Help desk outsourcing for customer service or technical support
is an option for many businesses, including internet businesses,
which have a limited staff or wish to provide service and support
twenty-four hours a day.
Small businesses or home-based businesses that have a limited
number of employees or no employees at all have special
challenges when it comes to meeting their customers’ needs and
The complications are compounded when the nature of the business
is one in which customers expect immediate service and sometimes
even twenty-four hour service including weekends and holidays.
A small business operator can literally run him or herself ragged
trying to meet the demand with limited resources. For businesses
such as these, help desk outsourcing can be a lifesaver.
Large businesses can also benefit from help desk outsourcing by
outsourcing sales, service and technical support.
Outsourcing such functions to call centers is a growing trend
among big businesses.
The main advantage for them is significantly reduced overhead
expenses since they pay the outsourcing company a contracted
amount and are not responsible for personnel expenses such as
payroll taxes, workers’ compensation insurance and employee
benefits for the employees of the call center that provide their
sales, service and support functions.
Businesses also save on the cost of equipment, software and
ongoing maintenance expenses associated with help desk services.
As the call center industry grows there is increasing competition
which is good for both large and small businesses because
competition drives costs down for the consumer of the
standardized services offered through call centers.
Advanced technologies have also improved the quality of service
that can be realized through help desk outsourcing.
As with any up and coming service option that has great benefits
for small and large companies, there are some disadvantages to
outsourcing sales, service and support activities.
For instance, when a company out sources their service functions,
the service that is provided is out of their hands; they entrust
the service provider with their sales, service and support
functions which directly impact their customers’ level of
satisfaction and relatively, the company’s reputation.
As a result, the quality of service can diminish making
outsourcing more of a burden than a benefit.
When contracting for outsourced services, executives should be
certain that there are clauses in the contract that enable them
to terminate the contract is the service provided to their
customers is substandard.
Consideration should also be given to the policies and procedures
concerning the training of help desk staff.
The company that is outsourcing their service functions should
take care to ensure that representatives for the outsource
service provider are properly trained to meet service
expectations and that the training provided to those
representatives is effectively passed on to the help desk staff
that is actually providing the outsourced sales, service and
support to customers.
Before making the critical decision regarding whether or not to
outsource help desk activities, an upfront analysis of help desk
support processes, expected service levels, customer expectations
and costs of outsourcing should be conducted.
Training systems should be developed to ensure that your
company’s expectations in regard to service quality, policies and
procedures are clearly conveyed to the outsource provider.
Ongoing monitoring of customer satisfaction is also necessary so
that you can determine whether or not the outsource provider you
have selected is meeting the needs of your customers in line with
their expectations and your quality service standards.
With adequate attention given to these variables, you are likely
to find that help desk outsourcing is a viable option for your
business. Truly, the decision to outsource can be either the best
or the worst decision you ever make.