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Outsource vs. Insource – Which Makes the Most Sense for Technical Support?

Jan 17-Outsource vs Insource-Blog

Businesses that sell and install technology products are bound to be the first point of contact for customers when questions or challenges arise. On one hand, this is a good problem to have because it means that the business has earned the trust and respect of customers in order to be a first point of contact.

However, on the other hand, this means that a business must dedicate resources to fielding and addressing customer concerns. Tech support services are an essential part of any technology-focused business. How these services are delivered is a major challenge.

This article will focus on the benefits and disadvantages of outsourced technical support when compared with insourced technical support. By the end, technology providers should have a clear picture of how to structure their own tech support services.

The Cold, Hard Facts About Cold, Hard Cash

The main reason that a business would compare outsourced technical support versus insourced technical support is cost. Providing inbound call center services is a major undertaking for a business of any size.

If a technology provider wanted to set up their own in-house tech support services, then they would need to hire staff to field inbound calls. There would also need to be a team leader and, depending on the size of the call center, additional staff may be needed in human resources or payroll.

Call center staff would then have to be knowledgeable in the products they are supporting. Depending on the product, this may require skill and experience. The average hourly wage for tech support is over $16 per hour with more experienced staff being able to command a higher wage.

Add in health benefits, vacation time, recruitment, equipment, and office space… The bill keeps getting bigger and bigger. The cost of technical support is one of the greatest advantages of outsourced technical support. Business owners don’t need to staff an entire call center out of their own budget.

The Logistics of Insourced Tech Support

Cost is often the main reason business choose an outsourced support desk. Of course, money isn’t everything and some businesses may be willing to spend more money to have their own in-house support team.

However, the logistics of setting up an in-house team can often be a major deterrent. Customers demand quality technical support services and providing those services consistently and quickly can be a greater challenge than any budget concerns.

The greatest logistical concern with building an in-house support team is hiring qualified staff. Customers who purchase top quality products and expect top quality support. As a result, these technical support staff must have, at a minimum, a solid working knowledge of technology in general and the specific technological products that the company sells.

Why is that a challenge? The United States is currently dealing with a shortage of tech workers at all levels of skill and experience. In addition, the problem is only expected to grow in the coming years.

Hiring and maintaining an in-house technical support team could prove to be a real challenge for businesses. Now, imagine that the hiring was completed, and all employees were guaranteed to stay for years to come. Everything will be just fine, right?

Not so fast. Now, businesses have to grapple with where to put their newly hired tech support staff. Is a bigger office needed? Will they work off-site or from their own home? What kind of equipment is needed to get everything up and running?

Not only can these logistical challenges cause stress, they also lead back to the first point in this article which is cost. The logistics and costs of insourcing a technical support team often far outweigh any benefits.

The Benefits of Having an Outsourced Support Desk

How does outsourced technical support make up for the shortfalls of insourced solutions? For businesses of all sizes, outsourcing this important job is often the most efficient way to get the best quality service for clients.

The main advantage is cost. When insourcing technical support, businesses must have a full staff to field calls. This means there may be times where staff are being underutilized. Outsourced technical support spreads out a large staff to multiple businesses so that staff is there when they are needed, but businesses aren’t paying wages for a full staff when the call lines are slow.

The logistics are also all managed by the provider of the support services. Recruiting, hiring, benefits, payroll, training, and all other aspects of employment no longer fall on the business to manage themselves. Not only does this take a lot of logistical challenges off the plate of the business owners - but it can also drastically reduce costs when compared with insourced support.

Optimal Support for Clients

Ultimately, the reason most businesses choose outsourced technical support is because it is the right choice for their clients. Technology businesses need to be able to trust that their customers will truly be taken care of. Or, they risk losing clients and future business alike.

Clover Services Group helps businesses of all sizes deliver exceptional customer service with their inbound call center services. Contact us today to learn more about the many advantages of outsourced technical support.

Author: Chris Sinibaldi - SVP TechLink Services

Senior Vice President and General Manager of Parts for Depot International, Chris Sinibaldi is a recognized industry expert in the distribution and remanufacturing of laser printer parts and certified pre-owned printers. Sinibaldi has been in the industry for nearly 20 years and is known for helping service organizations, copier resellers and dealers significantly grow their businesses.

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