When you run a business, you’re always looking for ways to grow and be more cost-efficient. Outsourcing your customer service needs will eventually come up as an opportunity to do both. But with innovative systems, such as the Xorcom IP phone, making it effortless for any of your personnel to fulfill the role of a professional call center agent, is it really such a good idea to hand over such an important function to a third party? Here are four reasons your company might want to retain in-house customer support.
When companies outsource their customer service to a third-party provider, most of the information regarding products and policies is often compiled into a central knowledge base. This database provides customer support representatives with the information needed to answer questions regarding products with which the agents may not have firsthand experience.
But in practice, there will always be unexpected customer inquiries that require greater in-depth knowledge than what is covered in the database. Many agents also encounter difficulty looking up the right information in a timely manner, which can affect the confidence and conversational tone of their response. In-house customer support will have no trouble answering even detailed questions with the confidence stemming from their direct involvement.
Consistency in communications
Marketing teams spend countless hours researching and developing a sound plan to identify and target a specific portion of the market. They produce collateral that defines guidelines and approaches and how to present your brand to the ideal customer. But when you outsource customer service, a dissonance can easily develop between your marketing approach and the interactions between customers and agents.
Most of the time, agents are focused on how to provide a satisfactory resolution on time. Their training can’t match the level of engagement and awareness that every member of your team has. In turn, this means that too much effort can be invested in customers who don’t represent your target market. This also means that too little is spent on establishing a good relationship with your ideal customer. This inconsistency in communications can be a detrimental experience to your brand.
Confidentiality and flexibility
Working with a third-party service provider entails sharing information regarding your business operations and customer details, which may be considered proprietary or sensitive. Although outsourcing always involves guarantees of security, strict measures must always be implemented and checked to ensure that confidentiality isn’t compromised. And any changes made to your policies must be cascaded further down the partner company’s hierarchy to the frontline representatives, which always takes more time than when you handle customer service in-house.
Customer service is often viewed as a lower-quality task that isn’t part of your core competencies. Thus, outsourcing such work to a professional provider is seen as a way to free up your team members to focus on high-quality tasks. But doing so also deprives your team of valuable interactions with their most important learning resource: the customer base.
Interacting with customers can provide both motivation and fulfilment to your team members. Having in-house customer service gives you the chance to directly train, supervise, and lead them to grow and reflect your company’s culture.
There are many benefits to outsourcing your company’s customer service needs, but it’s not always a step in the right direction. If your company is in a situation where you’d like to foster internal growth, inculcate culture and values, provide a strong brand experience, and directly interact with your ideal customers, then the best provider of quality customer service may still be your own team members.