Written by Dion Jay Tality
Technical support is essential in business because it provides end users with technical assistance. For instance, IT specialists assist employees with system issues or customer product malfunctions.
Technical support must be fully operational 24 hours a day, seven days a week. This requirement especially applies to businesses catering to users around the clock. That’s where outsourcing comes into the picture.
But how do you know if 24/7 outsourced technical support is right for your company? Keep on reading to find out.
When To Hire 24/7 Outsourced Technical Support
The global business process outsourcing (BPO) market was worth nearly $246 billion last year. It could expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% from this year to 2030 and has become a practical solution in business.
But whether you’re considering front- or back-office outsourcing services, determine whether BPO is right for your business. Specifically, see if you need a round-the-clock BPO service for your technical support operation.
You should hire 24/7 outsourced technical support if:
1. Your Company Runs During Non-business Hours
Many companies now operate round-the-clock, especially e-commerce businesses catering to global consumers. Amazon, for instance, turns to inventory management outsourcing while insourcing logistics. More than 50% of its sales came from third-party sellers, amounting to over 3.4 billion products sold in one year.
If your company provides global customers with technological products, you probably operate during non-business hours. If your in-house team cannot accommodate this, consider 24/7 outsourced technical support. Hire a BPO service provider for your business.
2. Your Company Operates on Weekends
Some businesses run on Saturdays and Sundays. The weekend operation usually applies to retail and e-commerce industries. Even companies selling electronic devices and providing technical services are open on weekends. For this reason, their technical support should always be ready to assist customers.
Outsourcing to a 24/7 BPO firm makes sense if your company operates during weekends. Whether you outsource data entry, inventory management, or technical support, a round-the-clock BPO service is best. This way, your service provider can accommodate your customers all the time.
3. Your Employees Work Remotely
The pandemic has led to the rise of remote work. Almost 70% of full-time American employees have worked remotely since the pandemic began. Employers have also started making workplace adjustments by offering a hybrid work model. Offsite workers need robust technical support to perform their day-to-day duties.
Technical support doesn’t serve only customers; it also assists employees. If they work remotely, consider 24/7 outsourced technical support. Your hired BPO firm can help them when a technical need arises, no matter where they are.
4. Your Business Doesn’t Have an IT Department
Information technology support is vital in today’s business landscape. Companies need this for managing data and maintaining technology. That’s why the global IT service expenditure is worth $4.4 trillion this year. These services cover such business functions as troubleshooting, network management, and system maintenance, not to mention technical support.
If your company doesn’t have an IT department, you probably don’t have technical support specialists for your employees. But these workers have technical needs you should fulfill. Hence, consider outsourcing your technical support to a third-party service provider.
5. Your Workforce Lacks Technical Expertise
Clutch surveyed 1,003 small businesses in the U.S. this year. According to the report, 90% of small businesses plan to outsource some business tasks this year. They have different reasons for doing so to realize potential benefits. About 33% plan to access flexible resources, 27% to improve efficiency, and 26% to work with experts.
If your IT support team lacks knowledge and skills, outsourcing can be your answer. Consider 24/7 outsourced technical support for your company. Your hired tech experts will assist your employees and customers around the clock.
6. Your Company Doesn’t Have Enough Resources
As mentioned, accessing flexible resources is the top outsourcing benefit for small businesses (at 33%). Companies leverage their BPO partners’ facilities, materials, tools, and equipment needed for operation.
Technical support requires the latest technology and advanced machinery. But whether front- or back-office outsourcing, a BPO partner gives your company access to updated resources. You might as well take advantage of them by outsourcing your technical support.
7. You’re Looking To Save on Operating Costs
BPO comes with several benefits for companies of all sizes. But Deloitte’s recent survey shows that cost reduction tops the reasons for outsourcing. That is especially true during the pandemic when businesses need to cut costs. Other BPO objectives come only secondary, such as business agility and service quality.
If you need 24/7 operation and need to reduce costs, employ offshoring. Tapping into an overseas BPO service provider is affordable, and you won’t sacrifice service quality. A 24/7 outsourced technical support service can help you save in the long run.
8. You Need To Focus on Your Core Operations
Focusing on core operations is the commonly perceived reason for outsourcing. Most companies outsource to prioritize core business functions without neglecting non-core tasks. They can have peace of mind if they hire reliable BPO service providers.
