Modern Customer Service: In-house or Outsourced?

This is one of the most important questions that small businesses face today. More so for customer service, which now determines the fate of your profit margins. Consumers have so much more options and channels to air their complaints in real time.

Ultimately, it all depends on how you can build unwavering customer loyalty. This brings us back to customer service – should you build in-house customer care or partner with an outsourcing provider?

Here are questions that you need to answer:

What are your intentions and motivations?
Your motivations and intentions have a big influence on your standard for success. If you’re aiming for a cost-efficient service from an expert provider, outsourcing customer service is a viable solution. However, if you’re not capable of handing over customer care to a third party, you may have to build it in-house. Trust is one of the most overlooked components in an outsourcing relationship.

What are your future needs?
Seasonal fluctuations demand flexibility and scalability. The question is not about what you lack, but how you will compensate for loss. Hiring a fleet of customer service representatives would make sense for a big company. But how will you maintain a small business when calls start petering out or support staff when they start raining down?

There are new technologies out there that could help. Virtual agents, chat and email are non-human ways for customer care. But technology moves in a fast pace while human beings, well their needs pretty much stay the same.

Do you have adequate resources whether it’s in-house or outsourced?
The previous question leads us to resources. In-house customer care does provide you with direct control, but you need to have the capability to adjust to demand or reduce calls. Outsourcing customer care comes with scalability and cost efficiency, but you need to invest in a partnership.

Do your customers care where the service is from as long as it’s satisfactory?
People have long known the existence of call centres, to the point that Filipino or Indian customer service representatives have been mentioned in films and featured in TV. Call centres go way back before the millennium and outsourcing is now the norm. So the question is, does it really matter where the service comes from as long as it serves the needs of your customers?

There’s a lot at stake here. Whatever your decision may be, it will ultimately depend on your business needs. Keep in mind that customer care is not just about reducing hold time and meeting call volumes, it’s consistent first call resolution.

Read more at: Business 2 Community-Modern Customer Service: In-house or Outsourced? by Arline Ramirez

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