a help desk outsourcing agent working at their desk

The Impact of Help Desk Outsourcing on Customer Satisfaction

red vector stroke

Can help desk outsourcing really make a difference on customer satisfaction?

Help desk requests may seem like a small (although often bothersome) task. Whether you get tons of help desk requests or just a few, dealing with them often causes a lot of frustration to your customers—which is compounded if they can’t get quick and efficient resolution. 

An outsourced help desk allows you to provide always-on, effective support to your customers, while freeing up time for your in-house team to focus on your bigger strategies and goals. In this article, we’ll break down what you need to know about help desk outsourcing and how to make it work for you. 

Understanding Help Desk Outsourcing

What exactly is help desk outsourcing? 

Help desk outsourcing isn’t your run-of-the-mill customer service or customer support outsourcing. Outsourcing your help desk gives your customers patient, efficient technical and IT support. Whether your product is highly technical or just has a few technical elements, you’ll need help desk support—and managing it in-house or within your standard customer service team can be inefficient. 

When you outsource your help desk, you get access to a full team of technical experts who can answer customer’s technical questions quickly and efficiently. When outsourcing, you have several models to choose from: onshore, offshore, nearshore or hybrid. 

Onshore models allow you to work with a team that’s located in the same country as your business. Onshore, or domestic, models offer some benefits, such as increased quality and more accessibility due to similar time zones. However, they tend to be more expensive than other models. 

Offshore models give you the most cost-efficiency, but can also come with some quality issues. Offshore outsourcing allows you to work with teams who are located in a country geographically far from your country of business. India and the Philippines are common offshore locations. 

Nearshore models allow you to work with a team that’s located in a country near your country of business. Mexico and Puerto Rico are common nearshoring locations, and offer a balance of quality and affordability. 

Hybrid models are a newer model that we offer to clients here at Global Response. With a hybrid model, you can take advantage of the benefits of both onshore and offshore teams with a blended team using agents from a variety of locations, depending on your needs.  

No matter which model you use, outsourcing your help desk provides a number of benefits for your company—from increased cost-efficiency and access to expertise, to an increased focus for your team on your core business, stronger support levels and so on. 

Benefits of Help Desk Outsourcing

Help Desk outsourcing helps more than just your customers. The benefits of outsourcing customer service are well-documented, but what about your technical support? Isn’t it better to keep technical support in-house with team members who know your product? 

The short answer is: nope! 

Here’s some of the main benefits of help desk outsourcing: 

Ready to perfect your CX?

Save money and increase sales with a brand-obsessed, people-first team that delivers a high-touch, superior customer experience, every time.

Scalability and flexibility. With outsourcing, you get scalability and flexibility that is unparalleled by in-house employees and teams. Scale up or down your support levels throughout the year to match your business needs, keep your team growing as your audience does, or ensure continuous levels of support. 

Access to specialized skills. Hiring in-house for all the types of skills and technical expertise a help desk requires can be difficult. Outsourcing makes this much easier. With an outsourced team, you get access to much higher levels of expertise and more specialized skills than you would be able to access in-house. 

Access to best-in-class technology. Outsourcing also allows you to leverage technology that you wouldn’t have the budget for in-house. Reduced overhead comes as a result of “splitting” the cost of many of these technologies with your call centers’ other clients. As a result, you can access the best of the best, without having to manage or fund software licenses on your own. 

Cost-effectiveness. One of the biggest draws to outsourcing is the affordability and cost-effectiveness. An outsourced team will almost always be more cost-effective, and more flexible, than an in-house team, allowing you to pay for only what you need and avoid overstaffing. In addition, you can greatly reduce your overhead and get stronger expertise without hiring full-time, in-house staff. 

Increased focus, improved support. An outsourcing team allows your in-house staff to spend more time focusing on growing and improving your product and company. At the same time, dedicated staff to focus on your customers’ technical issues means that your customers typically receive higher levels of support, which improves customer service overall. 

Challenges and Concerns in Outsourcing

All of that’s not to say that outsourcing doesn’t come with its own challenges. Outsourcing your help desk requires you to make a dedicated plan to address common outsourcing challenges. Some of the big ones to consider in advance are: 

Quality control. Ensuring high levels of service and consistent quality standards can be one of the biggest challenges when outsourcing your help desk. In IT support, this is especially important as many customers have high-touch needs and expect low-value help. If you can surprise and delight customers with quality service the first time they call your help desk, you can gain and retain loyal customers long-term. 

Cultural and language barriers. When outsourcing your support, cultural and language barriers are common, particularly if you opt for an offshoring model. Since language barriers can have a negative impact on communication and effective resolution, many companies now prefer to work with nearshore and onshore teams to avoid this. 

Security and privacy risks. Anytime you transfer or share sensitive customer data externally, you have the opportunity for a data leak, privacy risks or security problems. This is why it’s so essential to work with an outsourcing partner that follows best practices for data privacy and security and has relevant certifications to ensure they’re keeping your customer data safe.

