On paper, outsourcing makes a lot of sense. Paying less to accomplish a business objective and getting more of your time back both lead to a healthier mind and a healthier business. So the choice is obvious, right?
Once an outsourcing relationship has been properly established, the benefits are apparent, but there is a step in between that is often not given enough thought and attention: building a strong foundation for healthy partnerships.
Let’s use the example of an inbound call centre that provides telephone answering services and scheduling services. Pretend you are operating a health services clinic. You come across a call centre on a Google search and call in requesting information. What happens next?
This first step may seem obvious, just share your needs with the call centre and they should be able to match their service capabilities to fulfill your requirements. But is that enough? Are you aware of all of the services the call centre can offer to you? Are you fully aware of how you are currently meeting your requirements, and the “personality” that your company currently has? Most importantly, do you have the proper mindset to make the most of this new relationship?
When communicating, be prepared. Take ten minutes before you call in to identify your needs. Ask yourself, at what price point does it make sense for us to outsource? What are the most important aspects of service that need to be fulfilled? Why is this the right step for the growth and progress of my business? And how am I currently completing this business process.
Once you are aware of these details, you will be better prepared to hear what they have to say. Inform the call centre of what you are looking for and then listen. Are they offering a solution that meets your needs? Was the way they received your call how you would like your customers to be received? And keep an open mind; there may be services that you have not considered that may be able to add value to your business.
After establishing a general framework for your communications, get ready for implementation. In this stage, it is important to be patient and to pay attention to details. Understanding that relationship building is an organic process will lead to the best outcomes.
Do not make the mistake of expecting everything to be exactly as you want it immediately, losing your cool when things do not go according to plan. Instead, be proactive in identifying problems and communicating those concerns in a timely manner. Within a short period of time, the service will become tailored to your needs.
As time passes be diligent in maintaining and updating your service. Relationships are like gardens, the more attention you give them the more they will bloom and grow and produce for you.
So the four keys for local outsourcing are:
- Know your needs and situation clearly ahead of time
- Listen to your options with an open mind
- Be patient, pay attention to details, and be proactive in asking for changes
- Be persistent with maintaining communication and keeping things fresh
It can be hard to let go of control of parts of your business, but that stress and uncertainty can be alleviated by taking certain measures to ensure you are partnering with the right people for the right reasons and the right returns.