What Is Inbound Service?
Before we explore how inbound fits into customer service, we need to look at the bigger picture. It’s important to reflect on how you and your team perceive the role of customer service in your business.
So let’s first reflect on this question.
What Does Customer Service Mean to You? Defining Customer Service
Within the realm of your service team, there are really three different aspects of service to focus on.
- Customer Support: Helping customers with whatever they want, whenever they want.
- Customer Service: Reaching out to customers to guide them through solving a problem.
- Customer Success: Expanding value to customers via upsell and cross-sell opportunities.
When you and your team fully embrace each aspect that falls on the spectrum of customer service, you’re ready to set up the right customer service processes and systems.
And you can achieve that when you embrace the inbound service approach.
What Is Inbound?
Inbound refers to the methodology of how businesses approach turning strangers into visitors, leads, customers, and then promoters.
You meet people in a way that aligns with where they are in the buyer’s journey. For example, you deliver educational content through marketing as they’re seeking out information to put a name to their problem.
This way, you become a trusted resource as they advance to the consideration and decision stage.
But inbound doesn’t end when the sale is completed. You should be applying inbound through your customer service efforts as well.
The Difference Between Inbound and Outbound Customer Service
Simply put, inbound customer service is the methodology of attracting, engaging, and delighting your customers to turn them into loyal advocates for your brand.
By solving their problems and helping them achieve success using your product or service, you can delight them in a way that fuels growth for your business.
Inbound service is broken into three stages of the flywheel.
In the attract stage, you can bring in existing and future customers by building a strong knowledge base and providing educational blog and video content. Also, positive feedback from current customers can help you attract new ones during this stage.
Within the engage part, you need to quickly address incoming tickets and solve customer issues in an efficient manner. This is where it helps to provide several channels, like email, live chat, social media, and more.
Finally, the delight stage is where you can encourage customers to become vocal advocates for your company. Use feedback surveys to identify happy customers, then provide incentives to get them to leave positive reviews and refer friends.
Bottom line: the inbound service framework helps you build a customer-focused team of people who will go above and beyond to create a superb customer experience.