Live Chat Outsourcing: UK Live Chat Agents vs Offshore Live Chat Agents

Outsourcing your live chat is a big decision in itself. The idea of trusting another live chat agent with your on-site communication is not a decision to be taken lightly. As a business manager I’m sure you have high expectations and KPI’s for your staff. It is very easy to be aware of how they are performing as you see and interact with them every day. Outsourcing live chat is now a viable option and is a decision an increasing number of businesses are making. Handling a site’s live chat is no small task. Can your company cover the hours required, and reliably? Will your live chat agents be able to respond to every query with minimal delay? Can they handle the levels of conversations, making efficient use of time during busy and quiet periods?

There are two options when it comes to outsourcing your live chat. Both may be provided by UK companies, the significant difference to be aware of is the location of the agents.

Offshore Live Chat Agents

We’ve all experienced the dreaded phone call to various corporates, 48 minutes on hold listening to some dreadful music on repeat before finally being put through to an operator. A thick accent mumbles a script down the phone to you. Many firms have taken the decision to move their call centres back to the UK, footing the massively increased bill to keep their customers happy. Live chat does help mitigate these issues. No accent and generally a quicker time to get through to an operator. But what you are then faced with is the difficulty in explaining yourself to an individual who’s english is not their native language. You then often receive a delayed, “best fit” pre written answer which doesn’t necessarily solve your query. The big benefit to offshoring your live chat is the cost saving.

UK Live Chat Agents

UK live chat agents aren’t all the same. Some are self employed and work from home. Some are part time live chat agents and full time mums needing some extra cash. At The Chat Shop we recruit agents with an interest in their clients sector (where we can), put them through extensive training and work to continuously review and improve performance. The training involves the basics including using the software, handling queries and efficiency as well as detailed, more client specific training geared towards clients particular goals, whether that be lead generation, sales, customer service or anything else. Thus adding more value than the cost of the service.

Which is best?

This depends on your priorities and motivations for choosing live chat. For technical support a large proportion of companies will outsource to an offshore technical contact centre as the higher level of tech based education is of a higher priority than the language barriers and possible delay in response. For many companies wishing to increase sales and leads while improving customer service, a UK based, more goal orientated firm may be more suitable as the value derived from such a service far exceeds the cost.