Hidden costs of outsourcing the call center

We were just talking on the way back from lunch and made a realization that seemed worthy of talking about here. We, like most rapidly growing companies, have looked at outsourcing our call center. But there is an unseen cost in this.

Feedback
With our CSR's continually using our websites to take orders, we continually get feedback on what is and what isn't working. If something changes that we weren't anticipating, we usually know within a matter of hours, if not minutes. When USPS changed their site and we stopped getting rates, it didn't take long before I was being asked why we weren't offering that option any more.

QA
Quality assurance is a great thing. By having many computers of known setups hitting our site, we can make sure our site is working in all common browsers easy enough. We know that it's continually being tested in IE and FireFox, so I don't have to worry about having one of those "Oops" moments when some oddball error shows up in a different browser.

More feedback
I also have the opportunity to get feedback of what our phone reps hear from customers. This is the closest I want to come to direct feedback from a customer (other than email), but it's usually just close enough. Customers, after all, are the ones we really need to please.

Hidden cost?
So what is the hidden cost? Well, it could be quite high.

Comments

David said…
Related article:

http://asktog.com/columns/068priceOfNotListening.html

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