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Outsourcing Customer Service vs In-House Solutions | A Guide for Small Business - A Better Answer - ContactCenterWorld.com Blog

Outsourcing Customer Service vs In-House Solutions | A Guide for Small Business

A common problem that business owners see when growing their business is an influx of customer service calls coming in without the bandwidth to handle them. The two most prominent options that are typically considered to resolve this problem is by outsourcing a call center or hiring an in-house team of reps. 

Choosing what’s right for business can be an incredibly difficult decision.

You want to make the best choice, but there are so many factors to consider—your budget, your employees’ well-being, and the scalability potential. The list goes on.

There are pros and cons to each option for solving your customer service issues. Here are our tips to figure out which option is the right one for your business.

Outsourcing Customer Service

In some cases, the term “outsourcing” has a bad connotation. For instance, there has been a big push to move manufacturing to the United States in the retail space because outsourcing materials and production resulted in a lower quality product, communication was difficult, and their partner cut corners.

This is certainly not the case in all instances. Outsourcing services can be the ideal option for your business.

You may be asking yourself, “what exactly does outsourcing entail?” Well, outsourcing a company, specifically to fill in your customer service needs, means hiring a call center or an answering service that will work as an extension of your team. The term outsourcing means “to obtain (goods or a service) from an outside or foreign supplier, especially in place of an internal source.”

Most of these services provided by an outsourced company have different options to fit your business needs. On the simpler side, they can answer calls and route them to the right salesperson or tech. On the more involved side, an outsourced answering service can respond to emails, send text reminders, schedule calls, and answer top-level customer service questions. 

Pros of Outsourcing

Ability to Scale

Adjusting to the flow of business is simple when you outsource. The majority of call centers will be able to scale their services as you do, and as quickly as you do. You don’t have to worry about adding infrastructure or staff, and the time it takes to go through the hiring process.

Reduction in Cost

Hiring in-house customer service reps are just another salary to add to your books. By outsourcing your customer service, you will most likely have an agreed-upon fee you pay for their services on a monthly or yearly basis. This reduces the cost of an employee or hiring an in-house team in salary and overtime pay, medical insurance, and paid time off.

Frees up Time

Removing the responsibility of customer service from your employees allows them to focus on higher priority tasks. You won’t have to have someone “manning the phones” and get taken away from more important tasks like improving business development processes.

Professional Staff 

When you outsource your customer service, you automatically gain experts in the customer service industry. They are trained to be a seamless extension of your company, meaning they will work off your scripts and treat each customer as your in-house team would with the same amount of compassion and empathy. You can fully trust that your customers and clients will be treated with the same care and professionalism you would give personally.

24/7 Service

With an outsourced customer service team, they will have agents working around the clock for your business. This means you won’t miss sales leads calling after hours or customers trying to get in touch over holidays.

Cons of Outsourcing

Lack of Total Control

When you outsource your customer service, you have to give trust and control to another company to handle your clients. They will most likely provide reports and feedback of calls and issues, but this can be extra scary for companies that are still establishing themselves in their industry and trying to put their best foot forward.

Inadequate Brand Awareness

Although an outsourced answering service can fully understand your industry, they realistically won’t have a 100% clear vision of the goal you have for your brand. This is something that you can provide them with training to help with, but it can be hard to guarantee that every single rep in the outsourced call center will abide by your brand guidelines completely.

Sharing Customer Data

You will have to share private customer information with whatever company you outsource. This can be especially frightening in today's world where data seems to be stolen often, especially in the medical industry, when you have to be extra strict and guarded with your clients’ information. The best thing to do is make sure you and your customers are protected under contract, and you partner with a trustworthy company with the necessary security measures (like HIPAA compliance for protected health information) and experience in your field.

In-House Customer Service

The other option to solve your customer service needs is by hiring in-house customer service. This can be in the form of one person or a larger team, depending on your needs.

Hiring an in-house team means they will be on your payroll and direct employees of your company. You will be responsible for interviewing them, hiring them, their salary, benefits, continued education, and productivity.

The option of hiring in-house customer service representatives is appealing to business owners because they have full control over what is said, how it’s said, and can oversee their employees better. Still, all of this responsibility is not ideal when you’re running a business. It all depends on what you are looking for as a business owner.

