Market Trends: Selling Fashion and Beauty in Japan

Consumers in Japan are some of the most sophisticated and hard-to-please in the world, yet with open wallets for products, they trust.

Here are some facets of Japan’s rag trade, beauty trends, and beyond—including makeup, youth, and senior fashion—that marketers in Japan or those that plan a market entry into Japan should know, as well as how shopping for all this stuff is changing.

The major key is self-expression for those times when not in harness in the working world.

Exhibitor feedback from the autumn Fashion World Tokyo Show reveals that Japan’s consumers have some particular tastes. Accessories and bags with a low bling factor, for one. They also prefer clothes that don’t wrinkle or fade, which makes clothing produced using completely natural materials and dyes less attractive. In footwear, they favor more comfortable, less formal styles.

The skincare game and other altered states

Bihaku – white skin as the epitome of beauty

Bihaku is an integral element of a sophisticated skincare regimen, encompassing makeup removal, cleansing, lotion, serums and moisturizers, exfoliators, and more. That self-care actually extends to what’s eaten and drunk—collagen-rich and fermented foods, seaweed and oily fish, for example, and green tea—as well as onsen bathing.

The mochi skin phenomenon

There’s a definite desire among Japanese women to attain what’s known as “mochi skin”—essentially a complexion that mimics the soft, smooth texture of mochi rice cake desserts.

In vivid contrast to that flawless skin, Japan’s young fashionistas are applying colored eyeliner (yellow, green, pink, and more), or maybe under-eye blush or glossy, glittery eye shadow.

There’s a vibrant gloss for the lips, too, in fruity shades. Younger Japanese women also go in for colorful nail art, including what are known as “nuance nails,” with each nail covered in different colors, designs, and decorations.

Cutting edge contact lenses and hair care

Colored and patterned contact lenses—the latter known as “circle lenses”—hold a particular appeal in the land of manga, anime and cosplay.

Important to know for overseas marketers is the fact that while some circle lenses are nearsighted,
farsighted or astigmatic folks, most are pure fashion statements.

Japanese manufacturers have also devised some radically new tech for hair care. Louvredo’s Fukugen hair dryer uses a special far-infrared wavelength of 6 ~ 20 μm and negative ionization to shake the moisture out of the hair, eliminating the usual damage to hair proteins that hot air causes. Lumielina’s Bio programming range of care and styling products use a new type of ceramic that not only shields hair from heat but also actually improves its smoothness, moisture balance, and gloss.

Online fashion buying habits of the Japanese

Buying fashion and beauty products remotely has always been a bit tricky unless you know exactly what you’re getting, especially when it comes to fit/drape and shade. That doesn’t stop many, though. You see ladies avidly scrolling through clothes and accessories online. On a train or in a coffee shop, for example, they may be hunting for bargains on name-brand goods at a flash sale site.

Smartphone apps are changing the game as well. One called Bodygram uses AI deep-learning and machine-learning algorithms based on just a front and profile photo to the size you perfectly, like a master tailor. Augmented reality (AR) makeup mirrors from app developer Perfect Corp. are helping Estée
Lauder, L’Oréal, and Amway give shoppers the chance to virtually apply products via smartphone
as well. New Balance has set up machines in major Japanese department stores
and elsewhere to do 3D scans of your foot for an exact fit.

The customer is not king, but god in Japan. Anything you can offer them to enhance their shopping experience might get you into their good graces – and purchasing decision.

The Japanese senior fashion market: A graceful transition into maturity

Older women in Japan are increasingly opting for mature styles in both hair and what they wear, not seeking to duplicate the fashions their daughters and granddaughters pursue. That includes a more natural, personal look and going gracefully gray up top. All featured older women rocking distinctive styles and dos.

That’s one powerful indication that designing for and selling to the senior market is worthwhile.

Functional fashion is not a niche, but mainstream in Japan

For marketers, some other pivots include temperature—such as wide-legged pants to stay cool in Japan’s
steamy summertime, and Uniqlo’s “heat-tech” garments for keeping warm in the winter. Other upcoming segments include fashion and beauty addressing environmental, ethical, and sustainability issues, like e.g. anti-pollution skincare products.

Planning to sell Fashion and Beauty Product In Japan?

