Should I Switch BPO Providers? When to Stick and When to Switch

February 14, 2019 Lydia Adams

Grayscale man helping woman in an office

Choosing the right outsourcing provider can be a tough decision, and once it’s done, many companies want to stick with their vendor. There are, however, 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.

When to Switch: Poor 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. Although relevant to all functions, it can cause immediate damage to your business if it’s a customer-facing service. In this case, low quality can mean bad impressions, which in turn translates to negative brand identity and lost sales.

When to Stick: You’re Happy with the Level of Service

This one might seem obvious, but the phrase “the grass is always greener” applies to business services, too. If your current BPO provider is meeting their Service Level Agreements (SLAs) and hitting or exceeding their Key Performance Indicators (KPIs), then it may make sense to stick with them.

When to Switch: Loss of Trust

When you give away a significant chunk of your business process 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.

When to Stick: You’re Contractually Obligated

Okay, sure – this one isn’t necessarily a choice so to speak, but because of the risk BPO providers assume when allocating resources to cover your business processes, 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. In this situation, if the BPO provider’s performance isn’t severely detrimental to the performance of your business, it may well be worth sticking with them until your contract is at its end.

Switching BPO providers

When to Switch: Inflexible Pricing

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 an increasing number are automating parts of their service. With automation comes lower pricing that should be passed onto you as the customer. If your current provider won’t drop their price, there’ll be someone else who will.

When to Stick: When the Impact of Switching is Too Heavy

If you’re just about to launch a major strategy that could have a heavy impact on your business, it’s probably not the right time to make the move to another provider. It may be worth sticking it out until the strategy is implemented and running smoothly. If you’re adamant about switching immediately, speak with your chosen BPO firm – as well as your current provider – about making a gradual transition.


If switching providers is the best choice for your company, check out our guide on what to do when your vendor isn’t working out for all the details on switching BPO providers. Still have questions? Contact us for more information.

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