Whether you outsource data entry services or technical support tasks, BPO can make a difference in your business. Consider outsourcing to a 24/7 BPO service provider so that you can focus on growing your business. Capitalize on this to have a competitive advantage.
9. You Need To Optimize Your Technical Support
Technical support is crucial for business. It serves as the point of contact for employees and ends users with technical problems. It performs business functions such as:
- Hardware and software troubleshooting
- System updates and maintenance
- Network monitoring and management
- Technical product repair and replacement
But if you’re looking to optimize your technical support operation, outsourcing is the key. As mentioned, it gives you access to experts and resources. It can automate your processes and streamline your workflows. Ultimately, 24/7 outsourced technical support can result in business optimization.
10. You Want To Scale and Grow Your Business
Clutch highlighted the different outsourcing benefits for small companies. Aside from those mentioned above, 19% outsource to support growth and scalability.
Outsourcing gives you access to an expert workforce and advanced technology. A competent third-party service provider can scale your business operation. Ultimately, 24/7 outsourced technical support can help your small or mid-sized company grow.
How To Know Whether 24/7 Outsourced Technical Support Is Right for Your Company
Deloitte’s survey report shows that the most commonly outsourced service is IT support at 54%. Finance (44%), payroll (32%), and customer service (22%) come next.
Global IT outsourcing might be worth $395 billion this year, with a CAGR of 8.26% from 2022 to 2030. Technical support is usually a part of IT services offered by various BPO vendors. Assess if outsourcing this function is right for your business.
Earlier, we discussed telltale signs you should consider 24/7 outsourced technical support. To identify these and start outsourcing, you need to:
1. Assess Your Business and Identify Problems
The initial step to take is to evaluate your business operation. If you have technical support, you must audit the team that handles it. Assess if you have enough staffing, technology, and resources. See if this team has backlogs, customer complaints, and unresolved tickets.
If so, consider outsourcing, particularly if your company operates around the clock. If your company doesn’t have an IT support team, consider 24/7 outsourced technical support.
2. Determine Which Functions To Outsource
After identifying organizational problems and needs, determine which specific tasks to outsource. For your technical support function, your company might need:
- 24/7 help desk
- On-call troubleshooting
- Hardware and software installation and maintenance
- Regular system update
- Network management
- Technical product repair and replacement
- Round-the-clock systems monitoring
- Warranty support
Identify the specific tasks to outsource before looking for a service provider. Doing so will allow you to choose the right BPO partner for your technical support.
3. Research the Outsourcing Pros and Cons
Before looking for a BPO service provider, know the pros and cons of outsourcing. While BPO offers benefits, it also has possible risks and drawbacks. Weigh both sides to make informed decisions.
The advantages of outsourcing include:
- Prioritizing Core Operations: Technical support tasks can be tedious and cumbersome. Instead of tending to them, you can free up your time and entrust such an operation to BPO experts. This way, you and your team can focus on your primary tasks.
- Cost Reduction: Employing workers and investing in resources can be costly. Offshoring has long been proven effective for reducing business expenses. You can save on labor and production costs by outsourcing your technical support.
- Access to an Expert Workforce: BPO service providers usually have a global talent pool. They hire and employ highly knowledgeable and skilled workers. Outsourcing your technical support gives you access to a solid crew with technical expertise.
- Advanced Technology: Companies can no longer ignore the latest technologies in BPO. Technical support requires updated resources such as artificial intelligence (AI), automation, and the cloud. Outsourcing allows you to incorporate them into your business operation.
- World-class Facility and Resources: Most BPO firms house the best infrastructure and resources. They usually have state-of-the-art facilities with complete amenities. By outsourcing your technical support, you can capitalize on these.
- Omnichannel Solutions: BPO service providers use multiple channels for technical support services. They don’t only provide such support via a contact center. Some offer live chat and email support; others use social media and automated systems. Ultimately, outsourcing allows you to take advantage of omnichannel solutions.
- Enhanced Security: End users’ technical and digital products need robust security, as do employees using technologies and accessing the internet. Outsourcing technical support to a reliable provider can ensure online protection from cyberattacks.
- Flexibility and Agility: Most BPO providers are flexible in their service offers. Also, they can quickly and easily adapt to changing consumer needs and business landscapes. Outsourcing technical support allows you to take advantage of business flexibility and agility.
