Can (and should) you outsource technical support?
As a business owner, you understand the importance of providing your customer base with quality helpdesk support. But, with busy schedules and tight budgets, it can be difficult to provide a consistently high level of service. So, what’s the best way to ensure that your customers are satisfied? Should you outsource your technical support services? Let’s take a look!
What does outsourcing technical support mean?
Outsourcing helpdesk supports means getting an outside company that specialises in customer support to handle your helpdesk/technical queries for you. This outside company will deal directly with your customers. They’ll answer your customers’ questions and resolve any problems they might have.
Outsourcing has many advantages, but there are some disadvantages. Basically, it boils down to this – if the outsourcing works well, it is an ideal solution for your company. But if it doesn’t work well, it can create real problems for your business. And unfortunately, there are outsourcing companies that haven’t done a good job, which has gained outsourcing a bit of a bad reputation.
But don’t let this put you off. If outsourcing is done intelligently and well, it holds significant advantages for your business. Many reputable and experienced providers of helpdesk support (like us!) do it in a way that works well.
Routine, so-called Level 1 (L1) queries are handled and solved by the specialist company. However, the more difficult and technical queries, that need in-depth knowledge of your brand, are forwarded to your inhouse Level 2 (L2) support team which is better equipped to deal with them. In practical terms this means that the outside company deals with 70 – 80% of all your customer queries, so your inhouse help desk only has to handle between 20 – 30% of all the queries that come in. This obviously relieves them of a huge burden.
Related content: When is the right time to outsource customer service?
Advantages of outsourcing help desk support
As said, the benefits of outsourcing your technical support function are significant:
- Access to the specialised expertise and skills of the professionals of the company you’ve outsourced to. This will ensure your clients get the outstanding customer support they need.
- Reliable support regardless of any internal or external factors like seasonal demand, staff shortages and other unforeseen complications. A proper Service Level Agreement (SLA), clearly spelling out your technical support requirements, is vital.
- Better cyber security. Cyber threats are an ever-present business hazard these days. Good outsourcing companies make it a priority to have cutting-edge technology to deal with security threats to protect their clients’ systems.
- A reduction in costs. Sourcing, training, equipping, empowering and maintaining a large inhouse tech support team can be prohibitively expensive. Outsourcing will save you money.
- Speedier response times and easier scalability. Your outsourced helpdesk specialist has the resources to cope with increased helpdesk traffic due to seasonal demand, special promotions and other factors.
- Multilingual, 24/7 tech support. Your outsourced provider is equipped to provide this, whereas it’s very difficult for smaller enterprises to do so.
- Improved focus on your core business mission. By outsourcing your technical support function, your own staff are freed up to serve your core brand mission better.
- Valuable new business insights. Your outsourced provider will ensure you’re kept up-to-date about your brand’s performance. This will enable you to make better-informed business decisions.
- Flexible service provision. You can choose which parts of your tech support you outsource. Outsource all routine queries, while dealing with specialised inquiries with a small dedicated inhouse team.
- Better customer retention levels. With fast, reliable, multilingual, 24/7 technical support, your customers will be happier, and you’ll have a better chance of getting repeat business from them.
Related content: Tiered vs Collaborative Customer Support – which is right for your business?
Disadvantages of outsourcing helpdesk support
The first point to make here is that many of the so-called cons of outsourcing never materialise if you have a good provider, your SLA is properly structured and adhered to on both sides, and there is good communication between you and your helpdesk provider.
However, here are some of the perceived cons of outsourcing your tech support:
- Reduced control. This isn’t normally a problem unless things go wrong, when it can be hugely frustrating. If problems crop up and your tech support provider isn’t dealing with them, you might feel that your hands are tied.
- Poor quality customer service if your provider is not up to the task or is providing blanket solutions that aren’t tailored to your brand.
- Poor and/or slow communication if your outsourced provider is not right for your brand, or not committed enough.
- The perception that your provider has ‘less skin in the game’, i.e., is less committed to your business mission because they have less at stake than you do.
- Concerns about dealing with remote personnel as the outsourced provider may be in another country and have employees of a different culture.
- Concern that the outsourced provider won’t reflect your business’s corporate culture and may damage your brand’s image and corporate personality.
- Staff morale can be negatively impacted if your customer service agents feel that their jobs might be in danger.
Outsourcing technical support can be an incredibly helpful tool for businesses looking for cost-effective solutions without sacrificing helpdesk quality or efficiency. With access to qualified personnel who are trained in customer service techniques, as well as assistance from companies like Digital Customer Care Company who specialise in providing world-class, multilingual outsourced helpdesk solutions, outsourcing helpdesk support has never been easier!