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Home Agents vs. Dedicated Agents

Are You Prepared for Disaster Recovery

While deciding to outsource your call center, IT or ITES needs, you might be considering whether to select home-based agents, or dedicated agents. Home agents are people who work from their homes or other private workspace and mostly offer a dedicated service. While dedicated agents work for a vendor to offer various specialized services to you as a client.

There are many factors that must be considered before taking the next step. Factors mentioned below will help you analyze the pros and cons of both, and assist you in making a better and informed decision:

Business Pointers
Home Agents
Dedicated Agents
Business Pointers
Cost
Home Agents
Cheaper than in-house employees
Dedicated Agents
Cheaper than in-house employees and cost almost the same or more than home agents
Business Pointers
Level of dedication
Home Agents
Mostly an individual working alone, so dedication levels may vary
Dedicated Agents
More specialized, dedicated and trained resources who work in a team, under a supervisor
Business Pointers
Quality standards
Home Agents
Promise quality
Dedicated Agents
Maintain set industry quality standards and practices
Business Pointers
Areas of expertise
Home Agents
Mostly in a single skill
Dedicated Agents
Multiple and related areas of expertise
Business Pointers
Security and confidentiality
Home Agents
Sign NDA, but 100% security cannot be maintained due to informal work environment
Dedicated Agents
Security standards and contracts are followed and best practices are in place to ensure data confidentiality
Business Pointers
Work deviations
Home Agents
Yes, as they work from home*
Dedicated Agents
No, as they work at dedicated work bays
Business Pointers
Meeting deadlines
Home Agents
Maintain deadlines, but work deviations may cause delays
Dedicated Agents
Mostly on time
Business Pointers
Cost of maintenance
Home Agents
Almost nil, so no extra costs on clients
Dedicated Agents
New costs might arise which are shared by the clients
Business Pointers
Resources
Home Agents
Freelancers, females/mothers, retired adults
Dedicated Agents
Mostly fulltime job seekers
Business Pointers
Stability and continuity
Home Agents
Lack stability, as they can close down without any notice
Dedicated Agents
More stable and reliable; new agents can come in without delay in case of retrenchment
Business Pointers
Business relation
Home Agents
More personal and friendly
Dedicated Agents
More businesslike, that of a client and service provider
Business Pointers
Responsibility
Home Agents
Depends on the home agent's nature
Dedicated Agents
Highly responsible and accountable
Business Pointers
Service updates and new service offering
Home Agents
Less
Dedicated Agents
More frequent
Business Pointers
Scope of growth
Home Agents
Limited
Dedicated Agents
Can expand rapidly
Business Pointers
Availability
Home Agents
Hard to find credible agents
Dedicated Agents
Easy to find credible vendors who provide trained and ready agents

*In a recent survey on solopreneurs or home agents, 19.6% respondent hinted at time-management being a major source of pain, which includes attention to spouse, managing clients and family, time for yourself etc.
(Source: TheSolopreneurLife)

From the above table, choosing the type of agent clearly boils down to your outsourcing requirements and goals.

  • Planning to set up a call center, but not sure what it takes?

Select a Home Agent If:

  • You are running on a very low budget
  • You are not worried about a long-term commitment from the agent
  • You are only looking to outsource a single or specialized task for a short period of time or on an experimental basis
  • Outsourcing is not one of your primary business strategies
  • You want to get a task done quickly without much business procedures and processes
  • You are looking for personalized attention
  • The task that you wish to outsource is not business critical

Select a Dedicated Agent If:

  • You have decided that outsourcing is a major business driver with dedicated budgets and clear outsourcing objectives
  • You are looking for a long-term business association
  • You are looking for specialized and expert level services on a single or multiple areas of business critical operations
  • You cannot compromise on reliability, responsibility and quality
  • You wish to outsource across geographies
  • You seriously want 100% focus on your core business activity with better management of tasks

Factors like nature of the task, duration of the assignment, short-term or long-term association, budget allocations, ease of handling, etc., will have a clear say in choosing the type of agent suitable for your needs. Base your decision strictly on these factual reasons and have a profitable association.

Want to hire dedicated or home agents for your business? Contact us today.

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