Written by Rene Mallari
Did you know that more businesses, big and small, outsource tech support? They help customers troubleshoot hardware, install software, and tackle other tech issues.
Not convinced? Do a quick Google search and type in “outsourced technical support market” to find the facts and figures.
Indeed, third-party help desk services are becoming more and more popular in the IT industry. This article gives you 15 reasons outsourced tech support is the go-to service for dynamic organizations.
Let’s dive into the details.
1. Experienced, Certified, and Skilled Teams
A tech support or help desk team includes agents, engineers, developers, and consultants. These professionals resolve basic and complex issues related to information technology (IT). Consumer technical concerns such as installing antivirus software, diagnosing hardware, designing security programs, and managing networks are some of the issues they address.
Outsourced entry-level support specialists play different roles in serving customers. They help buyers with basic technical requests. They also receive customer calls, provide assistance, interact via messaging platforms, and gather feedback.
Many tech support representatives are also skilled or proficient in:
- Mac/Linux/Windows OS
- A variety of help desk software solutions
- Creative thinking
- Organization skills and focusing on details
- Strong analytical skills
- Active listening skills
- Teamwork skills
When hiring, a business process outsourcing (BPO) company prefers candidates with an IT-related degree or previous technical job experience. It recruits tech support applicants with training certificates from reputable companies or associations, including:
- Microsoft Certified Solutions Associate
- Cisco Certified Network Associate – Routing and Switching
- Certified Information Security Manager
- Certified Information System Security Professional
- Oracle Certified Professional, Java
- Certified Information Systems Auditor (CISA)
2. Well-structured IT Team
Outsourced tech support teams can significantly improve productivity or service quality. You get your money’s worth if your third-party IT team runs like a well-oiled machine. This team typically has a three-tiered structure to deliver the best possible service.
- Tier 1 (T1) support. This tier collects customer requests, examines problems, and offers solutions. T1 support can solve three-fourths of user technical issues with simple tools and knowledge. Examples of T1 support are diagnosing hardware or software problems, guiding users through device menus, and retrieving usernames and passwords.
- Tier 2 (T2) support. Also known as administrative level support, this level deals with the one-fourth of the technical issues that T1 cannot solve. T2 specialists have deeper technical skills, possess broader product or service knowledge, and use advanced procedures.
- Tier 3 (T3) support. An issue is raised to this tier if T2 cannot provide a solution. T3 specialists are considered the most capable of handling challenging and complicated tasks. They also assist the other support teams in facilitating problem-resolution processes.
3. Expert in Dealing With Technology Vendors
A BPO firm’s technical support team can oversee vendor management processes. These include choosing vendors, discussing contracts, negotiating prices, minimizing risks, and overseeing online or physical delivery of services or products. With the BPO team handling the vendors, your employees save time and effort and focus on more critical business tasks.
Addressing vendors’ concerns, setbacks, and other matters by regularly communicating with them is a responsibility that a third-party team can take on. After all, both parties speak the same language. As such, they free you and your staff from the burden of understanding technical complexities. The BPO partner simplifies the processes for you.
The BPO company can also help you get the best deal and service from vendors. It can assess and handle the potential risks involved when transacting with them. Such risks include the security, efficiency, and reliability of products and services for purchase. The tech team can determine weak cybersecurity measures and potential operational issues, among many others.
You want to keep working with your IT vendors and other suppliers as long as possible, but prudently and efficiently. Your BPO provider can strengthen your business relationship with your IT vendors for the long haul.
4. Different Pricing Options
Another reason outsourced tech support benefits you is the varied pricing models to choose from to get the services. BPO providers can offer four flexible pricing schemes. Select the most suitable for your outsourced processes.
Per-device Flat Fee
The third-party service provider asks for a fixed rate, and the amount to pay depends on the number of devices (desktops, laptops, tablets, and mobile phones) to be included. The more gadgets to cover, the higher the fee.
The tech support provider offers you alerting and network monitoring services for a set monthly rate. The work scope includes:
- Disk optimization
- Backup logs
- Antivirus and anti-spam updates
- Virus-free computers
- Patch management
- Backup monitoring
- Critical service monitoring
- General server capacity
Per-user Fixed Fee
The number of users to service dictates the rate of the third-party vendor, with a fixed fee per user. The more individuals who need tech support, the higher the charge. Compared to the per-device flat fee plan, you pay the provider only per user, regardless of the number of gadgets a person uses.
Ad Hoc Fees
The pricing structure is on-demand and doesn’t require you to pay regular fees for the outsourced tech support services. You recruit a third-party IT team only when you need its services. If you’re not heavily dependent on technology, this pricing scheme is for you.
5. International Coverage
Another advantage to consider is the ability of outsourced tech support to offer round-the-clock support across multiple channels. The external IT team is available to customers 24/7, even during holidays and weekends, across different communication platforms. Such extensive coverage and accessibility enable your business to expand globally.
