The Evolution of Outsourcing
For some, the word outsourcing used to be a shudder-inducing word, invoking images of cost-cutting, poor quality services, mass redundancies and more. Traditionally, outsourcing relationships focused on cost reduction and providing back-office services, often with very little focus on quality.
Those days are long gone. Outsourcing has been quietly evolving for many years, both to keep up with an increasingly competitive market and to accommodate the incredible pace of digital change, creating seismic shifts across most industries.
What organisations want and need now from outsourcing is strategic partners, experts in their fields, who will have quality as a top priority, delivering value-add services, but remaining cost-efficient. They need their outsourcing partners to enable them to secure an edge on their competitors.
Share the risk and reward
At go-centric we believe in sharing the risk and reward with our partners – with contracts based on outcomes rather than outputs. If our goal is to help your business grow and thrive, it makes sense that we agree the right targets and measures and that we’re incentivised to make that happen.
So, when looking at your strategic partnerships, are you measuring the right things? Are your partners truly incentivised to do the right thing for your business, or just hit volume targets regardless of outcomes?
We believe in doing the right thing for customers. Sometimes that means identifying an improvement to the customer experience that is not necessarily profitable for go-centric in the short term. But that is the strategic difference in our approach to partnership. We need to care as much if not more about our clients’ customer experiences.
Make use of technology
What business doesn’t have cost pressures? Cost to income ratio is the key to competition in many industries. But to remain competitive you need to be agile and using cutting-edge technology and digital innovations.
The right strategic partner will hold the expertise and tools and technology to keep you ahead of the game. They’ll also carry the pressure of keeping up with technology and digital developments.
At go-centric we consider it a key part of any partnership to share our best practice and industry knowledge with clients, to help them develop their customer experiences. Our agility means we can offer completely flexible solutions to any size of business – from a sole trader, SME right through to key corporate brands.
We know we can add value to any size of business. The omni-channel technology and 24/7/365 service we offer can utterly transform the service of a small business, providing access to technologies that would ordinarily be out of their reach, as well as providing unrivalled service access for their customers, something they could not achieve internally without significant investment in office space, technology and people.
Our tailored solutions also add value for our national and international corporate clients, through dedicated teams of brand ambassadors. Services that can flex throughout the year to cope with the peaks and troughs of seasonality, as well as offering multi-lingual omni-channel services, making the customer experience completely seamless.
Leverage the flexibility
Outsourcing used to be about off-loading your non-core activities to a partner to make a significant cost saving. But what companies now realise is that cost should not be your number 1 priority. If you don’t make quality and customer experience your top priorities (after looking after your people), you will never compete in today’s marketplaces.
Outsourcing contracts used to be long and hideously difficult to get out of regardless of the service you were receiving. Nowadays, partnerships are completely agile, outcome focused and, in some cases, you only pay for the actual service received on a month to month basis.
For an agile organisation the length of contract shouldn’t matter – because the outcomes are what’s important. If you’re delivering as promised, your partnership will last.
Flexibility is key to successful partnerships. At go-centric we have partnerships based on a ‘pay per call’ basis, ensuring that our clients are paying purely based on that service they are using. Others prefer a fixed-fee arrangement, to ensure they can budget ahead for the year. We have partnerships where we ensure we are incentivised to get the right outcome for our client – and we share the reward of that outcome.
Ultimately the flexibility is being focused on our clients’ needs, what their business challenges are and how we can add value and support in the right way. That conversation takes place regularly, through a close working relationship, to make sure we adapt our offering as the business develops.
You need trust
Like any successful relationship, a strong outsourcing partnership requires trust and honesty. It’s a leap of faith to hand over parts of your business to a supplier, but the rewards and benefits are clear. So, getting the partner right is the big step.
Investing the time in getting to know your partner and their team is worth every minute. We love to visit our clients and we encourage them to visit us at every opportunity. It’s brilliant for the relationship, engaging and motivating for the team and is really productive in helping us to progress the relationship.
To truly be brand ambassadors, our team must be immersed in the client brand, live and breath it. They feel just as important as the in-house team, they’re true advocates of the brand and they care passionately about their customers.
There are high profile examples across many industries of the risk of ignoring progress. Blockbuster, Nokia, Tesco, Xerox, Thomas Cook and many more spring to mind.
You can’t ignore or delay acting on industry disruption. The disruption to outsourcing gives agile companies a chance to quickly drive positive change and gain competitive advantage.
Customer experience is about to overtake price and product as the key brand differentiator. Do you think your customer experience is or will remain ahead of your competitors? Do you stand out enough?
Don’t let your customer experience risk you being left behind your nimbler competitors. Come and talk to us. We have the solutions, the expertise, the people and the technology. Our focus is the success of your business.
Call us for a free consultation today on 0333 014 4401