Help desk outsourcing is the process of a business engaging resources outside the structure of the company to manage customer service and technical assistance support for their customers. This type of business process outsourcing has become increasingly popular in recent years as companies look for ways to minimize expenses while still taking care of their clients. There are several advantages and disadvantages associated with help desk outsourcing, making it necessary for any business considering this option to look closely at this option and determine if it is the right course of action.
One of the benefits of help desk outsourcing is that it can provide clients access to expertise that the company itself is not capable of providing. This is especially true with small businesses that do not have the resources to maintain a technical help desk. By outsourcing the function to a partner who can help customers with technical issues related to hardware, software, and various types of equipment, the business makes it possible for customers to get assistance from experts, and hopefully resolve any outstanding technical issues quickly and easily.
Another benefit of help desk outsourcing has to do with providing customer support outside of normal operating hours. When the help desk is outsourced, it is often possible for customers to call any time of the day or night, including weekends, and get the support they need. This is a benefit that is helpful in gaining a competitive edge, especially if other companies offering the same type of goods or services do not offer around the clock customer help.
Along with the benefits, there are also some potential drawbacks to help desk outsourcing. One of the key issues has to do with training. While the function is outsourced, the performance of the help desk partner still reflects directly on the company that has contracted the services. This means that if help desk personnel are short, rude, or non-responsive to the queries of a customer, the relationship with that customer may be permanently damaged. Differences in corporate cultures demand that efforts be made to train the representatives so they know what type of response is considered appropriate for the clientele of a given company, and avoid the creation of these negative situations.
Another potential disadvantage to help desk outsourcing is the possibility of a language barrier. Companies around the world, notably the United States and the United Kingdom, have embraced help desk outsourcing as a means of keeping expenses within reason by utilizing outsourcing services based in Third World countries. This has led to situations in which customers have difficulty understanding the representatives who respond to their queries, and vice versa. Under the worst case scenario, this inability to effectively communicate can cause a great deal of frustration, and may cause some customers to seek out the services of a competitor who is known to utilize domestic resources to provide technical help and customer service to their clients.