Although you must prize the connections you’ve built over the years, there comes a time when you have to free yourself from unproductive partnerships.
Cutting ties with a customer service provider is never easy. Chances are you’ve already devoted a lot of time, money, and effort into nurturing your relationship with them, and replicating all of these with a new organization can be difficult.
But there are times when you have to do so, especially if it’s negatively affecting your brand’s performance. As a business owner, you’re responsible for making the best decisions that uphold the interests of your company and your people. Part of this is ensuring that all the connections you build—especially those with outsourcing companies—are helping you reach your goals.
Below, we listed down a handful of reasons why it’s okay for brands to switch to a new call center.
1. Your provider lacks flexibility.
As outsourcing grew explosively over the past decade, the relationship between brands and third-party service providers has also been changing. The buyer–vendor setup is largely transforming into a more collaborative one, as companies treat outsourcing firms as their partners for growth.
This evolving relationship is prompting contact centers to provide more flexible terms so they can meet the demands of their clients. Some of them, however, are still reluctant about changing their business models.
What brand managers now want is to gain more control over their outsourced packages. This way, they can calibrate the quality of their customer service and ensure that its aspects reflect their brand’s image. For call centers, this means giving clients the freedom to:
• customize outsourcing packages
• re-scale workforce size easily
• specify the recruitment process
• decide on how performance will be assessed
If your current provider isn’t letting you do these, you might want to consider finding someone who will. You must find a provider who will let you manage your outsourced programs in a more hands-on way so you can grow toward the trajectory you’ve envisioned. A restrictive arrangement may hinder you from implementing innovations that could otherwise improve customer relationships.
2. The provider’s location isn’t ideal.
Identifying the outsourcing location that will give you the best benefits is crucial. This means you have to consider many factors at once: the business environment, costs, availability of infrastructure, and even the people’s culture.
Usually, entrepreneurs outsource to top locations such as the Philippines and India, both of which have a spotless track record when it comes to outsourcing.
There are, however, instances when you need to think about moving to other locations. Some of them are the following:
• Change in business or labor policies
Naturally, you must study all the policies in your call center’s location before you finally decide to hand over your services to them. This includes labor laws and business regulations. More importantly, however, you should stay updated about future policy changes and continue assessing how these may affect your outsourced processes.
If some of these changes may harm your outsourced program and its aspects, including recruitment, pricing, and others, you may need to explore the possibility of moving to another location.
• Lack of skilled workforce.
All the best outsourcing locations have unique assets that they’re proud of. In the Philippines, for example, there’s a wide talent pool of English-proficient customer service reps. They’re lauded for speaking English using a neutral accent, which is what many Western consumers prefer. India, on the other hand, is known for their IT services.
You need to consider such factors as you outsource some of your processes, particularly if you need plenty of manpower or if you’re planning to expand your projects later on. If your provider can’t supply your workforce needs, it may be worth looking at another location that regularly produces qualified professionals.
• Business disruptions.
Every brand in every industry aims to provide 24/7 uninterrupted services to their clientele. Your provider must therefore be capable of recovering swiftly from business disruptions such as natural disasters, data security breaches, IT infrastructure breakdown, and others.
Some call centers set up multiple facilities in various areas, use cloud computing solutions for storage, data backup, and software hosting, or hire remote employees so they can continue operating despite these disruptions.
• Weak government support.
Government agencies are at the forefront of creating fair and beneficial business policies both for foreign and local investors. Some countries, such as the Philippines, have built departments that are dedicated solely for managing the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector. This lets investors maximize the advantages of working with outsourcing companies. Weak government support, on the other hand, can give rise to a lot of issues such as unjust policies, abusive pricing, and poor tech infrastructure.
To discover more instances wherein you need to consider replacing your customer support provider, watch out for the second part of this article.