Have you ever used outsourced support

energizedit

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#1
Have you ever used outsourced support or chat, sales, etc. Wondering what experience others have had with using outsourced support or live chat or ticket support or anything to cover overnight hours etc.
 

LJSHost

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#2
Absolutely not, I would never want anyone speaking to my customers about anything least of all technical support.
I'm sure out sourced support does work for some providers but I'd rather have my own people.
 

RDO Servers

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#3
Outsourced support can be a great resource. That's why we offer it for those that need it.

Yes, having your own staff is a great thing, but most new hosting providers simply cannot afford to hire their own staff.

When your small, handling customer/tech support yourself is great, but do you really want to work 24/7/365? Would your customers rather talk to a outsourced support tech when their website is blown in the middle of the night, or wait for you to wake up in the morning?
 

energizedit

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#4
I understand that, but do you personally provide support 24/7/365 or have you hired employees for tech support during overnight hours etc.

Thanks

Absolutely not, I would never want anyone speaking to my customers about anything least of all technical support.
I'm sure out sourced support does work for some providers but I'd rather have my own people.
 

LJSHost

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#5
We are not 24/7 as yet but do provide support 16 hours a day/365.
Sure I could outsource those 8 hours but I just don't have confidence in these outsourced companies, always using that would involve giving them access to the servers which is a big NO.

Also you would be surprised at how many companies advertise 24/7 support when in reality it's all marketing and not exactly 24/7
 

energizedit

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#6
Thanks LJSHost for honest input on the subject. I am totally with you on giving another company/person access to one of your servers. What about simple live chat support or ticket support, would you do that, and not give access to your servers? Is this even an option I wonder?
 

LJSHost

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#7
So what if you give someone ticket support access unless it's something simple like "how do I connect to my email" they could not do anything about the ticket anyway without access to the servers. Most simple things like that have answers in the knowledge base.
 

R Langley

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#8
Nope and probably never will, you want to train someone who is motivated to sell specifically your products I mean you can do this with outsources support but its better to just be inhouse if you know what I mean.
 

NickR

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#9
I have nothing against web hosting companies that outsource their support, but, please...pick a better company. I get where the hosting companies are coming from. Outsourcing your support to 3rd world countries is a lot cheaper than getting US/UK/CA-based support. But are those extra bucks really worth it? Do you really want to ruin your whole reputation and business just so you can save a few dollars a month?

I hate it, and I really do hate it when a support team can't even write proper English. I can forget the fact that they don't know what they are doing (ie inexperienced Level 1 technicians/juniors/interns), but sometimes I can't even understand what they write/say.

I'm sure there are a lot of server management companies from 3rd world countries that know proper English and know what they are doing, but this rant is for the opposite of them.
 
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Gecko

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#12
Gecko
My thinking exactly! I mean, I understand why many companies do this but I just think that they should look a little closer at the quality of that outsourced help.

Saving money is always nice for a business but I think that you don't want to save money at the expense of losing customers or potential customers just because you care more about saving a few dollars than you do about taking good care of your customers.

Having a good reputation as a company that takes care of people and provides quality support is something that can be quite valuable and better for the company in the long run than saving a few dollars is.
 

LJSHost

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#10
I agree, if a providers support people can't even spell I have little faith in their technical ability if they can't even master the English language.

It's just cost cutting at the expensive of customers service, goes to show you what little care and consideration they have for customers and only interested in the money.
This is no way to run or grow a quality business.
 

hfav

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#11
Actually it depends on company's support SLA and what level of support you want to provide 24/7.
You don't want to give root access to your hosting control panel or your virtual infrastructure to outsourcing support. One simple mistake could be disaster for your company. I'm not against with outsourcing, but quality of support and level of access is my main concern.
 

HostXNow

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#13
There is nothing wrong with using outsourced support. There are some excellent companies with techs who can write better English than me, and I'm English, and they're from Asia. You just need to pick a reputable company.

I agree that only offering support for 16 hours or so a day is not good. What happens if a customer's site goes down and you have no one else to help with that? That's going to cause your customers to get very impatient and frustrated. I'd rather use outsourced support, so there is always someone to step in, but again, would only give access to servers to a reputable outsourcing company, not some company who's only been running for a year or so.

Why pay one person around £250/week when you can pay the same cost for a massive team of techs for around the same money but pay it every month rather than a week (£750/month saving there plus have 10+ techs rather than just paying for one tech). There is nothing wrong with outsourced support when using reputable companies, IMO. If it cuts down costs and allows you to provide faster response/resolution times, then it's better. It's best to use a combination of outsourced support from a company who specialises in the support plus have at least 1-2 in-house people.

