22 May How do you attend to customer inquiries after your working hours?
For business owners and their employees, the end of the workday is a relaxing, satisfying time: You collect your personal items, put on your coat, and turn out the lights at the office, happily anticipating a warm dinner and a good night’s sleep. For your customers, however, what goes on “after hours” can be extremely stressful if you don’t have a contact center in place. Without a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week contact center, customers who are relying on your products or services will have no one to speak to all night (or all weekend) in the event that something breaks down. Obviously, that’s not the kind of situation that creates happy customers.
To maintain customer loyalty, you therefore need to provide an after-hours contact center, either in-house or via outsourcing. To help you make an informed decision about which option is right for you, we’ve provided a breakdown of the “pros and cons” of each approach below:.
In-House Contact Center
- You will have more control over your business and a more cohesive brand image.
- There are fewer language barriers to overcome.
- Customer service will be fully integrated with on-site resources and staff, which can result in a better quality of service (particularly in highly specialized industries).
- The cost of maintaining extra on-site staff is prohibitive for most businesses.
- It takes a significant amount of time (and money) to hire, train, and manage in-house personnel.
- Customer care may be lackluster as it can be difficult to locate experienced, skilled customer service representatives. (It’s important to understand that in-house staff with technical knowledge of your products and services will not necessarily be good at customer service.)
Outsourced Contact Center
- Extremely affordable services. (Outsourced contact centers typically cost a fraction of what it costs to set up and manage an in-house contact center.)
- A hassle-free experience: You will not be responsible for hiring, training, managing, or scheduling contact center staff when you choose to outsource.
- Dedicated contact center staff have a lot of experience and specific expertise in handling customer service requests.
- You will have a greater number of staff at your service, reducing the likelihood of service interruptions during busy times.
- Language barriers can sometimes cause problems for customers, e.g. they may struggle to understand heavily-accented English even if the speaker is technically fluent.
- Decreased control over your brand image and certain business processes.
Before you reach a final decision on whether to go with an in-house contact center or outsource, it’s important to understand that many of the “cons” associated with outsourcing can be mitigated. If you do your research before outsourcing contact center services and choose a professional, reputable firm, it’s unlikely that you will have issues with either language barriers or service quality. Additionally, you should be aware that choosing a contact center in the right country is important: If possible, hire contact center personnel from a nation with a high literacy rate and robust technological infrastructure, such as Sri Lanka. This will help to ensure that you connect with customer service representatives who are able to thoroughly understand your products and services.