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26 May 2023

Lesson 2 for outsource first timers

Richard Cotton

As we continue our series of tips and hints for anyone looking at Outsourcing for the first time, here are some ideas on really useful questions to ask when you have that first meeting with your potential supplier!
Lesson 2 - questions to ask as a first timer
Once you have decided to outsource all or part of your customer contact journey for the first time, assessing the capability of that potential supplier, ensuring they can deliver excellent service, is the next challenge.

So what questions do you ask potential supplier? What will help give you the confidence you need to make a decision? Here's a few questions we think might really help you...

It goes without saying we can help if you've started on your outsourced journey too,  Get in touch with CC33 and see how we can help your business


1. What is the organisational culture like?


Outsourcing is a big decision. Making sure you choose a partner whose values and culture matches your own organisation is probably one of the most important aspects. Try and visit their offices to see the physical space and soak up the atmosphere, ask to see their values, chat with some of their teams, look at their social media, does it feel aligned? You’ll want to ensure they not only understand what needs delivering for you, but how it needs delivering too. An outsourcer that puts its own people at the core will ensure your customers get the excellent service they need.


2. What relevant experience does the outsourcer have?


Ideally, you only want to collaborate with a business that has a proven track record in your industry, with products and customers you identify with. Therefore, you’ll want to ask for case studies about their relevant experience and the results they have achieved (dependent on their existing client permissions some examples may be anonymized so don’t be shocked if that is the case). You may even be able to get specific references from those existing clients, which will help provide you assurance they can do exactly what they say they can.


3.What's their track record of working to (and beating) targets?


As this is a big step for your business, making sure your chosen supplier can demonstrate understanding of key KPIs and, importantly, show where they have beaten them in like of like campaigns is vital. This will help give you confidence that they can perform as promised. KPIs will be essential to monitor the success of your partner's performance, so understanding how their MI suite and capabilities compare to expectations is very useful too, definitely one to explore in that initial meeting!


4. How will your questions and issues be supported by your chosen partner?


Confirm whether your chosen supplier has a dedicated client services team, and how that will work when you go live. Will you get regular performance meetings and easy access for questions? Are they responsive? Will they be offering solutions and tactics to help you improve the campaign. How will that happen? Can you get testimonials from clients about the client services teams to give you confidence? Their client services team should always add value for you.


5. What are the contract flexibility options?


It is essential to have a level of flexibility in your contract to ensure so that it meets your potential changing business needs. Therefore, you need to know what flexibility options are available, such as the ability to scale up or down quickly or to change the services provided.


6. If you need a fast go live, can they accommodate?


The implementation timeline is vital to ensure that your transition is smooth, and any potential risks or issues are addressed before going live. Doing it right and quickly is somewhat of a rarity in this industry, so ask for specific examples of where this was achieved.


7. How can you ensure quality and compliance with your chosen partner?


You want to ensure that that your outsourcer has a strict quality and compliance process in place, that can be tailored to your key risk points. Ask to see how they do it with current campaigns? It's also useful to make sure they run contact ‘calibration’ sessions regularly , to ensure their version of quality is totally aligned with yours. Can you drop in (virtually) and ‘live listen’ to calls without prior notice? If that is offered by your chosen supplier, it is a sure sign of the confidence in quality and compliance they have. An automated QA system with 100% checking could give you comfort too, so ask about that capability.


8. What technology options are available?


Make sure your chosen supplier can deliver the tech you need. Again, ask for examples of where they have done exactly what you are asking for. You’ll want to ensure that the outsourcer's technology fits into your current infrastructure easily, and that they will have a proven track record in this area.