CommVersion author

Whether you are starting a new business and juggling several responsibilities at once, or whether you are a seasoned professional who runs a larger company; as your business grows, you will begin to feel the need to improve your customer service efforts and hire more team members. When it comes to customer support or lead generation on your website in the form of Live Chat, you question whether you should partner with an outsourced company or hire an in-house team? This is an important consideration for any business.

To help you make the decision, we’ve listed some key questions you should address:

Do you have the infrastructure to support an in-house Chat team?

Some large companies might have the office space and the resources to build their own in-house Chat Support team. The keyword here is ‘build’ – as any business owner knows – building a business from scratch takes patience, perseverance and a whole lot of resources and investments.

Similarly, building a whole new vertical and a team to support your existing operations involves putting together a plan to ensure that you get the best possible outcome. You would have to source the best Chat software and hire an operations manager with experience in managing a customer support process – whether in the form of voice calls or website chats. You also need a team of chat agents and a maintenance and quality check team who ensures that agents are maintaining excellent communications with customers at all times.

On the other hand, if you partner with a trusted Live Chat Company, you are safe in the knowledge that the experts will handle inquiries on your website and all you have to do is sit back and wait for leads to come in. So, before you decide what the next step is – ask yourself, are you willing to invest in the infrastructure and resources required to set up a new team? Wouldn’t you prefer to work with a team of experienced and trained people who have been in the business for years?

Do you have the resources to invest in continuous Training & Coaching?

Training and Coaching are important for any team in an organisation and even more so for new teams. The main benefits of regular training & coaching include increased productivity and adherence to quality standards as well as improved employee engagement and morale.

However, the costs that go into training and coaching workshops can be significant and they are a major factor to consider when deciding whether to outsource your Live Chat. Are you ready to incur the costs involved in updating each member of a new team?  

Would you be willing to spend money on hiring a whole new Live Chat team?

Most people assume it’s as simple as asking the current IT or marketing person to manage website chats, but the fact is that setting up a whole new Live Chat team involves a lot more.

A lot of companies underestimate the cost of hiring a new team member and often fail to add up all the different factors that go into the process of recruitment. Also, what they fail to consider is that the cost of a candidate is not limited to the effort that goes into hiring him/her – it extends beyond the recruitment stage to when the person is actually working at the company.

The cost of job advertisements, recruitment agency commissions and expenditures on logistics need to be calculated as well. In addition to these expenses, the cost of paid leaves in the form of sick leave or maternity leave, as well as paid vacations, add up and significantly impact the bottom line.

If you want to run a Live Chat team out of your current office, you will have to invest on an entire team of new people – this will involve a whole array of costs, not to mention bonuses and yearly raises or incentives. Instead of spending time and money on recruiting an in-house Live Chat team, partnering with a company offers a host of benefits – especially if you consider that some companies only charge per lead i.e. you only pay for what you get.

Will an in-house team be available 24/7?

Perhaps one of the biggest perks of working with a Live Chat consultancy is that their chat agents are available round the clock. This means that your website and customers are attended to without breaks ensuring that you don’t miss out on any business. Unlike an in-house team who will be employed on a 9-5 basis, and who is likely to take breaks during the day, at a Live Chat consultancy, the team works in shifts. Customers get the attention they deserve and the quality of customer care remains consistent.

Will an in-house team be capable of the flexibility needed as your business scales/grows?

If you’re marketing and sales team are spending time on growing your business then it’s only fair that you have the customer support to back these efforts. An outsourced Live Chat company not only provides 24/7 support but chat agents are also equipped to handle 3 chats at a time. Dedicated quality control managers ensure that the support being provided is nothing but the best and no matter how your business grows, there is guaranteed flexibility in terms of handling customers on the website.

How can Chat insights help your business improve?

An outsourced Live Chat agency provides clients detailed analysis into all chats taken. For example, if chat agents have taken 100 chats in a given month and only 10% were converted into leads,  the agency is able to break down why the remaining 80% did not convert. This kind of information is priceless as it provides insights into customer purchase decisions and often helps companies improve or update their business model or service offerings to increase conversions.

For instance, if a large number of website visitors did not convert because they were just outside of the geographical limits of a particular company, then this might be an indication that the company needs to widen their net.

Similarly, the insights from our Live Chat data can indicate which services are high in demand and which ones might need to be tweaked to meet customer expectations. While an in-house team would be trained, the team is less likely to have the bandwidth and experience to provide detailed data and analysis.

How important is unbiased quality control?

If you have an in-house team working on your website chats it is very likely that their KPIs are measured based on their success with converting prospects. This means that their reports and quality checks would be slightly biased in favour of their own performance. When you work with an outsourced partner, you can be sure that the only measure of success is a client satisfaction rating. Quality checks are carried out keeping in mind the need to generate leads and improve customer support every step of the way – completely free of bias.

In an outsourced agency, quality coaches are dedicated to improving the performance of individual chat agents via regular checks and training because their KPIs are dependent on the success or failure of the team. They report directly to management who expects them to be accountable for the quality of chats taken by operators – this means the quality coach has to manage a continuous process of evaluation and ensure team members are constantly working on improving their performance.

Can you afford to pay for resources without ROI?

One of the biggest advantages of working with an outsources Live Chat company is that you only pay for what you get. Too good to be true? At Commversion, we only bill you for the chats that turn into leads, no hidden costs. You don’t have to make a long term commitment or pay any setup fees. You simply sign up with us and we will start sending you qualified leads right away. With an in-house team, you have to pay salaries every month regardless of your team’s performance; this means investing money into something even if there are no returns.

If you’re still unsure about whether to work with an outsourced team versus an in-house one, get in touch with us and one of our experts will guide you with this decision.