Why Outsourcing Relationships Fail
| Published: April 05, 2017 | Comments
One of the most common reservations I hear from prospective clients concerns bad experiences with previous outsourcing. Understanding why some outsourcing relationships fail can dramatically increase your chances for success.
While there are many reasons these relationships might fail, I’ve narrowed it down to two that I think are the foundation: poor knowledge transfer and wrong cultural fit.
Poor knowledge transfer. It’s important for front line employees to understand your products and services. But it’s even more important that the management team understands your expectations and goals. It’s about recognizing your brand, position in the market, and the types of services they will be performing. Cost and speed are always drivers but they should not be the primary reason for outsourcing.
Wrong cultural fit. Too often, clients say they are focused on quality but want something quick and inexpensive. That’s a conflict. What’s most important is selecting a call center that shares the values of your organization. Your call center will be an extension of your brand; you want one that will take that responsibility seriously.
So how do you avoid these pitfalls? Schedule enough time for onboarding. Remote train-the-trainer sessions work but understanding the brand and company culture gets lost. Consider a two-step onboarding process. First, have the call center representative work at your location for a week or two. This will allow the call center rep to have a clearer understanding of your company, expectations for the project, how it relates to your business as a whole and integrates with other products or services.
Second, send your trainer to the call center for the end of training and the launch to offer on-site assistance. A relationship that doesn’t start out well may ultimately fail. Spend a little more upfront to ensure success. It will save you money in the long run.
Ask your provider about their core values and what they believe the role is of an outsourcer. You want to understand the DNA of an organization. Do a site visit and look for signs of consistent branding/values throughout the operation. What’s on the walls in agent areas? Are the company’s core values posted somewhere? Something as simple as a dress code may indicate that the company and its employees take pride in their business. Make sure you’re compatible with the management team. Ask them about their expertise. Why did they get into the business? If you wouldn’t hire the employees of the outsourcer to work for you directly, it’s probably not going to be a good fit.
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