Traditional outsourcing comes with some concerns, but nearshore staff augmentation gives you the benefits of outsourcing without the headaches.
5 Reasons Your Business Needs Nearshore Staff Augmentation
A growing business needs affordable customer service agents to keep customers happy. See how nearshore outsourcing can help.
At a certain point in many businesses’ growth, they encounter a major hurdle: how can they scale up when they don’t have enough staff to support their existing customers? Outsourcing seems like a good solution, offering more workers for less cost.
However, today’s consumers value strong brand relationships and expect prompt customer service. If a company can’t offer these, they can’t be competitive in a crowded market. Unfortunately, standard offshore outsourcing often causes more problems than its worth. To truly enhance your customer support and maintain your brand image, you need to keep your workforce closer to home.
Here are five reasons why nearshore staff augmentation, aka nearshore outsourcing, is an excellent way to bolster your business’s reputation and improve customer service and retention.
No need to recruit in-house help
Recruiting new employees is notoriously time consuming and costly, and if your new hires are not well suited to the role, you have to do it all over again. Staff turnover is a major drain on growing businesses — and customer support has one of the highest turnover rates, especially for tech-based companies.
In standard offshore outsourcing, there is often a revolving door of workers who may not even stay on your project. Also, the outsourced staff typically doesn’t have advanced soft skills or technical skills, which can lead to frustrating situations for your customers.
With nearshore staff augmentation, you typically book an agency that provides highly skilled support workers. This saves you the time and struggle of not only recruiting qualified help but also onboarding and training them.
Nearshore staff augmentation expands your business’s workforce with support staff who have the right skill set for your needs — preserving your company’s reputation while boosting your efficiency.
More engaged team members
Your in-house team participates fully in your workforce and shares a cultural understanding. However, it’s often challenging to get your outsourced staff engaged with your company. They can be quite disconnected from both your company culture and your regional culture. In fact, cultural differences are one of the top problems cited with traditional offshore outsourcing.
Nearshore staff augmentation keeps outsourcing closer to home, both geographically and culturally. This makes the new workers easier to integrate into your team (and it can appease in-house staffers who may be upset that you’re outsourcing). They are located in neighboring countries, which decreases the cultural rift. Your augmented teams can more easily participate in your company culture as well.
A nearshore outsourcing agency also orients workers to your business rather than randomly assigning them. Rather than feeling like they’re working for their agency, most nearshore staff feel a closer connection to your business. Proud participation in a company leads to greater productivity and better overall results.
While workers in traditional offshore outsourcing arrangements are multilingual, there is a big difference between true fluency and merely functional knowledge of a language. With the latter, nuances such as tone of voice, inflection, or dialectical differences get lost. This leads to frustrating situations in which your customers feel that support workers are hearing their questions but not understanding them.
By contrast, when you outsource to a neighboring country, there is often already a natural linguistic exchange. Indeed, hybrid languages such as Spanglish and Creole are common in North and Central America. Many people also pick up enough words from nearby languages to manage basic communication.
So, when a North American company outsources to a Latin American country, customers can connect with someone who also speaks English, French, or Spanish— or at least direct them to someone who can. That’s unlikely to happen if you outsource to India, where the dominant language is Hindi.
With nearshore staff augmentation, you’ll be able to offer multilingual support for your customers, plus give your expanded workforce the opportunity to use their own language.
Scalability is often named as the main reason to outsource because it’s said to help you serve more customers while saving on labor costs. It’s not usually as straightforward as that. In fact, once you consider potential security risks, high staff turnover, and the language/cultural barriers, you may be costing your business more.
Data breaches, lost productivity and quality control, and support reps who lack conversational fluency in your language all hurt your business’s reputation. For all these reasons, it is ultimately wiser to outsource to nearshore countries rather than around the world.
Better engagement and control of your augmented workforce means you can truly expand your team without having to purchase new equipment and infrastructure. Plus, you can typically pay wages that are attractive to your outsourced workers, while saving your hiring budget for employees who must be in-house.
Ultimately, nearshore staff augmentation leads to not only cost savings but also a better overall experience — for both your customers and your team! Your expanded workforce is more connected to your company culture plus highly trained to meet your needs. With nearshore outsourcing, you can truly scale your business in a sustainable way.
To learn more about how nearshore staff augmentation can improve your customer support, read our whitepaper.