Having local help onboard is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Japan Luxury

Understanding New Trends and Opportunities in Japan’s Luxury Industry

Japan is the second-largest luxury market in the world – behind the United States and ahead of mainland China – with 3.6 trillion yen (about US$33 billion) spent each year in luxury goods.

  • Luxury labels, built on exclusivity, used to mean that having an online presence was not necessary; not the case anymore
  • digital channels must used by companies to get leverage in the market (search engines, social media, email, websites and mobile apps etc.)

Japan’s luxury industry:

  • GFC then disasters in Tōhoku and Fukushima, luxury spending in Japan shrank by over 1 trillion yen ($10.6 billion) by 2012
  • report by McKinsey & Company: Japanese luxury market… to maintain positive growth
  • 82% of luxury executives surveyed responded that their sales outlook for 2017 is significantly better than 2016.
  • by 2020, it is anticipated that the market will grow by a moderate rate of 3% to 4% per year
  • Japanese department stores are still the main venue of purchase for Japanese luxury consumers
  • 70% of people polled buy in Department store representing 50% overall revenue
  • Younger generation is buying brands like Céline, Balenciaga, and Gucci
  • Older generation are purchasing from brands like Hermès and Chanel, which are perceived as “very reliable” and “have a heritage.”

Digital marketing in the luxury industry:

  • a renewed interest in Japan in the past year or so due to recent market growth
  • Japan accounts for 11% of global luxury spending
  • Luxe Digital recently published a report suggesting that digital influences at least 80% of all luxury sales

Digital marketing techniques that are currently trending in the luxury industry:

  • Content is King
    • Storytelling, being able to tell the story behind the brand, explaining the values that define it: Luxury goods as much about image, style, and intangibles than about the actual quality of the product
    • Create contents that are aspirational and appeal to the customer’s desire to display their status
    • A luxury brand gives their customers an opportunity to showcase a lifestyle and a value system
  • Successful digital marketing campaigns
    • Burberry: social media campaigns and creative videos that combine history, fashion, and the appeal of a glamorous lifestyle. YouTube – 99 million viewers, 317,000 subscribers. Recent ad received 12 million views within a month (holiday campaign tribute for the movie Billy Elliot – Celebrating 15 years of Billy Elliot).
  • Social Media Marketing
    • Visual social networks like Pinterest provide a huge opportunity for luxury brands
    • Photographs are one of the best media for marketing luxury products
    • Chanel: one of the most ‘pinned’ brands on Pinterest – over 1,244 pins of Chanel products pinned per day
  • Boost SEO
    • A well-executed SEO strategy is one of the most lucrative digital marketing investments that a luxury company can do.
    • Google is one of the most significant channels for luxury
    • A large proportion of luxury brands have begun investing in SEO strategies
    • Tiffany: bought into SEO, have firm, successful strategies which have led to them dominating the search results

Importing Luxury Goods In Japan? We got you!

Having local help onboard is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

Japan looks to ease virus state of emergency ahead of Olympics

Japan expects to ease a coronavirus state of emergency in Tokyo and most areas this weekend. New daily cases are falling just as the country begins making final preparations for the Olympics starting in just over a month.

Back in late March, Japan was struggling to slow down a wave of infections. New daily cases were soaring above 7000 at one point and seriously ill patients were filling up the hospitals in Tokyo, Osaka and other metropolitan areas.

Daily cases have since subsided significantly and Prime Minister Yoshihide Suga is expected to downgrade the state of emergency when it expires on Sunday to a less-stringent quasi-emergency for several weeks.

Despite concerns raised by medical experts and the public over the potential risks of holding the Olympics, Suga has said he is determined to hold a “safe and secure” games starting July 23.

Holding the Olympics before elections in the autumn is also a political gamble for Suga, whose support ratings have tumbled due to public dissatisfaction over his virus measures, a vaccination drive criticized as being too slow, and lack of a clear explanation of how he will ensure the virus doesn’t spread during the Olympics.

Government-appointed experts met Wednesday to analyze the situation ahead of Suga’s decision on the emergency measures and expressed concern about the potential for infections to climb again after measures are eased. Suga is expected to make a final decision Thursday after more meetings.

