For a company, the biggest line item on a budget is customer service. The reason for this high cost isn’t simply the employee salaries, but the costs which are associated, such as office space, insurance, infrastructure, training, etc. These can all quickly add up, leading to a potentially bloated budget item.
When business owners and operators see these costs, their first thought is often to use an outsourced model. After all, this way of doing business became quite popular in the early 2000’s, giving many companies a financial break during a financially troublesome time.
However, as effective as this tactic can be, it also comes with a drawback.
A Dip in the Quality of Your Staff (the On-Shore Model)
When you look to hire somebody for an in-house contact center then you want to hire the best person that you possibly can with the greatest skill level. This is the best way to ensure you have the highest skill sets in your center, however, this doesn’t mean that they are utilized. After all, can a very intelligent person do a better job in a role which is determined by processes than somebody with a basic education?
This is the question that outsourcing companies bet on, with a process of hiring people at just the right skill level for the job, ensuring that they only have to pay for the skills they need for the job to be done.
Of course, a leader has to ask themselves, if this type of efficiency can be achieved by a third party who also makes a profit, sure the same can be achieved in-house?
The simple answer is no. The reason is that outsourcing companies have become experts at what they do, identifying the right agent for the right job which can be paid the right salary. In addition, these services are also well adept at utilizing a range of recognition programs which include additional time off work to vouchers from the Groupon Coupons page for Brooks Brothers. All of this experience combined leads to these companies being in a position where they can make smarter decisions that those running in-house contact centers, ensuring each client dollar is stretched as far as possible.
A Rise in the Quality of Staff, but Potential Lower Brand Reputation (the Offshore Model)
The other alternative is to take your outsourcing model off-shore, by employing one of the many companies around the globe to handle all of your customer service needs.
This option is obviously the most cost-effective, given that these providers are able to establish centers in areas of countries where the exchange rate is significantly in the client’s favor, leading to the ability to hire quality staff for less. However, as stellar as the performance provided by these teams members are, it is their accent which can often affect customers the most.
While it is likely that the agent speaking from another country has completed and achieved a level of education higher than their on-shore based counterpart, any type of accent can lead customers to immediately assume that their concern can’t be rectified.
Of course, as a CEO or business leader, you are aware of how ridiculous this sounds, however, it is often the way a consumer thinks. For this reason, the offshore model isn’t all positives.
Deciding which model to choose, or whether or not to outsource your customer service department is a serious decision and one which shouldn’t be taken lightly. Be sure that you aware of both the pros and the cons of each option before you proceed.