The Advantages and Disadvantages of Help Desk Outsourcing

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

expectations.

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.