Whether you’re an entrepreneur just starting out or an established business, inevitably there will come a point where you realize your customers just aren’t receiving the service and support they need — when they need it.
Maybe you thought you could handle it all on your own, or maybe it’s something that’s been sitting on your to-do list for a while. Whatever the specifics of your situation, it’s time to decide. And the decision is not if you’re going to solve your customer service dilemma, but how you’re going to solve it. Two basic options are building up your own internal customer service department, or outsourcing this important function to an outside company.
Here’s some customer service outsourcing pros and cons to keep in mind:
✔ Instant Workforce Expansion
If a company has been limping along without sufficient customer service, outsourcing is an attractive solution. However, assembling a customer service department from scratch can be a rather daunting task.
Not only will you have to hire a team of customer support representatives, you’ll also need to hire at least one skillful manager with the experience to run the department and get the results you need. Add up the position advertising and recruitment costs, plus all the wages and benefits, and you’re looking at a huge investment. Outsourcing skips over many of those pieces, instantly adding an entire department of capable workers to your company.
❌ The Vendor Doesn’t Know Your Company or Customers
While the instant expansion of your workforce is very attractive, the vendor you choose to provide customer service and support to doesn’t know your company, its products or services, or most importantly, the types of customers you serve.
That’s a steep learning curve that all vendors need to navigate, and they’ll need your time and knowledge in order to meet your specific customer service needs. On the plus side, however, they’re already experts at doing this.
✔ Reduces Pressure on Your Staff
Everyone in your company has an important and well-defined role to play in the company’s success, but if your customer service function has been lacking, everyone’s probably been pitching in to address customers concerns. This is not a sustainable approach as meeting your customers’ needs is drawing attention away from all the other responsibilities and duties everyone should be focused in on.
In other words, everyone is less productive than they could be if they didn’t have to deal with customer service. Outsourcing quickly solves this unsustainable status quo, allowing everyone to do more of what you originally hired them to do.
❌ Choosing the Right Vendor Takes Time and Effort
Deciding to outsource your company’s customer service is one thing, but finding a good vendor is another thing entirely. This is the one critical piece you must get right. Hiring the right vendor can streamline your operations, boost productivity, and even save you money; all of which has a positive impact on your bottom line.
On the other hand, hiring the wrong vendor can result in suboptimal service that leaves customers frustrated and tarnishes your brand’s image, all of which can wipe out any cost-savings you’ve gained through outsourcing. This is one area where you must perform your due diligence and avoid cutting corners.
Outsourcing customer support isn’t a decision that should be taken lightly. It could be one of the most important decisions you make for your company. If you decide that outsourcing customer service is the right choice for your company, take the time to find the best qualified vendor to get the job done right the first time and you’ll reap the benefits for years to come.