Help desk outsourcing, utilized by corporate world for decades, has become the latest mantra for success in the small business market as well. As existing sources of revenues face sluggish growth, companies are trying new ways, especially outsourcing their back-office operations, to boost their revenues. The philosophy behind help desk outsourcing is simple – excel in your core operations and leave the help desk or non-core processes to outsource providers.
“America’s pain, India’s gain” – The Economist. This statement is not only an unjust perception of outsourcing, but goes against the very basis of globalization on which the United States was founded. Moving help desk operations from developed countries like America to developing nations like India has many benefits. Outsourcing allows an American company to slash its costs by over seventy percent in a lower-wage country. This implies while India gains thirty percent for taking most of the “pain”, the remaining profits are captured by the U.S. in terms of new revenues i.e. more gain, than pain.
Advantages of Help Desk Outsourcing
In U.S. support per workstation can average several thousand dollars per month. Instead of pumping in more money for enhancing support, many companies consider outsourcing as a viable alternative to increase staff. Help desk outsourcing not only eliminate the headaches involved with support, but also improve effectiveness and response time through proper utilization of highly trained workforce.
However, before outsourcing, the company needs to develop a plan, select the right supplier and maintain an active liaison to monitor how the provider handles the support functions. By designation, the help desk provides front-line support for customer problems, making it indispensable that the supplier be one with a clear understanding of the requirements and expectations, and should be highly customer-centric. The risks associated with help desk outsourcing include maintaining the service quality and security issues. Therefore, service level agreements or SLAs are of particular importance, when outsourcing help desk operations.
All the backlash and political rhetoric has little effect on outsourcing, as companies will continue to look at outsourcing as the only feasible way to expand business, while controlling costs. IBM taking over Daksh, one of India’s largest outsource-providers, for an estimated US $175 million, cements this fact.
The Feasibility Of Help Desk Outsourcing
It may be a concept that was once a remote consideration for your business concerns, but help desk outsourcing is a real, viable and practical option that many enterprises are resorting to in this day and age. The reason is simple: you get the same high quality work for a more economical price.
There is no denying the importance of help desks for any business, especially retail enterprises that live by the reputation of their brand, hence, they have to provide some excellent post-sale services. As such, this component is considered as a necessary investment, as it will ultimately redound to the benefit of the business itself.
Help desk outsourcing is the contracting of outside service providers to man your customer or technical support department. Before outsourcing and telecommuting became bywords, business owners usually employed full-time employees to take care of this aspect of their companies. But with the advancements in communication technology, jobbing out the positions relevant to this aspect has become a better alternative for many businesses.
HELP DESK OUTSOURCING OPTIONS
Help desk outsourcing comes in many forms, each with their own pros and cons. Here are the two more popular kinds that many ventures use these days.
You could hire a telecommuter, that is, a work-at-home employee to do the job. The advantage of this option is that you will greatly save up on investment costs, as the telecommuter would be using his own tools for the task. The disadvantage, however, is that you’ll have less supervision over the telecommuter’s affairs, and productivity may be a little difficult to gauge.
You could also engage the services of an outsourcing firm, such as Stafftronix Virtual Assistants. With VoIP and other technological advancements, these firms can contract people from different countries for the job. Popular help desk outsourcing destinations are India and the Philippines, where the English proficiency level is very high and the cost of living is amazingly low. The benefit, of course, is that you’ll only have to pay an employee an amount per day which is equivalent to the going rate per hour in the mainland. Plus, the firm itself would take care of the supervision, and as is often the case, they guarantee utmost productivity as well. This is perhaps the best form of help desk outsourcing available.
The important thing to consider when availing any of these options is to properly screen the people you want to hire, or the firm that wishes to do the hiring for you. It will be quite risky to take the trial-and-error route when your reputation is at stake, given the fact that post-sale services are vital for customer satisfaction and in building the credibility of your business.
So choose wisely. Surely, there is someone, or some people, out there who are more than willing to commit their best work for you.