The Pros and Cons of Hiring Virtual Customer Service Staff


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Customer service has always the part of the business that requires the most manpower. While automated phone system and chat software are lightening the workload of customer service staff, they are far from good enough to completely replace the human factor. The truth is, confused, upset, or even downright angry customers will only talk to another person, who hopefully is an experienced staff with excellent personal skills.

Because of the technology available, hiring virtual customer service staff has now become a trend for business all over the world. The undeniable fact is that hiring virtual staff for customer service can be a smart move for businesses, but not without certain challenges. Is your business ready to hop on the bandwagon? Here are a few pros and cons to consider:

The Pros of hiring virtual customer service staff
The most obvious advantage of hiring virtual customer service staff is to provide manpower at a more affordable rate. Because the virtual staff can work from home, there is no cost to rent extra office space, or to provide equipment such as phones or computers.

Because virtual staff can come from anywhere in the world, businesses can hire from areas with lower average wage, and thus, save on the payroll.
Within customer service, there are also certain advantages to hiring virtual customer support staff. Most customers can only be reached after the regular office hours. This means in a traditional office setting, staff will have to work overtime to accommodate this. However, with virtual staff and the ability to work from different time zone, a business can easily cover the 24-hour time span during the day. This will allow customers to access full support any time they need.

Because of the availability and affordable cost, the dedicated virtual team of customer service can be a huge improvement to your service. Customers can get their answers even when the business owners and other onsite staff are off from work. The dedicated team can also focus on serving customers, leaving the rest of the staff to focus on their primary tasks.

The Cons of hiring virtual customer service staff
The first issue to address is that unlike onsite staff, you need to put in certain measures to control work productivity and quality. Many businesses utilize software and call history to track productivity of their staff. Others use a rating system to get customers’ feedback on the staff performance.

Then, initial training and additional updates from the main office are certainly required. The staff can be expert in dealing with customers, but may not have any knowledge of your products or services at the beginning. Once the initial training is completed, there is also the matter of communicating any changes with the staff along the way. The distance and time difference can present communicating challenges.

When hiring virtual customer service staff, there is also the matter of determining whether the staff has the local knowledge to handle customer questions. In many cases, the foreign staff may have excellent language and personal skills, but lack the cultural or background knowledge. This requires additional explanation and guidance from the main office.


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