What Is Homesourcing?
By definition, homesourcing – or homeshoring – is a business employment model in which companies hire staff to work from their homes. The employees are typically contracted and must work within set hours, just as they would in an in-house or outsourced position. The trend has become more popular in recent years, thanks to high inflation and rising labor costs in popular outsourcing countries like India.
Companies hire contract employees to perform jobs virtually, such as administration, sales, or customer service. Some positions may only require an Internet connection, while others, such as customer support, require access to a telephone for support calls.
Regardless, homesourced customer service representatives can work from the comfort of their homes, resulting in minimized corporate infrastructure, lower operational costs, and increased productivity.
Why Is Homesourcing Important for Businesses?
Businesses have begun to make the shift to homesourcing for several reasons-and not all of them are financial in nature. The telecommuting model typically boosts satisfaction and reduces the number of interruptions and distractions that occur within in-house customer service departments.
In addition, homesourced customer service agents typically perform better in every industry, leading to more satisfied, loyal customers. Other benefits of homesourcing as a business strategy include:
1. Reduced Costs
Like offshoring and nearshoring, homesourcing’s IT-enabled customer service model allows your business to cut costs in several ways. You don’t have to expand your offices to suit more employees. Further, you can hire independent contractors to manage your homesourced help desks. Because of this, you’ll save on health insurance and other benefits given to full-time employees.
2. Enhanced Flexibility
Homesourced customer service agents can resolve issues and provide support on their schedules and from their homes. As a result, support agents can manage their workload and pick shifts based on their availability.
The flexibility also enables you to hire workers based on demand. For example, your company may hire more homesourced customer service agents during the holidays to manage a high volume of customers, then reduce the workforce during the spring.
3. Fewer Layoffs
More than likely, your company would spend an enormous portion of its budget creating a brick-and-mortar, in-house call center. If your business begins to struggle financially, you may have to lay off agents or transfer operations overseas to cut costs.
Homesourcing allows companies to find a reasonable middle ground. They can maintain their workforce by transitioning agents to remote, independent contractor positions. At the same time, companies can minimize their corporate infrastructure by adopting a homesourced customer support policy.
4. Improved Customer Service
When businesses commit to an in-house call center, they can fill open roles in one of two ways: through local talent or employee relocation. Often, companies opt for local workers to reduce costs and have limited access to skilled, knowledgeable customer service agents.
Homesourcing allows you to choose from a nationwide pool of customer service agents, many of whom have industry-specific knowledge that makes them valuable to your support team. Finally, homesourced agents are happier and more satisfied overall-and 25% more productive than in-house support teams.
5. Reduced Employee Turnover
Studies show that homesourced customer service agents have a turnover rate of only 10% compared to a 50% turnover rate in call centers. Homesourced agents have more flexibility to set their own schedules and usually prefer to work from the comfort of their homes. Lastly, homesourced agents usually work with a wide range of clients, which increases employee satisfaction and engagement.
Why Businesses Choose Homesourcing for Customer Service Departments
Making the transition to homesourcing requires a substantial amount of planning, training, and management. However, the resulting decrease in costs, boost in productivity, and improved employee turnover can transform your customer service offerings and create a streamlined, cohesive customer experience.