Suga placed Tokyo, Osaka and two other areas under a state of emergency in late April and has since expanded the area to 10 prefectures and extended the measures twice. Japan does not enforce hard lockdowns and the state of emergency allows prefectural leaders to order closures or shorter hours for non-essential business in return for compensation to those who comply and fines for violators. Stay-at-home and other measures for the general population are only requests and are increasingly ignored.

Ryuji Wakita, the director-general of the National Institute of Infectious Diseases who heads a government COVID-19 advisory board, said infections have decreased in many areas, but the slowing has bottomed out in the Tokyo region. He warned that infections could increase after an easing of the measures. He said signs of a rebound are already seen among younger people.

Even as more people are vaccinated and most of the country’s 36 million senior citizens are expected to be fully inoculated by the end of July, younger people are largely unvaccinated and infections among them could quickly burden hospitals, Wakita said.

“In order to prevent another upsurge, it is crucial to prevent the people from roaming around during the Olympics and summer vacation,” he said. Experts say it is crucial to accelerate the vaccine rollout.

What is Trade Compliance and Why Does it Matter?

In today’s global marketplace, companies do business both within and outside Japan. Your supply chain depends on following various trade agreements, international trade regulations, and tariff classification.

Yet, even with these specialties, many companies unintentionally receive import and export violations, and these violations lead to hefty penalties and fines for failure with trade compliance functions.

International business is more complex than ever before, and this is why you need a clear understanding of the rules of export control, customs authorities, and export laws. As a result, exporting and importing have become an essential part of day-to-day operations. Since your business relies on global trade, your company needs to ensure that your operations have solid global trade compliance.

To remain competitive, companies must have a comprehensive understanding of the laws and regulations which govern their imports and exports. Very simply, that’s what trade compliance is all about!

What is trade compliance?

Trade compliance means to comply with international export, trade, and financial laws.

Who is required to comply?

Businesses from across all industries are obligated to adhere to compliance requirements. It is not just a regulation for security-sensitive industries such as telecommunications, IT, research, aerospace, or financial institutions. The penalties for non-compliance can be severe.

Why does trade compliance matter?

Trade compliance is vital for importing and exporting and is a responsibility for all businesses. The larger the business, the greater the compliance expectations. In order to be compliant, you must understand what rules and regulations applicable to your business. To be compliant means to meet the demands of customers and suppliers while supporting sustainability, long-term growth, and competitive advantages. These are key elements to a successful global supply chain.

Benefits of being trade compliant:

  • Corporate reputations and employees are protected by facilitating legal and responsible trading.
  • Exposure to fines and penalties are minimized.
  • Promotes customer satisfactions by avoiding shipment delays.
  • Saves money by avoiding delays, investigation and penalties.


Consequences of non-compliance:

  • Shipment delays
  • Financial penalties
  • Criminal sanctions

Key elements of trade compliance:

  • Tariff classification – The correct classification of goods using commodity and tariff codes is fundamental for customs compliance as well as establishing correct duty rates, the origin of goods, Intrastat, export control, and many other customs procedures.
  • Preferential origin is associated with a specific trade agreement between two countries or blocks of countries. If the goods you’re exporting have a preferential origin, they are likely to attract reduced or nil rates of duty when they enter your customer’s country.
  • Non-preferential origin is where it dictates the origin of the product being shipped. The rules associated with the identification of origin are specific to the rules of the importing country.
  • IncotermsIncoterms have globally recognized trade terms used to clearly define the responsibilities of the buyer and seller along the shipment lifecycle, they are integral to a contract so that both parties are clear on delivery, costs, risk, and responsibility.
  • Licenses & Permits – It is your responsibility to check if you require a permit or license when importing or exporting certain products. There are controls, for example, on military/paramilitary goods, technology, medicines, chemicals, artworks, plants, and animals.

Your goods will be confiscated and will be delayed if you are importing and exporting without the right license.

  • Exports controls – Certain products are subject to export control legislation as they could have harmful uses. it is your responsibility to classify all products against the appropriate legislation. This will ensure the correct license requirements can be established.
  • Customs Management – Have a clear plan of action if your business is subject to a customs investigation.
  • Screening – Screening customers, vendors, and transaction data against sanctioned, politically exposed persons and other risky entities will help ensure you are not inadvertently doing business with an undesirable person.
  • Valuation – Every shipment must have an appropriate valuation associated with it, which should be defendable if challenged. The valuation must comply with one of the six valuation methodologies approved by the World Trade Organization (WTO) and be declared on the Single Administrative Document (SAD or form C88).

