Customer support refers to a range of services to assist customers in making cost-effective decisions and accurate use of a product or service. It involves assistance in planning, training, troubleshooting, upgrading, maintenance and disposal of a product or service. Many businesses choose to invest in customer support outsourcing for these functions.
Customer support can attract new buyers and keep loyal customers coming back for more. Good customer service can also recoup customer acquisition costs and develop a loyal following that refers customers and provides great testimonials and reviews. In turn, this can lead to higher overall revenue for a business.
Considering these points, it is clear why it is so important to make a concerted effort to maintain a high level of customer support.
Should Customer Support Be Outsourced or Kept In-House?
Nurturing customers is an incredibly important part of any business. Building a relationship of trust and transparency can increase retention rates, and enhance a brand as a whole. From keeping customers updated about their purchases, assisting with troubleshooting, providing training, and managing inquiries and complaints, customer support includes a number of tasks. Considering this, the question is: Is it better to keep customer support in-house or outsource the function?
Outsourced customer support means that a business makes use of a third-party provider and their agents to handle inbound and outbound calls and other communication with customers. Many businesses turn to customer support outsourcing when they realize that it’s too hard for them to rely on their own resources for managing customer service. When a business is undergoing rapid growth, outsourcing support can also be a way to maintain responsive and high-quality service while deciding the long-term direction of the business.
6 Reasons Why Customer Support Outsourcing Can Help a Business
With an experienced outsource provider who is a strategic partner invested in a company’s mission and who is also committed to excellent service, a business can enjoy many benefits from outsourcing. In this way, a provider can also help a business gain a competitive advantage in its industry. Let’s take an in-depth look at the reasons why customer support outsourcing can help a business thrive:
- Save valuable money
One of the most obvious benefits of outsourcing customer services is the significant cost reductions involved. The outsourced area for a business’s customer support continues to operate in support of the business, but they no longer need to designate money, infrastructure, labor and other resources to it since the outsourcing partner takes care of it. This frees up a business’s finances and general resources to strengthen the core areas of the business.
- Access to more skilled and experienced agents
It takes time and money to train staff to be customer support experts in-house, but this is where outsourcing can help. Outsourced vendors specializing in customer support handle customer service tasks every day with a variety of clients. So, their job is to stay up to date with best practices and regulations. In turn, a business gets access to skilled and experienced agents that don’t require training.
- Access to top technology and processes
Experienced support services outsourced vendors understand the importance of meeting customer expectations. Therefore, they ensure that efficient technology and processes are in place to quickly respond to queries, offering information fast and effectively and reducing average wait time.
- Take the pressure off your in-house staff
When businesses consider outsourcing their customer support, they often worry about losing the personalized touch that comes with having in-house service staff. But how effective can this service be if it’s performed by overworked administrators who have to balance many other tasks? When outsourcing, businesses free up the time of their in-house workers to focus on other important tasks.
- Better risk management
Reducing the overall risk to the company is one of the best benefits a business can receive from outsourcing its customer support. Because of their specialized skills, outsource vendors usually have excellent insights on how to sidestep potential risks to a business. Additionally, outsourcing can create general stability for a business’s structure and, thereby, make sure that the company is at a lower general risk. The resulting outcome makes the company a safer investment, prompting investors to support its growth.
- Improved efficiency and productivity
An outsourced partnership can help a business hire highly trained employees, which allows repetitive tasks to get maximum value from internal operations and enable the business to focus on all customer service activities. This work setup typically results in higher work efficiency and productivity for both the business and its internal staff.
The benefits of outsourcing customer support are vast. However, when deciding to outsource customer service operations, a business must measure customer satisfaction and gaps in service quality to identify opportunities. It is also important to define business strategy, growth aspirations and the cost involved.
The Cost of Outsourcing Customer Support
The ultimate cost of customer service may depend on a variety of factors, including the desired customer experience, the number of employees required, the hours of operation and even the complexity of customer requests.
Typically, an outsourced remote customer service team is contracted by the hour. This cost may also vary on where the outsourced provider is located in the world. Let’s explore:
North America is often the most expensive with their outsourced team rates varying between $20 to $40 per hour. Western Europe averages around $20 to $30 per hour. Eastern Europe is much more affordable with hourly outsourced rates of around $13 to $20.
The great thing about outsourcing customer support is that businesses don’t need to pay for premises, social security contributions, equipment, office supplies, sick leave or holiday pay.
The Bottom Line
The goal of outsourcing customer support is to provide a top-quality service that a company itself may struggle to develop. Outsourcing agencies help businesses to handle all their workload and enable them to focus on other core tasks and business development. It turns out, outsourcing your customer support to a reputable vendor can lead to a stronger business and overall happier customers.