In house or outsource? This is a question that small business owners have been asking themselves for a long time. Should a small company devote resources to in house support, or outsource the operation. Is outsourcing more cost effective than developing an in house support staff? These are questions we will look to answer throughout the rest of this article.
Before we explore the benefits of customer service outsourcing for small companies, one must understand exactly what the practice is.
Customer service outsourcing is the process of having a call center that specializes in providing customer support for other companies, answer your customer service calls, emails, social media messages, etc. Now, the first thing that a person thinks of when they hear this description is a call center in India, Philippians, or other foreign country. While there are call centers in these countries, many are based in the United States. And, just like all businesses, there are some that are much better run than others.
While on the subject of bad call centers, let’s look at some of the negative connotations of customer service outsourcing and debunk those feelings.
The first thing that people think of when a call center is mentioned is that it is offshore. While this was true in the 80s and 90s, it is untrue in 2017. With the advances in technology in the last 30 years, customers are smarter and demand higher quality. Most companies have brought back their customer service centers to the States for more complex problems.
Another myth that I hear a lot is that call agents don’t care about customers. This might be true for cheap, offshore options, but nowadays, since customers do demand much more, they truly do care. Average call centers spend nearly $9,000 to hire and train one call center customer service representative. The companies methodically search for candidates that they feel have the skills and overall demeanor to give customers a pleasant experience. Call centers try to avoid turnover, because higher turnover means more money spent on training. To eliminate turnover, they hire the best candidates possible.
If you are a small company, what exactly are the benefits of outsourcing your customer service division?
Well, for one, you get to work and partner with experienced professionals is a huge plus. When working with a call center, a company will be working with people who are trained specifically to handle customer service. Plus, a small company or startup might learn an important skill or some knowledge by working with a 3rd party company, which could lead to more success on future endeavors.
Another benefit that results from outsourcing customer service is it provides a better alignment with scaleability goals. As a small company or startup, hiring a new full time employee is a daunting thought, especially when hiring for a task like customer service. Outsourcing non-core tasks allows for easier cost management and allows for greater flexibility.
A third, but certainly not the final, benefit of outsourcing customer service is that it is more cost-effective for a smaller company. How exactly is using an outside service more cost effective? Well that’s because customer service outsourcing is NOT hiring full-time employees. And when you’re not hiring full-time employees, there is no need to pay for either their salary or benefits. Instead, you are paying a rated to the outsourcing company. This, in turn, give you much greater savings.
So if you are a small business or startup, why not outsource your customer service? Now, I’m not talking about finding the cheapest service out there. I’m talking about finding a company and call center that is the best fit for your company and your business model. If companies are thorough and find the right partner, their potential becomes limitless. Contact us!