Good customer service is the cornerstone of any business. It allows you to retain your customers, build a loyal following, enhance your brand and, of course, generate more revenue. However, your business hours are fixed and so are the timings of your employees. Does that mean your customers will only need your Support when your office is open? Nope.
Your customers may need help with your products and services at any point in the day. A good company would definitely not want to keep its customers hanging whenever they need it the most. Here is where After Hours Support outsourcing comes into play.
What is After Hours Support Outsourcing?
You can outsource your email, phone, and chat support services to a company that steps in after your regular work hours. It will ensure a timely resolution of issues and a positive customer experience.
As per Microsoft’s Global Customer Report, 97% of customers consider customer service a critical factor in their brand choice & loyalty towards a company. Ensuring your customers can access support round the clock is a great way to pave the way for a solid, long-term relationship with them.
When to Outsource your After Hours Support?
There are a few instances in which it makes more sense to outsource your After Hours Support, such as:
If you cater to customers in different time zones, it is possible that a big chunk of your customer support requirement arises after your regular work hours. In such a scenario, it makes sense to outsource the service to a third party.
If you need to hire more people and train them to meet your customer support requirements, it may be cheaper to outsource your After Hours Support to another organization. It also holds true if you need to pay a significant amount of overtime to your current employees.
If the lack of a dedicated customer support team is stopping you from scaling your business and bringing in more clients, it may be a great idea to outsource your After Hours Support to a reliable organization. It will allow you to focus on growing your business while your partner organization takes care of your customer support needs.
If your competitors are offering customer service only during the regular working hours, it may be a great way to differentiate yourself and gain more customers by providing After Hours support services.
Pros of After Hours Support Outsourcing
Outsourcing your After Hours Support services offers many advantages to your business. Let’s take a look at a few:
Outsourcing After Hours Customer Support is usually much cheaper than hiring full-time staff and training them. You don’t have to pay a fixed salary or offer any benefits like health care and transportation costs, thereby lowering your operating cost.
You can choose the hours you need support on, the days of the week, and even the number of people you require. Outsourcing gives you the flexibility to find a solution that is tailored to your requirements.
Take Pressure off your Team
With a dedicated team of experts managing your After Hours Support needs, the rest of your team can focus on other essential areas such as improving your product or services and the growth strategy.
Expand your Business
With your After Hours Support in good hands, you can expand your business, take on more clients and explore newer geographies without having to worry about your team’s capacity or your budget.
Cons of After Hours Support Outsourcing
Though outsourcing your After Hours Support offers its benefits, there are a few things to keep in mind:
Requires Training, Monitoring & Quality Control
Outsourcing your After Hours Support does not rid you of your customer support responsibilities. You will have to regularly communicate with your service provider and ensure they have the information required to offer a quality service. If you leave it to them to figure things out, your customer support quality can deteriorate quickly.
Requires Research & Due Diligence
It can be time-consuming to find a company that meets your requirements. It will require research, and you will have to spend time and effort on finding the right support partner. It is also important to consider legal and security risks before outsourcing your After Hours Support, particularly if you provide sensitive customer data access.
After Hours Support Outsourcing Pricing Models
Each business has unique support needs, and therefore, the level and degree of support it would require are also case-specific. However, there are a few standard pricing models that companies widely use, such as:
- Per Minute Model: If the volume of calls, emails, or messages your business receives After Hours is low or inconsistent, the company may price it per minute.
- Pay Upfront: If you have a fair idea of the volume of customer support requests that come in After Hours, you can also pay upfront and purchase a set amount of support time each month.
- Pay per Staff: For a high and consistent volume of incoming requests, you can also choose to pay for a fixed number of people who will be assigned exclusively to your company.
There may be other models based on your service provider. Sometimes you may also be offered a combination of the three models or a package that provides greater flexibility.
How to Choose an After Hours Support Outsourcing Service Provider?
Firstly, you need to determine the kind of support you need. Do you need someone to answer the incoming calls or answer emails? Do you need help talking to customers on chat, or you need a mix of all three? Various companies specialize in providing different kinds of services. Once you determine your requirement, you can look for companies that offer that specific service.
Next, create a rough estimate of the budget you have for this and the work volume you are looking to outsource. You can use these two filters to shortlist companies that meet your requirements and budget.
Research the companies properly to understand the kind of services they provide, their pricing structures, and where they are based. Look for reviews and testimonials that give an insight into their services. You can also speak to some of their clients to get more detailed feedback.
Have a detailed discussion with a couple of companies to compare and evaluate the services and pricing they are offering. You can then decide on who works best for your needs.
Customer support is a vital function, and your brand image rests heavily on it. Ensure you choose the right outsourcing partner that enhances your brand image while you focus on growing your business.
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