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Dec 15, 2021 Tracey Laughlin

What’s the True Cost of Your In-House Customer Service Program?

True Costs of In House Customer Service

Organizations that want to offer a superior customer experience and first-class customer face a choice, they can either manage it in house or they can outsource their customer service program to a specialized contact center.

As with any business decision, price is often the most important factor while ROI is a secondary consideration.

In most cases, businesses typically believe that keeping their customer service in-house is less expensive. However, when analyzing the cost of their customer service program businesses typically only consider the cost of salary and technology.

In reality, there are a number of hidden costs associated with managing an in-house customer support team, from recruiting, employee training and technology infrastructure. 

While it’s difficult to determine a true comparison between in-house customer service and the use of an outsourced contact center - we firmly believe that outsourcing customer service helps businesses realize a true ROI.

With that in mind, in this blog we take a look at some of the hidden costs of an in-house customer service team and how it compares to outsourcing. Here are a few of the top costs, both tangible and intangible, associated with in-house customer service.

Hiring costs

To provide the best customer support, you need to hire experienced and skilled customer service representatives (CSRs). Not only do you have to pay these agents a competitive salary and benefits, you have to consider the cost and time spent in identifying, interviewing and recruiting top talent. 

Talent acquisition is expensive. In fact, according to GetHired.com the average cost associated with a new employee, taking into account both the recruiting and hiring process, is almost $19,000.

That’s because finding the right talent involves much more than pouring over resumes and conducting interviews. Your business also needs to consider:

  • The resources required to identify the need for the position.
  • The time and money spent advertising the job.
  • The time investment requires to examine resumes and pre-screen candidates.
  • The time spent setting up interviews, interviewing and following up with potential candidates.

That’s all before your business even thinks about the cost of salary and benefits. 

How outsourcing to a contact center mitigates these costs: With an outsourced contact center, businesses never have to worry about employing CSRs again. Through a contact center partner, companies will gain access to highly-skilled, experienced and trained customer service agents who work as brand ambassadors for their organization. All the hiring and management risk is completely out of your hands.

The cost of employee training

Even if you’ve managed to successfully hire the top customer service agents in your industry, all CSRs need constant and consistent training to ensure they are at the top of their game and meeting the current expectations of your customers. 

Yet training programs are expensive. It’s a great investment into your team, but it’s an ongoing expense. New employees need training, existing employees need training, and training programs need to be updated as your brand and customers evolve. 

How outsourcing to a contact center mitigates these costs: An outsourced contact center will take care of all employee training for you. They’ll ensure CSRs are trained to know your company’s core values and policies, your script, your customer expectations and so much more.

Infrastructure costs, and keeping up with modern customer service technology

In-house customer service teams need the infrastructure to support them. That involves office space, desks, workstations, phones, computers, headsets, and a huge number of other things that support their jobs.

To make this even more expensive and complex for your business, the most successful customer service programs now rely on advanced contact center technologies that can be incredibly expensive to buy in-house. Technologies such as contact center artificial intelligence (AI), customer analytics and agent guidance all help to ensure your customer service is world-class - but are too expensive for most in-house customer service teams.

How outsourcing to a contact center mitigates these costs: The very best contact center partners already have the infrastructure and advanced technologies in place to support their customer service agents. They’ll seamlessly integrate these technologies into your customer service program, and your business won’t have to pay for them internally. 

The cost of employee attrition and retention

We mentioned the cost of hiring, but one thing we haven’t yet mentioned is the hidden costs associated with employee attrition and retention - which is typically quite a big deal in the customer service world. In fact, the average call center turnover rate is 33 percent according to the International Customer Management Institute

Hiring customer service agents is difficult, but retaining them is even more difficult. Losing employees is expensive because you have to find new one, and retaining them is expensive because you need to invest in benefits and company culture.

How outsourcing to a contact center mitigates these costs: The best outsourced contact centers invest heavily in retention efforts, company culture and employee engagement, ensuring they are able to hire and retain the top customer service representatives available. 

Interested in learning more about the costs of an in-house customer service program, and why your business might benefit from an outsourced contact center? Get in touch with Advantage Communications today. We’d love to help.

Contact Center RFP Tool Kit

Published by Tracey Laughlin December 15, 2021
Tracey Laughlin