CommVersion author

It’s now a given fact – almost all business owners agree that adding live chat functionality to their website gives their conversion rates an immense boost and improves the overall quality of customer satisfaction. However, the next logical question they are faced with is – which is more viable – managing live chat in-house or outsourcing it to a professional agency? Is it better to take on the added responsibility of allocating this crucial role to internal employees or does it make sense to hire external help?

Here are some valuable pointers to consider that will lead you to make the correct decision.

Let’s first begin with the obvious benefits of maintaining in-house live chat support.

Benefits of In-house live chat support

1. Offer customer service in keeping with your branding strategy and company values. Some business owners feel that in-house employees would be best entrusted with being the face of the company and would be able to provide support that goes hand in hand with the brand image.

2. Be in full control – keeping customer service totally in-house means you have the ability to manage the department and direct them on a daily basis.

3. Remain consistent with your company culture. Every company works around their unique ethos and wants to see that reflected in all their dealings with their clientele.

Although the above benefits seem attractive at first glance, there are various factors that still need to be given serious consideration.

The three basic advantages of out-sourcing (before we even go into the finer details) are: –

  1. Access to a larger, more experienced talent pool
  2. Cost effectiveness
  3. Better time management

There is no doubt that retaining live chat as an in-house activity may result in a limiting experience and an over-burdened staff. Further, allocating valuable resources to address online customer issues diverts focus from essential tasks thus proving expensive and less productive customer service.

In order to better assess the situation, you also need to analyse your unique requirements. Do you attract a lot of traffic to your website? Is your existing customer support staff familiar with the concept of live chat, as this differs from face to face, email or over the phone service? If your business has branches around the world, you will have visitors on your site outside of your local work hours – are you equipped to handle 24 hours’ chat service?

Now that you have had the opportunity to evaluate the unique needs of your business, here are the finer advantages of out-sourcing live chat service.

Benefits of out-sourcing online live chat support

1.) A dedicated and specialised team – By outsourcing live chat you get to leverage the services of a qualified, experienced and dedicated team assigned solely to your task. It means you no longer have to pull people out of their core role and saddle them with an additional responsibility. This translates to better time and resource management and enhanced productivity for your organisation.

2.) Freedom from stress – Once you have out-sourced the service, you are free from having to bother with unexpected technical glitches and onsite issues. It is the responsibility of your service provider to identify and resolve problems as and when they occur. Again, this lets you focus on your main business objectives rather than running from pillar to post to fix the bug.

3.) Round the clock support – Outsourcing live chat enables you to make available constant online support to your website viewers at all hours – so you get seamless service that caters to every time zone. This is extremely important as it ensures that there are no missed opportunities and dissatisfied visitors. Also – it is much more expensive to hire in-house agents to work the later shifts or the ones at odd hours.

4.) Cost effective – Having an external agency manage your live chat frees you from the costs of appointing, training and maintaining dedicated staff that specializes in the job. Further, you also get to save on the set-up and infrastructure costs that you would have incurred if you were to handle live chat in-house. In short – you get to enjoy the best of both worlds – you can still monitor team performance based on regular reports while saving yourself the hassle of recruiting and managing.

5.) Lead Support and CSAT Analysis – Another major advantage of outsourcing live chat support to professionals is that you are provided with monthly reports of the performance of the support team as well as a detailed analysis of customer trends and behaviour. These metrics give valuable insight into what is working and what needs to be amended vis-à-vis your marketing and customer service strategy. This vital feature would be sorely missing in an in-house managed live chat arrangement.

Want to find out more about outsourcing live chat support? You need look no further. Contact us at Commversion and let’s take the discussion ahead so we can better understand your unique requirements and provide you with top notch service that totally resonates with your brand values and company ethos.