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Don’t be cheap

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By Mark Atterby

Close-up of Lincoln PennyCost reduction is a major allure for organisation’s to outsource. But being purely cost focused can be more costly in the long run. Cheap is not always better, particularly when it comes to selecting an outsourcing provider.

One of the major causes of failed outsourcing relationships is not being able to identify the right provider for the organisation’s outsourcing requirements. Being so focused on price that you neglect other factors is a road to ruin.

It stands to reason that providers who charge bottom of the barrel prices are likely to be running sweatshops that are exploiting desperate and underpaid workers. As well as the likely damage to the client’s reputation if reported in the media, the quality of the work will be low, and there may be other issues around security, mismanagement of resources, environmental etc .

Good service costs money! Customers expect a certain level of service from an organisation and when the actual experience doesn’t match their perception they become unhappy with the organisation. For example, if you were going to a five star restaurant for an expensive meal to celebrate a special occasion, the level of service you would expect would be very high compared to going to a fast food outlet for lunch, where your service expectations would be very low.

Good service costs money! Customers expect a certain level of service from an organisation and when the actual experience doesn’t match their perception they become unhappy with the organisation.

The challenge with call centres is that customers expect a certain level of customer service commensurate with the brand and if you have skimped by using ‘cheap as chips’ service providers then don’t come crying when it all goes wrong and you start losing customers.

This will most certainly impact on the quality of products and services being delivered to the client’s customers. Reduced quality of products and services means less sales and ultimately reduced profitability and we all know how that ends.

It’s important for organisations who are concerned about their reputation and brand to engage with quality service providers and outsourcing partners who are competent, provide a quality service and are professional and ethical in the way they conduct their business.

Focus on Quality

Quality, control and cultural differences are issues that will never go away when one talks about the risks of outsourcing. Cultural differences between the Western and Asian countries are huge, and are often a cause for worry in an outsourcing relationship.

But these can be bridged by understanding the cultural sensitivities and how they can affect the outsourcing relationship. This needs to be done early in the relationship to avert any issues that can crop up later. Ensure your provider has strong programs for cross cultural training and coaching in place.
August 13, 2015
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