Why partnerships fail – and why yours shouldn’t

3 minute read, posted on 03/30/2019, by Armando Castro

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You have probably lost count of the number of responses, proposals or presentations that proclaim some version of these all-too-familiar war cries:

“We work in partnership with our providers”
“We are looking for a business partner…”

There is no question that true partnerships can unlock immense value. But in reality, “partnership” is one of the most overused terms used to describe the type of relationship most clients say they want – and that providers of all sorts, including BPO organizations, promise. However, once the ink has dried on a contract, the reality of the working relationship is often very different – leaving both the client and provider wondering why the value sought was never fully realized.

In my decades-long career of consulting with organizations of all sizes, I have seen many great partnerships – and I’ve heard of some awful attempts. So let’s set the record straight regarding the attributes you should be looking for in a partnership:

Cultural alignment: While every business has its sights sets on growing and retaining customers and increasing revenue, your organizational mission, challenges, and appetite for risk are unique. Having a partner that is willing to go the extra mile to learn about where you are and where you could be – something I’m passionate about, as I explained in this article about the value of onsite assessments.

Trust: When your business is seeking out a partner in the contact center space, the relationship is far from transactional. We’re talking about being the front-line to customers – the lifeblood of your organization. As VXI’s Vice President of Operations Eppie Tong cited in this article: “When trust goes down (in a relationship, on a team, in an organization, or with a partner or customer), speed goes down and cost goes up.”

A ‘Challenger’ Mindset: You’re looking to provide better service, better outcomes and better value to your customers than your competitors. Your prospective partners are in the same boat – and they need to demonstrate that they’re deserving of your business. VXI has a long history of not just attracting clients, but also outperforming competitors and being awarded a greater share of their business. VXI client: The world’s largest telecommunications company.

“Partnership” has been used so often because clients and vendors have a reluctance to call a relationship anything else. In truth, when people talk about partnerships, sometimes they really mean to say, “We are looking for a transaction or supply-based relationship” – or “We provide a transactional service.” Contact me if you’re looking for a partner that can help you grow, succeed and navigate your competitive landscape.

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