Pros of In-house Solutions

Personal Touch and Control

By handling your customer service in-house, you will get full control over the process. While this makes sense for companies with few clients, as you acquire more customers, this will be difficult –and impossible—to maintain. If your goal is to be a very attentive, more of a mom-and-pop shop, hiring an in-house team may be the best option for you, so you don’t have to relinquish control.

Quick Implementations of Policy Changes

Company policies are inevitably going to change over time. By having an in-house customer service solution, you will be able to implement these changes immediately, while a third party may drag out the implementation. It doesn’t mean an outsourced team is incapable of agility, it may just take them longer to adjust as a third party.

Technical Support

In-house solutions are also able to give your customers and clients the appropriate technical support. This means your company will be able to resolve resolutions on the spot and help with troubleshooting issues where an outsourced partner might only be able to create a trouble ticket and schedule appointments.

Cons of In-house Solutions

Costly Infrastructure

One of the biggest cons of hiring an in-house solution is the costly infrastructure and overhead. As the business owner, you will not only be responsible for equipment but also all the liabilities that come with retaining an in-house team including salaries, overtime pay, benefits, training, and continued education if necessary. This can quickly get expensive, especially when you start to scale.

Requires Training and Management

The amount of time it takes to hire one person or a team alone can be a big deterrent to any company owner. You will have to come up with the criteria and post job openings, give interviews, schedule follow-ups, then prepare them with training once they are hired.

You may have an HR team to help with this, but as the business owner, you will most likely be involved with part of this process. Again, these responsibilities can be an issue when you are trying to scale your business.

Downtime for Support

When your office closes, your phones and your customer service closes. This causes frustration for your customers, especially in a time-sensitive situation, because they have to wait for their issue to be resolved the following business day, or even longer. This can give your business a bad reputation over time.

Takes Valuable Time

Dealing with customer service and in-house your employees takes time away from your more important tasks like tightening up processes or working on business development.

Choose the Best Service That Works Best for You

Deciding between hiring an answering service and hiring an in-house team of customer service reps can be a big decision for your business, but either option you choose will help out with your business needs. Go with the option that best fits your needs. If you’re trying to scale, outsourcing an answering service would be your best bet, but if your main concern is that your clients have an ultra-attentive experience you can micro-manage, hiring in-house might be ideal for you.

Publish Date: October 30, 2020 5:00 AM


2021 Buyers Guide Analytics

 
1.) 
3Fiftynine

CardBoard
CardBoard: Real-time data, shows the most important KPI’s in your Contact Center.
Built for data | Designed for business | Empowers teams

2.) 
Acqueon Technologies Inc.

Acqueon's AI-driven conversational engagement software enables sales, marketing and service organizations to engage in emotionally connected dialogs with customers via their channel of choice for significantly improved results. The Acqueon suite adds multichannel campaign management, contact center analytics, desktop, and CRM connectors for your contact center software of choice, including Amazon Connect, Cisco, Nice inContact, and Twilio. Acqueon conversational engagement software leverages the Acqueon IQ platform to aggregate data from the various applications, assemble rich customer contexts, and drive next-best-action using powerful statistical and predictive models.
PH: +1 888-946-6878

3.) 
Call Tracking Metrics

Automate insights from all your customer communications

There's no better way to get to know your customer than through their own communications with your brand. Gain a strategic advantage and a thorough understanding of your customer's full journey with a complete suite of conversation intelligence tools and features. Measure customer sentiment, automatically identify and score qualified conversations, and give strategists everything they need to knock their campaigns out of the park.

Use conversation analytics to:

• Build your ideal customer profile
• Optimize your sales and customer service processes
• Maximize your resources to focus on quality conversations
• Identify trends and customer sentiment in real-time
PH: 8005771872

4.) 
CallFinder

CallFinder speech analytics
CallFinder® is a leading provider of cloud-based SaaS speech analytics, automated call scoring, and speech-to-text transcription technology with sentiment analysis. Our easy-to-use solution is designed to help businesses and contact centers automate quality monitoring to improve agent performance and provide a superior customer experience.

