The 5 Biggest Myths of MSP Outsourcing

Author: Benchmark 365 CEO James Vickery

The world has changed for MSP’s. You don’t have years to build up a team to wow your customers anymore. Today - it’s about speed, access to an ever expanding skill set and access to lower cost people solutions.

So how then do you survive – much less scale and make a healthy profit? Outsourcing helpdesk services for MSPs and ITSPs, is one topic with some heat in it right now. But before you say never – lets bust some of the most common outsourcing myths floating around out there.   

Myth 1: Offshore helpdesk staff aren’t good communicators

The offshore outsourcing industry is more than 20 years old and was pioneered by the telecommunication industry.  Early on there was little care taken to ensure great customer service. Offshoring was simply a way to offer cheaper cellular plans and internet services.

These early consumer experiences resulted in a pretty negative impression about outsourcing.

But, 20 years is a long time. Today, countries like the Philippines have an enormous English speaking workforce many of whom have worked in some of the largest western companies in the world including IBM and Accenture.

The mistakes of early outsourcers have been learned from and, today, the offshore market is thriving with talented, well trained customer service personnel and systems engineers. In fact, many MSPs are outsourcing their helpdesk and finding that it leads to better customer experiences. It’s a brand new world and as much as things have changed in the MSP industry – so has it in outsourcing.

Myth 2: Outsourcing your helpdesk = poor customer service

Outsourcing is done in many different countries - but the Philippines is considered the top location globally for outsourced MSP helpdesk services and where why Benchmark 365 chose to set up shop. Why? Because as a workforce, Filipinos are quick to adapt, are all English speaking and are able to deliver the kind of customer service expected in the most competitive markets. But also critically for you – they are highly trained on the technologies an MSP uses every single day.

Myth 3: You’ll lose your customer relationship

Some MSPs worry they will lose a customer if they try to transition them to an outsourced or offshore helpdesk.  The truth is you could actually lose customers whether or not you outsource - if you don’t continuously build effective relationships.

The most important relationship to manage is the person who pays the bills.  They regularly hold business technology reviews with their customer CEO’s, they call their them to see how their business is doing and keep a pulse on the sorts of requests their customers are making that could lead to more opportunities. It’s hard to do this if you are also responding to service calls or managing a team of techs.

Outsourcing your helpdesk should never be a reason to lose a customer.  If you are already outsourcing and not getting the results you expect then perhaps it’s time to look at an alternative provider.  You should ask any provider how they measure customer satisfaction and you should anticipate a better than 90% customer satisfaction rating.

With an outsourced helpdesk meeting customer demand you’re actually far more likely to retain customers because your business is hitting every ticket quickly while you spend more time in the board room rather than the server room. 

Myth 4: Outsourcing is expensive

There would be little point to outsourcing if it was expensive.  Outsourcing exists to help you scale up rapidly and grow your business much faster than you ever could through traditional in-house hiring.

You should expect outsourcing to reduce your direct labour costs by more than 50% for every  equivalent full time employee. With an outsourced helpdesk you get day and night support and expertise across a full stack of MSP technologies with rapid access to new skills as you add new customers with different support needs.

The cost of local recruitment, training, HR issues, employee downtime and overheads is expensive and is why a lot of MSPs find it very difficult to scale up. When you outsource to the right helpdesk partner your MSP saves cost and grows profitably.

Myth 5: “My customers won’t speak with someone offshore”

This is the most common fear we hear from MSPs - that their clients are doing business with them on the sole basis that they are local and that their customers will somehow refuse to speak to somebody offshore. Our experience at Benchmark 365 in servicing thousands of customers globally – is that it’s just not true.

The reality is at the helpdesk level customers want their issues fixed fast.  That means they want someone to take their call and resolve it as quickly as possible.  In a transactional 1st or 2nd level incident the only thing the customer remembers is that the job was done quickly and competently, not the name and nationality of the technician!

So it’s worth considering how outsourcing might fit in your future growth plans. There’s a growing list of providers out there – so choose carefully. Make sure they understand your customers needs, can develop tacit knowledge about your workflows and processes, will provide an exceptional standard of service both day and night, are continuously running training programs and have a Quality Assurance team and program. Most of all – make sure they a focused on helping you get the scale and growth you want.

James Vickery is CEO of Benchmark 365, a private label MSP partner that offers around-the-clock helpdesk, NOC, Level 1, 2 and 3 support. Read more Benchmark 365 blogs here.