Outsourcing live chat on face value seems like an unimaginable idea. It goes against the grain for so many reasons, yet once a business tries it, they rarely ever go back.
Initially you ask yourself questions like:
- How can a third-party business converse with my customers with the same authority as my own staff?
- Surely my own staff would be just as good?
- If we do it ourselves, surely we can access our own systems to make updates in real time?
And so on. But let's look more closely.
This week I saw a pdf download released by the Yomdel Marketing Team, which highlighted the pros and cons of outsourced 24/7 Live Chat, and it made me question why so many businesses don't get past the questions above.
The real answer to many of the questions is fairly simple. Because we've been doing this an awfully long time, we know the types of queries your customers will ask when they are on your website. We also study your company website, compile informative databanks, and most importantly grow our knowledge of your business with each chat we field.
Outsourced chat operators essentially work inside your virtual front door, becoming an extension of your own workforce. And like any new employee, their knowledge grows over time and so does the source materials they use.
But also, and interestingly, an outsourced operator is far more likely to be courteous to every single site visitor, even when those visitors may be online trolls, spam chats or a disgruntled customer. Too often in such situations, an internal employee can feel empowered to the degree that they “hit back”, which is a big no-no.
In-house Live Chat services also suffer because they are usually staffed by multi-tasked personnel. The problem with this approach, is that Live Chat becomes a side-line rather than the main focus and often gets forgotten about or only completed half-heartedly.
Yes, one of the cons of outsourced Live Chat is that the operators do not always have live access into all systems, although many integrations are possible. This does mean that in-house staff could hit a higher first time resolution percentage, but actually rarely do because of my previous point. And this is a challenge we are seeing less and less, as our clients integrate CRM, Sales and Contact Management systems with their Live Chat more easily than ever before.
Also, yes, your internal staff will always know your products to a higher level of detail than an outsourced operative, but when a customer talks on chat, most of the time, the queries are, “What time?”, “Can you?”, “Where?”, “Does it?”, “How long?” and only rarely, does the visitor have technical questions regarding a service or product.
So it is a false economy to devote the time of your more expensive, highly trained internal staff to first lines of enquiry that rarely need their level of expertise. Even when visitors do have queries that an outsourced live chat agent cannot answer, we can seamlessly pass the query onto you to call them back within minutes.
So in conclusion, there are pros and cons to in-house and outsourced Live Chat, and this can be influenced by the scale of your operation or your particular sector. But, of all the clients we have met, who have tried both in-house and outsourced Live Chat, 100% went on to prefer the outsourced service because it proved more cost-effective, more efficient, delivered a better ROI, and most importantly consistently produced a higher quality customer experience.
If you'd like to consider outsourcing to Yomdel’s 24/7 managed live chat service don’t hesitate to get in touch, we would be happy to chat.