Are You Working With the Right BPO?
Many BPO companies do a great job meeting every customer support or outsourcing service expectation. But what if yours does not? We will share the most common problems our front office, back-office, human resources, and contact center professionals see every day. And uncover the best-in-class solutions used within the world’s top CS BPO vendors.
Are You Working With the Right BPO?
Many BPO companies do a great job meeting every customer support or outsourcing service expectation. But what if yours does not? We will share the most common problems our front office, back-office, human resources, and contact center professionals see every day. And uncover the best-in-class solutions used within the world’s top BPO vendors.
Is your BPO right for you?
Outsourcing companies and the BPO industry in general, have grown exponentially over the past many years. It has flourished along with the rise of social media, automation, multichannel communication, and the drive towards robust customer experience. This trend has companies, with varying business needs, contracting with an external service provider. In this case a customer service business process outsourcing vendor (BPO). These needs can vary from basic HR, accounting, and payment processing services to more advanced needs, such as artificial intelligence for IT services or tech support.
Many BPO companies do a great job meeting every customer support or outsourcing service expectation. But what if yours does not?
What are the warning signs that your BPO service provider should be replaced? We will share the most common problems our front office, back-office, human resources, and contact center professionals see every day. And uncover the best-in-class solutions used within the world’s top BPO vendors.
Hopefully, this information will help resolve your situation and allow your operation to get back on track whether it be a customer interaction and customer loyalty, quality assurance issue, workflows, or optimizing business functions.
6 Warning Signs to Lookout For
The following list covers the most frequent issues we see between client companies and their customer service business process outsourcing provider. Of course, there can be other concerns, but no matter the problem, the most important thing to do first is to identify its exact root cause and determine the solution. This will let you know if it’s time to consider a new BPO.
- Performance Issues
- Costs are out of line
- Recruiting/Attrition Problems
- Culture Clash
- Fraudulent Activity
- Lingering Challenges
Now let’s look at each warning sign in a little more detail.
Performance issues can crop up in several areas including:
- Training Programs
- Workforce Management
- Sales and/or Quality Goals
If performance issues arise in any of these areas, vendor management should consult your contract and hold the BPO provider accountable as soon as possible. The longer performance issues hang around, the higher the risks to customer satisfaction and your brand’s reputation.
Cost Problems / Profitability
Is your vendor giving you a fair shake when it comes to price? Are there better, lower-cost options? If you sense you’re paying too much or your ROI is too low, dig deep into your vendor’s processes and discover the gaps that increase your bill, reduce cost savings, or cost you untapped revenue.
Recruiting / Attrition Challenges
Staffing problems can present in the form of an under-qualified workforce, high attrition levels, the inability to recruit and fill roles, or all of these. Your vendor should provide a weekly readout on their ability to hire and retain staff. They should also communicate any challenges that prevent them from hitting targets.
Different companies possess different corporate cultures and core business values. If cultures between your company and your BPO don’t align, you’ll know it. Customer reviews, complaints, and sales figures will bear it out. Your vendor management team can also sense big differences in corporate culture. Symptoms may become apparent, like noticeable friction, delays, personality conflicts, or an overall sense that things aren’t running as smoothly as they could be.
Does your vendor have the right processes and systems in place to protect your company and your customers? Is anyone doing something they shouldn’t?
For instance, one of our partners had a vendor with agents given access to a special perk meant for customers. The agents began using it for themselves. This situation cost our client thousands of dollars. The worst part was that the fraudulent activity wasn’t even on the vendor’s radar. Our client had to spot it and bring it to the BPO’s attention.
Of course, no business operation or relationship is perfect. Any of the above problems could be a temporary blip on the radar screen. If dissatisfaction with your vendor has been called out and solutions have been applied, any temporary challenge will not last. But the ones that don’t resolve should be taken as warning signs that process improvement has stalled. Perhaps a new roadmap and methodologies are needed.
In most cases, six months is a fair length of time to give a vendor to work out a kink. This could be longer or shorter depending on the scope of the challenge and the proportions of its solution. One thing’s for sure. The longer problems continue, the more costly the damage.
Improve or terminate your vendor? How to know the difference.
You have a couple of options. One, you can terminate your existing vendor relationship and find a new vendor. Or two, you can correct the shortcomings and continue with your current vendor.
A current state evaluation of your vendor is recommended to start. This is a health checkup of your BPO’s operations, its performance, and your relationship to your BPO. Current state evaluations may take many different forms, a cost analysis, a business case, or a capability model to name a few. A qualified evaluation partner who understands the importance of performance management will be able to offer a wide-ranging menu of options you may pick from and customize to suit your operational goals.
Want to see how Insite Consulting Solutions and its years of industry experience can help with course corrections in BPO? Click here to find out more.
These cover all aspects of your outsourced call center, including a look at your in-house vendor management team. Once the evaluation is complete, informed decisions regarding your vendor can be made based on facts.
Check out our eBook for complete details on what’s involved in a current state evaluation and leveraging the expertise of a trusted partner.
Keeping Your Vendor
Not all vendors need replacing. A current state evaluation sometimes reveals performance issues that may be solved. A good report will outline where these problems occur, how to fix them, and the expected financial and performance results. If the report was prepared by a truly effective contact center improvement partner, that firm will stick by your side and implement the solutions with you.
The result is a retooled vendor that functions at best-in-class performance levels.
Sourcing a New Vendor
If you begin a search for a new BPO, the creation of a solid RFP will be your first step. The current state evaluation you just received will help enormously as you compile and articulate all the requirements into this document.
With a finalized RFP in hand, your company is ready to start the selection process. The universe of vendors is quite large. Be methodical and very careful as you weed out undesirables and narrow down to a shortlist of good fits. Additional research and capability models are required to vet contenders.
After the contract has been awarded, drafting a binding agreement that covers everything you need is one of the most critical steps in this process. Be sure to enlist qualified expertise to help you craft this operating agreement. Certainly, contract attorneys play a role here, but we recommend leveraging the wisdom of a trusted contact center partner as well. They can help lock in the performance and cost levels you seek. You can avoid the omissions and wording nuances that can lead to nightmare scenarios down the road. And they can share industry pricing benchmarks to make sure negotiations are fair.
As the contract is being negotiated, thought should be given to vendor standup so that before the ink has dried, your team can begin the transition from your old BPO.
Optimize Your Call Center: More Help
Insite provides current state evaluations and improvement opportunities. As your contact center improvement partner, we implement solutions with you. We’ve been improving call centers since 2007 using a host of proprietary and customizable products and services. Most engagements feature our 3x ROI guarantee*, which self-funds your partnership with us and makes the decision a no-brainer. Contact us if you would like a complimentary outside perspective of your current vendor situation.
*Insite provides a risk-free approach by guaranteeing either increased revenue and/or reduced operational cost equal to or greater than our fee. If not, you get a full refund. Complete confidence in our proprietary process and data analysis, in combination with our quick hits, long-term initiatives, and rapid results allows us to offer this money-back guarantee. Since our inception in 2007, we have never failed to self-fund all engagements. Certain products and services are excluded. Conditions apply. Contact us for details.