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3 deal breakers when working with a CX outsourcer (and 5 must-haves)

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Customers are some of the most valuable assets a company can have. Without them, brands (and the profit they produce) wouldn’t exist. So it’s no surprise that some companies might be hesitant to work with a customer experience (CX) partner to help support their customers as they scale and grow in this digital-first environment. There is a fear that a contact center outsourcer may dilute a brand’s identity and relationship with its customers.

The reality is that, for most companies, customer experience is not their core competency. They are not experts and may not have the technology or operational infrastructure to support the deep and ever-evolving expectations of customers. They understand the benefits in working with a CX expert outweigh the risks to elevate their customer-facing operations from good (or poor) to great.

It’s easy to talk about delivering faster, better service at a lower cost, but actually doing it is a different story. Deciding to work with a CX expert is not a decision to take lightly. So when you’re looking at potential partners, run away if a contact center outsourcer discusses any of these tactics. For companies that want to build the value of their customer base, consider these deal breakers:

1. They only offer a one-size-fits all operational model
Every brand is unique and every brand’s customer base is unique. Sure, there are best practices in how to create efficiencies and operate contact centers, but there is not just one way that works for everyone.

CX outsourcers should be agile in how they operate, offering options for diverse geographies and technology platforms to fit the unique needs of the brands they work with.

2. They dictate operational processes and methods
A true CX partner is just that – an organization that collaborates with a brand on the best way to deliver customer experiences, not a vendor that takes over all control of customer operations. The best CX outsourcers know the value of the customer base they work with and will act as an extension of your brand, not a replacement.

CX outsourcers should be proactive and consultative with clients, not dictatorial and controlling, ready to adjust and adapt based on customer and business insights.

3. Contracts contain mandatory long-term commitments
When customer value is on the line, companies may want to run pilots or small programs to dip their toe into CX outsourcing. Stay away from companies that require large-scale programs or long-term commitments up front. Instead, look for a partner willing to start slow with one line of business or conduct pilots that can be built on and expanded as results meet or exceed expectations. Outsourcing, especially CX outsourcing, should not be an all-or-nothing proposition.

5 must-haves for superior customer experiences

Once you know what to avoid, it’s also important to know what to look for. Here are five must-haves for a successful CX partnership that deliver experiences that outshine the rest:

1. They find the best talent quickly
It’s hard and costly to find CX labor in today’s environment. Contact center turnover is high, and often associates don’t have the right set of skills for the job. Look for an outsourcing partner that can quickly and effectively ramp staff that understands how to best represent your brand.

2. They move fast, with purpose
The global marketplace demands support at any time, on any channel, in any language. Contact center associates must either meet these expectations or risk delivering a frustrating, disconnected experience. The ability to deploy the best of people and technology -- physically and digitally -- at a moment's notice from around the globe is critical for typical operations, seasonal surges, and emergencies.

3. They innovate with low risk to the brand
Customers want more digital and tech options. Brands must provide multiple channels of support, and know which channels work best for different types of interactions. Work with an experienced partner who can balance AI and automation, advanced technology, digital channels, and people in a cost-effective manner.

4. They know their stuff
The right partner lives and breathes customer experience. They offer end-to-end CX capabilities, leverage digital and next-gen strategies, provide operational rigor, and hire and retain world-class associates who serve as best-in-class brand ambassadors.

5. They offer flexible options for your changing needs
Whether your needs are onshore, nearshore, offshore, at-home, have managed services attached, or facilitate customer self-service, a great CX partner will have options to deliver excellent service.

It’s an exciting yet challenging time for CX leaders. The old ways of working with contact center outsourcers are over. Take the mystery out of contact center outsourcing with these tips for a customer experience that’s future ready.

Where to start? TTEC’s got 40+ years of expertise and innovation with top global brands to help get you on your way with confidence and security to grow the value of your customer base. Contact us today to learn more.