As the business world turns toward the social, customer relationship management is more important than ever. Keep customers happy before they reach out on Facebook, Twitter, and the dozen other social networks can make or break a reputation. As well, companies are constantly in search of ways to decrease cost. In the past decade, outsourcing was a popular solution for many businesses. However, with the cons of outsource CRM, is it worth the savings?
When Cost of Your CRM is an Issue
For many business leaders, the decision to outsource any part of their business is not a decision made lightly. This is especially true when placing an outsourced company between your business and your customers. Determining if the need it truly there is a process that should be closely looked at as in-house CRM is still the preferred option for both the company and their customers.
One factor that drives many companies to outsourcing is cost. As with any internal department, CRM comes with a list of needs and costs. However, many outsource companies offer a low-cost option as they handle the CRM needs of other companies as well. If cost is your main concern, you should determine if the extra cost of housing your CRM is worth the management benefits of keeping your CRM under your roof.
Workforce Skill and Demand Variations and Core Competency
Additional driving forces that push companies toward outsourcing is within the companies own people, demand variations and whether CRM is the core competency of the business. These are factors that need to be looked at closely prior to outsourcing in order to understand your processes, requirements and in which direction your outsourcing should head.
If the lack of CRM skill within the company is the reason to outsource, you will need to look closely at the personnel of the outsource company you choose to hire. Determine whether their staff is capable of offering the quality of service you demand, meet retention requirements, and represent your business in the same manner your own employees would.
If CRM is a byproduct of your business, it is apparent that it is not the core competency of your company. In this instance outsourcing your CRM could leave your business to do what it does best, develop new products and services. No one company is good at everything and it is sometimes best to leave the CRM to the professionals.
In many industries, there are seasonal demand variations which makes housing your CRM unrealistic. This is the added benefit of outsourcing your CRM to a call center. They will add and reduce staff as needed, a task which you may not have the ability to complete. With many professional call centers taking on many different projects, staff can be reassigned as needed, keeping your projects attrition rate as low as possible during slow seasons.
Outsourcing locally or internationally
When you say the word “outsource” the image of an offshore call center may come to mind. As offshore outsourcing continues to grow in popularity, this is normal. There are many benefits to outsourcing offshore, while keeping your CRM local may also provide a better customer experience. Before deciding which route is best for you, revisit your reason for outsourcing, what you need in an outsource call center and what you expect to get in return.
An unfortunate truth in the US is that call center jobs have a high attrition rate. Nobody expects to make a career in a call center. However, offshore call centers offer the opposite. They retain their employees for years as the skill set needed is harder to find and the local job market is scarce. If you are looking for a company that can offer employees that will stay with your project, offshore outsourcing may be the right choice.
It is no secret that many Americans would rather have an English speaking representative answer their questions when they call your customer service line. Many companies have seen a backlash from customers when using foreign call centers. If you feel your customers will be disappointed by offshore outsourcing, you may want to consider keeping it local.
There are many benefits to outsourcing your CRM if the need is there. However, if it is within your company’s means, keeping your CRM in-house may just be the decision you need to make. Outsourcing may offer lower costs, easier management and well-skilled representatives, but these pros can quickly become cons if your customers are not happy with the service.
About the Author: Brett Harris is a business blogger earning his online business degree to get a better grasp on today’s shifting business world.