Why Cheaping Out on Tech Support is Hurting Your Business

By: Helpt

Ah, the temptation of cutting costs. It’s something every business owner faces, especially in the beginning when you death stare at your funding while it slowly creeps toward zero. Picture this: you scan down the budget sheet, and there it is—tech support. You might think, “Well, how difficult can it really be? Why pay some random person to handle my customers? I can handle the support line just fine!”

You strap your boots on and sign up for a cheap VoIP service. The calls start coming slowly, and in the beginning, there isn’t an issue. But one day you realize that your partner has left you and taken the dogs because you shot up out of bed for the 13th time that night to handle a support ticket. You decide it’s time to get some help. 

Now hold on a second before you turn your tech support into a DIY project or outsource it to the lowest bidder. As much as we’d love to think of tech support as just a fancy term for restarting gadgets, it’s actually the lifeline of a well-functioning business. We’re not talking about just avoiding minor hiccups; we’re discussing the health of your entire business ecosystem.

So, take a moment. Maybe take a deep breath, blow your nose, or even take a sip of your lukewarm Folger’s instant coffee. Let’s delve into why cutting corners on tech support isn’t just a bad idea—it’s a risky gamble that could cost you more than you’d ever want to bet.

The Real Costs of Cutting Corners in Tech Support

Let’s get right to the nitty-gritty and take a look at why cutting costs in tech support is hurting your business. Here’s a breakdown of the tangible and intangible costs your business could incur by opting for cheaper tech support solutions:

Tangible Costs
Security Risks: Lower-quality tech support can result in vulnerabilities that expose your business to data breaches and regulatory fines.

Employee Productivity: Inconsistent or unreliable tech support impacts employee efficiency. The time spent dealing with technical glitches is time not spent on productive work, affecting your bottom line.

Customer Retention: Poor customer experiences due to tech issues can lead to lost sales and declining customer loyalty, creating a long-term revenue drain.

Intangible Costs
Brand Image: The quality of your tech support is often seen as indicative of your overall business quality. A poor experience can tarnish your brand image and lead to negative reviews.

Employee Morale: Frequent technical problems can be demoralizing for your team, affecting job satisfaction and potentially leading to higher turnover rates.

Customer Trust: When customers experience poor tech support, their trust in your brand diminishes, affecting not just their future buying decisions but also their likelihood to recommend your business to others.

By understanding these costs, you can better appreciate that skimping on tech support is often a false economy. It’s an area where quality should never be compromised, as the stakes are too high and the potential losses too great. In a perfect world, there would be 100 hours in the day and an entire team of your clones in order to handle all of the support tickets yourself. Unfortunately, human cloning technology is both morally ambiguous and far away from commercial use. 

So what happens is, business leaders eventually need to trust others to handle their customer support tickets. Their first instinct is always to save money where they can, and when it comes to getting the burden of technical support off their backs, the cheap option seems like the best option.

The Illusion of Affordable Tech Support

The allure of immediate savings is highly tempting, especially for small and growing businesses. DIY solutions or budget providers may offer temporary relief that often comes with unforeseen costs; you might think that you’re saving money with those initial costs, but that will change very quickly. Many businesses, particularly small ones with limited resources, fall into the trap of minimizing their tech support budget. The two most common approaches are:

Handling It In-House 
Many business owners think, “I’m tech-savvy enough; I can manage this myself!” But what starts as an optimistic DIY venture can quickly become a time-consuming nightmare. Every hour you spend troubleshooting technical issues is an hour taken away from strategic planning, client engagement, and other core business activities. Sure, you’re saving money by not hiring an external team, but you’re paying dearly in lost time and opportunity.

Outsourcing Overseas
To save on costs, some businesses outsource their tech support to low-cost regions. While overseas services are indeed cheaper, they can come with their own sets of challenges such as language barriers, time zone differences, and sometimes lower service standards. There’s also the added risk of data breaches if these third-party vendors aren’t compliant with your local data protection laws.

These strategies seem cost-effective initially, but they often lead to hidden costs and problems. The inefficiency and risks simply outweigh the apparent savings.

How to Build Your Technical Support Team

When considering how to build a technical support team, businesses often face the decision of choosing between in-house and outsourced support options. Each approach comes with its advantages and challenges, and the choice may significantly impact your operational efficiency, customer satisfaction, and long-term growth.

In-House Technical Support

Customized Service: An in-house team is deeply familiar with your products and corporate culture, enabling a highly personalized service.

Quick Decision-Making: Issues can be escalated and resolved more quickly when the support team works within the company.

Better Control: An in-house team allows for easier quality assurance and more control over customer data and security.


Cost: Creating an in-house team involves high overhead, including salaries, benefits, and ongoing training.

Scalability: As your business grows, you may need to invest significantly in scaling your in-house team, including recruitment, training, and office space.

Outsourced Technical Support

Cost-Effective: Outsourced services often come at a lower cost due to reduced overhead, allowing you to pay only for the services you need.

