Types of Customer Service: Which is the Best Option for Your Company?

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The business process of customer service is one of the most thoroughly evolved in the wake of the 21st century. It encompasses a number of specialized tasks done with updated technologies and can be profit-generating as well as support-related.

Customer service is commonly outsourced by top institutions, small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs), and startups and the technologies related to this function are currently utilized within a broad spectrum of industries. From retail, to hospitality, to food and beverage, to consultancy—you name it, and there is probably a powerhouse-in-the making on the other side of the globe that is contracting with a BPO for their customer service.

Many companies around the world choose to outsource their customer service to the Philippines. This move allows them to benefit from the talent of excellent English communicators and save on operation costs. There are many types and subtypes of customer service functions that are outsourced to the country.

The Major Divisions of Customer Service

The types of customer service available in the digital marketplace can generally fall under the umbrella of inbound services or outbound services. Here’s a very quick summary of the two divisions, the most common sub-types that fall under them, and what business types these services will best supplement.

  1. Inbound Services – Inbound services constitute the services that have to do with incoming customer contact, i.e. from customer to client business. The following tasks fall under inbound services:
    1. Customer Service: handling general queries from a customer about products and services
      Perfect for:Any type of company that is developing a customer base; scalable to the volume of customer requests that are incoming
    2. Helpdesk: handling inter-departmental queries from employees within the business organization
      Perfect for: Medium-to-large companies with multiple departments, looking to enhance the internal efficiency of the business
    3. Troubleshooting: helping customers resolve technical concerns with the business’s product; aiding in processes such as rebooting and minor rewiring
      Perfect for: tech retail businesses or telecom businesses anticipating a high volume of requests
    4. Virtual Reception: managing inbound bookings or reservations via telephone, email, or chat
      Perfect for: hotels, inns, resorts, or restaurants with their own reception desk
    5. Appointment Management: managing business calendar and schedules for incoming appointments from customers
      Perfect for: Consultants from medical clinics, law offices, or other institutions that require fixed daily scheduling
  2. Outbound Services
    Outbound services are the opposite of inbound services, in that they cater to the linkage of client business to potential customer or partner. The following tasks fall under outbound services:

    1. Lead Generation: getting leads or information on potential sales opportunities
      Perfect for: Businesses with boutique services looking to cater to a specific customer base
    2. Market Research and Outbound Surveys: obtaining data directly from the demographic of current or potential customers
      Perfect for:Companies out to test a new product or service, companies that need customer feedback after the launch of a product or service, companies needing numbers for new marketing campaigns
    3. Appointment Setting: directly contacting potential clients, partners, or patients to set and confirm appointments
      Perfect for: Consultants from medical clinics, law offices, or other institutions that require fixed daily scheduling
    4. Collection and Billing Reminders: giving customers a heads-up on outstanding payments or billing schedules
      Perfect for: Companies in service-related industries such as plumbing, electricity, waste management, pest control, and the like
    5. Event Registration: managing attendee registration and payments, as well as logistics with partner institutions
      Perfect for: events management companies, wedding planners, concert planners, event organizers of seminars or corporate trainings

In truth, the possibilities are endless. Customer service is not limited only to voice calls, but also email and chat from the company website. That said, you should consolidate which services you’ll be needing based on the level of growth your business is experiencing: you can choose between inbound vs. outbound, a combination of both, or chat- or email-based services as needed.

Truly, however, good customer service could turn things around for your business. As long as your chosen agents take on your customers with skill, focus, and empathy, you’re bound not only to keep your loyal customers, but reap profits from new ones.