The BPO partner can offer continuous and smooth customer interaction services via mobile platforms, email, live chat, online communities, and social media. Adopting omnichannel tech support means you are ready to serve customers anytime on a worldwide scale.
Support staff can address technical issues or problems without interruptions, as well as improve or open additional revenue sources. Here’s how:
- Your team enhances customer loyalty. Existing consumers will likely return for repeat purchases. They will continue supporting your products or services or buy new ones. Loyal buyers can endorse your products to others, too.
- Your team establishes new markets. With global tech support coverage, the world is your oyster. Going international presents immense income and growth opportunities. Your revenue is no longer limited by geography and the needs of the local market.
- Your team provides access to diversified technical personnel. An ample supply of skilled talent with different competencies and languages is at your fingertips. Acquiring them can boost overall efficiency and productivity. They also allow you to offer multilingual tech support, further expanding the customer base.
6. New Technologies at Hand
Outsourced tech support, a back-office outsourcing service, is a vital strategy. You can have the latest technologies within your reach. Moreover, the service provider also lets clients use relevant tools, systems, applications, and platforms to improve workflow and streamline processes.
The third-party IT team relies on help desk software to aid agents and specialists in managing consumer requirements. The customer support program can track and document each team member’s performance. It also allows users to use self-service options, control call volumes, and decrease human error.
The help desk solution also manages and addresses customer support tickets. It can handle a large volume of queries or issues and provide knowledge base functions. That said, IT support personnel can accurately answer and resolve technical questions and problems. On top of these, the software is collaborative and customer-centric.
Many BPO firms take advantage of cloud-based technologies. These game-changing systems can unify all applications, including help desks, customer relationship management software, and other call center solutions. An integrated cloud-driven platform accelerates efficiency and productivity. Ultimately, they propel customer service quality to new heights.
7. Reduced Operating Expenses
Outsourcing reduces operating costs. Delegating help desk services to outside experts enables you to avoid or minimize the four types of expenses you shoulder when running an in-house tech support department. These costs are:
- Office space and equipment. You spend a lot of money on the extra work area required for the tech support team, software and hardware, other essential equipment, and additional office supplies. Many are one-off but big-ticket items, while some are periodic, such as network maintenance and system upgrades.
- Salary, compensation, and related costs. Full-time IT support employees are regularly paid regardless of the workload. You should also provide non-monetary benefits, including insurance, overtime or holiday pay, sick or vacation leaves, and retirement or pension plans as legally required.
- Training. A tech support team must keep pace with technological changes. Constant improvement of their knowledge and skills is required to resolve new or unfamiliar technical issues. The team can achieve these goals by training and upskilling. Such efforts are costly.
- Recruitment. Hiring more IT support employees increases costs. You deal with job posting, third-party talent recruiters, applicant screening, testing, interviews, and onboarding of new hires. All these are processes that a BPO company can manage.
8. First Priority on Core Competencies
Back-office outsourcing services free an in-house team from time-consuming jobs, including accounting and bookkeeping, data entry, human resources, and technical support. Though they’re important in keeping your business up and running, these back-end functions can prevent you from paying attention to more urgent matters such as sales and revenue generation.
Transferring secondary processes to a BPO provider gives companies more opportunities to spend their resources on improving business earnings. Achieving higher income because of outsourcing results in:
- More products and services to develop and launch
- Faster market expansion for a more comprehensive public presence
- Better product and service quality to stay competitive
- Higher customer service quality for greater consumer experience
- Bigger incentives and perks for stronger employee morale
Sustaining a high income for an extended period leads to a competitive advantage, thus making the company and its products or services superior to competitors. A business edge is necessary to survive and thrive in an aggressive and dynamic market. Many industries are constantly exposed to trends that can affect your company.
Let the outsourcing partner take care of the supplementary operations so that you can continue doing what you do best.
9. Guaranteed Security and Compliance
Data security is a practice that the federal government and industry watchdogs monitor to protect the public from illegal access to private and confidential information. Outsourced tech support adds value by meeting your company’s security and compliance requirements.
The following are some of the laws and standards that businesses must comply with.
- Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA). It comprises regulatory standards applicable to healthcare providers and other practitioners. It details the legitimate use and release of protected health information (PHI).
- Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI DSS). This security policy series requires all companies to accept, process, store, and send credit card information in a secure setting.
- General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). This standard covers businesses with customers in the European Union. It aims to safeguard consumer data and mandate providers to disclose their purpose for collecting data.
Moreover, BPO companies store sensitive and critical customer information in the cloud and secure data with the latest customer tech support software. Reputable service providers have high-security protocols across all platforms, barring unauthorized individuals, parties, or entities from obtaining private information.
10. Adaptability and Scalability
Outsourced tech support is flexible and scalable, allowing you to handle financial costs competently. Depending on your business needs, a BPO firm can increase or decrease the outsourced tasks. With outsourcing, you don’t need to hire more regular employees to increase IT personnel or terminate some of them during slow periods, either.
