Your small business has a lot of moving parts and it's your job to make sure each part is functioning at full capacity.
Compared to sales teams and other high profile business units, customer service departments can get lost in the mix. But unless your customer service department is firing on all its cylinders, you'll have a tough time making any headway with the customers in today's marketplace.
In an effort to improve the quality of their customer service staff, many business owners turn to the services of customer service consultants. Hiring a first-rate customer service consulting company has a lot of benefits for the typical small business. But there are also some disadvantages of hiring a customer service consultant. Here's what you need to know before you unleash a customer service consultant on your team.
- Cost. The decision to hire any type of consultant comes at a price. Ideally, you will have included the cost of customer service consulting in your annual budget. But if an unexpected drop in performance or other factors necessitates unexpected consulting services, you could be forced to make difficult financial decisions.
- Minimal impact. Customer service consulting can range from a moderate expense to a major investment, depending on the scope of services your company requires. Either way, you could walk away from the process with little or no lasting impact, especially if you haven't partnered with the right consulting provider. A thorough planning and selection process can minimize your risk and increase the potential for measurable results.
- Time lost. Customer service consulting takes time. For your customer service team, that means time away from the call center and possibly even the need to hire temporary workers to cover the phones while your team is in training. But effective consulting also requires engagement from company leadership so you'll need to clear your schedule to make room for the consulting process.
- Transparency. A good customer service consultant isn't afraid to step on toes. Unfortunately, some business owners can't handle the idea of an outsider offering constructive criticisms about their business model or workplace routines. If you aren't willing to subject your workplace to useful criticism, you will sabotage the process and diminish the return on your investment.