An outsourcing partner acts as a critical extension of your company in delivering the services and experience your customer's demand. When customers interact with your brand, oftentimes, customers are unaware that an outsourced partner is assisting them. From their perspective, the outsourced partner and your business are one and the same. Therefore, selecting and managing your outsourcing partner is vital to help your brand grow and deliver great customer experience.
To maximize the outsourcing services of your potential vendor, it is important to have a transparent and trust-filled partnership. After all, your call center outsourcing partner will also act as your brand ambassador.
Consider the following in choosing and managing your outsourcing vendor:
The best vendors have a presence in the marketplace and provide high-quality service at a cost that works within your economic model. You need to select a vendor that will understand your brand and help you improve your company’s overall performance and ability to compete. There are a lot of vendors out there, but not all are good candidates for your business. Key attributes to look for in a vendor include:
Your contract with your vendor should be a win-win for both organizations. You certainly want to sign a contract with your vendor that will deliver quality results and increase your company's profitability. A one-sided contract during negotiations can lead to trouble. You do not want to go through the process of working with a new vendor and then have to do it all over again because you pushed the contract too far. Outsourcing vendors will use their exit clause in a contract to terminate their contract with you if they see that the relationship will not allow them to make a fair return for their services. You can make an argument that a vendor should not have signed the contract if they didn’t feel they could deliver, but it does happen when dealing with outsourcers. Bring your procurement specialists into the process. Their expertise in negotiations and assessment of clearly defined objectives needs to go further than price. Focus negotiations on areas such as quality and service.
The most successful outsourcing relationships are based on an open and honest relationship with your vendor. Building that relationship takes effort from both sides. It requires flexibility and the ability to collaborate on a level that ensures defined success for both organizations. In any outsourcing relationship, business conditions may change, requiring joint solutions and maybe even changes to the contract. For the relationship to weather the storm and stay strong, transparent collaboration based on mutual solutions with a trusted vendor is needed. The vendor relationship is key to reaching a mutually beneficial solution.
A vendor management plan should consist of a clear, comprehensive, and concrete set of conditions. This serves as a guide to the expectations that have to be met. This documented plan governs the operational relationship specifics and is an official company policy that needs to be understood by leadership and operations teams. The plan should be reviewed periodically and updated as necessary.
Maintaining control over your business spending is necessary for attaining goals and managing your vendor. You should internally analyze your costs against your expected costs. As business conditions can change during the contract timeframe, it is imperative for you to understand the changes and re-forecast your expectations periodically.
The KPIs should measure the vendor’s performance and focus on the key aspects of the relationship (i.e., your company goals and what you need from the vendor to reach them). The KPIs should be reviewed from time to time as they are a key component of your operational excellence plan and processes. Here are some vendor management KPI best practices:
Selecting and managing your outsourced partner needs to become a part of your company’s DNA. You can attain your desired results by putting the necessary processes in place. These best practices can guide you along your path to success and grow your business.