Your company’s been growing by leaps and bounds, which is exciting! But along with growth, you’ve experienced a lot of “growing pains.” One of the areas that’s suffered is your customer service. Now you’re faced with a choice: Outsource customer service or keep it in house?
It’s not an easy choice to make, and there’s a lot you need to consider. Many firms ultimately opt for outsourcing—and there are plenty of good reasons they go this route.
You’ve probably thought of this one on your own; after all, it’s the number-one reason firms outsource their customer service. Outsourcing in almost any area of a business can be a cost-saving maneuver.
Of course, you have to be careful and make sure you’re truly getting a great deal from the provider you partner with. Some providers will offer you a “great deal” on services you don’t need, while others will offer you an unbelievably low price—and in turn, deliver significantly low-quality service. Always double check the math to make sure you’re getting the best possible service for your customers at the right price.
Another common reason firms decide to outsource customer service is a lack of in-house capability. It’s not easy to find and hire qualified employees, train them, and then retain them. And, if your firm’s rapidly expanding, you may not be able to hang on to people long enough or fill all the positions you need to add in short order.
A partner provider often has the capabilities to deliver top-notch customer service already in place. It has expertise, highly trained staff, multiple centers, and even better infrastructure, which allows for better service delivery.
Infrastructure actually plays a huge role in a firm’s decision to outsource customer service. The technology needed to run a call center today is more sophisticated than ever, which often makes implementing the infrastructure behind your customer service an expensive proposition.
Adding to the problem is the fact that technology keeps changing. You can invest heavily in a system upgrade, only to find your state-of-the-art system is outdated just a few months later—well before the purchase has been written off. A third-party provider has plenty of incentive to keep on top of trends, and by getting all of its clients to “pitch in” for tech purchases, it makes the latest tech more affordable for everyone.
When you outsource customer service, you’re teaming up with a partner that has accumulated a lot of experience in the area. You benefit from that expertise. More often than not, your provider will stay on top of trends in customer service delivery, along with shifting models of delivery. The result? Your customers get better service.
Better yet, your provider might also have expertise in other areas and should provide you with more than one type of customer care service. Look for a provider that can do it all, from working with you on a customer service strategy to reaching out to new customers, and from fielding customer questions to assisting with customer retention.
Outsourcing Is Not All or Nothing
One thing to keep in mind as you try to decide whether you should outsource customer service: It doesn’t need to be a zero-sum game. You can decide to outsource one aspect of your customer service, but keep another in house for the time being. This is a great option if you already have some in-house capabilities.
You can partner with a provider to work on some aspects of your customer service; eventually, you may turn everything over, but starting small can help you get the best of both worlds.