Help desk outsourcing: is it right for your business?

Running a business means keeping a lot of balls in the air. From handling clients, to managing employees, to strategizing, and finding ways to increase profitability, being a company leader is a busy job. Unfortunately, that means sometimes areas of the business that are not directly related to the main product, like the customer support help desk, don’t get the attention they need. Fortunately, there’s a way to streamline your help desk operations and ensure your customers are always taken care of: help desk outsourcing.

But is outsourcing your help desk services the best option for your business? And if it is, what should you look for in a quality service provider? We’ll cover those essential questions and more below. In this article, we’ll focus on customer support rather than IT help desk outsourcing.

4 Benefits of Help Desk Outsourcing

You need to think about your business, your employees, and most of all, your customers when determining if help desk outsourcing is right for you. Here are some of the most important benefits of outsourcing your help desk services:

1. More Predictable Costs

Working with an outsourced help desk support team means you’ll be able to more accurately predict your costs, especially if this is your first time scaling your CX operations. 

Outsourcing offloads the burden of talent acquisition, salaries, health care and other benefits, paid time off, training, and hardware, among other costs. Even as your company grows and you need to scale your team, most outsourcing companies will provide transparent pricing so you’ll always know how much additional headcount will cost you each month. That makes modeling your expenditures much more straightforward. Plus, you’ll save time on hiring, training, and retraining the support team, allowing you to focus on other areas of your business.

2. Offer Your Customers 24/7 Help Desk Support

Support agents working on help desk outsourcing

Most businesses are open only certain hours, such as 8 AM to 5 PM, and staffing an after-hours help desk in-house can be difficult and costly. However, if a customer calls and is greeted by a message asking them to call back during business hours, this can be very frustrating. Your customers have busy lives, and sometimes they are only available to make that call after you’ve closed — or maybe a customer has an emergency that needs to be addressed right away.

You can improve customer satisfaction by working with a help desk outsourcing service that can provide 24/7 coverage. This means that no matter when your customers need technical support, they can get it when contacting your business. This can build customer loyalty and trust, increasing repeat business and referrals.

3. Take Advantage of the Latest Training and Technology

Running a customer help desk that offers the highest level of service requires periodic technical upgrades. Perhaps there’s a new automation service that can speed up your call queues, new hardware to accelerate the troubleshooting process, or certification in the latest software for your help desk staff. This all comes at an additional expense.

With help desk outsourcing, the help desk provider specializes in keeping its team of associates equipped with all the latest technical training and strategic know-how.

Can Help Desk Outsourcing Help You?

There are many benefits of outsourcing your customer support. However, some companies in particular stand to benefit from help desk outsourcing solutions. If your company is experiencing one or more of these scenarios, partnering with a customer support outsourcing provider might be a great idea:

1. If Your Resolution Times Are Increasing

One of the key performance indicators (KPIs) any help desk team should track is resolution times. If you’re seeing this metric rise, it may be due to increased inquiry volume, outdated technology, inadequate automation or self-service options, other inefficient processes — or a combination of these factors. Ultimately, these are all signs your help desk needs improvement, such as software upgrades, training for your staff, or just more staff. 

Customer service outsourcing companies are built to scale, making it easier to add additional team members when your ticket or call volume spikes. Your CX partner will also be an expert in the latest processes and tools, and they’ll always be working to implement the right strategies and software to meet your KPIs.

2. If You’re Experiencing Rising Help Desk Costs

Though some customer support teams do sales or drive expansion revenue through upgrades, most often help desks are thought of as cost centers, not revenue generators. Rising help desk costs eat into profitability.

However, you can stop the upward creep by stabilizing your help desk costs via a third party. Once you’ve outsourced your help desk, your costs will become much more predictable. 

3. If Your Customers Are Dissatisfied

Customer asking for support on help desk outsourcing

If customers can’t get the help desk support they need, they’ll become dissatisfied. Maybe you’ve started to see an uptick in customer complaints regarding your help desk — about long resolution times, a buggy automated system, associates’ lack of knowledge, limited hours, or other issues. 

