Just Because Outsourcing Your Customer Service Department Saves Money Doesn’t Mean That It’s Good for Your Company

Just Because Outsourcing Your Customer Service Department Saves Money Doesn’t Mean That It’s Good for Your Company

For every business, one of the most expensive line items on the budget is customer service.  Not just salary costs, but also the associated infrastructure costs, such as where to house staff, their office needs such as chairs, computers, and a kitchen, along with numerous recruitment, retention, and training related costs. This all adds up to the one large figure that you see on your yearly forecasting budgets.

When the majority of business owners see this, their immediate thought it to outsourcing. And why not? After all, outsourcing companies promise to provide a set level of quality for an often heavily reduced price. And while this change will obviously make an immediate impact on this particular line item, it can also negatively affect others.

On-Shore

Not low-quality staff, but a lower quality of staff. This is chosen model operated by outsourcing companies who provide their services on-shore. Or, in the same country as your business is located.

This model involves accurately hiring the right person for the role. Not hiring somebody who can do the job and move on, but somebody who has just the right skill level to perform the job adequately, and nothing more.

The reason for this is because, by hiring just the right skill level, companies only have to pay for the skills they need. This is in contrast to an in-house model, where a company would encourage growth and movement.

Of course, the question for this choice is to ask why you simply can’t-do this job in-house, without having to pay a third party provider for the privilege.

The main reason is identifying talent and retaining staff. In-house managers simply aren’t experienced enough to either identify the right skill level or to ensure lower quality staff remain.

Through extensive experience and providing rewards and recognition models including work-based incentives along with external ones such as vouchers from the Groupon Coupons page for JCPenney, these providers can manage their workforce with almost surgical precision, ensure every dollar is stretched as far as possible.

Off-Shore

The offshore model saw a boom in the early 2000’s due to its’ promised ability to cut costs. And cut costs it did, dramatically. So much so that more and more companies jumped on the bandwagon.

With this model, the entirety of your customer service staff is overseas, often in a country with a significantly lower cost of living, allowing these companies to hire quality staff for comparably lower salaries.

This, in itself, is a challenge for many CEOs and corporate managers because there is limited visibility over their operations, giving them less control over the messages being sent from customer service teams.

However, the biggest challenge for this model is actually staff accents, not staff quality. In fact, the quality of staff in off-shore call centers is often noticeably higher than that of their onshore counterparts. The challenge is in their accents. As great as the service they provide is, when a customer from your country calls your company, they expect to hear a familiar accent. Again, while the staff member is more than able to assist the customers, a negative tone remains where the customer isn’t entirely satisfied with their interaction.

As a business owner or operator, you understand how ridiculous this line of consumer thinking is, however, it’s important that you accept that it exists

Choosing whether or not to outsource your customer service department, and if so, which model to choose takes more than a simple article. However, the information above is enough to give you a solid understanding of your options and their most commonly seen positives and negatives.

Categories: Business

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