The customer care outsourcing world is in the midst of a race to the bottom when it comes to profitability. Cut throat competition including price arbitrage from offshore destinations has driven down prices and with it margins. This is great for clients but less so for the outsourcers and their shareholders. So where does the industry find salvation? Where is the next big thing? How do outsourcers leverage their strengths and economies of scale? The answer may reside in social media, which presents the opportunity to deliver good ol’ fashion customer service combined with sales, marketing and feedback opportunities. The lines are becoming increasingly blurred so let me explain.
The first thing to consider is that social media as a customer care channel is growing substantially. At Conversocial we’ve seen 30%+ year-over-year growth in the volume of social messages our customers are receiving. And the impact of social media on customer care is being felt across industries with organizations reporting that social is set to account for up to 11.5% of interactions in call centers this year according to data from Business Systems. For the outsourcing community a huge opportunity exists in supporting clients with this growing volume of social messages. This is not something for the future, this opportunity exists today and the graph above from SocialBakers illustrates this point beautifully. Look at the huge gap between questions and responses. Nearly two million unresponded questions on Twitter alone! Outsourcers are uniquely suited to fill this gap as they have for their clients across other care channels. They need to step up now or risk losing this space to upstarts such as moderation agencies who’ve been involved in the social game for many years.