Inbound support is the procedure of handling requirements or enquiries from potential clients, vendors, customers, or partners as regards product information, pricing, order, shipping, or related technical assistance. This can be done through various channels, such as chat, website, e-mail, or telephone. Inbound support teams are responsible for addressing and solving all customer queries and enhance their satisfaction through issue resolution. An inbound consumer service facility functions best when it offers customers a single point of contact for all their service inquiries. Currently, customers dial a single number to order products, register a purchase, make a payment, or obtain product information. Additionally, they can make an inquiry or place a support request about a product. The agents or customer service officials responsible for handling the incoming calls must be well accustomed with the technical know-how of their offerings, and have requisite product knowledge so that they can deal with the call efficiently. It might involve solving the query personally or, if required, hand over the call to a concerned specialist. Customers around the world opt for a single point of contact and this is the reason for the proliferation of the global inbound support market.
A substantial number of people prefer to use available toll-free phone lines for their queries and solutions for their difficulties. Hence, most businesses prefer inbound support services for their inbound processes. However, the availability of multi-lingual skilled professionals is limited, and maintaining the standard of service is difficult, which in turn is increasing companies’ cost due to a supply–demand gap. Retaining a steady, consistent, and reliable standard of service at all times can prove costly. The inbound support system must have an optimum number of executives, based on priority, so that customers can get a timely response from the inbound support staff.
As the global B2C scenario is becoming “C” or customer oriented, the global demand for inbound support is poised to increase at a substantial pace over the forecast period. Additionally, more and more customers opt for other media, such as knowledge base, email, or chat. This concept is known as multi-channel inbound support. This sector will provide a sea of opportunity for the global inbound support market. The global inbound support market can be differentiated on the basis of type and geography. According to type, the market is divided into three segments-telephone, email, and chat. Telephone-based customer service held the maximum share in the market and is expected to retain its leading position over the forecast period. This is the traditional approach for inbound support where the customer calls the company with a service demand or a probe, and the concerned person in the company solves the problem or transfers the call to the specific department.
Geographically, the market can be segregated into five regions. They are North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Latin America, and the Middle East and Africa. Asia Pacific was the dominant market. Availability of labor at a low cost has given rise to outsourcing of inbound support to this part of the world. Emerging countries such as India and the Philippines led the growth trajectory. Due to this, many inbound support vendors have started operations in this region.
Key vendors in the global inbound support market are Flatworld Solutions Pvt. Ltd. (India), Live2Sell Group of Companies (the Philippines), CMD Outsourcing Solutions, Inc. (the U.S.), and Q 2 Serves Infotech (India). Some other players operating in the market are Invensis Technologies Pvt Ltd. (the U.S.), GizmoSupport (India), Worldwide Call Centers, Inc. (the U.S.), Etech Global Services (the U.S.), and Outsource2alpha (India).