The Benefits of Outsourcing:
A Conversation With a First-Time Outsourcer

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Choosing to outsource is a big decision. Businesses that have experienced the benefits of outsourcing believe the argument is pretty clear: It’s a straightforward, effective, and sustainable solution to scaling, streamlining operations, and reducing costs. Whether you’re new to BPO solutions or not, one thing is for sure: There will always be many factors to consider before diving in. 

A couple of years ago, a large eCommerce unicorn in the tech and fashion space decided to partner with TaskUs on the heels of their IPO to scale their support and Trust + Safety operations. We had an interview with their Client Experience Strategist to talk about their unique outsourcing journey and the considerations that came along with it.

How did you decide it was the right time to outsource?

Before we started our partnership with TaskUs in March 2020, we had been considering outsourcing for a while to adapt to volatility and increase ticket support demand. After some conversations with different vendors and finding the right one, we knew it was time for us to take that step to be able to scale and continue serving our customers to meet our excellence standards.

Related: Customer Care: Beyond Customer Service

What were you most afraid of?

As any first-time outsourcer, we had multiple questions: How will this work for us? Will there be a negative impact on our agents or clients? Will the team be able to absorb our knowledge in a shorter training time? How will we support their team? 

How did you prepare to choose the right partner?

We held meetings and conversions during the previous months to ensure that we were aligned with the TaskUs team on how to prepare the teams for training. We also had focus groups internally to prepare for the change management aspect and anticipate the impact on our agent population. Overall, it was a cross-functional effort that involved many teams across the organization to ensure we were all aligned and ready for the move.

What steps did you take to ensure you didn’t lose the company’s brand authenticity?

We shared resources to prepare the TaskUs team for our tone and voice and held focus groups between the teams. We also ran quality control on the tickets the way we do internally, and we provided feedback when/if we felt those did not meet our standards. Finally, we continue to provide training and refreshers to help TaskUs stay in line with our brand tone.

How did you decide what to outsource first?

For us, this was an easy one. We knew we wanted to start and pilot with easy tickets, so we outsourced our Tier 1 over email to minimize the risk. 

What kind of work was required to ensure a smooth transition?

A lot of conversions and working sessions between our training teams were key. Partnership and close collaboration. Also, documentation of our tone and voice, and how to communicate our brand. Finally, continuous meetings, check-in points, and a dedicated manager responsible for the relationship with TaskUs.

What was the biggest challenge you encountered? How did you overcome it?

Productivity issues and schedule adherence. Working from home presented some challenges with schedule adherence. Since our agents do not handle live channels, we had little insight into schedule adherence but found that some agents were working out of shift times. TaskUs’ leads and managers worked with reporting we provided to monitor compliance. We are still working to resolve this fully, but we are primarily focusing on agents’ abilities to solve the tickets they are working on and making sure occupancy is high.

Related: Offshore Outsourcing: 3 Keys to Success

What were the biggest benefits of outsourcing?

For us, the biggest benefit is gaining the flexibility to scale. Flexing our headcount up and down within a reduced timeframe made no negative impact on our internal agent population.

What advice would you give to brands like yourself who are considering leveraging a partner for the first time?

Spend time finding the right partner upfront—this will be key to the project’s success. 

We also encourage new outsourcers to talk to other clients who have outsourced before and identify risks and challenges, to understand how other companies overcame those. We have mentioned this, but multiple and continuous working sessions across all teams are key to ensuring a successful outsourcing journey.

If you’re considering outsourcing for the first time, you’ll need an organization you can trust every step of the way. Choose a company that aligns with your values, committed to your goals, and promotes a transparent and collaborative relationship. TaskUs is known for our work with first-time outsourcers and has over a decade of experience complimenting in-house operations and we’d love the opportunity to share our approach with you.