By bringing in an outside team to help, you can increase your in-house team’s bandwidth and have a help desk team with all the latest training and strategies at their disposal to assist your clients.

4. If You’re a New Business

If you’re just starting your business and don’t have the experience necessary to build an in-house customer support team, this is the perfect time to consider help desk outsourcing. A customer service outsourcing provider can offer immediate access to a full technical support team with the knowledge base and skills needed to operate at a high level .

What Does a Quality Help Desk Outsourcing Service Provider Look Like?

So, you think help desk outsourcing is a smart option for your business... Great, but now you must find a service provider up to the task of taking on your customers’ technical support questions. A rock-solid help desk outsourcing solution should be:

1. Tuned Into Your Business

Business process outsourcing (BPO) doesn’t mean outsourcing your values, voice, or goals. It’s critical to find an outsourcing partner that uses its skills, training, and technology to improve your business by becoming an extension of your brand. Ensure the company is willing to focus on your business’s goals and messaging so customers receive consistent service every time they email, call, or start a chat with your help desk.

2. Willing to Provide Flexible Contracts

Your business needs will change over time, and it’s important for your customer support outsourcing partner to be flexible. For example, your provider should offer the ability to upgrade or downgrade services as needed to meet your evolving needs, such as seasonal volume spikes.

For startups especially, it’s also important to find a customer support outsourcer willing to sign short-term or rolling contracts that don’t lock you in for years on end.

3. Experts in Customer Support

It goes without saying that when outsourcing your customer support services you’ll want to hire a BPO that specializes in, well, customer support. But how do you know if a company is truly expert-level, especially if you don’t have a ton of experience with customer service yourself?

One of the best ways is by relying on social proof. Does this company work with any of your peers or with other brands that are in similar industries to yours? Ask to see case studies or testimonials from other customers, especially ones that are like your business. You can also ask to talk directly with current customers and end-users (most reputable BPOs will be happy to arrange this!) and to arrange a meet and greet with frontline associates.

If you’re signing a very large contract, it’s not a bad idea to arrange a site visit to their office to meet the team who will be providing your customer service in person.

4. Able to Offer Insights into Issues

Your help desk service provider should not only help your customers but help you to grow, too. They can do this by giving you reports and sharing insights on issues they have resolved so you understand how to prevent the problem in the future. For example, if there is a consistent login issue in the software update you released, your third-party help desk partner should explain to you how many customers experienced the issue, what caused the issue, and how they resolved it.

This information will help you grow as a business since you’ll be able to understand how to improve initial customer satisfaction with future releases.

Pro tip: Software QA services are another thing you can outsource, which can help you avoid some issues before they get to customers.

5. Made up of Excellent Communicators

Because this service provider and its associates will be on the frontlines of your business —  speaking with customers — they must have high-quality written and verbal communication skills. You want any transition from in-house to outsourced customer service teams to be seamless, and a change in the communication skills of associates can be a telltale sign.

Carefully read through all written interactions you have with the sales team to first gauge their level of communication. If this is acceptable, dig deeper by requesting sample call recordings or ticket responses to see how the help desk team interacts with customers. This will give you a clear look at how you can expect this team to support your customers. You can also ask to meet some of the associates who work at the BPO.

Help Desk Outsourcing Could Be Right for Your Business

Support agent talking about help desk outsourcing

If you run a growing business or want to take control of rising customer service costs, outsourcing your help desk could be the right decision. The key is to ensure you’re getting a top-notch service provider with the flexibility, professionalism, technological know-how, and customer focus you’d expect from your own team.

If you’re considering help desk outsourcing, PartnerHero might be the right help desk solution for you. Our flexible solutions include an on-demand customer support offering ideal for companies with lower volume, and for more complex needs, we can build fully dedicated teams. Plus, we can deliver all products 24/7 via email support, live chat support through browser or app, and phone support, ensuring your customers get quick response times. For more information on how we can help you take care of your customers, contact our solutions team.