Lead Generation, Legal Marketing

Lead Gen Strategies Exposed: Is Off-Shore Outsourcing Worth the Cost Savings?

[This is the second of a 3-part series discussing Lead Generation strategies for law firms.]

A recent survey conducted by Sandpiper Partners, LLC found that although previously firms were achieving savings through headcount reductions, increasingly firms are cutting costs by outsourcing administrative support functions – including marketing and web development. Of the law firms that responded to the Sandpiper Partners survey, 22 percent of law firms outsourced their marketing and creative services, and 9 percent outsourced to offshore marketing companies.

Pros and Cons of Onshore Outsourcing

Onshore outsourcing has definite benefits. When working with a local company, or at least a company located in the same country, you know you are working with a highly skilled team in a similar time zone, making for easy communication. And American labor is highly skilled – your onshore team will likely provide quality content written with mastery of the language of your target audience. However, it is no secret that American labor is extremely expensive – this is why firms outsource. Onshore marketing companies and web developers simply cannot compete with offshore pricing. Another thing to consider is that Google’s algorithms are increasingly geared towards promoting quality content. Offshore content, particularly if you are outsourcing any type of writing or web development, is not likely to be of as high a caliber. Google will pick up on this, and it will not do your firm any favors in terms of SEO.

Pros and Cons of Offshore Outsourcing

Offshore outsourcing (usually to India, China, or Ukraine) is undeniably cheap. But be aware, for the cost savings, you are likely to sacrifice quality. There are also other serious drawbacks to offshore outsourcing that firms should be aware of. Communication can be difficult, due to the language barrier and time zone differences. Longer waiting times, miscommunication, and other inefficiencies of the system can easily result in increased costs. Another factor to consider, particularly if you are outsourcing web development, is security. If you are going to create an app, or use an online contact form created by an offshore organization, you may face privacy and security issues due to a lack in overseas regulations.

Offshore Call Centers

If you are outsourcing any type of call center work, be aware that prospective clients in the United States may be turned off by offshore customer service representatives, particularly if the reps don’t speak English fluently, or have thick accents making them difficult to understand. Depending on your prospective customer base, people may even be morally offended, especially if they reside in areas where friends and family have lost their jobs to outsourcing.

In short, you get what you pay for. If you are able to select specifically what services you want to outsource, at a minimum, any content development and call center work should be performed by a reputable onshore organization.

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