I have had some interesting debates with a few people who are now in the process of growing their business from a 5-10 member team to a 50-200 member team. Many of them feel that the cost of hiring, staffing, rent & process setting up is too difficult to keep in-house. Let us weigh both options against each other:
Call Center Outsourced:
No time spent on the following – a)Payment to Infrastructure providers b)Payment & Hiring Staff c)Rent & Location space d)Training & Processes e)Real time data & metrics from the SINGLE Vendor.
1. Where is the personal touch to the end-customer? Does this outsourced person care enough about that each customer at your stage is very very valuable?
2. Is your brand being well represented? The first look and feel of any customer of your product is always – a)Whether you received their call b)How was the experience on the first call
3. Are you understanding what your customer wants? If you have built a service/product, and have shipped it, and there is constant feedback from customers, are you listening to it?
Call Center In-House:
1. Build a rapport with your existing customers. Make them your biggest evangelists.
2. Know their problems first-hand. In-fact from my time at Practo, I clearly recollect that Shashank, Abhinav (Co-Founders) would handle support till the 3rd year of the company if not for me or Aditya Kumar. Same should go with most of us young companies.
3. Do lots of slick integration b/w all your back-end system/processes via an in-house system which gives you flexibility to make changes and grow fast. No dependency on outsourced company and their abilities to manage scale, technical integration or reliability and up-time.
1. A bit of time goes on coordinating a bit with Infrastructure providers, software providers, down-time and hiring/managing people.
It is eventually a decision of the business owner who should know that the in-house solution if available easy is the best way forward for any small & medium enterprise.
PS: I have noticed that in Mumbai & Bangalore there is a difference in culture, in Mumbai younger companies sometimes tend to outsource much faster than in Bangalore. Culture difference?