A strong customer support team is one of the pillars of every business. Whether you’re in the service industry or in retail, you need to have a team that’s well-versed with handling customer concerns available all the time. Evaluate your current team now: how well do they perform?
It’s important to note that customers are likely to spend 17% more on companies with exceptional customer service. Not only that, 38% of consumers are willing to recommend companies to others if they feel it has good customer service. More often than not, the customer service experience you give is what makes or breaks your customers’ perception of your company.
The impact a great customer service team has to every business
When you go above and beyond to meet the expectations of your customers, you are filling a gap that other companies cannot deliver. This creates your edge: excellent customer service that can boost customer loyalty, increase profits, enhance conversion, and give you more opportunities to upsell other products of yours.
As you start to build your customer service team, you’ll have two routes to choose from. Keeping and managing your team in-house, or outsourcing your team to an external provider. Both have their caveats and benefits, so let’s take a minute to explore which one is right for you.
Keeping your team in-house means that you have a full team working under your firm, perhaps in an office or stationed nearby. All management and maintenance responsibilities fall unto you as business owner.
(-) Higher costs: Compared to outsourcing, keeping your team in-house can incur a larger chunk of costs. Instead of just paying a stipulated fee, you’d have to take care of things like infrastructure, maintenance, the costs of equipment, and licenses to softwares and technology. And that doesn’t include the cost of salaries and benefits for your team members as well. On average, the cost to hire a customer service agent in the US is $103,000 per year. Since you’re managing everything, not being able to keep up with these costs can negatively impact the performance of your customer service.
(-) Limited expertise: With an in-house team, you are only limited to hiring people available within your labor market. There can be instances wherein you’d have only a small number of qualified people available to hire, leading you to hiring people without a lot of experience in customer service. This can also drive up costs as well, as you might have to shell out more budget for training. The fact that it takes 42 days to fill a single position can also present another layer of difficulty.
(+) Closer communication: One important benefit of having an in-house customer service team, however, is being able to communicate closely with them. Any feedback and changes you need to communicate can be easily relayed since you’re all working under the same roof.
Having an outsourced support desk allows you to have a dedicated team abroad handling incoming customer customer concerns.
(+) Accessible and Cheaper: Connecting with an outsourcing provider is hassle-free. Most outsourcing companies are based in countries outside the US with cheaper rates, such as India and the Philippines, where the cost of living is relatively cheaper. Although the rates are cheaper, that doesn’t mean the service quality is low as well. In fact, these outsourcing providers come with exceptional service and extremely knowledgeable employees.
(+) Scalable workforce: With an outsourced team, you can adjust your process flow depending on demand and on the direction your company is growing. You can change the amount of staff to cover an increase in demand or reduce them depending on your project’s requirements. This is called scaling up or down. Your outsourcing partner can create and implement a plan that allows you to retain flexibility no matter what the change.
(+) Time-saving: Outsourcing a customer service team will take away a huge chunk of workload off of your team’s plate. With the extra time you have, the rest of your team can focus on tasks to deliver growth and not get caught up in the chaos of customer service.
(-) Brand voice alignment: In a world where brand voice is important to distinguish your company from others, aligning your brand voice with an outsourced team can be difficult the first time around. However, this can be easy to work around, as long as you partner with an outsourcing provider that takes a deep dive to know the ins and outs of your company. After a period of time, they’ll be able to deliver not only an aligned brand voice, but also a human touch that most customers look for.
Whichever path you take, both strategies certainly have their drawbacks and benefits. It’s up to you how to handle these opportunities and work them to your advantage.
If ever you choose the path of outsourcing (a good choice, by the way!), FGC+ is the outsourcing partner you’re looking for. Work with our award-winning outsourcing services to put together and onboard an expert customer service team.