Latest News  

TELUS International Europe: Launching your first customer support outsourcing project? Avoid these eight pitfalls

When properly planned, outsourcing your customer support can bring a boost to your business. It can help expand operations, reduce costs and even improve customer relationships

2017-04-19 23:02:31





Grégoire Vigroux
Vice-President Marketing of TELUS International Europe

But transitioning from in-house to external, or adding new capabilities through outsourced services, requires extensive planning and clearly defined expectations.

Deloitte's 2016 Global Outsourcing Survey found that 78 percent of companies feel positively about their outsourcing contracts. However, it also identified eight common areas which can cause outsourcing partnerships to sour, and their benefits to deteriorate over time.

These common errors afflict large companies as much as they do start-ups. Here's how to avoid them.

1. Establish clear goals and guidelines


Like all relationships, a successful outsourcing partnership requires ongoing communication, and defining needs and expectations upfront is critical. "The first pitfall is not specifying what you want correctly," says Simon Tarsh, managing director of Deloitte Consulting LLP.

Companies should set clear expectations of the outsourcing contract, both internally and with the outsourcing partner from the get-go. These living documents of purpose can be a useful reference as the relationship progresses, helping determine where things have gone off-track or where the scope of work needs to change.

Stan J. Lepeak, global research director of management consulting at worldwide professional services and auditing firm KPMG, agrees. "When organizations undertake outsourcing efforts, they have a set of goals they'd like to achieve, but ensuring they have the governance in place to meet these goals is quite challenging," he says. "One often undertakes the effort with specific goals in mind, but after going through the lawyers' legal and other regulatory hurdles, six months later there's a bit of a disconnect between what you'd like to do and what has been agreed upon. "

2. Leave room to grow


One common cause of dissatisfaction in an outsourcing partnership is the outsourcing provider's inability to scale and keep up with changing needs of the company. This is especially true for start-ups growing at a rapid pace.

To help curb this dissatisfaction, Tarsh encourages companies to consider how their needs might change over time when selecting an outsourcing partner. "Many companies start with something small that they want to accomplish and they start with a small provider, but as they get bigger they realize that provider often doesn't have the scale to grow. Matching expectations is pretty important," Tarsh says.

By ensuring the outsourcing company has capabilities beyond your initial need, companies can avoid having to re-start the time consuming and costly sourcing process prematurely.

3. Reactive vs. proactive service


According to Deloitte, 46 percent of outsourcing providers wait to be told that improvements need to be made rather than making proactive suggestions. However, the very terms and conditions of an outsourcing agreement might inadvertently force providers into a reactive position, by being too limiting or overly focused on cost efficiencies.

True partnerships don't just happen. They need to be built and nurtured, with expectations established upfront. Lepeak suggests monitoring for proactive service throughout the outsourcing relationship."It's a full-time job to manage outsourcing, to ensure a periodic assessment of the progress. You can't go on autopilot for three to five years. There needs to be a living set of commitments and documents," he says.

4. Identify the provider's innovation strategy


One of the core expectations of outsourcing is that the new relationship will help the company stay ahead of competitors. This requires fostering innovation, but Deloitte reports that 33 percent of companies find that outsourcing partners lack the innovation to keep up with changing business needs.

Tarsh suggests spelling out the terms for innovation in the agreement. "For example, a trend in 2017 is towards robotic process innovation — replacing people doing transactional tasks with automated processes. That may reduce the revenue and profitability for the vendor," he says, creating an obvious conflict.

Instead of putting the outsourcing company in the awkward position of working against its own best interest, companies should build-in incentives which promote innovation. "That can be either more business, or the opportunity to charge differently, or sharing in the savings of innovation. The way in which they are incentivized must be clear in the contract," Tarsh says. Innovative initiatives should be collaborative, with clear governance on both sides, he adds.

5. Ensuring the outsourcing partner has a sound recruitment and retention strategy


The right people can make all the difference when it comes to success, and it's important for companies to partner with an outsourcing provider with a proven track record of nurturing and maintaining staff. The right outsourcer will focus a lot of attention and resources on ensuring employees are continuously supported and engaged.

For a BPO provider like TELUS International, which operates contact centers around the world, that means ensuring the programs the company offers in its regional locations are in line with the aspirations of the local workforce. For instance, TELUS International's university programs help team members in the Philippines and elsewhere get Bachelor's or graduate degrees on site while working full-time. The results of this people-first approach is increased agent engagement, loyalty and superior performance.


6. Ensuring best-in-class training practices


Deloitte reports that 23 percent of companies find their outsourcing suppliers rely on unqualified resources, meaning inadequately trained or skill-tested staff.

Tarsh suggests companies include standards for training practices in their original agreement, which can be confirmation of specific skill sets, testing and vetting processes, as well as documentation of standard operating procedures. "We do sometimes set out qualification requirements by level [of responsibility]. Typically, there is a ‘train the trainer' approach in which leaders come to the onshore locations to look at the people who will provide the training," he says.

7. Auditing for compliance


Deloitte finds that 25 percent of companies must terminate their outsourcing contracts due to a lack of leading practices for quality and operations management.

The adage "trust but verify," should be a mantra of good outsourcing practices. Before signing agreements, and as part of the ongoing relationship management, it's important to ensure the provider maintains a high degree of operational integrity. "[Companies that are outsourcing] have to have structure for auditing," Tarsh says. "A good supplier should tell them some of that information, and their auditors have a role in that too."

Companies should confirm their outsourcing partner's compliance to internationally recognized standards, like ISO, which are audited by objective third parties. They should also expect their outsourcing service providers to comply with international documentation requirements which will not expose the company to risks.

