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Sefanaia Silimaibau
Supervisor Quality Assurance & Trainer
Alison Turner
Digital Marketing Strategist
Sarah Brady
Customer Experience Specialist
Tracy Trew
Head of Customer Experience

When to Train a Customer Service Team, and When to Find a Partner - A Better Answer - Blog

When to Train a Customer Service Team, and When to Find a Partner

Whether you should provide great customer service isn’t a question, yet determining what form of department or partnership is right for your company can be perplexing. Factors including cost, time and effort all weigh heavily on the decision on whether to build and train an in-house customer service department or to outsource and partner with someone like an answering service.

There is more at play than just logistics, the goodwill of your customers may rest on making the right decision. If you are in the process of making this decision, we are breaking down the factors relevant to you.

Building an In-House Department

Building an in-house customer service department can end up being costly, but worth it for certain companies. It’s important to factor in that hiring, training and maintaining an entire team of customer service representatives can take a lot of time and money, making this route prohibitive for some companies.

Advantages of In-House

  • Your customer service representatives will be closer to your business.
  • Offers customers direct access to specialists, especially if you are in a tech industry.
  • If your business is continually shifting, it may be easier and less expensive to train an internal team on these shifts than a partner.
  • Can be more cost effective for complex products and services to train an in-house team than training an outside team on your company.

Disadvantages of In-House

  • Can require creating a new position or positions, and hiring new employees with all the overhead that entails.
  • High cost of training and time-consuming. Not just training staff on nuances of your business, but on customer service itself.
  • Have to own and maintain the equipment for a team, as well as own or rent space.
  • If you need to be available at night, or even 24/7, it makes managing staff more complicated and is not efficient for occasional calls.

Outsourcing with a Partner

Outsourcing to an answering service partner is a great way to save on costs, risks and training time. Working with an outside partner can become complicated for highly specialized businesses, or products/services that require certifications or vast amounts of knowledge.

Advantages of Outsourcing

  • On-call hours mean a partner is available 24/7 if you need them, without wasting efficiency.
  • The right customer service partner will be experts at providing customer service without training.
  • Can support your team when they are not able to answer phones directly, and versatile in multiple levels of service.
  • Independently located, often with backups, ensuring your customer service never goes down.

Disadvantages of Outsourcing

  • Requires in-depth training on complicated businesses to be able to offer independent service on demand.
  • Not as agile as an in-house department to new company changes.
  • Not always able to escalate a situation as easily as an in-house department (depends highly on industry and logistics with partner company)

What You Don’t See Coming

Ever been stuck in the elevator and been unable to field customer calls? We’ve heard of it happening. If that were to happen to one of your customer service representatives, an answering service partner could quickly step in to make sure your phones are getting answered when the unforeseen happens. This includes bad weather, internet outages and more. It could also include finding a partner in a warm climate, so the winter weather isn’t a factor for your customer service. An outside partner offers a layer of redundancy and safety against what you don’t see coming.

The Middle Ground

So far we’ve explored the idea of absolutes for the most part — either working with an outside partner or creating an in-house department. It may actually work out that the best course of action is a combination. An answering service can provide support after-hours and during lunch hours for both large and small teams. Certain partners can handle parts of your customer service business as well, answering for medical services through the night and escalating emergencies to the on-call physician or nurse.

These combinations of customer service teams allow for an efficient set-up and one that can make sure your customers are always getting what they need while also being budget friendly.


Sometimes certifications can be a restrictive part of your business, with representatives or specialists requiring precise training. This can lead to a situation where the best course of action is to create an in-house team, yet other times it can save you a headache and a lot of money working with a certified partner. HIPAA compliance is both mandatory and prohibitive when working with an outside partner, yet if they are already certified and compliant it saves you the time and energy of training a team, setting up the safeguards, and enforcing them.

Focus on What’s Right for You and Your Customers

The main thing when making this decision is to do what is right for your business and your customers. What will keep them happy and continuously returning to you? Complex companies should consider a hybrid or in-house solution, while many other companies would benefit from the cost savings and an expert customer service team of an answering service partner.


