Many companies are using technical support outsourcing providers as a means of controlling costs while making around the clock technical assistance available to customers.
Outsourcing Technical Support Functions
It's not uncommon for hardware and software technology companies to outsource their technical support operations to third party service providers. Information technology companies often choose to focus their internal efforts on production research, development, and manufacturing. The fact that a particular company decides to focus on a particular aspect of operations doesn't meet that the organization can stop providing technical support, however.
In order to meet the needs of their clients, information technology companies must continue to provide effective telephone technical support services, even after deciding to concentrate internal efforts on core business functions. Instead of developing comprehensive call centers of their own, many firms outsource this part of their business to organizations that specialize in providing information technology related technical support services.
Services Provided by Technical Support Outsourcing Firms
There are outsourcing options available for most types of information technology support. Different suppliers have varying specialties. Packages can often be customized to meet customer needs. Before you start shopping around for outsourcing providers, you'll need to think about what types of tasks you'd like to company to provide.
Technical support tasks that can be outsourced include:
- Hardware problems
- Helpdesk services
- Internet service provider issues
- Networking issues
- Server administration
- Software problems
- Warranty support services
Factors to Consider When Choosing Third Party Providers
When you're thinking about hiring a third party to handle your company's technical support function, there are a number of important factors to consider. There are pros and cons of outsourcing, and it's important to make sure you consider all the relevant factors before making a decision.
- Cost: It is typically much less expensive to outsource technical support services than to staff your own department. Verify that you will actually save money before entering into an agreement for outsourced technical support.
- Hours of operation: Do you need to provide around the clock customer service? If so, make sure to hire a company that provides 24/7 service. If you only need to provide service during standard operating hours, you don't have to worry about finding a company with all hours availability.
- Language issues: Is your primary customer base located in a particular geographic area? If so, verify that you are choosing a technical support provider with employees fluent in the language of that region. If you have customers located all over the world, be certain that the company you hire has personnel who will be able to communicate effectively with your customers without having to worry about language barriers.
- Employee training: Find out how the company you plan to hire prepares employees to service your customers. Make sure they will go through sufficient and appropriate training before being allowed to interact with your clients.
Companies that Provide Outsourced Technical Support Services
If you're interested in contracting with a technical support service provider to handle your company's telephone support services, be sure to thoroughly research the organizations you are thinking about hiring. You may want to consider securing the services of an organization like IT Match Online or Vendor Seek to help identify an outsourcing provider that meets your needs.
Of course, you can also look for technical support outsourcing companies on your own. There are many different technical support companies, including: