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Finding the right outsourcing partner: 5 top tips

From the Knowledge Centre

Published December 18th 2015 in Customer Contact & Engagement by Caroline Boden

In the third quarter of 2015, £2.3bn worth of outsourcing contracts were signed - an increase of 69% on 2014. Outsourcing to expects can bring big benefits, however finding the right partner is crucial. Here, we give our five top tips to consider in appointing a trustworthy and reliable outsourcing partner...

1. Innovation is a must have
A specialist outsourcer can bring new ideas and innovations to the table that others within or close to an organisation might not have even considered, and this type of fresh perspective can be extremely valuable. A great outsourcer won't be afraid to challenge the status quo and may help to inform improvements in current business processes, to make them more efficient and to improve outcomes for customers. Innovative outsourcers will go that extra mile to benefit your business and work in a collaborative partnership with you to implement real added-value changes.

2. Agility is not to be underestimated
Today's business landscape is both competitive and challenging. Customer expectations continue to rise and the pace of change shows no sign of slowing down - stand still and you're at a risk of losing out. By choosing an outsourcer with an agile culture and structure, you can be sure they'll be willing to evolve alongside your business and that they'll be able to move quickly to keep up with change. This could be in relation to the adoption of new technologies and ways of working to innovate services and create competitive differentiation, or simply the ability and willingness to scale operations swiftly up and down depending on demand peaks and troughs.

3. A balancing act
New technologies are being developed every day, and their creation is opening up a sea of opportunities for business. However, amongst all the excitement around technological advancement, it's important to implement them because you should, and not just because you can. An experienced outsourcer will be able to recommend the right balance for your business and customers. In the world of outsourced contact centre services for example, where a wide array of technology is available, understanding what customers really want and matching your approach to their requirements is crucial. The latest multi-channel technologies offer speed and convenience, but in certain situations the human touch will be more appropriate and preferred by customers.

4. Long vs. short term considerations
Price considerations are of course important in the selection of an outsourced partner, however selecting purely on a low price, although tempting, might not always be the most advisable decision - especially if you're looking for specialist insight, an innovative approach and a long term partnership. It's worth considering all elements of an outsourcer's service offering, not just the cost. It's often worth investing a little more, and building a collaborative relationship with a partner that can really add long term value and become a true extension of your business.

5. Protecting your brand reputation
An outsourced partner will ultimately be an extension of your business, so a seamless brand experience is crucial. It's vital to select a partner who can represent and care for your brand as if it were their own. For example, in the case of outsourced debt collection, a difficult and challenging environment can mean maintaining customer relationships becomes quite tough. Here, a customer-centric approach that engages customers and protects a client's brand can go a long way towards maintaining customer experiences. This is important, because once debts are cleared, customers are more likely to remain favourable towards your business, and loyal in the years to come.

In conclusion, take time to choose a specialist who can really add value to your business and collaborate with them to increase your agility and innovation capabilities.

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