Why technical support agents in firms perform better than freelancers

Why technical support agents in firms perform better than freelancers

OABPO Blog Team Published on April 1, 2014

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The voice-based technical support operations of an outsourcing firm have great advantages over home-based freelance work in terms of reliability, security, management, and costs. This is what we inferred in a comparison we made in a previous post between freelance call center agents and full time representatives under an outsourcing company.

Despite being less manageable due to time and location differences, freelancers somehow get the upper hand because they have greater control over their work schedule and location than office-based agents. But the question is, does this flexibility guarantee superior customer service? Independent employees may have the freedom to work at home, but there, they may encounter obstacles that office-based workers don t normally face.

Distractions

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Home-based tech support agents work in an environment that is not solely dedicated to customer service work. There are things, situations, and personal duties at home that may interfere with their productivity. This is especially true for parents who have to juggle time between children and freelance work.

In technical support firms, distraction rarely becomes an issue because the physical attributes of common call centers and outsourcing companies are structured to mask noise, provide comfort, and boost efficiency. Some offices even mandate workers to keep personal devices away from workstations to foster better focus among agents.

Isolation

Independent contractors don t have to travel to their workplace and physically meet their boss or coworkers on a regular basis or even at all. While this may seem convenient, home-based work could subject freelance agents to isolation and cause them to seek a job that involves social interaction.

As poor colleague interaction is one of the factors blamed for attrition in call centers, companies providing customer service solutions encourage constant communication and bonding among employees to build a sense of teamwork and increase employee satisfaction. Thus, your technical support agents will less likely feel isolated if they are part of a team managed by your outsourcing partner.

Technical issues

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Freelancers usually work on their own, so they rely on themselves to fix technical issues. This can be time-consuming and costly on their part, especially if they don t possess the technical expertise required in troubleshooting complex problems.

On the other hand, service vendors assign a separate department to handle technology-related problems in the workplace. This way, only customers have the agents’ full attention, and there will be other representatives to take over the halted work of the agent facing technical difficulties.

Taking all these situations into consideration, businesses could indeed avail better services if they outsource tech support to an outsourcing firm than entrust independent agents working at home. Representatives managed by a service vendor are less prone to distractions, isolation, and hindrances caused by technical issues.

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