Market Entry in Japan

Having local help on board is essential in order to be successful in Japan Market Entry. Don’t know where to start? We can help!

COVUE is a trustworthy Japanese company that has import licenses for many product categories. Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best!

SOLAR POWER DEMAND IN JAPAN

Solar power has always been in the eye of the global economic market. More and more businesses understand that the more sustainable the business practices are, the bigger the response from the customers is.

In Japan solar power is being used more and more on farmland across Japan not only to grow crops but also with the purpose to generate power. It allows for farming to create a two-part source of income and efficient use of farmland.

Furthermore, the increase of solar power use on Japan’s farmlands helps the Japanese government’s goal of net-zero emissions by 2050. Of course, this sustainable generating of power doesn’t come without its issues.

At the Farmdo Group in Gunma prefecture, solar panels installed on top of greenhouses have been generating electricity since 2014, while mizuna potherb mustard, arugula, and lettuce grow inside. Covering an area of 48 hectares, producing power to supply about 10,000 households.

Under the “feed-in tariff” system, power companies purchase electricity generated from renewable energy sources at a price determined by the government over a period of 20 years. The Farmdo Group expects to recoup its solar-related investment in seven to eight years. “The additional revenue from selling electricity helps stabilize agricultural operations, and lower the barriers to starting a farm,” a group official said. Installing solar panels to the portion of agricultural land must be converted to non-agricultural use and support equipment must be set up.

Installing solar panels to the portion of agricultural land must be converted to non-agricultural use and support equipment must be set up.

As stated by the Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries Ministry of Japan the total number of permits for such conversions grew from 96 in fiscal 2013 to 1,992 in fiscal 2018. Over that span, the amount of agricultural land apportioned for solar power generation increased from 19 hectares to 560 hectares.

The Japan Photovoltaic Energy Association estimates that by 2050, about 30% of land used for solar power generation will be agriculture-related.

“It is important to balance agriculture and power generation,” said Takashi Nozu, an associate professor at Waseda University. “It is also necessary to carefully consider how to increase profitability, given the initial investment and maintenance costs involved.”

Source: https://the-japan-news.com/

What is a FOREIGN ONLINE SELLER in Japan?

Foreign Online Sellers in Japan

A “Foreign Online Seller” is a person or company outside of Japan selling and shipping to online buyers in Japan.

Foreign Online Sellers cannot fully comply with Japan import and tax rules for importing and selling products in Japan. To resolve this, the government of Japan has implemented new rules for foreign online sellers to ensure sales and import tax compliance.

Declared Import Value:

Online sellers with no company established in Japan must declare the online sale value of their imported product to be the same as the import value on their shipping invoice. Japan Customs will apply Duty and Consumer Import Tax based on the online selling price. Japan Customs also requires supporting documentation in the form of a Foreign Online Seller Report (FOSR) to be part of the Shipping Invoice. This report displays your store name or website, inventory, and selling price of all products being imported to Japan.

To ensure Sellers do not undervalue their import, Japan Customs will conduct a selling price search to ensure your selling is within an acceptable margin of the same or similar products. If your Declared Value/Selling price is below the acceptable margin, Japan Customs will apply a Fair Market import value to your shipment. You will then be charged import and duty tax based on the revised value.

During the import process, Japan Customs will:

  1. Review your Store/website and Product selling price to confirm it is the same as the import value.
  2. Check your pricing history to ensure the pricing was not recently lowered to avoid import tax
  3. Monitor your selling price to ensure your pricing does not increase excessively after import.

Sales Tax: Foreign Online Sellers

Profit Tax in Japan: all companies must comply with Profit Tax laws. To claim wholesale, purchasing, import tax, or manufacturing costs on your commercial/shipping invoice, you must sell (transferring) the product to a distributor or subsidiary (another company who will resell the products or to your subsidiary) in Japan.

