In House Vs Outsourcing Support

Conventional wisdom has always advocated for webhosts to keep their customer support and server management in-house. It was believed that the webhosts understood their customers best and could provide the best support to them. This thinking was heavily based on the premise that customers were from more or less in the same geography as the webhosts and that most customers would only need support in the business hours during which the web hosts operated themselves. However, in the last few years, this premise has been all but destroyed. Webhosting customers come in from all over the world looking for services and the customers themselves require support 24x7 because their businesses sometimes run 24x7. This and many other reasons mean that the conventional wisdom of keeping support in-house, needs to be relooked at. Here are some reasons why a webhost should consider outsourcing a part or complete support to a support specialist.

Attrition and Cost of recruitment and retraining

Most webhosts have small support teams ranging in size from 1 to 25 people. So when even 1 employee walks away, it leaves a very large hole that need to be filled quickly. It’s hard to find good people willing to work different shifts and be available 365 days a year. If you do get lucky and find one, there is still the long arduous cycle of training. The cost of training 1 person is often the same as training 20. Therefore, when you are training in small batches of 1 or 2 or even 3, you are incurring a very high cost per person.

Holiday Coverage and Backups

Holiday Season is a tough time for web hosts. It is hard to find someone to man support when the regular people take off. Also, last minute leaves, sickness and other such absenteeism is almost impossible to cover because there are no backups or pool of other employees who can called upon to fill in. The same is true for weekends when it is hard to manage the support with thin to no staffing at all.

Management Bandwidth

Web Hosting is a growing industry. Webhosts need to balance their time between Sales, Procurement (Bandwidth, Servers, and DC Equipment), Billing and other nuances that come with running a growing business. Managing, Training and Supervising large support teams is an unnecessary strain on his already limited time. Webhosts would much rather spend that time growing their sales and hatching productive partnerships within and outside of the industry.

Round the clock (24x7) coverage of Support

It is near impossible to have round the clock coverage for most webhosts with small teams. Also, the cost of running an infrastructure 24x7 can be very high in most developed countries.

Industry Best Practices and Trends

Webhosts with in-house support also lose out on the benefits of having a support vendor who has exposure to many different hosting companies and environments. Not only does the vendor keep the webhost up breast with the latest developments in the industry but they can also bring to board a host of best practices that are being adhered to by the industry. These could range from ideal response times to backup methodologies being employed around the globe.

Manpower Cost and Quality

The biggest advantage remains the cost of manpower. Often, you can employ a complete 24x7 team if you are outsourcing your support at the cost of having 1 person in your region working from your offices. Not only are the costs low, but even the quality of this set of people is often far superior to what you can get locally. From Graduate engineers to highly skillful and certified professionals, all can be made available to you via your support vendor at very low costs given the difference in the cost of living between your region and theirs.

In conclusion, not only is outsourcing your webhosting support a more cost effective strategy but its also the wiser strategy and a more growth focused approach to managing your customer support. Make use of the experience that many outsourced support vendors have and enjoy a peaceful and less strenuous business life.

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