Dear SaaStr:  What are your thoughts on outsourcing customer support?

There are certainly cons to traditional outsourced support vs. highly trained support that works right inside your company.

But I’d think about it this way as a continuum … from Worst to Best:

  • No support at all. Terrible.
  • Support only from bots. Still awful.  Even with AI. At least you know the vendor is there, but many of your customers will need more than just … a frustrating bot.  Does AI make bots better?  Sure, but even at best-of-breed vendors, they at best answer 20% of questions to the end user’s satisfaction today.  That number is going up, but it’s still a minority.
  • No live support at all. Getting an email back in an hour or a day? A suboptimal experience, at best. At least you know someone works at the vendor when you do hear back. But this is still pretty bad.
  • Live / real-time support, but outsourced. Quality varies based on training. Probably not as good as if you do it in-house. But getting a decent answer right now may be 100x better than a similar answer a day later via email.
  • Live / real-time support, from your own in-house, highly trained team. The best in theory. But can it scale?

And be honest.  Most of us aren’t very good at support.  Gorgias, the #1 B2B ecommerce helpdesk, looked across its 13,000 customers.  The average reponse time?  An abysmal 12 hours!

Even worse, most of those folks thought they provided world-class support when asked!  44% of their 5,000 respondents thought they provided excellent customer support — but only 1.3% actually did!  Average response times were 12 hours, versus a target of < 10 minutes!

Provide world-class support for real.

The best way to start is by providing as much of the best support as you can.

Outsourced support, if properly trained, is far, far better than no support at all.

A bit more here.

Pick Up The Phone. Answer the Chat. Be Present.


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