First-time outsourcing can be a difficult task for some. Seeking a partnership with an external service provider to do an essential task has been a practice for many years, but there are still certain business entities that are on the fence about whether or not to go through with it. Normally, a company would identify an area within the organization that needs a boost (usually customer support) and that is the part that usually becomes outsourced. However, there are several reasons why a business entity will go seek out a Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) provider. Some
clear signs that say you need to outsource include: having great ideas your company cannot develop, being unable to provide the customer service your company aspires to, an area of your business is struggling, or if you just want to have a better work-life balance. Whatever the case may be, here are some helpful dos and don’ts to help you out when you finally say “enough is enough” and decide to finally take the outsourcing plunge. DO take note of the time zone difference
There are a lot of call center outsourcing companies to choose from, but most first-time outsourcing organizations can choose to outsource their call center services to companies with onshore, offshore, and nearshore options. Onshore outsourcing refers to service providers typically located in the same country, such as a US-based company outsourcing within the US. Offshore refers to outsourcing to far-away countries with a significant time zone difference—the Philippines would be an offshore location for the US. Nearshore refers to outsourcing to different countries with a time zone similar or not very far to your own, and Guatemala or Jamaica is an example.
DON’T ignore the communication gaps
Comprehension can be a challenge, especially between customer service representatives and customers in different countries. Get a business process outsourcing services provider that has a comprehensive understanding of your language and make sure that they provide extensive training about it. Ensure that your representatives will be able to document every single transaction and data can be processed from the documentation. Meet with them as often as possible and get a feel for their communication style and work ethic.
DO mind the cost
Perhaps the reason why you decided to seek out a BPO provider is the cost: you simply cannot provide a certain service without incurring an inflated amount. With this in mind, expectations that outsourcing is cheap may be a misconception. Investment is required to find the right outsourcing partner, and the cost-effectivity starts when you and your BPO company are right for each other and work well together. Ensure that you get a project development calculation with everything that your company requires before signing with any BPO. Also, take note of their plans for your future development and make sure that they have a plan for that too. As soon as you have all the information you need, follow your budget to a tee.
DON’T set wild and over-the-top expectations
The saying ‘dreams are free so dream big’ may not be entirely applicable when seeking an outsourcing provider. We all want to be at the top of the Forbes 500 list, but we all know that for too many business entities, that’s hardly possible. Manage your expectations and set realistic deadlines. Remember to keep your goals SMART: Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic, and Time-bound.
DO set aside time for planning and strategy
In some first-time outsourcing organizations, certain individuals are playing multiple roles: leaders dispense training, customer service representatives also perform IT duties, and so on. When this happens, important planning and strategy for the advancement and future of the company are almost always set aside. Expect to spend a lot on training and recruiting. Hiring more employees can and will be able to resolve this issue, that’s true. But what if your budget is simply not enough to address this concern thoroughly? Rather than fixing your attention on multiple tasks, outsourcing certain areas of your business can help take some responsibilities off your team’s shoulders to focus on planning and strategy—an important deed to get your business to hit and exceed your goals. Allow a team of experts to handle your customer experience so that you can get back to do what you feel are the important things to do in your company.
For first-time outsourcing entities such as yourself, there is a propensity for you or your management team to micromanage your outsourced company. Remember that micromanaging your BPO provider can take a heavy toll on you, your employees, and their work. Micromanagement decreases productivity, lowers morale, reduces employees’ independence and ability to think for themselves, and increases employee stress that can also affect their personal life. Trust your outsourced company because their general purpose is exactly that: to take some weight off of your shoulders for you to focus on more important things, such as expansion.
DO invest in upskilling
Your success depends on the training you will provide to your BPO provider. For most first-time outsourcing companies, Supplying trainees with the appropriate information can help achieve their company goals as well as provide employees the knowledge they need to gain advancement in their careers. Continuous employee training increases your team’s agility to adapt to market changes quickly and effectively. Learning is a competitive gain for your company and skills development will continue to make them happy. Your company’s future depends on the constant, significant, and sought-after training that will develop employee skills that can get them ready for their future. They will know that you care for theirs, and they will thank you for it.
DON’T underestimate your outsourcing partner’s culture
In any relationship, working or personal, there will always be miscommunication from time to time. This may have something to do with the cultural divide. It’s important to understand that dealing with miscommunication is MORE communication to make sure that the proper instructions are delivered and both parties are on the same page. Dealing with cultural differences can be a fun challenge for your employees and learning about new cultures can be a way to brush up on your team’s comprehension skills. Time will come that you will realize that your cultures have more things in common than those that keep you different. We’re all citizens of the world after all, and that’s the easiest thing to understand. And finally…
DO choose a partner you can trust
In selecting an outsourcing provider, choose one that will give you peace of mind. You are going to want a partner that’s trustworthy and capable of taking amazing care of their employees, which is a guarantee that their employees are taking excellent care of their customers. It may sound perfectly simple, but examining the company’s vision, mission, and core values are critical in determining whether or not your own organization’s values are aligned with theirs. Google a bit and explore the company’s track record—better yet, ask them about it and they are sure to provide you with all the information you need. Investigate about their leadership practices, investment in developing people, safety and compliance measures, and make certain of their commitment to quality and service.
Outsourcing will be a great benefit to your company. It can save you time, money, and can help your company move forward from immobility. Here at VXI, we can be your outsourcing partner that you are looking for at this very moment. VXI is a privately-held, minority-founded provider of customer experience solutions, specializing in customer journey design, contact center management, products, and platforms. VXI has over 100 client partnerships worldwide and several of these have grown over the years.
As a BPO and ITO company, VXI has always been service-oriented. Our employee value proposition Passion for People is our guiding principle in taking care of people – our clients and their customers, as well as our employees, their families, and the people in the community where we are a part of as a corporate citizen. We can help you and your organization become more innovative, productive, and lucrative.
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