To Outsource or To In-source: What’s the Right Service Desk Approach for You

Imagine this: your organization is at a critical point of growth where you have to decide where and how to best allocate your resources. You’ve reached a level where you need a dedicated service desk to effectively support your growing customer base. Fantastic, right? So what now? The next question you need to ask yourself: “Do I hire an internal team, or do we find a capable provider to outsource to?”

We’ve broken down the real world pros and cons of outsourcing versus in-sourcing your service desk to give you some new insight as you march down the path to make this important decision.

The Pros of Outsourcing

  • You can all but eliminate the never-ending process of staffing the right people in the right seats to best service your customer base.
  • You can eliminate the additional costs of turnover such as retraining and the negative impact to service levels.
  • You can refocus internal resources on other core, critical business areas—such as sales and marketing—to be better equipped for meeting future business growth objectives.
  • You can often improve service levels while actually decreasing cost by outsourcing to a provider whose core business is customer service – often at a fraction of the cost of managing an in-house team.
  • You can contain costs to the specific support activities being implemented, and avoid incurring any ongoing fixed or up-front capital costs needed for systems and infrastructure.
  • You can say ‘goodbye’ to the time and cost of ongoing training while maintaining zero “down” time with a 24/7/365 service level.
  • You can staff 24/7 with higher quality reps for less money by utilizing a follow the sun approach.
  • You can easily scale service teams up or down based on evolving business dynamics to eliminate risk as your business evolves.

 The Cons of Outsourcing

  • If you have a senior leadership team that demands close control over customer service, they may feel too disconnected from the day-to-day activity of keeping customers happy.
  • If you are not careful of your provider selection, you can get service teams that are not capable of supporting level one and level two issues from your customer base.
  • In the case of offshore outsourcing, some providers lack investment on accent training which can have a negative impact on the customer experience and impact loyalty.

 The Pros of In-sourcing

  • You can maintain close, internal control over your brand image and the customer experience on every touch point.
  • You can groom high-performing service staff for management career paths within the organization to save hiring costs and improve customer service and employee satisfaction at the same time.
  • You can more carefully limit access to confidential and sensitive company information to employees.

 The Cons of In-sourcing

  • You carry all of the cost and risk associated with staffing, training and managing an in-house service team.
  • You carry all of the cost of building and maintaining the proper technology infrastructure and systems necessary to effectively support an in-house team.
  • Costs can escalate out of control with a lack of proper management of variable and fixed costs, as well as hidden costs that are more difficult to measure, such as the impact of negative customer experiences on short-term revenue and on the long-term impact to your brand over time.

 Tips for Success for Either Path

If you choose to insource your service desk, be aware that most of these positions are often considered entry level, and these are the people who will be interacting with your most valued customers every day. You want to make sure you have the time to train and invest in the development of these individuals to ensure your customers are getting the experience you want reflected from your company.

Valor Global overcomes this issue by establishing and requiring a certification path. First Cert must be achieved within the first 90 days of employment. All level one techs are expected to actually solve the trouble ticket they receive… the goal is one call resolution. The customer should screen outsourcers for those kinds of capabilities otherwise the customer experience for employees entering the ticket will be frustrating.

If you outsource customer support, make sure your company’s confidential information is protected through the appropriate legal nondisclosure agreements. It is also important to provide your outsourced company with the brand and quality standards you expect them to uphold. This will help ensure transparency and aid in developing a successful partnership between your companies.

Understanding brand and quality standards should be part of the onboarding process. Valor Global assigns each client a Master Trainer that spends time in the customer’s environment reviewing their internal training program to ensure those standards are completely understood and translated to the team working on the account.

Focus on Your Core Business, Get Help on the Rest

For the majority of small- to mid-sized companies, we find that outsourcing is the best option as it provides the lowest cost and enables you to focus on your core business and growth objectives without sacrificing the quality you need in a customer care team.

While small to mid-sized companies gain greater capabilities and the ability to scale, large organizations gain greater efficiency by not having to cover payroll costs during down times and paying for specific technical expertise that can be provided by the outsourcer when needed.

Outsourcing customer support also gives you limitless scalability, access to quality staff and increased efficiency for your service desk operations. That means you are free to focus on what your company does best, while outsourcing your customer support to a proven, skilled customer care provider.

Questions? Comments?

There are so many perspectives on this debate, so we’d love to hear from you. Don’t hesitate to contact me today to comment or to learn more about how Valor can help you optimize your service desk operations.

Ian Bellais

VP Strategic Development
Linked In Profile

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