8. Ensuring systems continuity


An outsourcing partner should act as an extension of your brand, and ensuring a high level of continuity across both organizations is key. However, Deloitte finds that 22 percent of companies were forced to cancel their outsourcing contracts due to a lack of internal integration.

Lepeak warns against failing to assign the right in-house staff to work with the outsourcing provider. "As an example, the outsourcing company can do your payroll; that's straight-forward. But in the case of human resources for talent acquisition, you need to have more control of those activities, and that's a struggle. You need smart people, who know how to run things, to manage those types of outsourcing providers," Lepeak continues.

Organizations looking at finding a provider to provide turn-key services need to hire the right in-house personnel for oversight.

Bottom line: Manage change and mind the details


For organizations looking to outsource for the first time, change management is often critical. "If you previously performed many tasks internally, and you're now planning to do them externally, you need to know how you will manage the change in your organization" says Lepeak. By using a formalized and detailed change management approach, companies transitioning to an outsourcing model will minimize disruption and reap the full rewards of the partnership.

For more information on creating an engaged outsourcing partnership, including key factors affecting relationship value, download the "Achieving Maximum BPO Value: How Smart Buyers Structure Contact Center Relationships" white paper by Everest Group and sponsored by TELUS International.

"Keep up-to-date with the latest thinking about BPO, ITO and Contact Center solutions. Each month, TELUS International, a global provider of contact center outsourcing and BPO solutions, shares insights on the latest customer service trends."

Related articles: www.telusinternational-europe.com /
www.telusinternational.com


0 COMMENTS ^ Go back to Top
WRITE A COMMENT ^ Go back to Top
 
Your email address will not be published.
Nickname
Email
Comment
Validation Code
   
 
 
NEWS
Accace Romania − BPO digitization activities and 30 per cent increase in revenues in 2016

Accace, one of the leading outsourcing and consultancy services providers in Central and Eastern Europe, recorded a 30 per cent increase in turnover on the Romanian market in 2016.

 Read Full article »
Horatiu Cocheci and Nicoleta Dumitru join People's Advisory Services of EY Romania

Horatiu Cocheci and Nicoleta Dumitru, consultants with experience in human capital, join People's Advisory Services of EY Romania as Director and Senior Manager, a company release says.

 Read Full article »
Bittnet Systems plans merger with Gecad Net

IT&C solutions provider Bittnet Systems announced it plans to merge with Gecad Net with the goal to consolidate its position within multicloud area, according to representatives of Bittnet Systems.

 Read Full article »
Dedeman to implement Sap solutions for more efficient internal communication and employee management

Local retailer Dedeman will use SAP SucessFactors solution in order to get its recruiting, internal communication and training programs to a more efficient scale. The program will be used to manager over 9.000

 Read Full article »
EY: Global mining and metals sector faces digital disconnect

According to latest report of EY regarding the digital transformation in mining and metal sector globally, 15 percent of survey respondents say digital isn't on the agenda in their organization.

 Read Full article »
ABSL presents the 3rd edition of Iasi Business Mixer on 25th of April

The Association of Business Service Leaders in Romania (ABSL Romania), the organization that represents the local business services sector, will host the 3rd edition of the most important event dedicated to the

 Read Full article »
French energy operator Total opened support services center at Bucharest

Total, one of the largest major integrated oil and gas companies in the world, with activities in more than 130 countries and 98.000 employees opened a corporate support services center at Bucharest in March th

 Read Full article »
Accenture Report: Banks show confidence in cybersecurity but lack real-world testing

Many senior bank executives are confident about their cybersecurity strategy, yet a lack of comprehensive, practical testing is leaving gaps in their defense, according to a new report from Accenture.

 Read Full article »
Computaris reports positive 2016 results and outlook for 2017

Computaris International Ltd., specialized provider of software development and system integration services for software vendors and communication service providers, reports positive 2016 results and outlook

 Read Full article »
Stefanini plans 25 per cent growth of turnover in Romania this year to 45 million Euro

Brazilian global leader in IT outsourcing and software application development Stefanini looks at 25 per cent growth of turnover in Romania in 2017, to 45 million Euro, as stated by Marco Stefanini, the founder

 Read Full article »
 
MOST RECENT VIDEO
 
 
MOST READ ARTICLES
» Grégoire Vigroux appointed the new Vi...
» Capgemini to open new office at Suceav...
» ABSL organizes third edition of Iasi B...
» Exclusive OT print issue: Genpact may ...
» TELUS International Europe: Four quest...
» Oracle reaches 4,200 employees and pla...
» ROMANIAN OUTSOURCING AWARDS FOR EXCELL...
» Manpower:Romania has world's third hig...
» Romanian Online Support at Tech Giant ...
» SocGen's EBS division to grow 60%, exp...
 
EDITOR CHOICE
Romanian Outsourcing Awards for Excellence designates the industry winners on May 11

Outsourcing Today, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector, presents the Third Edition of the annual Romanian

 Read Full article »
TELUS International Europe: More proactive, personalized customer experience, thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT)

Industry research is apt to say we're on the cusp of a future full of "smart" devices — that is, billions of everyday items embedded with wireless internet connectivity

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Summit: Focus on the added-value of business shared services in Romania

This year's edition of Romanian Outsourcing Summit joined representatives of the government and top representatives of leading companies operating in the sector of business shared services and related industrie

 Read Full article »
Romanian Outsourcing Summit reaches its third edition

OUTSOURCING TODAY, the integrated communication platform of the business services sector, powered by The Diplomat Bucharest, presents the Third Edition of the ROMANIAN OUTSOURCING SUMMIT on March 23rd 2017, at

 Read Full article »
Latest News  
 
about us | newsletter | contact | members area
Copyright © 2015 by Diplomat Media Events Design by Diplomat Media Events