If you're a small provider and jumping on the outsourced support sucks bandwagon just because you don't know a reputable company, please STOP, because a lot of the outsourced techs know their stuff and work hard for less money. If it's because you have academic-professor type English language and only want the best-written language written to your customers, and would rather pay more to hire more individuals, and potentially have slower response/resolution times then feel free, the ones who use reputable outsourced support will get more Sales and usually have happier customers. :salute:
 

gagah

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#14
gagah
Hey, what's wrong with expecting shakespeare to write you a poem on how to set up SSL? :rolleyes2:

Jokes aside, it's really a case of being realistic with the kind of outsourcing company you use. I'm from a third world country myself so i know that there are really smart people working in this industry here. But i also know that the reputation that some outsourced support got is pretty deserved. Especially the ones that are just quick in responding but give you a)empty statements with not so perfect english, b)can't completely understand what you're asking so you're stuck in a loop.

From a business standpoint, especially the owner, of course outsourced support is good. What's not to like, right? Cost is down, support is quick. But from my experience, web hosting companies deals a lot with people who just needs basic answer, but there are some special case that have big expectations and will simply scream out everywhere that your support is crap. But that only happens when the support company is bad. If you hire good ones, like @HostXNow said, i don't think it's a big problem, they might not even noticed.

Of course, i'm only talking about basic level1 support here.
 
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#15
You should only use outsourced support when you can't handle the amount of support tickets coming in. At arch we have all of our staff in every area helping out with support tickets. this ensures high quality support which is essential to good customer relations, because your own team will never accept lower quality answers. At arch we have enough staff to handle the tickets for now, but if for any reason we need to outsource we will, because that's better than leaving the customer in the dark. If you use it, make sure the outsourced support is very good at English, and that they at least know enough about web hosting to handle most of the easier tickets, and forward the harder ones to your staff. Always check in with them by opening a few anonymous support tickets and judging the quality of their replies.

bottom line: only if you absolutely need it, and make sure the outsourced support team is doing a decent job. Outsourced should be a last resort because they tend to not care as much as your own staff would, but if the workload is overbearing then having a decent outsourced team is better than having poor response times.
 
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#16
As a customer there is nothing more frustrating to me than contacting a company and receiving a reply from someone who is clearly working for an outsourcing company and not a direct employee of the company I am trying to reach. If I ask a question and receive a reply that has nothing to do with my initial inquiry and/or is clearly a canned response is extremely frustrating and definitely make me strongly consider doing business elsewhere without a second thought. I'm sure there are companies who do outsource their support and of whom I've contacted without ever knowing it was actually someone who was outsourced and I suppose that it fine because they are still able to provide good customer service at a lower cost but without sacrificing the customer experience.

For my company I would rather contribute to the local workforce and hire locally vs hire a outsourcing firm. If I did hire a firm to outsource sales and support I would want to hire a company who only hires extremely knowledgeable people from within the US/Canada/Europe and even then I would be hesitant to put my faith in another company to be the face and first contact for future and existing clients.
 

StartVM

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#17
Support is outsourced in large companies in about every industry so I don't see why it can't be equally efficient in web hosting assuming the correct security measures and access controls are set. And of course a good relationship between providers is established.
 
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#19
No, everything is in house. We do not have 24x7 customer support but we check our ticket system 24x7 for emergencies.

Outsource support will incur additional expenses for the company and it is best to minimise the cost.
 

NickR

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#20
NickR
Isn't having an in-house support team actually more expensive? You'd have to pay them even for not doing any work at all (when you don't have any tickets). Where if you'd outsource your support, you'd only pay them when they do actual work.
 
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#21
belinda
In-house support is where you will be able to get your full-time employees to assist with customer support. Full time employees such as technical/billing/sales team will have their own job scope to work on. Additionally, they can help with customer support. That way, you will not have to spend extra money to outsource.
 
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#22
All our support is currently in house, We have an actual office where we work from daily and answer the phone from 8:30am to 5:30pm as well as offering ticket support outside of this time. We deal with a lot of local clients at the moment so support isn't too much of an issue and we have had 100% uptime since october.
 

Kieran2001

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#23
Hello,

Not really, no.

I use to hire live chat and ticket agents when I was a small company in the starting days, but quickly found out that the agents had no idea what they were talking about and I removed the agents within a few days.

To this day, myself and my close friends have operated all the support for my business, granted I only have a hundred customers.

Hopefully I helped answer your question.

Best Regards,
Kieran Cairns
 
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#24
To be honest its a yes and no for us. We have hired outsourcing team when a server goes down and need assistance. Our experience has not been so great with outside help and found that it was difficult at time to assess if the they were helping or cause more headaches. So far what we have done is to get some specialized freelancer on the payroll to assist with tasks instead of outsourcing everything.
 

David Beroff

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#25
David Beroff
Agreed but if you need outsourcing team when your server goes down then it will consume more money instead you have ready experience hosting experts in your team AND you don't have support every time if you hire a service like that because I am sure freelancers are not always ready when you ping them :)
 
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