Omni-Channel Customer Engagement Article

Companies Outsource Customer Care; Can Customers Outsource Too?

December 30, 2015

Companies have been outsourcing their customer care to third parties for decades. Whether they want to save money, broaden the hours they are available for customers or simply because customer support isn’t among their core competencies, many companies decide to turn their customers over to other organizations that are properly equipped (hopefully) to answer customer questions and queries. So now that it’s 2015, what’s to stop customers from outsourcing their end of the customer support process? Thanks to an interesting new app, the answer is “nothing.”

A newly launched app called Service, which is available on iTunes, touts itself as the alternative to frustrating customer support experiences. Essentially, it acts like a middleman.

“Service helps when something goes wrong between you and a business - for FREE,” according to the company. “Instead of waiting on hold or searching for the right contact form, tell us what happened --  takes less than a minute -- and then sit back and relax while we Make It Right.”

The founder of Service, Michael Schneider, was inspired to create the company and the app when he listened to a fellow airplane passenger engage in a frustratingly slow and non-productive complaint with another company that required him to find and complete complaint forms on both the airline and Wi-Fi provider's Web sites, according to Alexandra Ilyashov writing for Refinery 29. Schneider’s personal experience of bad customer support interactions – unfamiliar to nobody today – also came into it.

"I found it very strange that in 2015 — the 'on demand' era — when we can literally get anything from food to laundry to a massage on demand, we still have to waste our own valuable time dealing with customer service," Schneider told Refinery29. "I was sick of spending my own time on hold dealing with customer service."

Frustrated customers simply file a case, a relatively easy process, on Service’s Web site or mobile app. Services does the rest, getting resolution for the customer about half the time. Schneider points out that it’s in companies’ best interest to cooperate with Service ambassadors in the case of unresolved customer support issues. It can save them some bad publicity.

We’re usually getting to a consumer just before the negative social media post, sparing them brand damage," Schneider said "We're also protecting their brand from frivolous claims, since we only take on legit cases."

So how do you prevent your customers from needing to seek a service like Service? Make sure they’re not so frustrated by your company’s customer support that they need to flee to a third party. Today, the number one thing on any company’s to-do list should be implementing a (preferably cloud-based) omnichannel customer support platform such as the one offered by Aspect that will allow customers to seek help in whatever channel they choose whenever they choose, and not fall through the cracks into customer support oblivion. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle
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