Top 10 Tips Before You Outsource.
In today’s competitive business world; we are always looking for creative ways to accomplish our business goals. One strategy that can help you save time, money and headaches is to outsource as much work as possible to cost-effective but skilled external workers. This decision should come as the outcome of a very informed decision evaluating different providers. Here are the top 10 tips that can help you make the best decision:
1. Make sure your provider is PCI or HIPPA compliant. There are various contact center certifications in this day and age but focusing on the most important ones can be one way to effectively verify the provider’s standards of operation. As long as your provider is compliant and can prove it with an PCI, SAQ form you’re on the right path. Make sure it’s the 3.0 version.
2. Biggest is not necessarily the best. Make sure you choose the right size call center or BPO. The largest providers are not necessarily the best, especially in the contact center industry; if you are outsourcing between 5 – 300 staff positions it would be best to choose a midsize organization. A large provider can have up to 300,000 employees and your business may not be given the importance it deserves by a corporation like this. If you are outsourcing 5 to 300 agents. Finding BPO companies that might have between 800 – 2,000 staff members is very important; if not the most important decision you could make. Also make sure your provider has multiple customers and no one represents more than 30% of their revenues.
3. If you are Offshoring for additional savings, make sure you go Nearshore. Nearshoring is picking up very fast and there is a big reason why: most staff learned their English while living in the US and Canada this makes Nearshore countries have a big percentage of the population that speaks a native English. Differently from providers based in the Philippines, India and other parts around the world where the only exposure they’ve had is TV commercials and movies. Add to that that some Nearshore countries have a fully dollarized economy and all of the American and Canadian brands we know are a part of the local commerce. The proximity is also a advantage at just 2 hours from Miami Fl and 4 from LA.
4. Work environment is key. BPO providers in the US and Canada experience a 90% – 110% attrition rate. Nearshore providers deal with 20% – 55% and Asia between 55% and 90%. Considering these statistics; attrition rates throughout the industry have been known to be quite high and the only way to get around this matter is having incredible company culture and hiring staff that not only are hardworking and process oriented but with extremely good human skills. Make sure your provider of choice guarantees constant business communication and certification process. We have found that certificates like Northwestern Professional Communications Certificate work very well.
5. Facilities. There are thousands of garage operations. Call centers claiming they are bigger than what they are. We recommend to always ask for pictures and if possible a video tour of the office if you cannot have an onsite visit. Also make sure you ask the right questions: How many seats are available? How many staffed? Revenues …. And make sure everything adds up. Something that makes a big difference is if the call center owns their facilities we have seen so many call centers have a bad time changing their locations because of renegotiations with building owners.
6. Scalability and backup sites. Check if your provider has the ability to easily scale up to your growth plan and if they have sites to use as back up make sure they provide redundancy in events of emergency. Growing is the best case scenario for your business but when your partner does not have the capacity this can become a big problem. Having secondary backup sites enables your business to grow in a steady and safe manner.
7. Clear your payment terms to clearly defined goals. Make sure your contract includes an SLA. Defining your performance goals. One of the best ways to do this is by including penalties for the failure to comply and bonuses for achieving and exceeding expectations. Rewarding great performance can go a long way!
8. Don’t choose a vendor based solely on price. Though it might be tempting, never select a vendor based solely on price. Experienced buyers who have outsourced many projects and evaluated hundreds of RFPs almost always recommend discarding the highest-priced and lowest-priced bid. Buyers report that their most successful projects are the ones where they felt the vendor offered a balance of good value and quality results.
9. Executive team. Make sure the executive team is composed of industry veterans. Try to go with a provider with an engaged (hands on) Executive Team.
10. Expectations. Most providers say Yes to everything especially in the first call or contact. Make sure you get responses that make sense and not just to try to sell you. A good midsize provider will be able to bend much more than a very large one but at the same time will set the right expectations and KPIs for the long term.
If you would like to know more, please contact us and learn more about our call center.