  • Online sellers with no company established in Japan, cannot comply with Japan profit tax laws. Therefore, Japan Customs and Tax have implemented import requirements for online sellers. Online sellers must declare the online sale value of their imported product and pay the Duty and Taxes based on that value.
  • Japan Customs has become very strict with online sellers. Imported products will be stopped. Japan Customs will review your online account to compare your sale price to your declared value. If they do not match, you will be charged additional taxes and possible penalty fees. Multiple infractions (failure to comply) can result in your company being restricted to import products into Japan.
  • Do not modify your online pricing during import. Japan Customs has access to online seller pricing history. If Japan Customs believes you have intentionally changed your online pricing to avoid taxes, you may be restricted from all future imports.
  • As a policy, COVUE IOR services are fully compliant with Japan Customs and Tax laws. COVUE does not accept shipments that do not comply with Japan import and Tax rules and regulations.

Want to Export your Products to Japan?

Let COVUE’s regulatory experts help you to speed up the market entry process so can that you can focus on your business. We’re here to help! It’s what we do best.

At COVUE IOR, we seek to make the import process simple, compliant, and accessible to all sellers of all sizes. COVUE is not an ACP. COVUE is the direct IOR: we own our license, and our compliance support is in-house. We trusted by 000’s of Sellers and Shipping providers.

How Outsourcing Staffing Services can help your business reduce cost

Employees- whether permanent or part-time, are a company’s best asset. They play an important role in your business’ success. You want to ensure you are hiring the right people to join your team. Outsourcing Staffing Services is one way to ensure this. One of the best features of outsourced staff is its scalability. You can reduce recruitment costs by partnering with dedicated staffing companies that are able to utilize strategies, get access to better talent, train and retain them. Here’s how dedicated staffing can help you reduce your costs.

  1. Shared Risks

During economic uncertainly, recruiting demands can suddenly drop or spike up. Outsourcing dedicated staffing can enable your company to pass along the cost to the service provider.

  1. Improved Effectiveness of Recruitment

Acquiring new employee burdens your internal resources – sourcing, screening, short-listing candidates, interviews and negotiating offers, employee turnover can put stress on resources. It takes time to find the qualified candidate for your company. Having a job position unfilled can reduce productivity and lead to lost opportunities. Outsourcing staffing services provide you faster hiring with the ability to deploy on-time.

  1. Workforce Flexibility

One of the advantages of using dedicated outsourcing staffing is that it’s easier to support long- or short-term projects while minimizing onboarding cost. You can fill your current needs without any commitment of continuous employment.
Talent acquisition can be a costly process. But partnering with a Dedicated Staffing Outsourcing company can make the best of your recruitment costs

Talent acquisition can be a costly process. But partnering with an Outsourcing company can make the best of your recruitment costs.

Looking for Dedicated staffing solutions? We got you covered! COVUE offers the most extensive and cost-effective Best-in-Class dedicated staffing solutions in the industry.

Get a quote now

Got questions? We’re happy to help you. Contact us now!

Use of Inside Sales to Drive Service Revenue Performance

Post-sale service support revenue has become an important element of Top Line growth in many organizations. The revenue annuity stream it provides can be highly predictive, reliable and generate margins exceeding 30%. Examples of these revenue streams include:

· Service Contracts

· Preventive Maintenance Support

· On-Demand Service Support

· Installation Support

· Service Parts

· Technical Assistance/Call support

· Application Support

· IT Support

· Equipment Usage/Transactional Support

The following discussion will focus on use of Inside Sales to drive Service Contract Revenue and considerations for implementation of the function in an organization.

In most cases, Service contracts are attached to specific equipment or systems. Contract types will vary based on coverage options. It is important to use a formalized process to determine types of contract offerings. Offerings should be based on the Voice of Customer data and strategic intent of the service business in your organization. All contract types can be sold effectively through an Inside Sales operation.

There are (4) key process elements required for an Inside Sales operation:

1. Call Preparation

2. Call execution

3. Administration Follow-up

4. Closing

Each process element will have varied steps depending on Sales Call Types. Following describes the Sales Call Types and the advantage of using an Inside Sales function for execution:

· New Contracts (Point of Sale) – The best time to sell a service contract on new equipment purchases is at point of sale. In this case, many companies will offer extended warranties at discounted pricing for terms up to five (5) years. The Sales representative will introduce the offering. However, the sales representative is often not the best person to close the business. They can run the risk of losing the sale due to perceived added cost or may not have the knowledge to engage in a conversation to put the customer in the right contract type. This is where Inside Sales can help. These representatives are trained to understand customer requirements and the correct contract types based on budget and strategy of the customer. They can follow-up at a predetermined point with the customer based on input of Product Sales. This redirects the responsibility of contract sales to Inside Sales allowing the Sales Representative to focusing on the next capital sale.

