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Guide to Outsourcing Customer Service in 2024 (+ Top Tools and Resources to Get Started)

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Guide to Outsourcing Customer Service in 2024 (+ Top Tools and Resources to Get Started)

Jun 12, 2024
9 min read

Table of contents

If you’re running an online business, you know customer service is more important than ever. 

However, managing an in-house customer service team can take time and effort.

From hiring and training staff to managing customer interactions and handling escalations, the demands on customer service teams can be overwhelming.

That’s why around27% of small enterprises outsource customer service – Clutch. *

Partnering with a customer service outsourcing company gives them access to various benefits, like streamlined support operations and reduced costs.

But more importantly, it allows them to focus on increasing revenue.

If this is something your company wants to do, you’re at the right place.

In this guide, we talk about —

  • What  is customer service outsourcing
  • Types of customer service outsourcing
  • The pros and cons of outsourcing support
  • Factors to consider while selecting a customer service outsourcing company
  • Top 5 customer service outsourcing companies
  • 5 best practices when you outsource customer service in 2024

Table of Contents

If you’re short on time and quickly want an overview of the top 5 customer service providers, refer to the table below.

Digital Minds BPO– Inbound and Outbound Call Handling
– Technical Support
– Lead Generation 
– Appointment Setting
– Email and Live Chat Support
– Social Media Management. 
Customized proposals within 1-2 days of the request
Partner Hero– Multichannel Customer Support
– Customer Care
– Help Desk Support
– E-commerce Support
– Technical Support
– Seasonal shifts
–  Fractional help
Starts at starts at $10 / hr
HelpSquad BPO– Multichannel customer support
– Digital And Voice Customer Support
– AI Operations
– Back-Office Support
– Call Center And Answering Services
– It Support & Technical Assistance

Starts at $185 monthly for 50 unique chats/engagements.
Teleperformance– Back-office support
– Retail & E-commerce Customer Service 
– Digital CX and AI
– Omnichannel Journey Orchestration
–  Business Messaging
– AI-based Bots
– Virtual Assistants
– Cloud Contact Center Capabilities
Customized proposal
TELUS International– Customer Care
– Technical Support
– Social Media
– Optimizing Self-Serve Options
– Troubleshooting Complex Issues
– Voice And Chat Support 
Customized proposal

Please note that all these companies provide flexible customer support solutions, including on-demand customer service and 24/7 support.

Now that we’ve learned about the top 5 customer service outsourcing companies, let’s dig deeper into this guide.

What is Customer Service Outsourcing?

Customer service outsourcing is when a company hires an external organization to handle its customer service operations. This means that instead of the company’s employees, people from a different company will handle tasks like answering customer questions, handling complaints, and providing support. 

Today, shifting customer service to a third-party provider has become common. It allows them to focus more on other aspects of their business while ensuring their customers receive the support they need.

Did you know: The contact center outsourcing market size is expected to grow from USD 100.93 billion (in 2023) to USD 106.7 billion (in 2024). (Source)

What are the pros and cons of customer service outsourcing?

Just like everything else, outsourcing customer service has positives and negatives. 

Let’s discuss them in detail below.

The pros

First, let’s look at a few merits of hiring a third party to handle customer service for your business:


One of the most compelling advantages of outsourcing customer service is its cost-effectiveness. 

According to Deloitte’s recent global outsourcing report, 70% of companies consider cost reduction as the primary objective for outsourcing services.

Outsource customer service for cost reduction

By outsourcing your customer service, you can cut costs on hiring, onboarding, training, quality assurance, infrastructure, fixed salaries, and benefits.

Outsourcing helped IBM reduce its customer contact cost by 97%!

You could outsource your customer service to a top-tier business process outsourcing (BPO) contact center offshore, where the cost of living, wages, and operational expenses are significantly lower than in your home country.

But remember that you should pay your outsourcing partner fairly for their services.

To find the proper wage for your outsourcing partner, consider factors like minimum wage laws in their country, currency differences, experience, etc.

Reduced workload

Customer service can be very high-pressure. 

It’s time-intensive and requires you to build and maintain a meaningful relationship with your customers consistently.

If you’re a business with limited resources and are looking to scale quickly, managing customer service in-house could overwhelm you. 

In such cases, it’s better to outsource. It takes a giant load off your back. 

Leaving you with more time and resources to focus on growth strategies.

Flexible coverage

When you outsource your customer service, you give your customers quality support even on weekends and holidays. Even 24×7, if you wish to. 

Hiver’s latest Customer Service Benchmark Survey found that 76% of companies offer support outside traditional business hours – 34% of companies even offer 24×7 support. (Source)

So outsourcing your customer service can be a good option if you’re short-staffed but want to be available for your customers beyond your working hours.

