95% of consumers rate good customer service as critical in earning their loyalty. Businesses today strive always to put their clients first. Sometimes, however, it’s not practical. What happens when the company receives too many calls to handle?
Do you sacrifice operational efficiency to boost service? If you do, are you creating service issues for new clients? It’s questions like these that lead many business owners to wonder whether it’s time to outsource their client service department.
In this article, we’ll look at whether that’s the correct solution for your business. We’ll examine the pros and cons so that you may make an informed decision.
What Does it Mean to Outsource Support?
Outsourcing means hiring a third-party provider to take over your client’s help desk. They may answer calls, deal with support tickets on your internal systems, monitor social media, and answer emails on your behalf. SupportYourApp can tell you more on what these BPO providers do.
Is it the Correct Move for Your Business?
There are no simple answers to that question. That you’re reading this article points to the fact that it’s something worth considering for your business. Whether you need to ramp up your efforts internally or outsource them, however, is a more complex issue.
Both routes have distinct advantages and disadvantages. We’ll explore these next.
The Pros of Outsourced Solutions
Professional Customer-Centric Solution
An outsourced call center focuses on providing the best possible customer experience. They choose their team members with this in mind and train them carefully. With these solutions, you receive instant access to a highly professional team.
Responding to client queries detracts from conducting a profitable business. While most questions are quick to resolve, they’re a distraction. If your highly paid developers are answering simple queries like, “How do I change the background color?” they’re less able to focus on the work for which you pay them.
Seen in those terms, the cost of hiring a support team is small when you consider the potential productivity boost.
It seems counter-intuitive, but hiring a third-party provider is less expensive than managing a team in-house. Potential savings include:
- Salary costs: The base rate for a call center operative in the United States is around $28,499 every year, assuming no industry experience.
- No benefits payable: When you hire a team, you don’t have to pay for benefits such as paid vacations or medical. The outsourcing firm must take care of all of that.
- Scale capacity up or down as necessary: With no permanent team members, you may add extra consultants during peak times and reduce your spending during off-peak periods.
- No specialized office equipment or software: The firm you hire bears the burden of these costs.
- No training costs: Again, the training is left up to the firm.
24/7 Service Available
With a third-party provider, you’re able to provide round-the-clock service if that’s useful to your clients.
Should your clients speak a different language, providing multilingual service makes them more comfortable. It speeds the resolution of issues and reduces misunderstandings. Outsourcing gives you access to consultants outside your company’s home zone, and they may speak different languages.
The Cons of Outsourcing
Hiring a third-party provider is not the ideal solution for every business. The disadvantages are minimized if you select the correct partner, but they’re worth considering.
No one understands your company as well as someone who works there. The third-party providers may learn much about your products and services, but they don’t deal with the back-office aspects. They may not be able to suggest solutions that someone intimately familiar with the service would.
Their Priorities are Different
Unless you hire a dedicated team, you’re sharing the call center services with other companies. While this reduces the overall cost, it also means that your calls slot in with those of other firms.
With international privacy laws becoming so strict, companies must safeguard any data the client provides. When you rely on any third-party provider, you’re trusting that their security meets your high standards.
Read This Before You Seek Out a Service Provider
You’ve considered the pros and cons and decided that outsourcing is the correct solution for your business. Before rushing into hiring any provider, it’s important to vet them carefully. The price point is essential, but there are many other aspects to consider.
Research the company a little. How well-established are they? Are they a large provider with multinational representation or a small firm?
An established provider has a track record and may provide references for you to check. A larger firm with multinational capabilities may offer better flexibility in terms of scaling operations up or down. It also provides a multilingual team.
Does the firm specialize in a particular type of client? Working in the clothing retail and IT industries, for example, is very different. Does the company you’re considering have experience in your industry? How can they demonstrate their expertise?
Look for a provider that not only says they have the experience but can prove it. Are they willing to let you listen in on calls or track communications with clients? Professional firms provide their customers with full access to reports and recordings.
How serious is the company with regards to security? What measures do they use to safeguard their databases and networks? Ask about their security protocols for both inbound and outbound communications.
Find out who their systems administrator is and how they manage access to the systems. What access will the consultants dealing with your account need to your intranet? How does the firm vet prospective team members?
Finally, ask about the training protocol. How does the company handle the onboarding of new clients and their product information? Do team members receive highlights or do they use the product or service to experience it for themselves?
Is outsourcing the correct solution for your business? If you find the right firm to partner with, it may well be. Now that you understand the pros and cons and what to ask a prospective provider, you’re far better positioned to make this decision.