Remote Customer Support vs. On-site Customer Support

Olga Rotanenko, BizDev Director

 In the post-pandemic world, remote work has become the new normal. This is one of the biggest reasons why companies are no longer hesitant to outsource or outstaff to offshore teams. However, when it comes to remote outsourced services, many companies still view this work model as risky and opt for on-site outsourcing providers. However, as we will see later on, hiring a remote team to handle your customer support has many benefits, which is why a lot of companies choose this working model. Let’s start by taking a look at the difference between outsourcing and remote staffing. 

 

Outsourcing and Remote Staffing: What’s the Difference?

 

Both outsourcing and remote staffing are popular options for businesses. Remote stuffing refers to having a team of remote employees working exclusively for you. Outsourcing means contracting third parties to complete certain projects or operations for you.

Outsourcing Models: Offices on Site, Remote staff, Hybrid Model

When choosing to outsource some of your business processes, there are several models you can choose from: 

 

  • – Offices On-Site – This model involves hiring an outsource provider that has a physical office location where your on-site team will work from. 
  • – Remote Staff – When companies choose this model, team members can be scattered in many different locations, but they still function as a single unit. 
  • – Hybrid Model – As you can imagine, a hybrid model involves a combination of both on-site and remote staff. Usually, a company will have a physical office location, but they will still have team members working remotely from other locations. 

 

The Advantages and Disadvantages of the On-Site Model 

 

If you are exploring the possibility of hiring outsourcing providers on-site, you need to be aware of the advantages and the possible drawbacks. Let’s start by taking a look at the benefits: 

 

  • – Your team works from one space – This can be helpful because social interactions foster happiness and empathy. It also allows team members to build better and stronger relationships with one another. 
  • – Easier to monitor and control – When everybody is in one place, it’s easier to see who is getting work done and keep an eye out for potential problems. 
  • – Strong security measures – Outsourced companies with physical offices go to great lengths to ensure security. This includes things like local servers for data storage and protection, 24-hour video surveillance that provides permanent monitoring, and many other things. 
  • – Team buildings – When everybody is scattered in various locations, it can be almost impossible to gather everybody for a team-building activity. This is not a problem when everybody is on-site. 

 

The downsides to hiring an on-site customer support team include the following: 

  • – Hard to find and recruit people with different languages and skills – There are cases when companies need a very rare language or candidates with specific skills. It will be difficult to find these types of candidates since you are limited to a geographic location. 
  • – Harder to find and recruit people to work in different time shifts – If you have a global business, you need to provide support to your customers in many different time zones. With on-site teams, this can be difficult since people will have to work late in the evening or night hours. 
  • – More expensive for the client – Companies that have physical offices incur the costs of maintaining these spaces. This includes rental costs, utilities, and equipment procurement. All of these costs are passed along to the client and raise the cost of hiring a support team.  

Now that we know all of the advantages of on-site remote outsourced services let’s move on to remote staff and hybrid models.

 

The Advantage of Hiring an Outsourced partner with Remote Staff or Hybrid Model 

 

Hiring remote staff can be a great way to expand your in-house customer support team or set up a new one. Let’s take a look at remote staff outsourced customer support benefits: 

  • – Easier to find and recruit multilingual people with different backgrounds – By hiring people from various locations, you are expanding the talent pool of candidates where you can find very specific skills and knowledge. 
  • – Easier to find and recruit people for different time shifts (zones) and 24/7 support – If you need to provide support to customers in various time zones, you can hire candidates who live and work in that location. 
  • – Quick ramp-up – Since there are more candidates to choose from, it is easier to scale your team without sacrificing the quality. 
  • – Strong QA and management team should be in place – Even though team members are scattered across many geographic locations, there are still religious QA processes in place to measure metrics and make sure the needed KPIs are reached. 
  • – Remote monitoring systems and tooling can be implemented – There are lots of tools out there that allow you to stay on top of how well work is moving along. This allows you to track the hours each person is working and how much they got done that day. 
  • – Modern Security control systems can be implemented – There are all kinds of tools that can be implemented to ensure the security of your data. This can range from antivirus software to VPNs, cloud tools, security training, and many other things. 
  • – Loyal staff – Your team will appreciate that they do not need to commute to work every day, which saves a lot of time and hassle. They will want to stay at a company that offers such flexibility, which will increase loyalty. 
  • – Go green – If people don’t need to commute, they will not need to drive to work, get on a bus, or any other mode of transportation. This helps reduce carbon emissions.  
  • – Cheaper for the client – If the outsourcing company does not have the overhead costs of maintaining an office, they will pass along these savings to the client. 

 

The disadvantages of remote staff include: 

  • – Virtual security measures – While there are security measures in place, there really is nobody monitoring the work of the agents to make sure that all rules and regulations are being followed. 
  • – No 100% engagement to the project– Working from home can be difficult. For some people, it can be hard to maintain a healthy work-life balance since their job and home are so intertwined. 
  • – Lack of Human communication – While Zoom and Teams call is great, nothing beats talking to somebody face-to-face. 

 

Since You’re So Used to Remote Work, Why Not Give Remote Staffing a Shot? 

 

As we saw from the information above, the benefits of remote staffing certainly outweigh any of the reservations you might have. The most important thing is to find an outsourcing provider that helps you put together the right team for you and get your project off the ground right away. If you are looking to hire a remote customer support team, consider hiring Pexly to do all of the heavy liftings for you. We have extensive experience actualizing projects of various sizes and complexities, and we can provide you with solutions that meet your specific needs. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you. 

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