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The Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Your Customer Service

Many small businesses make the mistake of trying to handle customer service on their own. In a busy work environment, customer service tickets can quickly and easily fall by the wayside.

Any growing business should have time and money diverted towards customer service. It’s one of the important building blocks of any serious company. But it can also be quite costly to build and run a customer service department in-house. Many burgeoning businesses struggle with the cost.

That’s why many companies are now outsourcing their customer service. Small companies to ones as big as Time Warner on taking on this practice to save money and boost business. But is an outsourced customer service department the best move?

Read on, and we’ll cover the pros and cons of outsourcing your customer service.

Outsourcing Can Save You Money

According to many researchers, the number one reason that companies move to outsource their customer service is to save money.

And the money your business can save is considerable. Hiring a full-time customer service staff and providing them space and infrastructure can get expensive. So can paying them overtime during busy seasons. Outsourcing customer service can be significantly more affordable.

A business that outsources customer service can find big savings in utilisation, SG&A, and the costs of agent attrition. Not only that, but an outsourcer can offer flexible staffing options. These can include a price structure that charges per resolution, not per hour.

This means your company’s money is being used in the most efficient manner. You’re only paying for customer service help when you need it.

Take A Weight Off Your Shoulders

Putting together a customer service department is a lot of work. In keeping your service center in-house, you’ll need not only to front the costs of the entire operation but manage and run it as well. It will be on your shoulders not only to take care of the needs of each individual employee but also make sure that your team is meeting the highest standards.

Typical outsourcing services will ensure that you have a team of customer service agents that are trained, professional, and proficient in several languages. Outsourcing also typically means you’ll be able to increase coverage and take calls after-hours and on the weekends, without having to manage overtime costs.

An outsourced customer service system can and will take care of the back-office stresses and hustle, ensuring that you get high-quality service without the burden of maintaining it all yourself. That alone may be worth more than the basic cost benefits.

Immediate Support For Your Customers

As a small business owner, it can be hard to keep up with the flow of customer service requests. Running a business means there’s always a flow of to-dos and tasks, and customer support frequently ends up at the bottom of this list.

This is a problem, as response time is the main driver of customer satisfaction, according to a number of studies. Many call service providers offer 100% uptime, which means they’re available to answer overflow calls at any hour. This means they’ll never be a time where your customers can’t find help and assistance.

Immediate support means a happy customer and a happy customer is always the goal of a successful business.

A Break From Your Brand

There are a number of positive things about outsourcing customer service calls, but if you are considering making the move, there are a number of drawbacks to consider as well.

First and foremost, outsourcing your customer service means a disruption of your brand and strategy. For many companies, customer service is an important part of their branding strategy.

The way the brand interacts with customers, the attention given to particular issues, and the language used in talking with customers all have the potential to be lost when support needs are outsourced.

Customers will most likely recognise these changes, and the potential damage to your brand image is high.

Customer Care Quality

Almost all outsourced customer care services will promise you “good” company service. But it is difficult to say if what the provider considers good service matches up with your company’s customer service expectations.

There is no way to be able to fully monitor and improve an outsourced company’s performance. You can’t walk through an office and give tips in the way that you could with a department based within your own office.

An outsourced customer service agent does not know your business like a full-time employee would. They may be able to answer basic questions that customers may have. But these agents will be unfamiliar with company culture, values, and practices.

They will be unfamiliar with what’s happening currently at the company. So, they might not know about a bug rollout or a new feature, and won’t be able to use this information to help the customer.

Not only is knowledge of the company at stake, but outsourcing potentially opens up your customer base to a number of security and privacy concerns. It can be difficult to establish a line of trust with an outsourcing company, and yet you want to know that your customer’s data and information can be safe.

Before signing a contract with an outsourcing company, you should take an extra look at the data security measures they have in place.

Pros and Cons of Outsourcing

Whether customer service outsourcing is right for your business is a matter of opinion and company values. The benefits of outsourcing are numerous, and it’s hard to argue with the amount of money and time that the process saves. But money isn’t everything to a company, and without your customer’s satisfaction, you will likely struggle.

It’s important for every business to weight the pros and cons of outsourcing their customer service and decide on the path that is right for them.

Need more customer service tips, tricks, and advice? Check out our blog for more information.