· New Contracts (not previously secured) – It is difficult to follow-up on all equipment that does not have an attached contract. Often, Product Sales lack the time required to for follow up. Inside Sales is an effective tool for this task. They can maintain the unattached equipment data base and schedule follow-up calls accordingly. In many cases, the sale can be made over the phone. If not, they can team up with Product Sales and/or the Field Service Engineer for customer follow-up. It is an efficient cost effective alternative to On-site visits when customer interest may not be fully engaged.

· Contract Renewals – This is a highly effective use of an Inside Sales organization. The common term of Service Contract is one year. Each contract needs follow-up prior to expiration. Inside Sales has the ability to schedule follow-up calls at predetermined intervals to ensure the contract is renewed on time. The Inside Sales team can review service history and recommend alternate contract options that best fit the customer requirements. BIC contract renewal rates run 85 – 90%.

· Upselling – Environment and Equipment usage can vary throughout the year. A customer may need to move into a contract type better suited for their current situation. Inside Sales can confirm Service History prior to the contract renewal process and suggest the best service contract option. Inside Sales leverages their experience and data for the upsell, driving increased revenue and improved customer satisfaction.

Another advantage of an Inside Sales function is the ability to gain Market & Customer Intelligence. Inside Sale are engaging in customer contact daily. Leveraging this contact to obtain customer feedback is highly effective.

Implementation of an Inside Sales operation can be costly and time consuming. Organizations without an Inside Sales department typically lack the resources to plan the necessary tasks and strategy. In some cases, an organization with and Inside Sales team delivering suboptimal performance, may not have established an effective strategy or lack proper focus. There are excellent outsourcing options available for Inside Sales that have the expertise and technology needed for Best-in-Class performance. Investigate the options available prior to implementation of your plan.

Inside Sales is an effective and efficient way to sell Service contracts, improve attachment rates, and gather market and customer intelligence. Outsourcing options exist to reduce implementation costs and improve performance. Expect increased Service Revenue as a result of these efforts.

Got questions? We’re happy to help you. Contact us now!

When to Consider Outsourcing Service Support

The importance of building a World Class Post Sale Support operation is critical to the success of your business. Key factors to achieve success include:

• Focus on the Customer
• Commitment to Service Excellence
• Running your Service operation as a Profit Centre vs. Cost Centre
• Utilization of Technology to improve productivity
• Investment in your people

What happens when the financial commitment is limited in your organization? What if your Business strategy is inconsistent with a Best-in-Class (BIC) support model? Does that mean Customer Support and Satisfaction will suffer?

There are few organizations with the resources to invest unencumbered in all areas of their operations. Compromises must be made to achieve balance. Corporate strategy as well business conditions will drive allocation for investment. Recently, considerable focus has been placed on investment in R&D and Sales & Marketing. This is logical as these areas drive top line growth.

The investment to build a World Class Service Support operation can be costly as well as time consuming. Competing for the needed resources can be challenging when economic conditions are less certain. Traditionally, this leads to decisions that force service operations to be treated as a cost centre. Such an approach can lead to less than optimal customer satisfaction metrics thus, driving down customer retention and loyalty. It’s important to adjust internal strategies to optimize investment and resources without losing sight of the BIC support model.

Often, business strategy does not adequately address Post Sale Service Support. Product Development, Marketing and Financial and Operational improvement is more commonly emphasized in strategic plans, leaving service support buried in operations. A balanced scorecard approach to drive strategy has been a popular tool to emphasize all facets of an organization’s strategy. Customer Support options should be considered equal when developing strategy.

Will Customer Satisfaction suffer without proper investment and strategic focus? History shows Yes. Businesses need a balance of investment, strategy and focus to ensure customer loyalty and retention. There are options available that can help when investment and/or strategic intent are not adequate with a BIC support model.

