Should You Outsource Your Customer Support?
Outsourcing is not a new concept. For years, it has been an effective way for companies to reduce overhead costs, and scale their customer support with greater ease, especially around peak seasons. Yet, the decision is still not an easy one for many brands. You might be asking, when should you outsource? And how will it benefit your business? Here’s why the nearshore could hold the answers.
The Outsourcing Dilemma
Even with the attractive prospect of saving time and money, many companies are still unsure about outsourcing.
Maybe you’re used to running and managing your own in-house contact centers. Or maybe you’ve outsourced some back-end office functions but never something as public-facing as customer support. You could also be a fast-growing company that, until now, has never considered working with a customer experience (CX) partner and you’re not sure what to expect.
Naturally, there are concerns that come with outsourcing, such as:
- Can outsourced teams deliver on my brand promise and brand values?
- Can they represent my brand in a way that is indistinguishable from in-house teams?
- Will their English language and bi-lingual proficiency be strong enough?
- Outsourcers are usually located abroad. Will they understand U.S. markets and customers?
- Will I be able to ensure the same consistency, reliability, and efficiency if I outsource?
When you outsource, you essentially place your customer experience in the hands of an outside provider. It can be a source of anxiety, but it can also be a source of relief.
For example, it can be daunting to ramp up your customer support for the holidays. You might have to scale from 500 seats to five or seven thousand, in just a few months. It takes investments in infrastructure, technology, recruitment, training, and retention. Sometimes, it’s simply easier and more cost-effective to outsource. Especially if that vendor already has the capacity to scale.
The Benefits of Outsourcing
So, when should you outsource? When the benefits outweigh any potential risks.
In fact, the right CX partner will minimize risks by working closely with you to understand the needs of your business and your customers. In exchange, you get the cost-savings and the peace of mind that come from working with a reliable CX outsourcer.
Other benefits include:
- The ability to source more talent. Since the “Great Resignation” in the U.S., recruiters have found it challenging to source enough domestic talent to fill contact center positions. CX delivery partners can access qualified candidates faster by tapping into wider international talent pools
- The capacity to scale. CX vendors already have the infrastructure, world-class training programs and latest customer experience technologies to quickly scale and ramp up to whatever numbers you need
- The capabilities to innovate. Today’s outsourcers have become vital technology partners, helping companies digitally transform their CX, with everything from app creation to software development. They can use the latest data science to help you analyze and understand contact center data, which can be translated into operational improvements
- The flexibility of on-demand CX. The right provider can offer flexible, affordable contracts that allow you to scale your operations up or down, depending on your needs, without making huge investments in recruitment, training, and IT
Why You Should Choose the Nearshore
It makes sense to have at least some of your operations closer to your corporate headquarters, especially in the face of pandemics, travel restrictions and office closures.
The proximity of the nearshore encourages closer collaboration between teams and greater oversight, for those who like a more hands on approach. Imagine, instead of a 12-hour flight to an offshore destination, you could simply hop on a plane and within 3-4 hours visit your contact center operations, in the same time zone.
Locations such as the Caribbean and Latin America can offer some of the highest levels of English-language proficiency, and better accent neutralization, with the added benefit of bilingual capabilities, especially in Spanish.
Nearshore providers also invest heavily in recruitment and training programs and work closely with local governments to establish economic freezones that encourage business development. They also have access to wide pools of young, educated, and tech-savvy job seekers, who often view contact center jobs more as long-term careers, which reduces attrition and leads to greater talent retention.
Most importantly, they offer a more boutique approach to working with clients. These are companies that have the ambition to grow, and they will work diligently to offer the best, most competitive service value.
Should You Outsource?
There are many reasons to outsource. Some do it to scale and some to save costs. Others want a customer experience partner to do all the heavy lifting so they can focus on their core business.
Like most partnerships, it takes trust to work. Look for experienced, knowledgeable providers who take the time to really understand your business and your market. They should be collaborative and easily accessible, and should offer more than services, but also insights into your operations to help boost efficiency and productivity.
In short, they should care about your brand, and your brand reputation, as much as you do. That’s when you know you have the right outsourcer.
itel is the Caribbean’s largest homegrown business process outsourcer and award-winning CX provider, serving the world’s best-loved brands. Learn more about our flexible CX services in nine nearshore locations.