One of the most important aspects of the web hosting business is technical support. In fact, it’s one of the main considerations many customers have when choosing their hosts. But with increasing customer demand, do hosting companies, especially small to mid-sized ones, actually have the resources to provide quality support, much less offer it 24/7. One solution to this is of course, outsourcing.
But should web hosts actually consider outsourcing customer/technical support?
According to Rawlson King in his article ‘Outsource to India for Support Shifts to Training, Maintaining,’ in theWHIR.com, outsourcing support has a number of benefits. Not only would it give you more time to growing your business, it also allows you to control the amount of customer churn you experience.
He further adds, this time in his article `Using Tech Support to Fortify Sales, Revenues,’ also in theWHIR.com, that hosting operations can cut costs by eliminating the use of an in-house, salaried, technical staff. This increases revenue since most experts estimate that nearly 30% of a hosting company's revenue stream is spent on support.
Why outsource Technical Support to India?
It’s getting harder (and more expensive) to find (and hire) good techs full-time
Allows sorting of calls to give more time to deal with small/server side stuff
Potential savings with less overhead as it can be a financial drain to offer 24/7 support in-house
As a short term solution for support needs
Can develop a scalable cash flow model
Allows hosts to offer honest 24/7/365 support
Can be used as Level 1 support
Hosts differ by the quality of their support, if they outsource support, they lose their main attraction to customers
What if outsourced tech support screws up?
Might become dependent on them for customer service
Potential security/liability issues in providing outsourced techs root access
Problem with techs acting on their own without consulting with web host
Support personnel might get confused as to which companies they’re providing support for (shouldn’t be a problem with good outsourcing companies)
Outsourcing companies generally don’t care enough about the company they’re offering support for so quality of service is not guaranteed
Lack of accountability
Outsourced techs may not answer fast enough
Language issues if outsourcing company is based outside customers’ base of operations