Choosing to outsource, whether you are offshoring accounting, customer experience, digital or back office is a big shift in your strategy with huge rewards. If you've been outsourcing for a while, your partnership with your outsourcing provider is a large part of whether your foray into the process has been effective. Hopefully, you've chosen a provider that is giving you the quality and results you need, but if not, you may now be considering whether it is worth it to switch providers.
There are several situations that beg the question, "Should we move on from our current provider?" When these situations arise, it can have severe negative effects, from missed targets to dissatisfied customers. But with all the work you put into starting a relationship, many customers wonder, should we just stick it out? Below are a few situations to look out for when debating when to switch and when to stick. In some cases, the effort of switching is not only worth it but will bring big rewards in the end.
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You Need A Provider That Offers Better Quality
When you outsource one of your core business processes, you don’t want to be constantly chasing your BPO provider on the quality of their service, or worse -- redoing the work yourself. Quality may be one of your chief concerns when choosing to outsource in the first place and to see your quality suffer is an unacceptable outcome. Although relevant to all functions, low quality can cause immediate damage to your business if it’s a customer-facing service like CX. In this case, low quality can mean a poor customer experience which will hurt your customer retention and halt new business in its tracks.
Alternatively, if your current BPO provider is meeting their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and hitting or exceeding their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), then it makes sense to stick with them and work out any other issues. For those who are seeing quality that is inconsistent, it's important to try to fix the problem right away. Giving your provider a chance to achieve acceptable standards is worthwhile, but at some point, you'll need to decide how long you can stick it out. Bottom line? You should never have to accept poor quality from a BPO, and this is the main reason most clients make the move.
You're Looking to Regain Trust in Your BPO Relationship
When you give away a significant chunk of your essential tasks to an outsourcing firm, you need to be able to count on them to do their jobs and do them well. Trust might not necessarily be lost overnight, but it does gradually get chipped at over time when you see things like missed deadlines, unresponsiveness or poor follow-through. Once you’ve lost trust in your BPO provider, it’s tough to rebuild, leaving you reluctant to rely on them in the future. This is when switching providers is definitely worth it.
Just like in personal relationships, a loss of trust erodes the entire business partnership. You may be able to get back to speaking terms, but there will always be doubt that your BPO can deliver. And the provider is sure to feel it too -- unfortunately, and may even "give up" on providing you the service you deserve. In this case, your best course of action will be to research how to remove yourself from the relationship.
Almost all outsourcing contracts will include a cancellation clause. This means you’ll more than likely have a clause stating you need to give three, six or 12 months’ notice before cancellation – or pay for a certain number of months to nullify the agreement immediately. Check out the terms of your agreement, get ahead in your BPO search and ask your new provider how they can help you switch. You'd be surprised what options they may have available. Without trust, there is no relationship so even at a cost, it will be worth it to switch to a trustworthy provider.
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You Need Flexibility That Your Current Provider Isn't Offering
Many first-time outsourcers, go for a well-known, big name in the industry. However, they often also find that these providers are not able to offer the flexibility that their program demands. If you are a growing small- to mid-size organization, you probably need specific services with a smaller team to accomplish your goals as you scale. If your current provider can't offer a flexible and customized program fit specifically for your needs, it may be time to look elsewhere.
For many of our clients in accounting, for example, they are looking for a small team to deliver their accounts payable, accounts receivable or general accounting -- some with a team as small as one. The model that a mid-size outsourcing provider can offer allows for personalized, one-on-one attention, smaller teams and solutions designed by the client. If you are looking for a more flexible, custom approach, leaving your provider to go with another is likely your best bet. Another consideration in terms of flexibility is your technology. If your provider is forcing you to switch to their ERP, you're bound to run into challenges. Go with a provider who is tech-agnostic and can you use your technology or theirs allowing you the flexibility you need to have not only a high success rate, but an easy time doing it.
You Need a Cost-Effective Solution & Comprehensive Value
In a competitive environment, it’s understandable you want as much value for your investment as possible. Upon contract renewal, your BPO provider should be willing to reward your long-term business and offer you a discount on your extended contract. There are thousands of BPO providers out there, and you should feel that you are getting an incredible value from the work they provide. If this isn't the case, it may be time to move on.
Overall, these issues you may be facing -- poor quality or a lack of flexibility, trust or value -- all come down to whether your BPO sees your relationship as a partnership or just a contract. At Personiv, we have been working with our awesome customers for decades and they continue to add new services and teams to their contracts each year. Why? Because we don't just offer offshore BPO services like accounting, digital, customer experience or back office, we provide peace of mind, custom solutions, on-time delivery and a 99.7% customer satisfaction rate (yes, really). So if you're looking to move, reach out and let us know how we can help.