Alternatively, outsourcing is beneficial if your business sees an uptick in customer service requests during specific times of the year, such as the holiday season. 

Recommended Read:  How Hiver Delivers 24×7 Customer Support – The Story

More efficient customer service management

Building a customer service team from scratch is a Herculean task – not to forget, an expensive one, too! 

Hiring talent, training talent, and establishing transparent processes and workflows can take several months. 

In addition, the investment required for customer service software can be huge.

A top-tier customer support outsourcing provider will have all the necessary resources and well-defined processes to manage customer requests of varying levels of complexity. 

That, in turn, makes their operations more efficient and their turnaround time to customers significantly faster!

The cons

Outsourcing customer service isn’t free of limitations. Here are some of the risks you must be aware of before deciding to outsource:

Limited knowledge of your product and customers

No matter how great your outsourcing partner is, they will likely have a different understanding and knowledge of your brand and customers than you.

Since they aren’t privy to your business’s day-to-day functioning, they’ll lack the depth, context, and nuance that is needed to empathize with the customers. 

A recent study shows that almost 36% of global and 40% of US customers find customer service agents’ lack of knowledge to resolve their issues the most frustrating aspect of customer service.

Unless you closely monitor each customer interaction – which beats the purpose of outsourcing customer service, to begin with – you can never be sure if agents are following your company’s protocol or are sharing the correct information with your customers.

Lack of personal attention

Building a business is a work of passion and dedication – you’d want to ensure everything you do is impeccable. 

Unfortunately, outsourcing customer service can’t guarantee quality (or passion).

More often than not, your outsourcing partner will be servicing multiple clients at once – and your business may not be their top priority.

Data security concerns

Outsourcing service providers usually have robust protocols and security systems to ensure sensitive data security. However, a data breach is still a considerable concern when outsourcing customer support. 

According to a survey by PwC, 81% of companies worldwide are concerned about the mismanagement of critical data by their outsourced call center agents. The same study reported that at least 18% of third-party suppliers have accidentally breached and exposed companies’ vital data.

Further, even the data transfer process to your outsourcing partner poses a high-security risk, increasing the likelihood of systems getting hacked.

This is where Reverse ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) tools can be helpful, as they enable companies to transfer their data from various third-party sources, such as call center software, back to their internal systems for better control and analysis. 

What are the different types of customer service outsourcing?

<Infographic stating types of customer service outsourcing>

Before outsourcing your customer service, the first thing to understand is the many options available. 

You must carefully consider the following choices and what best suits your needs.

Multi-channel vs. Omnichannel Support

Multi-channel support means providing customer support services across two or more channels like email, live chat, or phone calls. 

Omnichannel support allows you to deliver seamless and integrated customer service across all customer touchpoints.

When you have few channels to cater to and a low volume of customer requests, multichannel outsourcing can be a good choice for you. 

However, if customers interact with your company through multiple devices, touchpoints, and channels, providing them with a consistent experience is essential. In this case, omnichannel outsourcing can help enhance the customer experience.

Onshore vs. Offshore Service providers

One crucial factor to consider when outsourcing customer service is whether you want to hire onshore or offshore call center services. 

Onshore customer service outsourcing is when the service provider within the same country as the company.  On the other hand, it involves partnering with a service provider located in a different country.

The model you choose will typicallyl depend on where your customers are located. While deciding this, you should consider language, cultural differences, technological infrastructure, and time zones. 

Some popular countries you can consider outsourcing your customer service to are India, the United States, the Philippines, and South Africa.

Shared vs. Dedicated customer support agents

In shared customer service outsourcing, customer support agents handle multiple companies at once. 

This model is suitable for you if you’re not big on personalization.

In contrast, if customers often reach out to you with complex inquiries and need an in-depth understanding of your products or services, consider using a dedicated customer service provider.

They work solely for your business and would be able to tailor their services according to your company’s needs. 

Factors to consider while selecting a customer service outsourcing company

To select the best customer service outsourcing company, you should consider the following factors:

Geographical location: Choose a partner who is available where your customers are present. If needed, consider time zone differences to enable 24/7 operations.

Flexibility and scalability: Partner with a provider that can scale their services based on your changing needs, especially during peak seasons or when launching new products or services.

<Infographic stating a list of factors>

Data security and privacy: Prioritize data security and privacy, especially in the case of offshore outsourcing, where data protection laws and practices may vary.

Pricing model: Choose a pricing model that aligns with your budget and service expectations, such as per hour, per customer query transaction, or a combination of both.

Now that you know what factors to consider to select an outsourcing partner, let’s look at the top 5 customer service outsourcing providers.

