Unfortunately most people find this out the hard way. Outsourcing to the Philippines has the potential to reduce your costs by more than half and give you the freedom to focus on your core competencies but it must be done in the right way, with the right partners.
There are 2 main reasons why outsourcing projects fail:
1. Inadequate Preparation
For your project to succeed it must be clearly defined in a concise document before any work has begun. Your 3rd party call centre partner will no doubt do their best to get their head around the brief but you cant expect them to know your business intimately or understand what you are trying to achieve instantly.
To give your project it’s best chance of success, take the time to document your process in detail and run through your document with your relevant people at the call centre to make sure it is fully understood… & please don’t simply ask “does that all make sense” because in the case of a Filipino call centre, you will ALWAYS get a smile, a nod and a “yes sir” (more on this in a future blog). Be sure to utilise open ended questions and ask them to paraphrase to ensure a thorough understanding.
As part of the written process, be sure to include what you expect to achieve and have clear measurable KPIs. Be sure to specify which reports are required and when they are required to be able measure these KPIs.
Lastly, keep reviewing and refining the process (and the scope document) to continuously improve.
2. Wrong Partners
It is important to choose the right partners. Get to know your potential service providers. Gain an understanding of how they work and make sure they are a good fit for you and your business. Utillise technology and call them, or better yet, video call them via skype to get an even better idea of who you are dealing with and what their offices are like. Visit them or have them visit you. Ask for referrals etc. All these things are mandatory and will allow you to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right partner.
As you start to delve deeper into the selection process, you will find that there are many differences from one service provider to the next when it comes to pricing models, organisational structures and size, policies and procedures, locations, levels of security, technology and culture. Stop and think about what is important to you and what you are trying to achieve, if you keep coming back to “reduce costs, reduce costs, reduce costs” tread carefully and believe me when I say that sometimes it is worth paying a few extra $/hr to align yourself with the right partner. Your savings can quickly be eroded by lost sales, bad press or urgent trips to the Philippines, if you choose the cheap and nasty option simply because they were the lowest price quoted.
In summary, you will see great financial savings and increased performance in many cases if done correctly but you will quickly give it all back unless you nurture the project and keep on top of things from day 1.
GO (Global Outsourcing)