Publish Date: June 28, 2018

2023 Buyers Guide Knowledge Management


Contact Center Innovation Channel and Digital Transformation Enabler
Providing Research, Training and Consulting related to Customer Experience Delivery, support Project Management by Unit or Corporate.
Have the ability to conduct research for specific needs.
Having deep knowledge on the Digital Interaction/Contact Center / Omni Channel / CRM various Stakeholder and Emergency Response ecosystem in Indonesia.


Combines knowledge management with call support as continue improvement.

eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge + AI
eGain's knowledge management software, powered with Case-Based Reasoning, an Artificial Intelligence technology, lets you provide intranet or extranet access to the common knowledge base, enabling contact center agents to provide distinctive, productive, and brand-aligned experiences in every interaction, across all channels and touchpoints.

eGain Corporation

eGain Knowledge + AI
eGain Knowledge+AI™, the top-rated, analyst-awarded knowledge management software, guarantees quality customer service by infusing your customer service agents with knowledge, making all agents as productive as your best ones. By providing agents and other users a range of ways to get to information from the common knowledge base, it ensures fast, consistent, and accurate answers.


FuzeDigital offers an affordable yet comprehensive knowledge base to answer your consumers' and staff questions. When assistance is needed, our email management system ensures your timely and accurate delivery of responses. Used by companies large and small that seek to deflect common questions while providing exceptional support.


Happitu is your customer support team’s personal coach. It guides your team through every interaction with custom workflows, responsive scripting, and dynamic help topics.

Documentation in Happitu is automated, detailed, and consistent. Go beyond handle times and service levels with the rich insights of Happitu – from granular interaction data to aggregate data and trends – you get the complete CX journey!

We intentionally built the Happitu Workflow Designer with your customer support team in mind. Using our intuitive tools that provide quick and safe iteration, you eliminate the need to involve IT or Development. Yes, you will no longer have to dread submitting a change request to Devin from IT!

Try it free for 45 days!


Knowmax is a knowledge management software for enterprises. Customer service of any organization can leverage this tool to create, curate & distribute the knowledge at assisted as well as digital channels promoting self service.


Knowledge Management software
livepro are experts in Customer Experience Knowledge Management and are passionate about improving customer experience. livepro is feature-rich yet easy to use, delivering answers to agents – not long complex documents to dig through. This makes customer service quicker, easier and more efficient. Staff require next to no training on complex procedures thanks to livepro’s intuitive design, which brings confidence up and training costs down.


ProcedureFlow is a step by step visual guide that supports agents as they navigate company processes. With a knowledge management solution that simplifies complex information, employees can spend less time searching and focus on what they do best. ProcedureFlow’s simple and intuitive platform enables contact centers to quickly and easily create, maintain, and update company processes in real time. With ProcedureFlow, teams can work more efficiently, better serve customers, and drive results that matter most to their business.


Knowledge: For Your Team
Synthetix’s intelligent knowledge base software, Knowledge: For Your Team empowers your agents whilst fuelling your digital customer service channels.

With one centralised source of knowledge that is simple to use and update, providing customers with the right information – whether that be through self-service or direct – is efficient and always consistent.

With their own integrated knowledge base that recommends articles based on what they’re typing and decision tree technology that produces scripting, agents are more productive and Average Handling Times can be reduced by 25%.

View more from A Better Answer

Recent Blog Posts:
5 Thoughts You Need To Stop Ignoring When It Comes to Customer ServiceAugust 19, 2021
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How AI Is Changing the Customer Service SpaceJune 28, 2021
Virtual Assistant vs. Answering Service: Which Is Right for You?June 22, 2021
6 Most Common Call Center Myths DebunkedJune 21, 2021
Live Chat vs. Phone Support: Choosing the Right One for Your BusinessJune 21, 2021
Tips To Help Improve Your Company’s First Call ResolutionMay 30, 2021
The Importance of Stellar Customer Service for E-Commerce BusinessesMay 25, 2021
Growing a Business: Automated Messages vs. Hiring an Answering ServiceMay 21, 2021
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