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Sharing the Adventure: Five Essentials of Smart Partnerships

Posted by Ruchi Gupta

BPO success is very much about building good partnerships. Lessons learned all relate to building collaboration based on a very fine balance of open communication, feasibility, strategy, and trust.

In fact, strategic partnerships are critical for companies looking to compete on a global scale, according to a recent study by the CMO Council and the Business Performance Innovation Network. The research finds that 85 percent of companies view partnerships and alliances as essential or important to their businesses.

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Our clients partner with us for many reasons, including: cost-containment, improved customer service, and flexible staffing. One common denominator is the growing recognition by our partners that they can lean on us for the customer care delivery they are not equipped for—allowing them to focus on product development or serving specific market needs. The result is a partnership approach built on shared strategies and insight. Here are five essentials that help ensure client success in these areas:

  1. Openly and honestly communicate executive goals. Ensure that your BPO stays true to what they commit to, and they are aligned to your goals. Make sure there is clear understanding of the inspiration and passion that motivates your business.
  2. Employ feasibility studies, so you are true to what you can achieve. At the same time, challenge the status quo and the current program.
  3. Innovate and use incubator models, with concept-building and modeling for pragmatic application. In the case of one of HGS’s award-winning partnership with an electronics manufacturer, we extended the engagement to implement a unified customer engagement strategy. We are transitioning contact types from traditional email and inbound voice to our Smart Channel Selector, which boosts the client’s self-help collateral by providing FAQs, virtual chat, a printer self-help portal, knowledge documents and instructional videos for products that generate the most calls. Additionally, we are creating videos that retailers can host as well. (see sidebar, Partnership Success).
  4. Look for consumer growth opportunities and ways to boost revenue. Employ strategies to reduce operating costs and provide value across the client relationship lifecycle. For all of our clients, we bring our consumer and product insight to better integrate our insights with the client and their brands and support growth.
  5. Monitor, report, and re-calibrate. Maintain a dialogue to ensure the partnership is built on trust and promises and expectations are met.

Whether a BPO solution is addressing one particular process or an entire function, one thing is for sure: the depth of services transcends the siloed approach of traditional outsourcing. More than merely exceeding SLAs, good BPOs keep clients happy by helping to build strategy and realize client vision. Just as our clients value the optimized experience of their customers—we value our own client partners. Do you have any ideas on values of good partnerships? Share them with me at ruchig@teamhgs.com.

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