Rules for successful call centre outsourcing
The key to successful call centre outsourcing depends on two things; the buyer has to be willing to put in the effort, and the right people have to be in place to make the relationship work.
The underlying problem is that the relationship feels unnatural.
Clients ask Why should I pay a service provider millions of dollars and then bend over backwards to manage them?
Why cant they do it right without my help?, and really, they’re very valid questions.
At its most fundamental level, outsourcing is, in fact, a human endeavour.
Like all other relationships, it is a product of our ability to communicate and deliver on our promises.
In his article ‘How To Excel At Outsourcing’, Esteban Herrera says “While the industry obsesses about speeds and feeds, staffing levels, service levels, accuracy, exit clauses and indemnity, what we should all really be talking about is the human behaviour that makes a healthy partnership work, or not”.
The 80/20 Rule in successful call centre outsourcing
Learned contact centre professionals will all understand the concept of the 80/20 rule.
If we consider this rule in reverse, this is exactly what we tend to do when entering partnerships with external providers.
We end up focusing on only 20 per cent of what we need to be doing to make the relationship successful, while the other 80 per cent is spent micro-managing the objective factors, which are easy to measure and apply.
Where we fall short is in measuring and maintaining the human part of the equation because it is so difficult to quantify.
Most of us already have an innate understanding of humanity, friendliness, courtesy and manners.
So then why is it, that so few of us apply it in our outsourcing relationships?
Four common roadblocks to successful call centre outsourcing
Herrera lists four in particular;
- The amount of money changing hands raises expectations. I can forgive my $25/week gardener for less than perfect work much more easily than I can forgive my $25 million/year service provider.
- We have a lingering aversion to outsourcing. We remember the time when it was our friends who were displaced by service providers. We have natural antibodies to the outsiders that took over.
- We are conditioned to be sceptical of other cultures. Xenophobia isnt limited to other parts of the world. It can also apply to corporate cultures.
- Change is difficult. I know, dear reader. I can hear your collective duh. But if we all know this simple truth, why dont we cut ourselves and our service providers some slack? Outsourcing relationships involve change processes that can take years. Whether we like it or not, chances are it will be hard for everyone involved
What’s important to remember is that we’re not only buying and selling technical solutions but human ones as well.