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Shared vs. Dedicated Customer Support Models: Overview

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Most companies rely on outsourcing contact center services, helping to increase productivity and save money. However, choosing the support model that benefits the business strategy and core values is often difficult. In the competition of shared service vs. dedicated service, the winner depends on the needs of the company and such features as a budget, call volume, security, and scalability. Let’s take a closer look at the peculiarities of both options, core differences, and the descriptions of companies using shared or dedicated customer support models. 

 

What’s a Shared Customer Support Model

A shared customer support model (also known as a team expansion model or a project-based model) is a type of outsourcing contact center service where the company shares the resources assigned for its tasks with other companies. This approach has the following features:

  • Business Model

 

The shared customer support model allows businesses to access shared resources to handle the periods of an unexpected demand.  This shared assets group provides a safe reserve of capacity to handle unforeseen activity spikes. Changes in utilization of those assets reflect the staffing choices to ensure a smooth customer service outsourcing of every company.

  • Delivery process

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A Client Services Manager is assigned to every company, but other delivery assets are equally distributed among the shared group members. Those resources often include the Advanced Technology Services team, the Incident Management Team, and the Service Desk. In the shared customer support model, services are usually processed and delivered using the basic ITIL (Information Technology Infrastructure Library) framework that maintains the successful cycle of IT services and unites all the clients. 

  • Scalability and Supervision

The shared customer support model offers appropriate flexibility in adapting to various workloads. The price increases with changes in workload, but the increments are usually more refined than adding another dedicated service. Because of shared model complexity, it requires an advanced management structure. Therefore, the key roles are Team Managers, Directors, and Shift Managers who oversee the workflow during various time slots.

  • Escalation Management 

In case of raising escalating issues, they are redirected to corresponding areas of expertise. For example, network experts handle network issues, meanwhile the IT team handles server problems, etc. Technical Support Team and Advanced Incident Management Team are usually the ones who supervise the issues in all departments. 

 

The shared customer support model benefits the companies whose amount of interactions is relatively low (up to 100/month), or the call patterns vary depending on the season. In case of already having a customer support service, a shared model can also offer additional services for the peak periods. For example, when the company experiences a sudden increase in call volume, the other agents can immediately help with the hassle and ease the workload of the business call center.

 

What’s a Dedicated Customer Support Model

 

A dedicated support model is a type of outsourcing contact center service where all the provider resources are dedicated solely to your company, integrating into a specific workflow. Among its peculiarities are the following:

  • Business Model

A dedicated support model directly depends on the number of people on the team. This type of service is based on the resources available at a given time. For example, if only one IT specialist works now, the IT support is constrained by this specialist’s capacity, gradually solving  every issue. Also, if the support team works during specific hours, customers’ inquiries will be addressed when their shift resumes.

  • Delivery process

With a dedicated support model, the resources are individual, depending on a company’s  needs. The companies are not constrained by the ITIL framework, unlike in the shared customer support model, so the providers can use variations in complex and custom programs.

  • Scalability

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With a dedicated support model, scalability is measured by adding, or decreasing the number of resources. When there is an increase in call volume or additional services start working, the support can be addressed only by adding more resources. 

  • Escalation Management

Unlike the shared support model, a dedicated support model does not provide help outside of the dedicated team. Thus, the specific problems can not be addressed by specialists outside of the provider’s scope, as only the dedicated team knows how to work in the particular business environment. 

A dedicated customer support model is recommended for companies who need the help 24/7, with higher call volumes and predictable fixed fees. The dedicated customer support team works solely on your company’s needs, so the agents are entirely  engaged in the communication with your clients. Thus, this model can increase your business efficiency and customer satisfaction. 

 

Shared vs. Dedicated Customer Support: Differences

 

Shared Model Dedicated Model
Cost  Cost per hour or fixed time rate for each resource. Hourly/Monthly set cost, fixed by resource.
Volume The number of interactions fluctuates and changes. It’s suited for short-term projects or sudden spikes.  The number of interactions is vast, 24/7 or the whole working day.
Agent Involvement Agents can work on several projects simultaneously.  Agents focus only on one project.
Level of Control A service provider controls the process of interaction with your customers. You can manage and change the interaction process independently from a service provider.
Quantity of interaction Agents can process a limited amount of interactions with your customers  Agents can process any number of interactions depending on your business needs

 

Afterwords

 

Shared and dedicated customer support models are not mutually exclusive. The shared one  suits interaction spikes and has a fixed time rate. Whereas a dedicated model can provide the company with countless interactions and freedom in managing the service resources. 

Thus, most businesses can combine both models by using the dedicated one during standard business hours and the shared one for weekends/special projects support. Such an approach ensures the coverage of all the customers’ needs while saving costs. 

 

We are a team of writers passionate about innovation and entrepreneur lifestyle. We are devoted to providing you the best insight into innovation trends and startups.

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