Top 5 Customer Service Outsourcing Companies in 2024

Are you looking for a customer service outsourcing company? Explore these companies to get ahead:-

Digital Minds BPO – Digital Minds BPO offers 24/7 customer service outsourcing with a focus on high-quality service and a proven track record of delivering results for Fortune 500 companies. They provide various services, including live chat and phone support, and are known for their experienced agents and commitment to customer satisfaction.

PartnerHero – PartnerHero is a customer service outsourcing company specializing in custom-built support teams for SaaS companies. They offer services such as customer support, technical support, player support, QaaS, managed help desk, managed bots, and fractional CXO. PartnerHero is known for its scalable solutions and advanced services.

HelpSquad BPO – HelpSquad BPO is a customer service outsourcing company that offers multilingual capabilities and other advanced technology to help resolve customer queries. They provide various services, including live chat, phone, and email support. HelpSquad BPO is known for its fast response times and high-quality service.

TELUS International – Recognized for its significant headcount (300+ customer support agents),TELUS International is a reliable choice for businesses that need a substantial number of customer service agents.

Teleperformance – Teleperformance is a global customer service outsourcing company that offers various services, including customer support, technical support, and sales support. They are known for their multilingual capabilities and commitment to providing high-quality service to clients worldwide.

How to Outsource Customer Service: 5 Best Practices for 2024

Customer service is critical to your brand – it can make or break your business. So, after having weighed the pros and cons of outsourcing, if you do decide it’s the right option for your company, ensure you do an excellent job at it by keeping these five best practices in mind:

Set clear expectations for your customer service provider

Before passing the baton of your company’s customer service operations to your outsourcing partner, ensure you set specific goals

Practical goal setting isn’t something you can depend on a third party to do well. 

You understand your business’ vision and how customer service ties into your brand’s overall strategy more than anyone else.

Whatever your goal is, be it —

  • Cutting down on costs
  • Increasing the service coverage you offer
  • Keeping response time under 24 hrs
  • Improve customer quality
  • Improve first call resolution by 50%
  • Increase customer retention
  • Reducing customer churn
  • Improving CSAT score by 50 %

Apart from this, you want to make sure you set clear SLAs with specific benchmarks for the completion rate.

Make sure you spell them out and communicate them with your outsourcing partner. Tell them what you expect before asking them to share a plan for meeting those expectations.

Take complete charge of training and quality

Imagine your outsourcing partner has an extensive client portfolio, and their staff offers service for multiple clients simultaneously.

If you’re an insurance company, your brand voice and language can’t be the same as a women’s apparel brand. 

Therefore, you must take control of training your outsourced team. Ensure they know and understand everything about your business – from your brand’s vision to the service’s detailed technical aspects. 

Ensure they know the most commonly asked customer questions and how to answer them.

You can also consider the language and culture differences and their implications for your brand communication. 

Hold regular meetings and review discussions.

Customer service problems can arise in various forms, from communication issues to product or service-related problems.

And if these issues are recurring, then it’s important to discuss and resolve them quickly.

For example, if customers are finding it challenging to navigate through a certain feature, you may want to dedicate a section about it in your knowledge base or FAQs. Otherwise, lead to frustration and a negative customer,

Are you ready to outsource your customer service operations?

Outsourcing customer service is a smart move for businesses looking to save money, improve efficiency, and delight their customers with quick support.

The top five companies in this guide have demonstrated their ability to deliver high-quality customer service and support business growth. When selecting an outsourcing partner, consider cultural alignment, geographical location, flexibility, and scalability factors. 

Use this guide as a starting point to explore outsourcing possibilities and find the right partner to help your business achieve its full potential.

Just remember, outsourcing customer service doesn’t mean sacrificing quality or personality. 

You can provide excellent customer service and save money with the right partner. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is customer service outsourcing?

Customer service outsourcing is when a business partners with a third-party provider to handle some or all of its customer care operations. This strategy allows companies to access specialized expertise, advanced technology, and cost savings while ensuring high-quality customer interactions and improved satisfaction. 

Is it cheaper to outsource customer service?

Yes, outsourcing customer service can be cheaper than maintaining an in-house team. For example, outsourcing to a call center can reduce overheads by eliminating the need for businesses to invest in technology solutions, infrastructure, and training. 

What is contact center outsourcing?

Contact center outsourcing is hiring a third-party company to handle customer interactions on behalf of a business. This can include inbound and outbound calls, email support, live chat, and social media interactions. 



Karishma is a Content Marketing Specialist at Hiver. With a background in advertising and PR, she's fascinated by stories of how brands are built. In her free time, you'll find her holed up in a quiet corner, making art.

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