Customer service is one of the most critical aspects of any modern business, and it’s important to handle it with the right kind of professionalism and a dedicated approach. However, it can also be quite expensive long term, even for a small business, making it equally important to understand the finer nuances of handling it and to make the decision of whether to outsource this kind of work or not.
The truth is that outsourcing customer service has both its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s important to understand both sides of the equation before making any decision, taking all variables into account properly.
How It Can Help
The most obvious benefit to outsourcing customer service is that it allows you to reduce your operational costs. Not having to maintain a local support center can make a huge difference in how much this costs you in the long run, and if you handle it correctly, it doesn’t even have to drag down your customer satisfaction rates.
It’s also a scalable solution. Normally, when doing your own customer service, you need to pay attention to periods of rapid growth so that you can adequately scale up your support operations as well. This is not the case when outsourcing, as companies that take on this kind of work will know how to scale up their services appropriately.
But most importantly, having this handled by someone else means that you’re able to invest more resources and effort into the main activities of your organization, instead of staff training, technical support, software training and more. It’s not rare to see companies collapsing under their own weight simply because they’re unable to continue providing the necessary resources to all sectors of their operations, and customer support is rarely a cause for this.
Issues to Watch Out for
On the other hand, there are also some problems that can come up when having this handled by an external contractor. The first issue that usually comes to mind is the lack of quality control you’ll have over the way the job is handled. You’ll have no ability to directly influence the work of the contractor, save for completely cutting them off, but anytime they get something wrong, it will reflect negatively on you, not them.
At some point, outsourced customer support can also become quite expensive to maintain. Companies that provide this service usually charge a lot when they have to scale up their operations significantly, and this may hit your finances very badly at the worst possible time. You need to figure out what’s more important to you in periods of rapid growth – paying less money or knowing that your customer support services will be able to scale up adequately.
Weighing Both Options
Once you know what the main advantages and disadvantages of both approaches are, you should simply figure out where you stand, considering your own organization’s needs. Every company is different in this regard, and it’s hard to tell whether you’ll benefit from outsourcing customer services or developing an in-house solution.
In either case, the important thing is to commit to a decision once you’ve made it. Changing your approach halfway through can incur significant costs on you, and it can also complicate your operations quite a lot. The whole point of having something like this outsourced is that it’s supposed to make things simpler for you, so don’t set yourself up for a situation that undermines this benefit. If you have to, consult external experts who will hopefully shed some light on your situation and guide you on the right way, but make sure that you’re making an informed decision from the start.
About Ruth Hoffman
Queen of Strategy And Sales Conversions: Helping Coaches & Professionals Transform Themselves Into A "Category of One". CEO of ruthhoffmann.com