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The Competition Between In-House and Outsourced Customer Support: Which One Wins

The timeless debates about in-house vs. outsourced customer service divide the business world. More and more companies hesitate whether they should stick to the classic customer support option and hire internal staff or choose a provider to handle all the processes. 

Before making the final decision about the call center in-house vs. outsourcing, it is essential to consider some aspects of both options. These are their benefits, disadvantages, and the businesses that prefer each. 

This article will show their peculiarities and help your company choose the most suitable type of customer support.

The Origins of In-House Customer Support

customer support coworkers

The in-house customer support option means that the team is an internal part of the business, works in the same environment with other departments, or communicates online with colleagues. Therefore, the supervisor hires agents and can monitor their performance directly. 

Pros:

1. Deep company knowledge. The internal agents work solely for your business, so they know all the peculiarities of services and products. The team has a vast knowledge of the company’s communication, which helps provide timely feedback to customers’ inquiries. It also creates personal touch when interacting with customers and allows agents to promote brand image as a special one. 

2. Immediate feedback. The in-house team usually communicates customer feedback more consistently and faster. It helps improve the product or service instantly and keeps the client’s satisfaction high. Close interaction with the agents makes it easier to pass on new guidelines essential for fast-changing businesses.

Cons: 

1. High-cost. Working with the in-house team means the company has to spend  significant resources on hiring processes, training, and employee perks. Internal staff requires regular meetings and coaching sessions to maintain employee engagement and expand communication strategies, unlike the outsourcing center, handling training regularly.

2. Staff turnover issue. The in-house customer support does not provide business flexibility because such companies as retailers or travel agencies depend on seasonal work peaks. For example, one of WOW 24-7 clients, a travel agency, Walks, chose outsourcing customer support because of a lack of flexibility working with the in-house team. When hiring an agent, a company offers a contract for 6 months, which is not a stable job opportunity for most applicants. Therefore, the in-house customer support department often has difficulties with the selection and recruitment processes.

The conservative industries such as banking, insurance companies, and medical institutions choose this option as data security is an essential point. However, the risk of leakage with the outsourcing provider is minimal. The modern, reliable providers care about data protection and follow international/local guidelines to store the information securely. 

Outsourcing Customer Support: Yes or No?

More and more companies are choosing to outsource customer service support now. It means delegating client service operations to a third-party provider with the possibility of controlling the workflow. This option usually saves a lot of resources as it handles all the processes, from hiring agents to providing a detailed customer work review. 

Pros:

1. Accessible and less expensive. As there is a wide variety of outsourced customer support companies. Choosing the suitable one for your business will not take much time. Most providers work in countries such as Ukraine, the Philippines, India, or Malaysia, where most of the population speaks English, and the cost of living is not expensive. You can get a high-quality service for a lower price there. The agents are usually based in different time zones, so the customers can contact the support center round the clock. 

2. Flexible workforce. An outsourced team allows you to easily adjust the number of agents according to your business needs. You can smoothly increase or reduce the amount of staff based on the season or project requirements without managing the hiring process. 

3. Time-saver. Outsourced customer support saves a lot of time and takes client service responsibility off your shoulders. You can spend your spare time brainstorming business development methods and revenue-generating strategies while the outsourced customer support team handles all the raising issues.

customer service agents working in the office

Cons:

1. Partial staff supervision. If outsourced customer service is a new concept in your business, it may be hard to get used to the staff management at a distance. Initially, there may be a lack of interaction with the agents, which can lead to trust issues. Therefore, the contact center provider should follow all the company requirements so you can easily delegate customer support without additional concerns.

2. Online communication. As said before, outsourced customer service agents are usually based worldwide, so there may be some communication difficulties because of cultural peculiarities and language barriers. However, having the English language as a versatile asset usually eliminates all communication concerns. 

This approach is suitable for fast-growing companies, depending on the seasons, and other businesses that are successfully undergoing digital transformation or need outsourced technical support.

Wrap up

In-house customer support helps fill in the gaps in deep company knowledge and immediate feedback. However, the high cost and rapid staff turnover are the key disadvantages that stop most companies from maintaining office-based agents. Outsourced customer support is more prevalent in fast-developing companies because of its accessibility, flexible workforce approach, and low cost. The pros and cons of both options create two distinctive work models, but a proper assessment of a company’s needs should help identify the most suitable one. 

Have more questions about the outsourced customer service center? Book a call and discover its peculiarities.

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