Measuring the Impact on Customer Satisfaction

By now, you can see the massive benefits outsourcing your help desk has for your business and organization. But what about for your customers? 

Help Desk outsourcing is generally correlated with higher levels of customer satisfaction, in part due to the specialized skills and increased levels of support available with an outsourced team. But how do you measure if it’s working for you? 

Measure the right KPIs. Keeping track of key metrics and KPIs will help ensure that you’re improving customer satisfaction with your outsourcing efforts. We recommend tracking metrics like: 

  • Response Time (how quickly a customer inquiry is responded to) 
  • Resolution Rate (what percentage of inquiries are resolved within a specific time frame) 
  • First Call Resolution (what percentage of calls are resolved by the first point of contact) 
  • Abandonment Rate (what percentage of calls are abandoned before reaching an agent) 
  • CSAT (a measure of customer satisfaction) 
  • NPS (Net Promoter Score, a measure of how likely customers are to recommend your business or product to others) 

By improving these metrics, you can ensure you’re on track to improve customer satisfaction on the whole. 

Understand CSAT. CSAT is an essential metric that directly measures customer satisfaction. You can determine your CSAT by running surveys either generally, or related to a specific interaction or product purchase. Your CSAT results will give you a picture of customer satisfaction overall and at key touchpoints throughout the customer journey. Knowing this can not only help you identify recurring issues and adjust your support strategies to better meet customer expectations—it can also give you insight to make more informed decisions and implement actionable improvements for stronger customer satisfaction. 

Gather regular feedback through customer surveys. Quantitative data is essential, but so is qualitative data. Regular customer surveys and other customer feedback mechanisms will help your company get a balanced view and understanding of customer feedback. This feedback can give you insight to the impact your help desk support is having on customer satisfaction, of course—but it also provides valuable insight into how to improve for increased success. 

Best Practices for Successful Help Desk Outsourcing

So, how do you find a help desk outsourcing provider that will help you see all the benefits of outsourcing while alleviating some common challenges? These best practices will help you find the right provider: 

  • Establish clear guidelines and SLAs from the start. One of the best ways to ensure high service quality is to establish clear Service Level Agreements (SLAs) from the start that clarify exactly what baseline quality service will look like. 
  • Develop clear communication practices and expectations. Similarly, start by establishing clear guidelines for cross-team communication. Poor communication is one of the biggest downfalls for outsourcing partnerships that go awry. Creating good practices and expectations from the start will help ensure you and your outsourcing team can communicate effectively. 
  • Look for solid reviews and testimonials. The results your potential provider has delivered for previous clients should be able to speak for themselves. Reviews, testimonials, case studies, and other published results should demonstrate the ability to deliver on their promises and make measurable impact. 
  • Expertise and experience. Of course, any help desk provider you work with should also have plenty of experience and expertise, in both your industry and audience, as well as with help desk support overall. The stronger the expertise, the more likely it will be to have a successful partnership. 

Be sure to also implement a plan for continuous monitoring and improvement. No outsourcing company is perfect, just as no in-house team is perfect. But doing regular reviews and adjustments to improve quality, performance and service will go a long way toward creating a successful partnership. 

Long-term Effects of Outsourcing on Customer Relations

In the long-term, the effects of outsourcing on customer relationships can be quite significant. Outsourcing your help desk to a trusted provider can offer: 

  • increased brand trust and loyalty through consistent, quality support 
  • increased adaptability to meet changing customer expectations and stay ahead with a dynamic market 
  • competitive advantage for your brand as you meet and exceed customer needs cost-effectively
  • stronger customer satisfaction through ongoing technical support and expertise 

For a Help Desk provider you can trust, turn to Global Response. We have 40+ years of experience managing Help Desks and customer support outsourcing, and we can get the results you need. Whether you’re looking to improve your Help Desk response time, free up time for internal teams or up your service levels, our teams at Global Response are here to help. 

Connect with a Global Response expert today and see how we can help transform your Help Desk support. 


Help desk outsourcing offers many benefits, to both you and your customers. Help desk outsourcing is generally correlated with higher levels of customer satisfaction, since your customers are receiving more consistent and higher quality service levels. Your business gets the benefits of increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, alongside more cost-effective support, round-the-clock service, increased in-house focus and productivity, and additional expertise.

The following KPIs will give you a clear picture of if your help desk outsourcing is successful in both improving service quality and providing more satisfactory customer service: 

  • Response Time
  • Resolution Rate 
  • First Call Resolution 
  • Abandonment Rate 
  • CSAT
  • NPS
Help desk outsourcing offers many benefits, to both you and your customers. Help desk outsourcing is generally correlated with higher levels of customer satisfaction, since your customers are receiving more consistent and higher quality service levels. Your business gets the benefits of increased customer satisfaction and loyalty, alongside more cost-effective support, round-the-clock service, increased in-house focus and productivity, and additional expertise. 

Stay in touch!

Subscribe to receive industry insights and trends.

Subscribe to receive industry insights and trends. You’ll learn more about how the best customer experience solutions can change the game for your brand.