Dumb Outsourcing Mistakes Bright Contact Center Executives Make
We recently wrote an article outlining ‘Ten dumb things, bright contact enter mangers do’ and we were surprised by the response from readers and by the number of downloads and forwards we received. So we decided to follow up the general contact center management, with some more specific guidance for center manager as they look at outsourcing.
It is amazing that otherwise bright contact center executive that often make planned and considered decisions in other areas of their business, somehow seem to have their grey matter neutralized as they charge headlong into outsourcing.
The following is a list of regular challenges and mistakes we have seen bright contact center executives do while assessing and evaluating outsourcing and offshoring.
1. Don’t establish why outsourcing is being done or considered in the first place. After all outsourcing must be a good idea if our competitors are doing it.
2. Don’t investigate alternative solutions. If you have already decided that you need to outsource your contact center then looking at alternatives can be downright inconvenient. What would happen if you found a better solution?
3. Outsource for the sake of following the trend. It was in Fortune, Forbes or Business Week, so it must be right. The magazine said everyone else is going to India, so we don’t want to wait too long and miss out.
4. Travel to the offshore location and check out the hotels and amenities, after all if the bigwigs want to visit they will need somewhere nice to stay.
5. Don’t get competitive bids, why do we need them, they just delay the process. Besides a contact center is a contact center and we know we will save 80% so why quibble and delay over a few percentage point of savings.
6. Don’t establish objective criteria for evaluating outsourcers and the proposals. Criteria, such who have we heard of, who do our competitors use? Why make it any harder than it has to be
7. Don’t underestimate the power of psychic training. I just think a thought here in my office and my offshore outsourcer knows…scary.
8. Don’t bother to customize your staff training materials; they’re fine, besides the outsourcer has an extensive training program built around accent neutralization.
9. Don’t be concerned that your offshore partner doesn’t understand your customers. Really what aspect of your customer relationship can’t be addressed by watching 26 hours of Friends?
10. Don’t worry about what your customers will think, they may like the challenge of understanding new accents, words and phrases. Heck, they probably won’t notice the change.
11. Just send everything to the outsourcer; they will sort it out at their end…after all they are the experts.
12. Don’t involve the outsourcer with marketing/sales meetings that will just confuse and distract them from serving our customers.
13. Just get on a plane, you can find an outsource partner when you land. You can use the time in the air better to figure out how to spend your bonus for saving the company so much money.
14. Don’t visit their contact center, why take the trouble, after all they have nice pictures on their website.
15. Don’t plan to have to manage the relationship, they are the experts anyway, right and if there is a problem they will call me…at 3 in the morning.
16. Don’t budget additional expense to manage the relationship. How much can it really cost anyway to manage a few hundred folks dealing with your most important assets halfway around the world?
What mistakes would you add to the list? Let us know by email at [email protected]
Of course there are many excellent outsourcing firms domestic, near shore and offshore. Many of these top flight companies have saved some otherwise bright executives from making these very mistakes. But like with everything else where there a good partners there can also be bad ones. It is the executive that makes the decision that must be wary.