When a company considers outsourcing customer service, or any area of their business for that matter, there needs to be a significant shift in culture.
There are 6 rules for establishing the best culture, a culture that will yield a successful long-term outsourcing partnership
- Define a vision
- Communicate clearly
- Operate as One Team
- Be adaptable
- Consider cultural differences
- Control of your brand
1. Define a vision
Culture comes from a clearly defined vision, which everyone can contribute to achieve. This sits at the very heart of the business and allow you to source a support partner with a set of aligned views. This, in turn, is important for the success of the long-term business relationship.
2. Communicate clearly
Clarity of communication provides great strength to relationships and ensures that all areas of the business are empowered to share the right information. The positive, open relationship with your outsource partner brings with it the sense of trust needed to develop best practices for communicating with your customers. A good partner has access to analytical data they can use to drive positive change to your service model.
3. Operate as One Team
When customer service is outsourced, it’s important that in-house and outsourced teams consider themselves one team with common objectives. Working together to achieve shared goals, or resolve issues that impact performance, is key. Rather than a culture of blame, this can be viewed as a partnership, with each contributor working together for the good of the customer, and the business.
4. Be adaptable
When customer service is outsourced, you’ll need to be flexible and highly adaptable – as does your partner. Being tuned to business needs will help ensure the highest level of service and the best possible customer experience.
5. Consider cultural differences
If an outsourcing partner is located offshore, it’s important to take into account the culture of their country and its people. Where, for example, communication is low key and non-confrontational in some countries, other cultures are more direct and to the point so understanding and alignment is very important.
Creating a culture within your organisation that works for all stakeholder, and allows seamless communication between in-house and outsourced team members, will deliver better results earlier than would otherwise be possible.
6. Control of your brand
If you outsource customer service, it’s important that control of your brand is maintained to ensure that customer experience is consistent across all areas of the business.
Your service partner should encourage on-target service delivery through client branding and alignment, being willing to adapt their culture in line with your own. This might be a company that already has experience of providing a similar “feel” for your business. Or might be a partner that is already providing support for your industry.
Simple steps for an effective outsourcing partnership
Following these rules, establishing the right culture and working with a service partner who will embrace your vision is key to successfully outsourcing customer service.