With CallFinder, you get…

100% visibility into agent-customer interactions
100% monitoring of interactions, up from only 5-10%
Scalability of QA reviews with the same size QA team
CallFinder isn’t just your average speech analytics provider. When you work with us, you get unparalleled, continuous support through our MyAnalyst managed client servic...
(read more)
PH: 800-639-1700

5.) 
ComSys S.A.

CCube for Business Intelligence
CCube by Comsys is a business intelligence application, developed for enterprise contact centers. It delivers powerful, and dynamic reporting that enable managers to gain insight into their business. CCube is natively compatible with Aspect Unified IP and Cisco Unified Contact Center (UCCE/UCCX) platforms
Comsys is a provider of οmnichannel customer engagement solutions that assist companies around the world in delivering unique customer experiences. For the last 15 years, Comsys designs and implements complex projects for clients from the outsourcing, financial services, telecommunications, and retail sectors. Comsys enjoys strategic partnerships with technology vendors like Cisco®, Aspect...
(read more)
PH: +302109241486

6.) 
Consilium Software

Consilium UniInsight™
The days of ‘business as usual’ are a distant memory for most of the world. And when it comes to contact centers, balancing between contact channels, deciding which agent locations or teams are doing well, working out how your customer satisfaction is being impacted by the less-than-perfect work environments of ‘lockdown’ agents…leaders are often at a loss when trying to get such insights from their contact center data. As the technology and business landscape changes, so too must the contact center reporting and analytics solutions that power decision making and performance management. With the new release of Consilium UniInsight™, we have tried to deliver contact center reporting and op...
(read more)
PH: (+61) 406 501 368

7.) 
CUSTOMER SQUARE

CROSSCRM.CX - CRM Dataviz Module
CROSS-CRM manages daily interconnection with your CRM tools to centralize data and analyse CX on all channels, and is able to provide deep analytics insights.

All the Kpi’S are here for precise control of your Customer Relationship : Interactions - Quality - Satisfaction - Campains forecast MyClient

Filters, Data Extraction, Custom Views, dates sheets, email subscriptions, xls Extracts, images, pdf


PLUS ! Automated extracts
for integration to third party applications.

8.) 
Daisee

Daisee
Daisee builds technology that empowers people to solve problems by making interactions simple and smart so they can have a more significant impact, be more productive and be better at what they do. We believe incremental improvements carry huge potency and provide exponentially greater change for the better.

Genesys customers can now automate risk and quality management using Daisee’s speech and sentiment analytics and remediation workflow software. Daisee helps improve customer experience, ensure regulatory compliance, identify missed commercial opportunities & training requirements as well as provide valuable insights back to the business directly from the frontline – the true voice-of-...
(read more)
PH: +61404697151

9.) 
DialogTech

DialogAnalytics™
Powered by AI, DialogTech’s DialogAnalytics analyzes conversations to provide marketing and sales teams a wealth of insights for smarter optimizations. With the power of conversation intelligence, you can learn which channels, ads, keywords, and webpages drive the best sales calls, if the caller converted, and more.

AI analyzes how calls are handled at locations and call centers to detect issues that negatively impact ROI. See what percentage of calls go unanswered and who is best (and worst) at converting callers to appointments and customers. Get email alerts when phone leads are mishandled at locations so those leads can be called back right away.

With DialogAnalytics, you can get a...
(read more)

10.) 
eGain Corporation

eGain Analytics
eGain Analytics makes it easy to measure, analyze and refine your contact center operations, knowledge and web customer experience. Create informative reports, charts and dashboards effortlessly. Slice-&-dice the data in any number of ways and use it to manage the business effectively.

1. Operational Analytics™ empowers the business to measure and manage the call center directly and without IT involvement.
2. Knowledge Analytics™ provides insight for eGain’s knowledge and AI applications.
3. Digital Analytics™ measures contact center performance within eGain’s digital channel applications.
4. Journey Analytics™ captures customer behavior on the website—identify the churn points and cre...
(read more)

11.) 
ethosIQ, LLC

ethosAnalytics
ethosAnalytics leverages data to provide business intelligence to enhance the customer experience and beyond. The analytics dashboards are customized based on client needs. ethosAnalytics enables data-driven decisions in seconds or minutes - not days or weeks.
PH: 2816165711

