Despite the fact that the main benefits of outsourcing are obvious, business leaders do not rush to make a decision, but weigh all the pros and cons of outsourcing. And this is, of course, absolutely correct.
Cons that top managers fear:
- loss of operational control over the process
- fear that commercial information will be disclosed
- fear of becoming too dependent on a supplier
At the same time, having your own support service also has a number of disadvantages that managers evaluate when making a decision.
Having considered in detail the possibilities of outsourcing, the management of the companies begins to see that in fact there are many more disadvantages of an in-house support service.
Let’s list the main ones:
- issues with recruiting of specialists and difficulties in managing them;
- significant salary taxes;
- significant expenses for equipment, office space, onboarding;
- lack of flexibility in team size with increasing / decreasing workload;
- slow and difficult implementation of the latest technologies;
- the complexity of making agents accountable for poor performance.
Let’s consider the main advantages of outsourcing:
- reducing the cost of support;
- access to more qualified personnel;
- getting faster access to the introduction of new technologies;
- improved service levels;
- financial and legal responsibility of the outsourcer for compliance with the terms of the contract to maintain the required quality of services;
Now let’s take a comprehensive look at the pros and cons of outsourcing.
The most powerful argument, especially nowadays, is a significant reduction in customer service costs and complete transparency of the costs.
In fact, the tools and processes used in customer service requires certain specialized knowledge that business owners and top managers do not have. As a result, if desired, an unscrupulous employee can significantly overestimate costs – both because of malice intentions or due to insufficient qualification.
This is completely a non factor in the case of an outsourcing company, which is financially and legally responsible for all actions of its employees. The specialized customer service firms employ highly qualified specialists, whose services are usually inaccessible to not only small, but even medium-sized businesses due to their high wages. Therefore, the risks of errors due to inexperience is practically reduced to zero.
Malicious intent is also excluded: the employee does not work directly to the customer, while being an employee of the outsourcing company.
And here the matter of information security. Of course, a human factor cannot be crossed out, however, it should be noted that experienced outsourcing companies pay increased attention to this matter.
Moreover, many of them specialize on it. This means that the client has an additional opportunity to strengthen the protection of their data. In addition, again, there is a contractual responsibility that the service provider bears for violation of the data security and SLA. Therefore, it is extremely unprofitable for the contractor to risk its reputation and divulge the client’s information.
And then, the cost reduction. By optimizing, it is possible to significantly reduce costs and make them absolutely transparent. All services are described in detail in the contract and the Service Level Agreement, their cost is determined, and then a periodic fee for outsourcing services is formed. The client is given the opportunity to select those quality parameters that will completely satisfy him, without overpaying for too much, specifically for an unnecessary quality or for the not needed services.
For example, you can agree on a 24/7 support time or go just with business hours, you may vary languages sets. An additional advantage for the customer will be that in the event of a significant increase in the workload, if in-house employees cannot handle the requests on their own, other specialists will come to their aid, and nothing will have to be paid for this. As well as for replacing an employee who went on vacation or got sick: the outsourcer will immediately select another one with the same skill level.
Having considered all the advantages and disadvantages of customer service outsourcing, we can confidently state that its advantages significantly outweigh the risks. And the reason for businesses to think twice is the lack of objective information about this important and useful service, which we tried to fix in this article.