Outsourcing customer service is not the panacea businesses want it to be. Most companies look at in-house services and wonder if they can tap into the potential of outsourcing to save money, expand services, or increase capacity to serve their customers. It is not the right choice for every company. Take time to evaluate the pros and cons of keeping customer service in-house to see if this is eventually right for your business.
Bottom Line Matters
Let’s just start off by being honest about what all companies worry about. Budgets and bottom lines are the first thing a business is going to consider when looking at whether outsourcing services is a good idea. Many cities are in markets where there are obvious positives about outsourcing. Major metropolitan cities serve a vast array of people and often cannot handle it all themselves. Customer service agents are often starting at entry-level wages. To hit a target market for labor means looking to the suburbs where people commute into work. There is often high-turnover in these jobs. In setting up infrastructure, that means rent, paying to keep lights on, and making sure the contact center hits its targets. The costs and benefits to retain talent once they’ve on-boarded get costly. It all adds into variables that require additional dollars out of the company’s pockets. They are more expensive than ever, and every dollar matters to the bottom line. Outsourcing, in this way, is often more affordable.
People are the heart of business when it comes to customer service. When someone calls in, they want to speak to a real person who can direct them where to answer their questions. Success often comes from having the right p people in the right p lace at the right time. They must also be doing ‘the right things’ if there is to be success for them and the company. Staffing is a huge concern for companies that spend a lot of money onboarding employees but cannot retain them. Attracting candidates for high volume programs or seasonal ramp-ups is hard work (not to mention costly). Thoughtful tactics and strategic thinking will help look at top talent, even at the entry level, which is harder to find. This requires time and money spent on digital marketing and getting creative to find the right people for the job. Screening, interviewing, checking references, setting up payroll all take manpower and money. Staffing customer care programs takes a lot of work. HR and recruitment teams must do their due diligence to keep this going. In an outsourced environment, a recruitment team’s primary focus is to hire people, refine the process, and develop a profile. Outsourcing customer care programs might run the risk of privacy and security concerns, but it takes a strong company to design the right strategy to make it all come together.
Go Next Level
When people outsource their customer support, there should be access to senior leadership to help evolve the work. Clients want to tell a company how to do their business better and, since they are who businesses serve, deserve to be in the know. Thoughtful, strategic partnerships with senior leadership means building a solid foundation from the ground up. Having a single focus on outsourcing does not mean your company is not interested in hiring locally for in-house reps, but you are looking at growing in different ways y our cannot do with just in-house employees. The right partner will be invested in helping to make the company the best it can be. They are not in the market of checking boxes. They are dedicated with resources fixed on a customer’s end goal.
People can argue that in-house customer care is the end-all-be-all and there is nothing else. Organizations can experience benefits far beyond their budgets when they think outside the box on customer care. Organizations can experience the benefits of driving cost out of business while enhancing the customer care portion of their work that enables them to focus on growth and gain a competitive edge. From facilities management to the IT team, to the C-suite, the benefits of outsource can help you look at business growth and gaining a competitive edge, rather than stagnating by building off an old business model that expects high costs for in-house infrastructure that can be mixed with some in-house workers and outsourced employees to create a nice composite of the customer service picture for your business. While it is not right for every business, it certainly is worth doing due diligence to review and seek opportunities to grow in this area to determine whether it is a worthwhile endeavor or not.