The outsourcing company provides you with the right number of tech support agents and specialists, so you can optimize your budget.
Additionally, the partner can scale up its operations when call volumes are higher than normal. The company can hire more support staff during holidays or after a successful marketing campaign. They can do this anytime with additional IT specialists to meet the expected demand.
If sales are sluggish and customer calls diminish, revenue goes down. But operating costs are the same when running an in-house tech support team. Paying their salaries and other non-monetary benefits is ongoing. But outsourcing IT functions lets you reduce the workforce without layoffs, decreasing your expenses during a downturn.
Scalability also means dividing help desk operations between the outsourcing firm and your in-house IT team. A BPO firm is likely amenable to that agreement. You can delegate tedious and time-consuming technical activities, allowing the in-house team to deal with the complex and specialized segment.
11. Affordable, High-quality Service
A BPO company offers different outsourcing services to keep in close competition with other service providers. You can outsource data entry, telemarketing, customer support, and social media marketing at reasonable or competitive costs. The global BPO industry comprises thousands of players vying for a good market share.
Many outsourcing firms have offshoring operations in countries where a skilled, trainable, and affordable local workforce is readily available. Generally, these are in nations with emerging economies. They can provide foreign companies with labor costs lower than in the developed markets, including Canada, the UK, the U.S., and Western Europe.
12. Enhanced Customer Experience
Another reason outsourced tech support should be part of the strategy list is that it can take customer experience to the next level. It can form solid consumer relationships by addressing their needs and concerns efficiently. Below are four customer-related benefits:
- Fewer customer worries. Tech support representatives help customers resolve issues as quickly as possible. They can raise tickets and answer consumer questions and concerns accurately and persuasively.
- Higher customer retention. IT support agents are trained in customer and technical services. They can establish familiarity and rapport with customers.
- More accessibility to customers. IT support specialists can be reached through various communication channels, enabling customers to interact with them anytime and anywhere.
- Better appreciation for customers. Tech support members are proficient in asking customers questions to learn more about them and get their opinions, sentiments, and feedback.
13. Multiple Languages
BPO organizations can offer multilingual tech support to widen the consumer base. A service provider has IT specialists speaking in two or more languages, including English, to accommodate the needs of international customers.
Multilingual tech service using voice support is prevalent in primary markets, including Germany, the UK, Brazil, the U.S., and Japan. This type of function is possible through outsourcing and is difficult to achieve when operating an in-house IT support department.
The advantages of multilingual support include:
- Chance to grow sales. Non-English speaking buyers are more at ease communicating with tech support agents who speak their native language. The conversion rate is higher when the language barrier is low.
- Product or service improvement. The IT support team can receive reviews, comments, and suggestions from international customers. You can use these insights to enhance products or services accordingly.
14. Improved Service Speed
The speed of service delivery to customers is another reason to outsource tech support. You save time, effort, and money when you accomplish tasks in the least amount of time. Quick response time is key to increasing revenue and gaining customer loyalty. BPO firms can provide efficient and responsive specialists.
Speed with quality and accuracy is important and enhances your operations:
- Customers feel important as they receive immediate responses to their concerns.
- Buyers will likely spread the word to others about how prompt and professional the support staff is.
- The quicker the tasks get done, the greater the output. More production means more services available to customers.
- Agility is key to staying competitive and ahead of the pack. Servicing customers faster than your competitors gives you a greater chance of retaining them and gaining new ones.
15. Available Work-from-home or Hybrid Setup
Outsource data entry services, IT support, web design, digital marketing, and other functions remotely. Doing so allows you and the outsourced tech team to practice social distancing, minimizing health risks during a pandemic or similar crisis.
Remote support and hybrid work arrangements enable the team to access the client’s computer systems and other related devices without physically going to the site. Specialists can diagnose, troubleshoot, monitor, and address technical issues and problems with a secure and safe software portal.
One benefit of having a remote IT team is that it can respond to requests faster than on-site technicians. The team and the client no longer need to engage in such time-consuming efforts as scheduling meetings, traveling, and constantly communicating while on the way, and they can avoid unexpected distractions.
Ideally, combine a remote outsourced tech support team with the in-house IT team. When the in-house team is preoccupied with tasks or cannot develop solutions, remote specialists can take over to help.
The Bottom Line
This list provides a deeper knowledge of the reasons outsourcing tech support is necessary to help a business achieve greater efficiency, productivity, service speed, and quality goals, as well as its financial goals.
We hope that this article can serve as a supplement to your outsourcing tech support plans or efforts. Note that a third-party IT team can help your business succeed or contribute to your failure, depending on your approach.
Ultimately, it’s all about the customers—how to acquire, serve, satisfy, and retain them. The right outsourced tech support team can be a strong ally in this regard.