One option to consider is an outsourcing approach to service delivery. Traditionally, organizations have considered outsourcing as a last resort option. There is a perception of risk with loss of quality, brand and the customer control. These are valid points and need to be taken under serious consideration. However, many organizations don’t have the choice nor the financial wherewithal and time required to build a BIC model. When managed properly, outsourcing can be an alternative to achieve success.

There are outsourcing options for most functions of a Service Operation. Typical outsourced functions include Customer Support, Technical Assistance, Service Sales, Field and Depot support and Logistics. Outsourcing can be leveraged to augment capacity or provide total support in markets where resources are better focused on top line growth. The key to a successful outsource program relies on that selected provider to drive a BIC model delivery and their ability to implement support around your expectations.

Advantages to Outsourcing:

Provides ability to add service capacity without the addition of internal headcount. Many companies maintain tight control of headcount during difficult times. Outsourcing service functions allows headcount allocation to be focused in more critical areas such as Sales, Marketing or R & D.
Expense reduction. Labour and overhead are typically reduced when utilizing outsourcing partners due in part to their focus on Service Delivery and ability to capture synergies.
The advantage of tapping into the technical expertise of outsourcing providers based on the varied client and equipment base they support. This can be leveraged to quickly bring services online.
Outsourcing providers who focus solely on BIC service delivery afford their clients the ability to draw on their expertise to improve service operations.

Lastly, it’s important to consider how this will impact your people. Outsourcing need not be contradictory. Depending on the extent of your outsourcing requirement, many employees will remain with the business. When leveraged for added capacity, the additional support will improve workload requirements. Employees can be redeployed to other productive tasks such as Service Sales, Customer Interface, Operations or, trained for career development opportunities in other disciplines. When properly managed, outsourcing can be a positive for the employees involved. Consider the options and keep employee satisfaction in mind when navigating the process.

Got questions? We’re happy to help you. Contact us now!

Importance of After-Hours Call Center in your business

You may have set a regular schedule for your business but your customers have not. Your business does not end just because you have closed for the day or it’s a holiday. Depending on the business, there can be innumerable situations when customers might need help at odd hours. Consider an instance where a customer needs to clarify something about your product or is operation. Maybe they operate at night or prefer to handle certain function during off hours. Today, with the advent of the internet and advancements in technology, there is no reason your customer should not be able access support. A proactive business would have to ensure that all calls are attended to promptly.

Here are some important benefits of having after-hours call center service

Happy Customers, Happy Business

Issues and inquiries regarding a product or service usually come at an unexpected time and customers demand answers now not later. Diverting your customer’ calls to a voicemail can be frustrating for some. When their needs are not met at the moment, they need it, it may reflect poorly on your company’s dedication to customer service, tarnishing your brand. Having 24/7 or After-Hours call center support shows your customers that you have their back any time day or night. Statistics show, a satisfied customer, will result in repeat sales.

Building Customer Loyalty

Why did you buy the mobile phone brand you have today? When choosing a product for device, whether it be a mobile phone, a medical, scientific, robotic device or just a simple blender for your home, quality, durability and customer support play a major role in the decision-making process. No product is perfect and issues will arise. Happy customers are more likely to be loyal customers when support services are available 24/7. After-Hours call center services pave the way to brand loyalty.

Increase Sales

Loyal customers can be an advocate of your business too. As an advocate they tend to refer it to their relative, friends or colleagues. In that way, you will surely have a sale. Aside from that, when you receive a call from a customer in need, you have captured their attention. Use this as an opportunity to recommend other products and services they might need. Imagine what having agents who proactively help your customers and encourage them to try other products can do for your business.

Establish a strong brand reputation

When you have won your customer’s trust, they will not hesitate to recommend you to their circle of contacts. Your business will have a positive reputation of being compassionate towards customers, professional and reliable. Your business’ growth is sure to follow once you have proven to your customers that you are always there for them 24/7/365.

Creating a unique stand point

If you want to distinguish your business from the rest of your competitors, stand out by offering your customers dependable 24/7 customer service.

Your business has a greater chance of success with an After-Hours Call Center Service than without.

If you find yourself in a dilemma when it comes to after-hours calls, we got you!
COVUE provides low cost fix pricing solutions for After-hours and holiday call center support. Our services easily integrate into your current system.