Congratulations! Your company is booming and growing like never before. However, the price of that success is falling on the shoulders of your customer support team. As the customer support manager, you must now decide the pros and cons of outsourcing your customer service team or expanding it. Here are some pros and cons of outsourcing your customer service agents:
For some business owners, cost saving is the only thing that matters- let alone simply a perk. According to Deloitte’s 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey, 59% of businesses worldwide stated that cost reduction was their primary reason for outsourcing. Businesses in the US make up most of the global share for outsourcing companies, coming in at 42%. By outsourcing your contact center and customer service agents, you are saving an incredible amount of money on infrastructure, equipment, overhead, and labor.
Many outsourcers have cost-effective payment plans that are based on call resolution and volume, instead of hourly pay. Meaning, you are only paying for customer care agents when an issue arises, rather than paying agents to sit at their desks waiting to be useful.
Typically, employees expect to have a work schedule of 9-5pm for 40 hours a week. However, when you outsource your customer service agents, this restriction flies out the door. Outsourcing companies can provide 24/7 service for a fraction of the price. A staggering number of customers will simply hang up and move on if they cannot reach an agent in what they deem to be a satisfactory amount of time. These missed calls can result in the customer abandoning your business altogether. Having a 24/7 call center can allow you to “out-service” your competitors and stand out in your industry. More agents and coverage = shorter response times = happy customers.
Did you know that 65% of customers are likely to hang up if they have been waiting for more than 2 minutes? Even worse, 1 out of 3 customers who hang up will never call back! This is a support and sales challenge that many companies we speak to face. Ensuring extra customer support coverage is a good way to combat this.
More language options means you can serve more people easily. This, in turn, broadens your customer base. Instead of having to comb through applicants that are bi-or-trilingual, many outsourcing services can easily provide this to you. In the same vein, many outsourcing companies have a diverse and up-to-date arsenal of resources your company may be unwilling, or unable to invest in. This can include various helpdesk software and programs to handle incoming calls, as well as the technical support they can provide alongside it.
You have a lot of things to worry about when running a business. Sometimes, being able to delegate just one of those things is a major relief.
Outsourcing companies know the ins and outs of customer service. Their training and resources are tailor-made to keep them competitive in their field. Your success is tethered to theirs, giving them the incentive to keep to a standard.
The larger your company gets the more demanding your consumers may become. The demand to have a team of highly trained, skilled customer service agents ready to deal with a myriad of issues in different languages can be daunting. With BPO, outsource companies typically handle the hiring, training, and staffing so that you won't have to.
Your company’s brand and strategy may be lost when handled by an outsourcer. By not hiring the customer service agents yourself, or having any input on how the customer service interactions go, you are losing a critical step in ensuring your brand is being represented the way you want it to be. You might be worried that an outsourced call center can result in your business getting lost in the crowd, or even worse, receiving a negative review on social media.
What your company has defined as excellent care may not be what the outsourcing company defines it to be. Seeing a decrease in care may turn away some loyal customers that stayed with you for your customer service. As we stated in a previous article, feeling unappreciated is the #1 cause of customers abandoning a company.
Because your outsourced agent is not only working for you, you might be part of a long list of companies they provide service for. Meaning, their passion can never match the levels a homegrown employee can display. Furthermore, their attention may be divided or spread too thin, causing an overall decrease in performance.
Agents and departments of outsourced call centers may not always be on the same page or collaborating at all. Sometimes, they aren’t even in the same building.
Your current house customer service employees (e.g. within your business operations department, house call center) may become upset, or even threatened once you begin using an outsourcing service. They may feel as though they are on the chopping block to being replaced. Having good company culture is key to productivity and success, and disturbing the flow of core activities may do more harm than good to the overall in-house business process.
A study conducted by researchers at ZDnet.com concluded that outsourced call center services, especially overseas, resulted in massive decreases in overall customer experience and satisfaction.
Linguistic barriers with outbound calls may harm your business more than help it. If your outsource service provider employees are not familiar with certain cultures, idioms or phrases, the caller can become frustrated, as it is not the house call center they are used to speaking with.
Troublesome outsourced employees cannot be dealt with or corrected as easily either. Often times they are unfamiliar with your company culture and values. You have limited to no control over the outsourced employees' business functions. This could easily result in your company being misrepresented through call center outsourcing.
Many outsourcing companies have very rigid contracts. Often times these contracts are long-term deals and ask for very specific minimum requirements of service and payment. This can put your company in a bind if you realize you've made a mistake in outsourcing to a particular company, or outsourcing at all. Unlike an employee with a troublesome track record who can be fired, the outsourcing company’s contract will keep you in tethered longer.
We know that's a lot to consider! Please reach out if we can help find the perfect support service solution for you!