Passion for the brand: Is It lost when you outsource?
By Martin Conboy
Customer engagement and innovation depends on having engaged employees committed to the brand and the values it represents. The burning question is can you expect the same level of commitment from the people working for your outsource provider or from contractors?
Tony Featherstone ,in his article Has outsourcing gone too far?, states, “Sadly, too many companies only focus on the benefits of outsourcing (lower wages and added workforce flexibility). They don’t think through the long-term costs of having a workforce that has less loyalty, passion or commitment to the cause .”
“They wrongly assume outsourced staff will do the same or a better job, and overlook the intangible benefits of talented full-time staff: corporate knowledge and memory, industry contracts, a deeper understanding of customers, and ability to train others, and so on”
Much of what Featherstone says is true. Outsourcing that focus’s purely on cost reduction fails. But that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s impossible to establish the same level of loyalty from your provider and their employees as you would expect from internal employees.
It’s crucial to select a BPO or outsourcing partner that fully understands, appreciates and will promote your brand’s culture and vision. Your company vision factors into every decision you make, from the way you treat customers on the phone, to the people you choose to hire.
The issues surrounding employees working at a BPO or outsourcing provider compared to managing individual contractors or subcontractors are different. But it’s true that both can have a tremendous impact on the success of a client’s brand. And if not managed properly that impact can be extremely detrimental.
You should view a provider’s employees as an extension of your business and work with a provider who will place your brand above their own. It’s crucial to select a BPO or outsourcing partner that fully understands, appreciates and will promote your brand’s culture and vision. Your company vision factors into every decision you make, from the way you treat customers on the phone, to the people you choose to hire. That assumes that you are better than just paying lip service to that plaque hanging in the foyer.
This is especially crucial when outsourcing customer service functions. If the front-line employees don’t share your company vision, your customer service quality could suffer.
At the beginning of the project give your provider and its employees a thorough induction to your company and its culture. This process should be the same that you would give to you own internal employees. And this process needs to be reinforced on an ongoing basis.
Give them the same reward and recognition program, with access to the same perks, discounts and other rewards. Arrange internal teams and team members to meet with the providers teams. Even have staff from the vendor work on your premises and vice versa.
Give your provider and their employees any logo items your company has. Banners, signs, corporate shirts, paperweights, pens, pencils, flash drives, it almost doesn’t matter what the trinket is as long as you include your vendor’s employees as if they were your own.
July 7, 2015