Have you ever been on a website and gotten completely lost? You’re wondering through the price options or product displays and have a pressing question that needs answers. Who do you go to?
Chat Support is becoming a widespread tool for companies to provide assistance and support to their online customers. The era of the telephone operator and the busy hotline is over. Now all of your questions are a simple text exchange away from being answered.
But who should operate your chat support line? Should it be an in-house employee? Can this type of this be outsourced? What’s cheaper? You’ll find everything you need to know about chat support outsourcing in the article below.
What is chat support outsourcing?
First of all, what is chat support? Chat support, also known as live chat support, is a support service for an online webpage. Instead of your online customers needing to call a specific number when they need help, an online assistant can answer their questions in real-time immediately.
Today, this is a much more accepted and popular customer support method because a chat support agent can handle multiple cases at a time and thus solve problems faster. However, this job is often not handled in-house.
To outsource chat support means to sign up for an external service to handle your customer support via text exchange. Chat support outsourcing is the most common form of chat support because it’s almost always less expensive than hiring a chat support agent of your own, depending on the service you choose.
When you outsource your chat support, you will be assigned an agent or enter into a multi-agent service. Then this person will be your on-call assistant for all your customer support needs.
When to Outsource Your chat support?
If you’re a small business, you should consider outsourcing chat support to be the best option for your online store. In-house chat support assistants can cost another full-salary, and your company might need to save money.
It’s also a good idea to outsource your chat support if you have had lousy chat supporters or customer supporters in the past. Chat support outsourcing companies have a quality guarantee and their assistants are well experienced.
Finally, you’ll also want to outsource chat support if you have more than six help requests per hour. More than six requests in an hour overloads the average chat assistant, and hiring multiple assistants can get expensive fast. By using an agency, you’ll automatically be able to handle any support volume.
Pros of chat support outsourcing
Let’s look at the positives of outsourcing your chat support.
Since chat support agencies work with multiple customers and their agents work with various companies, their price per company is much lower. Hiring a person who is only responsible for your company will almost always cost more.
How much more? The average salary for a chat support worker is $12/hr. If they work roughly 50 chats a day at six chats an hour, that’s $105,000 a year. We’ll get into how chat support agencies charge later in the article, but it’s much less than that.
Chat support outsourcers have better experience.
Sure, if you hire an in-house worker, they will eventually become more knowledgeable about your specific company than a freelancer. However, it takes time for them to acquire that information, and unless they have experience with chat support, they will also have to gain that experience on-the-go.
An outsourced chat supporter will usually have experience with hundreds of different clients for different companies. They are adept at customer interaction in general with a diverse technical skillset that makes them adaptable to most industries.
Cons of chat support outsourcing
Now let’s look at some of the negatives of outsourcing your chat support.
They might not be able to answer very specific questions.
Since they’ll be working for multiple companies, chat supporters hired through an agency won’t have as in-depth knowledge of your business as an in-house employee would. They will do their best to learn and research the information they need but will never be as knowledgeable as a permanent employee.
The real problem comes when an outsourced chat supporter can’t answer a question. They will need to contact your company and ask the question directly. This question will cost you time and person-hours.
They can feel impersonal.
Outsourced chat support agents can come off as impersonal to customers because they deal with many different issues and customers every day.
It’s difficult to sound genuine to Erin in Myrtle Beach with her connection problems when you’re also on the line with Louise in Cincinnati tracking his order shipment.
In-house employees will have more time and focus on issues individually, making them more understanding and compassionate.
Chat support outsourcing Pricing Models
There are a few different ways an outsourcing agency can charge you.
Chats per month
Under this type of plan, you would get a limited number of chats per month that different agents from the same company would handle. The chat support agency would control your support system and respond to a defined number of support requests every month.
Agents will tune in through live support, meaning it may take some time for them to respond to a request.
Pay Per Service
Other companies will bill you the number of agents you use. Under this plan, your company would choose a certain number of agents you want available and pay per month based on that number. For example, you can request to have three agents on stand-by and pay $20 per agent.
Pay Based on Traffic
With this plan, you will pay based on your website traffic. Websites with giant traffic volumes can expect a higher price, up to $600 per month.
Pay Per Lead
If you want to pay only for success, then this is the payment plan for you. Under this plan, you can only pay when a chat support agent leads to a sale. Companies with this structure will have agents trained in sales as well as support.
How to Choose a Chat Support Outsourcing Services Provider
The correct provider will have the payment plan you prefer. If your site has high traffic but not many requests, you should avoid the traffic payment option. If you want your chat support to generate revenue, then the “Pay Per Lead” option will give you the best return. Overall, it depends on your company, what you want to pay, and what service you expect.
Do your research and make sure to read reviews about an outsourcing agency before starting a partnership with them. Some of the biggest chat support companies are Olark, Zendesk, Livechat, Zoho, Apexchat, and Ngage. Go to their websites and choose the right one for your company.
The post Chat Support Outsourcing appeared first on IntelligentBee.