The inspiration for this post comes from a recent blog entitled, “Agile Outsourcers where art thou?” written by Nerys Corfield at Injection Consulting (www.injectionconsulting.co.uk) and published on the DMA’s website. You can read it here http://www.dma.org.uk/article/agile-outsourcers-where-art-thou
As one of the few remaining mid-sized outsourced contact centres that haven’t been swallowed up by the ‘big boys’ I felt that Nerys’s comments were right on the money, both figuratively and literally. It’s a crying shame that what Nerys refers to as the ‘Tier 2’ medium sized outsourced contact centres, are fast-disappearing, giving many companies little more than Hobson’s Choice when it comes to finding a flexible and cost-effective outsourcing partner that’s prepared to take on and value 25/50/100 seat business.
Our own experience as a proudly independent contact centre operation demonstrates that the Tier 2 breed of outsourcer is indeed alive and well and prospering in Southend. This year we have been overwhelmed by requests from start-ups through to large blue chips that simply want the reassurance of a partner they can trust with their brand and has the agility, understanding and desire to bend over backwards to meet their specific needs.
No one – either clients or their customers want to be shoe-horned into the outsourcer’s own rigid structures and procedures or be penalised for wanting anything that is not on standard menu. At Ventrica, it’s listening to what our clients and their customers want that really counts. Compared with the industry’s less nimble ‘Goliaths’, with our entrepreneurial roots we are built to be ‘fleet of foot’ and are not bound by the same shackles as some of our larger rivals who are often forced to impose ridiculously high set up fees. Similarly, with size also comes speed, as new projects can often be set up far quicker without the need for extensive change control processes and excessive governance.
Smart businesses now understand that how they treat their customers has a direct correlation with their bottom line. So even if choosing the bigger players may appear ‘safe’ they could actually incur more risk, because there is no ‘real agility, personality and innovation’ – the very ideals behind the code of conduct that today’s customers crave most from favoured brands. Our advice is ‘don’t take no for an answer’. Understand what your customers are demanding and expect the outsourcer to build a customised programme of services unique to you. So whether your customers want the chance to converse via social media, speak on the phone or communicate using web chat - all at a time that suits them, always put the customer first and work with partners that have the same mind-set.
Although I agree with Nerys that tendering for business is very tough and there’s no doubt you have to invest a huge amount of time and effort to win new projects, for us I believe it is our independent spirit that is the crucial differentiator that really speaks volumes when it comes to making the final decision. As Nery points out, “just like in retail there is a place for the supermarkets but there should also be independents.” I think we all agree though that if you want to build long-term and profitable relationships with your customers, then it the independent operators that are best positioned to offer a personalised and premium quality service to ensure loyalty for years to come.
Dino Forte, Founder and Managing Director, Ventrica
For more information visit - www.dma.org.uk/article/agile-outsourcers-where-art-thou
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