Technology and business writers have been commenting on outsourcing for so long now that it can sometimes look easy. So many companies have worked with partners on IT, (CX) customer service, or back office processes that it feels like this should be a simple process.
The reality is that this is not simple. Imagine your company is a big tent, one of the big marquees you see at the circus. What you need is the ability to move the boundary of the tent in and out flexibly to embrace external partners or in-house teams. Skill is required to get this right.
This is especially true for companies that are outsourcing for the first time and this is even more acute if the processes are focused on customer service. Your interactions with customers are often what defines your brand. This is why many companies are afraid to work with a partner on these processes – customer interactions are so close to the brand that many managers want them to remain in-house.
But if you are struggling with quality and volume of interactions then it makes sense to find a partner that has more robust processes and the scale to flex with the volume of interactions you need to handle.
Let’s consider five of the key questions you should be thinking about before approaching any potential partners:
Which processes should be outsourced?
Are you clear on what needs to be outsourced right now? Assuming that ‘customer service’ covers everything may not be correct. Are you including all the CRM processes and interaction with the sales team in the outsourced contract or is it literally just the interactions with customers? Be clear from the start. This can also change and it’s a smart move to reduce scope initially, ensure it works, and then expand later.
Should you go captive or outsource?
Do you want to manage your own operation or work with a partner? If you are building your own offshore customer service center then this will involve site selection or even construction – then the recruitment process.
Which partner, if you are outsourcing?
If you decide you require a partner then you need to narrow down the options. Which companies are offering a suitable service and match the culture of your own organization? You need to find a company that checks all the boxes for capabilities, but also it should just feel like you can work together easily.
Which nearshore location will be best?
Whether you are creating an in-house solution or outsourcing, it is likely that you are planning to locate these services in a nearshore location. Have you reviewed the analyst materials on which location works best for your business? Have you visited and explored sites or partners?
How does the new operation deliver growth and innovation?
Moving into the future, if you are creating an in-house captive operation then how can you build a culture of innovation that ensures the team is always trying to improve. Likewise, with a partner, how can you incentivize the relationship so they are always advising you on the future of your own business?
Nearsol and CXbuildr can advise with all these requirements. Our team can help you through the site selection and construction process in addition to designing a business process outsourcing solution – whether you want to build the team and retain them in-house or work with us as a partner.
We offer a one-stop nearshoring solution that can turn your business strategy into reality whichever path you take through these questions.
If you have any questions, please use my LinkedIn to contact me directly.