12.) 
Lieber & Associates

Contact center Analytics and Metrics
Lieber & Associates provides services to develop, interpret, and improve contact center metrics and analytics. The firm's experience spans forecasting, customer service, order-taking, lead-qualification, sales, segmentation, media-source-tracking, and testing design. L&A's president pioneered segmentation for telephone scripts and the tri-level service level metric. He brings broad analytics experience to contact centers.
PH: +1-773-325-0608

13.) 
Noble Systems

Noble IQ
Turn business insights into actionable intelligence. Noble’s IQsolutions provide you with rich and robust customer data that can transform your business. Automate decision making and campaign management and refine the quality of interactions with precision and efficiency. We have developed proprietary and patented tools to help you make sense of data on your current operations and then help you make strategic decisions to improve performance and efficiency. Identify who your best customers and prospects are and the ideal methods to reach them. Understand what types of campaigns work best for your business and how to optimize underperforming campaigns. And nake real-time decisions rather than looking back to see what went wrong.
PH: +61 (0) 3.9008.1700

14.) 
OpsTel Services

VIEW
With OpsTel VIEW™, you are able to monitor and immediately audit your agent profile data for accuracy and compliance across the entire contact center solution stack.

Features:

*OpsTel VIEW™ tracks down unused stale profile licenses and provides clients with detailed audits explaining their location, current and historical status
*Comprehensive audit across the enterprise, it only takes 10 minute
*Provides a view in to the data accuracy of agent profiles across multiple applications
*Drastically speeds up audit and validation processes
*Validates actions to implement for profile data integrity issues across multiple applications
*Can also assist in ensuring access level compliance...
(read more)
PH: 1+480-435-9390

15.) 
PRILINK

SIP-Trunk Demarc Monitor
Analyzes SIP signalling and RTP audio stream of every call passing through the network demarcation point. Provide a real time 24/7/365 network baseline database that contains the IP bandwidth, call traffic of up to 128 voice groups, Call Detail Record (CDR), call blockage and MOS voice quality. All information are displayed in SIP-Trunk dashboards and are used in many applications, such as Telco collaboration, UC/CC analytics, Work Force Optimization (WFO) and caller identification.
PH: 905-940-8844

16.) 
Vads

Social Media Analytics
Social media analytics is the practice of gathering data from blogs and social media websites and analyzing that data to make business decisions.

Typical objectives of Social Media include increasing revenues, reducing customer service costs, getting feedback on products and services and improving public opinion of a particular product or business division.

Key the activities involved:

Analyzing net sentiment score
Qualitative and quantitative of sentiment analysis
Measure the emotions (6 Emotions) of the consumers
Mapping out all potential advocates
Measuring a nationwide consumer sentiment
Unlimited data extraction & cleaning
Customized positive and negative keywords
Qualitative and quantitative insights & report writing
Measuring the consumer sentiment
PH: 0217991445

17.) 
QPC Ltd.

QPC Live
QPC provides realtime unstructured and structured data analytics solutions and services to contact centres globally.
We provide a complete end-to-end customer integrated offering powered by a Multichannel Intelligence Gateway which collects and inter-relates all customer interactions, from each and every customer contact across an entire contact centre ecosystem, all in real-time.
We also provide solutions for conversational and interaction analytics with solutions from our specialist portfolio.
PH: 00441352705810

18.) 
Tethr

Tethr is a cloud-based conversation intelligence platform that combines AI, machine learning and over a decade of customer experience and sales best-practice research to surface contextual insights from phone calls, chats, emails and other customer interactions. Companies use Tethr to turn large amounts of unstructured voice of customer conversation data into insights they can deploy to improve their customer experience.

19.) 
Trillys Systems

ActuCall
Imagine for a moment that you are a call center manager responsible for generating revenue through signing new customers or up-selling to existing ones. Imagine that your KPI is telling you you have an abandonment rate of 5% and someone comes along and says "No, your abandonment rate or dropped call rate is 13%." .." How do I know? AcutuCall VoIP software application can show you the dropped call data including, originating number and whether it was a network or equipment failure." Now imagine you can see your calls in progress on a mobile app, take your dashboard where ever you go! "What is a lost call worth to you?"
PH: +1 613-521-1639
 



View more from A Better Answer

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Outsourcing Customer Service vs In-House Solutions | A Guide for Small BusinessOctober 30, 2020 5:00 AM
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