increase your company’s profits.
Provide first-rate customer service without breaking the bank
Customer support is key to staying competitive in increasingly crowded telecom and broadband markets. Therefore, businesses should budget accordingly to provide contact centers with the resources they need to provide optimal support.
However, providing first-class customer service doesn’t have to be expensive. Many tools like virtual devices and self-serve options allow companies to decrease costs, increase NPS and boost their revenue. By taking the time to identify your goals and setbacks from the previous year, your company can create a budget that sets your customer support team up for success.
Looking for a better way to deliver top-notch customer service while staying within your budget? Ozmo’s omnichannel support solutions are trusted by Verizon, regional MNOs and more. Join the future of customer service today!