3 benefits a great nearshore experience brings to retailers

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As retailers grapple with a challenging labor market, rising costs, and growing customer demands, many are seeking ways to expand market share as the economy begins to settle while consumer spending remains strong. 

One way to thrive in 2024 and beyond is to explore outsourcing. Nearshoring, in particular, can bring many benefits: significant cost savings, logistical efficiencies, improved customer experience, and better employee experience. A nearshore operation staffs associates in nearby countries with similar time zones and cultures to the customers they support to maximize these benefits.

There’s never been a better time to explore this business model. In today’s global marketplace, most customers aren’t as concerned about where their support comes from as long as their issues get resolved and they feel valued during interactions.

Here are three ways nearshoring can help transform retail customer service and sales.

1. Precision efficiency through automation

With the right nearshoring strategy, you can use data analytics, conversational intelligence, and other automation tools to determine what your customers want and how best to serve them. Once you hone in on customers’ top intents, you’re better positioned to strategically optimize channels to best meet their individual needs at scale.

Use AI to get to the root of customers’ and associates’ pain points to solve them. AI can listen in on all customer interactions, sift through that data, and identify what delighted customers (and associates) and what frustrated them. It can also predict how certain customers will act – or whether they present sales opportunities – in certain situations.

Automation can connect front- and back-end data sources and quickly serve up the right information at the right time for associates, minimizing associate effort and improving customer experience in the process. Having access to data-backed insights makes associates more efficient and productive and reduces your total cost to serve.

When a retailer specializing in grocery home delivery struggled to answer customers’ questions efficiently, enhanced back-end automation solutions led to a 98% drop in the number of calls needing to be transferred and a drop in average handle time (AHT). Associates found the information they needed much faster, leading to a better experience for employees and customers alike.

2. Employees who feel like an extension of your brand

One of nearshoring’s greatest benefits is the proximity of outsourced workers to your customer base and in-house operations. When U.S. brands nearshore customer support to neighboring countries, associates are likely to share a common language as well as cultural similarities with the customers they’re serving.

This fosters deeper connection between associates and customers, which creates better experiences for both. And since they live close to the United States, some associates may even use your brand’s products, making them even more powerful brand ambassadors for your company.

When an online eyeglasses retailer wanted to capitalize on positive social media buzz and build more business, a team of nearshore associates providing voice support in Mexico rose to the challenge. The company saw a 1,600% drop in its abandon rate, a 39% reduction in average talk time, and a 50% drop in training and certification time.

The company sought associates who could do more than merely answer and resolve inquiries quickly; it wanted contact center workers to be true extensions of the brand. Nearshore associates knew the brand well enough to knowledgeably guide online customers through the entire sales and service journey.

Highly skilled associates are easier to find through nearshoring, too, since the nearshore model gives brands access to a broader pool and brings proven hiring, onboarding, and training solutions.

Training should be a key consideration, since associates who feel well-equipped and supported will be more engaged and stay on the job longer. AI-powered training is a great way to get associates up to speed quickly. It lets them practice with real-world customer interactions, get immediate feedback, and receive ongoing coaching.

3. Flexibility and innovation with little risk

No brand wants to incur unneeded risk, and nearshoring mitigates your exposure – without compromising flexibility.

Nearshoring brings an agility that in-house operations just can’t match. It lets companies easily scale up and down their support operations as customer and company needs change. And new technologies and processes are tested and proven before being applied to your brand’s operations.

When a subscription-based wellness retail brand experienced rapid growth early, its founder knew he’d need help meeting the business’ mounting customer support needs.

Through a mix of onshore and offshore support, which quickly swelled from two full-time equivalent (FTE) associates to 74 FTEs, the company saw CSAT climb to 91%. And beyond that, the company reaped efficiency gains through various proactive solutions, including a daily analysis of dissatisfied customer (DSAT) data and work to identify and fix bugs in the brand’s fraud technology.

When your CX is in expert hands, it lessens your brand’s risk exposure. Nearshoring also mitigates risk by spreading operations across multiple geographic locations, protecting you from geographical uncertainty.

Explore nearshoring’s benefits

A good nearshore partner brings proven solutions and strategies, so you don’t have to waste time and money on costly trial and error. It also lets you quickly and easily tap into existing infrastructure, cutting-edge technology, employee experience expertise, and significant cost savings.

When done right, with a thoughtful strategy that keeps customer and employee experience at the forefront, nearshoring can be a great way for retailers to maintain high quality support while saving money and boosting efficiency. In this competitive landscape, it can bring distinct advantages that help you stand out from the crowd.