How One Company Decided Cultural Fit Made The Difference In Their Outsourcing....

As any user of outsourcing services knows...there is usually a culture gap between the management of the company seeking outsourcing services and the company providing it (BPO company). Depending upon the location of the outsourcing provider this gap can be huge (i.e. Pakistan, China, India, Bangladesh)  or less of an issue. (Eastern Europe, South America, Philippines).  Of course...proper management and experience will shrink that gap based upon the individual companies experience. At the end of the day it is the individual BPO company and the way it is structured which will make or break the client relationship. The article below talks about how one company made the cultural issue a key point in evaluating and choosing their new BPO provider.

The Cultural War...And How One Company Choose Their Outsourcing Partner

8 Tips To Make Your Offshore Call Center Operation A Success....

A lot of companies outsource their call center operations. Sometimes it is a good experience...but often times companies fail miserably in the implementation and discontinue the effort. I am in the business of providing  offshore call center services. (sales, marketing and customer service). I have been asked what makes the outsourcing effort a win...and how to make sure that the customer experience is good. Below are 8  key points I watch when implementing a solution for a client.

  1. Consider the size of your Call Center Operation. Right size it from the start. Do not under staff.
  2. Move only those services into you new call center which are appropriate. An example....keep high level customer service in least until you have center reps who really know your business. Stars will emerge and you can promote those to Level II or Level III support/customer service.
  3. Consider the location of your call center agents. I wrote an article as to why one should choose Philippine call center reps over India one's....I urge you to read it. Why Philippine Call Center Agents Are The Best
  4. Call your new agents. Interview them, Engage them in a conversation. If possible...hire only the ones you like. A lot of BPO / outsourcing providers (like us) will let you hire your own agents out of a selection  they pre-screen.
  5. Look at the website of your outsourcing provider. If they do not have a good web presence...big warning sign.
  6. Be specific and allocate the time needed to develop the training program. (decision trees, conversation trees). This will pay off big time.  
  7. Treat your center operations as an improvement...not just an exercise in cost cutting. (this of course is still the goal). Focus on how to create a better customer experience. 
  8. Try to get call center reps which are accent neutral. Accent neutral  means that the center rep has been trained in pronunciation methods to eliminate as much as possible of the native language influence. 

If you follow the guidelines above your chances of success are greatly improved. In combination they will allow you to create a class A solution....improving the inner workings of your company as well as the customer and client experience.

At the end of the day the partner you chose is perhaps the single most import  aspect of why a call center succeeds or fails. A call center in Lahore. Pakistan  with very little western influence is much less likely to succeed than a center located in the Philippines  with a US management structure.  I am (obviously) touting my own horn here....but I truly believe it will make a huge difference to the success of setting up your offshore call center operations.

Why The Valley Loves Outsourcing...and uses it all the time!

It is well known that a lot of tech startups use outsourcing to power their business. They not only outsource software development and design but customer service, sales and order fulfillment. They typically avail themselves to the traditional destinations like India, Philippines , China and Russia. There are a few reasons why outsourcing is being used by tech and service heavy startups....

  • The timeline from concept  to Minimum Viable Product (MVP) is substantially shortened 
  • Outsourcing companies have a very good grasp of  open source, thereby reducing development timeline and costs
  • All of the core competencies to run a successful development team are under one roof. The Startup does not have to go out and built a team which covers all aspects needed for a successful application development (Development, Engineering, User Interface Design ....)
  • The BPO company,  even though it  might be located in the Philippines or India, might have significant related experience to the business the start up wants to get off the ground. 

In my opinion a start up which  uses a reputable outsourcing provider who is not just a body shop will always come out ahead. Costs will be dramatically lower and  there is huge degree of flexibility to scale development up or down as needed. Another important factor is that  the startup gains a degree of technical knowledge it would simply not be able to acquire (or only at significant costs).

An article discussing some of the Pro's and also the Con's is below.

Why Every Startup Should Outsource Software Development...and typically does!

A Country Just Did The Unthinkable..It Outsourced Its Education!,,,and Mark Zuckerberg Is Part Of It.

In what surely is a bit of rather strange news the country of Liberia just announced that it will outsource its entire (!) pre primary and primary education system to a US based education company. Needless to say...the outsourcing contract has been met with some push back from member s of the opposition and even the UN has some problems with it. Interestingly though, the outsourcing does make some sense once you read through the structure they have selected. Local classroom teachers will use tablets to teach a standardized lesson format. Highly structured and consistent throughout the country. Consequently the same curriculum should be taught at the same time throughout the country, providing a standardized education system with standardized testing. It seems a good symbiosis between a KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) and the use of local execution. Almost looks like outsourcing in reverse.  The Startup which has the contract is backed by Mark Zuckerberg...illustrating his commitment to education.

The KPO Model Applied To Education...How One Country Just Did it!

Ever Considered Outsourcing Your Website ?

I recently wrote an article which I had published on my Linkedin page. I address the needs and challenges a modern website is faced with in order to stay relevant and serve as a valuable business tool. Outsourcing website design and maintenance can generate significant savings. But savings are only one part why you should consider it. A knowledgeable BPO firm which is well familiar with SEO and ranking strategies can truly add value to your website. It will help to elevate the organic ranking of your site, thus increasing your visitor count. (and hopefully sales).  

Why You Should Trust A BPO Company And Outsource Your Website