When Then DDC Group started out 30 years ago, outsourcing was predominantly an exercise for cost reduction; ‘Labour arbitrage’ as it was called back then. Phrases such as ‘meeting staffing needs’ were used in marketing and the overwhelming message was that if you moved some of your business processes to a third party (usually offshore) you could save money and streamline those business processes. Thus, the outsourcing sector became a multi-billion-pound industry and companies such as Capita and Accenture have thrived in the last 3 decades.
However, whilst the cost reduction aspect still exists to a degree, the savvy outsourcer has evolved to become a true partner to its clients, focussing on innovation and value-added services rather than pure cost reduction; creating process efficiencies and adding area expertise.
RPA (Robotic Process Automation) is the current hot topic. Let’s automate everything! That will save us a fortune in staffing costs. But actually, whilst there is undoubtedly a place for automation, the real value of an outsourcing partner is in helping you to identify where the automation can add value and where the human interaction is still absolutely needed. Take customer service, for example, it’s pretty straightforward to add an IVR or chatbot to an inbound customer service line, and there is a definite argument for getting a caller through to the right team as efficiently and accurately as possible. However, at some point, callers want to speak to a human being, and balancing efficiency with a customer’s growing frustration is the difference between a happy customer and an unhappy one.
The other aspect, of course, is making sure that in the area’s technology can’t reach, that human interaction is backed by the right training and knowledge. Supplying a customer with a team that has the right knowledge and expertise is again where an outsourcer should add value.
30 years ago, businesses outsourced volume and capacity. Fast forward to today, where companies will spend billions of pounds on marketing their brands; we live in a world where the customer is king, and companies will care about C-SAT*, NPS** and FCR***. So, the need for capacity has expanded to be a need for expertly trained staff who will help to ensure the above statistics are maintained to an excellent standard.
In the world of outsourcing gone by, an outsourcer would create efficiencies purely from streamlining processes and offshoring the work to save labour costs. And there is of course, still a place for doing this. However, the modern-day outsourcing partner should offer you more. They should offer innovation. They should offer a fresh view of the processes in your business, and consider the use of people, location and technology to see where they can add real value and make a difference in your business.
That’s what will make for a good outsourcing partner.
Contact us today to see how we can make a difference to your business.
*C-SAT – Customer Satisfaction Score
**NPS – Net Promoter Score
*** FCR – First Call Resolution
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