When your business reaches a certain point, you may consider that the most effective and efficient approach is to outsource customer service. So, you launch an RFP and ask support partners to provide proposals.

But cold RFPs simply don’t work. They don’t deliver the best results in the long or short term. If you want to outsource customer service successfully, it’s vital to get to know your support partner and avoid cold RFPs.

Essential questions to ask before you outsource customer service

  • How can a company deliver the best possible outcomes for your organisation if they don’t truly understand who you are?
  • How can a support partner successfully serve your business if they don’t know what you aspire to, and what you need?
  • On the flip side, how can you know if you’re choosing to outsource customer service to the right support partner if you haven’t spent the time getting to know the company and its people?

With this in mind, it’s vital that you get to know support partners before putting out your RFP. You can go about this in three steps:

1. Consider your business needs and expectations

Does the potential partner have the experience and capability to meet your business needs, both now and in the future? To choose the right outsourcer, you need to really know what your business wants and needs.

Outsourcing is ever more popular, but to outsource customer service is more complex than simply engaging a partner to follow your processes, so it’s important to take the time to understand your own business needs so you can be sure that your chosen partner can meet them.

Leaving this until the RFP is issued can be too late, so start by having a discovery conversation and establish whether the outsourcer can meet your requirements.

2. Investigate your support partners business culture

As well as understanding what your business needs, it’s crucial to really take time to understand the culture of the company you’ll be handing your customers over to. That means attending events, reading blogs, or attending webinars. You should even ask to visit a site to get to know what each prospective partner can offer you.

Further, each company has their own culture, and it’s key that your partner’s culture complements your own. So, for example, are they a customer-centric or a sales-centric company? If you outsource customer service it is essential that your support partner can work in harmony with you.

When your business chooses to outsource customer service it is vital that you know your support partner and avoid cold RFPs. The value and effectiveness of the results depend on it.

3. Realise it takes time and effort to achieve the best results

While it might seem time-consuming to get to know your support partner before putting out your bid to outsource customer service, it’s an investment well worth making. After all, the quality and success of the results are dependent on it.

The importance of getting to know your support partner should not be underestimated – cold RFPs simply won’t cut it when it comes to obtaining the best results and building successful, long-term relationships with your suppliers.

In fact, some outsourcers decline cold RFPs or will not apply much resource to them because they understand just how important it is for both parties for there to be an existing relationship in place.

To avoid the pitfalls of cold RFPs and discover how to successfully outsource customer service, speak to SYKES.

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