Access to Expertise: Third-party providers often specialize in tech support, bringing a broad range of skills and up-to-date knowledge to the table.

Scalability and Flexibility: Outsourced teams can more easily adapt to the changing needs of your business, ramping up or down as required.

Service Levels: Many outsourced providers offer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) that guarantee a certain quality of service, including 24/7 support.


Quality Control: Less direct oversight can mean a potential risk in service quality or customer data security.

Cultural and Language Barriers: If you opt for offshore outsourcing, language barriers can potentially lead to misunderstandings and lower customer satisfaction.

When it comes to building your technical support team, a thoughtful strategic approach is crucial. For startups with limited resources and a growing customer base, outsourcing presents an appealing option, freeing up founders to concentrate on core business activities. However, if your operation requires round-the-clock customer support, scrutinize the service level agreements of potential outsourced providers carefully, as any lapse in service could damage your company’s reputation. 

Ultimately, the decision between in-house and outsourced technical support isn’t just about the bottom line; it’s an investment in your company’s future that should align with your broader business goals and customer satisfaction metrics.

The Impact of Location on Tech Support Quality and Customer Satisfaction

In today’s age where customers have increasingly high expectations for technical support, the question of where to locate your tech support team becomes crucial. On-shore technical support, where agents are based in the same country as the customers they serve, offers several advantages but often at a higher cost.

Advantages of On-Shore Technical Support
Improved Communication: On-shore agents are more likely to be fluent in the language of their customers, resulting in clearer communication and quicker issue resolution.

Cultural Understanding: Agents based in the same country can better relate to customer expectations, cultural norms, and communication styles, offering a more empathetic customer experience.

Quick Resolution Times: With no time-zone differences, on-shore agents can provide real-time support during customers’ usual business hours.

Disadvantages of On-Shore Technical Support
Higher Costs: On-shore support tends to be more expensive due to higher labor costs in the home country.

Limited Scalability: Depending on the labor market, on-shore support may have less room to scale up quickly in response to increased demand.

Off-Shore Technical Support
While on-shore support has its merits, off-shoring is another commonly used strategy. Off-shore technical support typically involves outsourcing customer service operations to a foreign country where labor costs are lower.

Advantages of Off-Shore Technical Support
Cost-Effectiveness: Lower labor costs in off-shore locations can significantly reduce operational expenses.

Scalability: Off-shore support centers often have large staff sizes and can easily scale up or down to meet demand.

24/7 Support: Time-zone differences can be an advantage when offering round-the-clock customer support.

Drawbacks and Risks of Off-Shore Technical Support
Language Barriers: Off-shore agents may not be fluent in the customer’s language, leading to misunderstandings and frustrations.

Cultural Gaps: Off-shore agents may lack an understanding of customer cultural norms, which can result in a less satisfying support experience.

Quality Control: Businesses often have less oversight on off-shore teams, increasing the risks of poor customer service and, ultimately, data breaches.

The Bottom Line
Choosing the right location for your tech support involves balancing factors such as costs, language proficiency, and time-zone differences against the potential for higher customer satisfaction and loyalty. While on-shore support comes with a price, the benefits often outweigh the costs, making it a sound investment for long-term customer relationship management.

Why On-Shore Technical Support Makes Business Sense
The saying goes that you have to spend money to make money, and this is especially true for customer service. Acquiring a new customer can be up to 25 times more expensive than retaining an existing one, and according to Bain & Company, increasing customer retention rates by just 5% can boost profits by 25% to 95%.

Therefore, while on-shore technical support may seem like a bigger investment up front, the potential for customer retention makes it a wise business move. Why spend so much money trying to acquire customers if you aren’t willing to keep them? Businesses need to go beyond mere customer acquisition and focus on providing excellent post-purchase experiences through effective on-shore technical support.

Conclusion: Why Breaking the Cycle Matters

Let’s face it, running a business isn’t easy. Between developing products and getting them into customers’ hands, it’s tempting to cut corners where you can. But here’s the thing: ignoring tech support puts you in a vicious cycle you don’t want to be in. Once you’ve reached a point where you have too much business to handle it all yourself, you should look into building a team of agents to support your needs. However, you can’t cheap out on this. When you don’t take care of your customers after they buy, you’re asking for trouble. Complaints go up, good reviews go down, and before you know it, growth starts to flatline.

So, how do you break this cycle? The answer isn’t all that complicated—make you and your customers happy. Find a nice mid-ground that doesn’t break the bank while also providing the level of service that will keep your customers satisfied. Happy customers stay, and they tell their friends to stay too. This new cycle of happiness benefits everyone, and all it takes is a little foresight and willingness to sacrifice a bit in the beginning. 

To put it simply, cutting corners on tech support is like stepping over dollars to pick up dimes. It might look like you’re saving, but you’re losing out in the long run. So, break the cycle, invest in quality on-shore tech support, and watch your business not just survive, but actually thrive.