The idea of outsourcing is perhaps still new to you, despite taking time to weigh the myriad options. After concluding your IT company can't do without a help desk, outsourcing may feel like an ongoing pro and con argument.
Outsourcing to a call center is more than possible, though it does involve a lot of self-analysis. You're maybe torn right now between outsourcing, hiring more help, or starting your own call center.
If working on a budget, outsourcing is going to cost more than starting an in-house solution. Yet, taking away headaches brings a lifetime of value.
Take a look at some outsourcing pros and cons to help you make a smarter decision.
Pros and Cons of Having Managerial Control
Those of you who don't mind handing over your managerial control to a third-party call center would find outsourcing very valuable.
It's understandable if you don't like relinquishing control to others. Not every company wants to hand over control to an outsourcing company they don't know well. This is why it's important to thoroughly vet an outsourced call center before you sign a contract.
Some outside call centers offer flexibility in providing control for manager requests. For example, you may want to call or email your client services or account executive rep with questions or concerns.
In cases where you need control of everything, maybe outsourcing isn't the best choice. However, the line on control sometimes blurs when it comes to some call center services.
Pros and Cons of Keeping Data Confidential
Without properly vetting an outsourced call center, you'll take a risk turning all your private files over to them. They still need access to these records to properly make your call center operate efficiently.
When choosing to outsource like this, it's a good idea to request a conversation with the IT manager about your private data.
Not all third-party call centers offer this option, so you may have to do some more investigating. Ultimately, you may decide to just go ahead and create your own call center. It's all going to depend on what your business philosophy is and understanding the value of outsourced services.
The key is to make sure they have the proper networking and data infrastructure in place. Ask about firewalls, plus a 48-port managed switch rather than a 24-port managed switch that cuts down on quality. Investing in these on your own will come to well over $2,000 in startup costs.
Pros and Cons of Being Partners
Even though you're outsourcing managerial duties to your third-party call center, you're still going to work as partners. When you find an outside call center providing services around the clock, you can sleep easy that you're not missing phone calls.
Since global communication is more important than ever to help your IT business grow, having a 24/7 call center benefits you tremendously in customer service. With expert phone agents available, you don't have to worry about keeping them on your own payroll.
Keep in mind if you outsource a call center in another part of the world, communication could become a problem. The onshore/offshore outsourcing debate is obviously still a big one. Despite this, you'll find some businesses not minding outsourcing overseas.
To avoid conflicts in communication, it's often better to consider an onshore call center. You'll be guaranteed a team that speaks your own language to avoid confusion on the services you're receiving.
Pros and Cons of Starting Your Own Call Center
Maybe you think you can afford an on-site call center after all. Should you do this, you're going to need the proper infrastructure to pull it off.
As mentioned above, a 48-port managed switch with ethernet is important to give your phone traffic more scalability. It's a security measure helping to prioritize voice traffic over everything else, making it essential to avoid lags.
One con to starting your own call center is when you need more than Tier 1 tech support. If your IT company offers a specific service, you're going to need high-level tech help support for your customers. Tier 1 is a basic support line, meaning it's perhaps not enough to solve the most complex tech problems.
To handle more challenging troubleshooting issues, you'll need higher tier levels, something you can't always find when outsourcing to a call center.
As always, you need to conduct an audit and see what you really need. Tier 1 support still has major value if you need just basic tech support service.
Pros and Cons of Signing an Outsourcing Contract
Outsourcing will cost more for the sake of helping bring in a higher ROI and reducing headaches. Some unscrupulous outsourcing services could end up charging you even more in the contract than you planned. Be sure to cover everything in the contract, because the service might charge you for something you don't really want.
It's sometimes a good idea to hire a lawyer to go over the contract to scope out any hidden costs. An attorney will also help define what contract terms mean so you're not confused on the call center services you're receiving.
The more call agents you need, though, the more expensive it's going to become in designing a call center on your own. Investing in equipment is where the largest capital expenditure is, making outsourcing an obvious choice if you depend on technology.
Continuing Your Research
Reading through the above pros and cons, hopefully, you'll make the best decision possible for your company. Regardless, ongoing independent research should continue to become a top priority.
Online research alone yields great comparisons for any category you need to explore. Your own research is going to prove call centers are more complex than ever to bring proper communication and tech investments.
You'll also want to weigh the options on how outsourcing will affect morale in the rest of your IT company. In many cases, this is a good argument for outsourcing here in the U.S., despite cost savings possible outsourcing to other countries.
Before you make a decision, learn how much it costs for setting up a call center so that you can compare it with the costs of outsourcing your Help Desk needs to a call center.