8 Pros and Cons of Outsourcing Customer Service

Gladly Team

Read Time

5 minute read

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As your customer base grows, an inevitable dilemma arises: Do you continue handling your customer service in-house, or should you outsource it to an external provider?

There are different pros and cons of outsourcing customer service, as with all business decisions. The key is knowing the ins and outs of the outsourcing process, so you can make the best choice for your brand.

What Is Customer Service Outsourcing?

Customer service outsourcing is the process of leveraging a third-party provider to support your customer service needs, whether that’s managing your contact center, answering customer emails, or tackling general support requests.

Why Is Customer Service Outsourced?

Struggling to do more with less? Outsourcing customer service is one of the best ways for brands to save money, increase their quality of service, and take pressure off internal teams.

With customer service outsourcing, you are able to:

1. Unlock massive savings. When you add up the cost of hiring, benefits, office space, and equipment, maintaining an in-house customer service team can be pricey.
2. Plug gaps in your customer service operations if your team is currently feeling swamped. With this extra coverage, internal team members’ sick and PTO days will have less impact on wait times, while helping decrease customer support turnover from burnout.
3. Offer customers a better experience. For example, a 24/7 helpline operated by an external provider means customers can reach you whenever an issue arises, rather than waiting until the next day.
4. Unlock access to more global talent, especially if you’re seeking people with industry-specific knowledge or multilingual skills.
5. Enjoy flexibility in staffing levels, perfect for businesses that experience seasonal demand and surges around the holidays.

The result of these benefits? A better customer experience that leads to more loyalty, word-of-mouth recommendations, and repeat business.

What Are the Downsides of Outsourcing Customer Service?

While outsourcing your customer service to a third-party provider has massive upsides, there are a few challenges to also keep in mind:

1. For certain businesses, outsourcing may not yield significant time and cost savings. While external customer support agents can help take the load off when it comes to routine support, they’ll still need to defer complex issues to your in-house team. Therefore, if a majority of customers are reaching out for help with unique requests, an outsourced customer service provider may have a smaller impact.
2. Outsourcing can be expensive when you require customer service providers with expertise in niche industries or technical knowledge.
3. Onboarding a provider can be a time-consuming process, especially if you have a large company, complicated products, or a unique culture. Yet, if done poorly, the lack of required knowledge to provide customers with the right support can lead to more frustration.

How To Outsource Customer Service the Right Way

To ensure the outsourcing process goes smoothly:

  • Research different providers
  • Create brand guidelines
  • Set clear KPIs
  • Use a comprehensive customer support platform to keep internal and external teams aligned

Should You Outsource Customer Service?

Outsourcing is an excellent alternative if you don’t have the budget, time, or staff to properly tackle customer service in-house. However, remember that your provider should help reduce the workload of your internal team, not replace it completely.

Whether you decide to outsource customer service or stick with your in-house team, Gladly’s comprehensive customer support platform can empower agents to become Customer Service Heroes. Check out what Gladly can do for your brand.

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