- Scalability and Growth: BPO service providers do not only handle outsourced business functions. They can also help optimize business processes and scale operations. A reliable BPO partner for your technical support will help your business grow and succeed.
On the other hand, the disadvantages of outsourcing include:
- Business Goal Misalignment: BPO involves two companies working together. When outsourcing your technical support, you might confront a misalignment in business objectives. So define your business goals and orient your service provider to them. You should be on the same page.
- Minimal Control: There’s a line between managing your in-house technical support and outsourcing to an external vendor. The latter gives you less control because you must entrust its operation to a third party. Hence, make sure to hire a highly reliable BPO partner.
- Limited Product Knowledge: In-house employees have in-depth knowledge of the company’s products. But contractors might have less understanding of them. You might face this problem when you outsource your technical support. Hence, ensure that you provide them with extensive product or process training.
- A Lack of Focus: Third-party employees might feel that they don’t work for your company. As such, they have a lack of focus on your business operation. Constant communication and collaboration will ensure that they feel they belong.
- No Direct User Interactions: Providing technical support can be challenging without direct interactions. In-house IT support specialists can promptly and effectively fix users’ technical issues. However, BPO specialists might have to resolve them virtually. Sometimes, they might need to send technicians on-site to address such technical problems.
- Security Risks: Enhanced security can be a BPO advantage if you choose the right provider. But outsourcing can put your security at risk because a third party handles your business operation. You must hire the right BPO partner who has robust security measures.
- Business Disruptions: Handling your technical support can be difficult if your BPO partner experiences an unexpected disruption. They might stop their operation due to a natural disaster or an unforeseen circumstance. To avoid this, set a contingency plan or a disaster recovery plan.
4. Look for a BPO Service Provider
At this point, you can look for a BPO partner for your 24/7 outsourced technical support. Start by conducting research and doing your due diligence.
You can search online or get some recommendations from people. From there, create a list of prospects and check their websites. Afterward, send business proposals and ask for multiple quotes.
Then screen your prospects. To narrow down your options, consider critical factors such as:
- Business Reputation: This factor is crucial. Check customer or client feedback and third-party online reviews. You must hire a BPO service provider with a good reputation. Its business image might reflect your company’s identity as well.
- BPO Credential: Asking for a prospect’s business license is logical. You must work with a BPO partner legally allowed to operate. Examine its business certifications and BPO awards to confirm its credibility.
- Pricing Model: This factor will primarily influence your outsourcing decision. Of course, you’ll only hire a BPO firm you can afford. Check and compare outsourcing costs and pricing models. Choose one that will help you save in the long run.
- Workforce: Select a BPO partner with highly knowledgeable and skilled employees. Technical support requires technical expertise. Ensure that your service provider undergoes stringent screening and provides proper training.
- Technology: Take advantage of the latest technologies used in the BPO industry. A few examples are AI, automation, cloud computing, and omnichannel solutions. They are best for your 24/7 outsourced technical support operation.
- Facility and Resources: Aside from technology, check the resources required for your technical support. These include the infrastructure facility, materials, tools, and equipment. They can all impact your operation.
- Security: This factor should be a top priority when outsourcing technical support. You don’t want to risk your business data and customer information. They can be subject to cyberattacks such as password hacking, malware, and phishing. You must require robust security measures for your BPO operation.
5. Get Started With Outsourcing
You’ve hired a BPO service provider for your 24/7 outsourced technical support at this stage. Now it’s time to get started with outsourcing. Make sure to follow the steps below.
- Start with your business goals or objectives
- Set critical metrics for your technical support
- Create a service-level agreement (SLA)
- Ensure constant communication and collaboration
- Track BPO progress and employee performance
- Optimize your technical support operation
- Celebrate your outsourcing success
- Renew your BPO contract or look for another service provider
The Bottom Line
Technical support plays a crucial role in business. It resolves end users’ technical problems for customer satisfaction, increased profitability, and continuous operations.
Hire a 24/7 outsourced technical support service if your company must always serve end users. Consider the signs that round-the-clock technical support is right for your business. If it is, follow the outsourcing steps outlined above.
A 24/7 BPO operation will always serve your stakeholders’ technical needs. That can translate into a boost in your business performance—and, yes, the bottom line.