Hold your Outsourced Partner to Higher Standards

I recently attended and spoke at the Execs in the Know Customer Response Summit in Chicago. While there, I facilitated a couple of sessions on a topic that is critical to TaskUs' success -- our employee satisfaction (what we measure as the employee net promoter score or eNPS). We had about 60 attendees with CX leaders from companies like Amazon, FedEx, Square, Lyft, Target, Hyatt and other marquee brands.

I was pleasantly surprised how many of these companies are using eNPS, or some form of employee engagement survey, in their companies; about 80% of people said they did. While this may be a function of attendees self-selecting a session on eNPS, I'm thrilled to learn that these heavy hitter brands place emphasis on engaging employees.

However, when I asked the group who extended employee engagement surveys to their outsourcing partners, only two had. Then, I asked these two companies whether they saw a correlation between employee engagement and high performance amongst their partners. I got a resounding "yes" in both cases.

At that moment, I realized none of our current clients proactively ask us to participate in an engagement survey on their behalf, or as part of a survey they administer across their network.

It left me puzzled. Why are companies not holding their outsourced vendors to the same high standards they place on their internal teams?  Why are WE not being held to that standard?

eNPS is just as important as your customer's NPS score, and here's why:

eNPS drives cNPS

The happier your employees are, the happier your customers are. For companies that are outsourcing with a partner, it doesn't matter whether they are an employee or a contractor, what matters is they have direct communication with your customers.

Get real feedback

In your own office or captive sites, you can get a sense for culture by spending time there and having direct communication with your team. This becomes difficult when working with a partner where access is limited. An engagement survey would provide feedback directly from the front lines which you wouldn't otherwise get.

Share best practices

Just like NPS, CSAT or any other KPIs in a contact center, sharing best practices amongst a partner network and your brand leads to better results for everyone. Create a competitive environment amongst your vendors and your internal team.

Solidify "culture"

All partners in the BPO industry will boast why they take better care of their people, but it's hard to quantify a nebulous thing like culture. As a brand, I can't imagine how hard it would be to determine the truth from smoke and mirrors. Use data to make your partners prove they treat employees as they say they do. Be wary of any partner that pushes back on administering it.

Get started

In terms of practical application, administer the same exact anonymous survey that you use internally. This will hold every person, every partner to the same standards and will allow for comparative reporting. Hold your partners accountable to actions to improve their scores. Best yet, discover the voice of your team that is talking to your customers on a daily basis.

Ultimately, if you're a believer in employee satisfaction, this is a no brainer. I'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments.

Jaspar Weir

President and Founder
October 11, 2017