When you finally make the decision to bring in a qualified BPO partner to help your company scale, there’s so much to think about. You have to discuss, and define, the nature of your agreement, the scope, the duration, the division of roles and much more. Then there’s the contract to work out and get signed. So it’s not surprising that during this time period, the matter of reporting often gets overlooked. But without the strategic insight that frequent, accurate reports will give you, the support your BPO partner is giving you will simply not be maximized.
So, to help you out, we’ve put together a list of seven questions that you should make sure to discuss with your outsourcing provider before beginning the engagement. This will ensure your reporting goes smoothly throughout your work together, and that you know what to expect.
1. What is the extent of your reporting capabilities?
Depending on the systems that your BPO partner uses, the reporting that you get could range from extremely basic to extremely nuanced. It’s important to know what you’ll be able to get – and not get – from your partner in terms of reporting because it could make or break the whole relationship. If you’re not able to drill down into one key metric for your business, for example, you may not be able to track your progress. So make sure you know from the get-go what’s possible.
At Conectys, we have developed an all in one CRM solution that we use for the vast majority of our clients (and ourselves). With ConectysOS, we are able to get very sophisticated with our reporting – while also making sure the platform is intuitive and our clients understand it.
2. How customizable are your reports?
This question might get answered along with the first question above, but either way, customizability must be addressed. If you’re in hospitality, you’re going to need to see different things on your reports that someone in retail or high tech will. Your consumers are bound to behave differently than others, so don’t ever trust the idea of a “one-size-fits-all” report. There will be standard reports of course (like AHT, hold time, transfers, etc.), but there will also be times you may need to dive deeper into reporting to understand the root cause.
For example, you may need the level of reporting specificity to be such that you are able to drill down into how many people went into ‘not ready’ between 2 and 4 PM on a certain date. Your BPO partner should be happy to help you customize your reports according to your specific needs, and should expect to do so.
3. How detailed can we get in each report?
As the CEO, you probably want mostly high-level numbers and big-picture trends in your reporting. But your Support Operations Manager (and other leaders) are going to require more detail. Even if you don’t want to get lost in the weeds of reporting, make sure your outsourcing provider offers reports that can be drilled down several levels, with the ability to sparse data as needed. Even if filtering the data might not be top on your list, the rest of your management team will really appreciate it.
4. Can we automate our reporting?
If something can’t be automated, does it even exist anymore? We’re joking – but automated reporting these days should be table stakes. When you’re initially excited about getting set up with new systems and running reports to track your progress, you might not think you’ll really have the need to automate your reports. But at some point, we almost guarantee you’ll want to. Save yourself some time and headaches down the road, and double check that your BPO partner can, in fact, automate the reports you need. It’ll come in handy – trust us.
5. How do you handle multichannel reporting?
Few things are more frustrating than looking at an array of reports and not really seeing any strategic insight because the information is disparate and confusing. If you have multichannel customer service and marketing in play at your company, you need to have all the information from all the different channels on one, unified report. If your outsourcing provider doesn’t have that option, they’re probably not the one for you.
6. Will our data be kept separate from your other clients’ data?
Data security is always important, and this simple question should receive this equally simple response from your BPO partner: yes. Your data needs to be at least logically segmented on the server from your providers’ other clients’ data. This is a cybersecurity best practice.
7. What should we expect in terms of reporting timing and frequency?
Almost all business systems currently in use will allow for historical reporting, but verify that your BPO partner can also pull reports in real-time. Furthermore, ask your provider whether they will be delivering reports to you at regular intervals, or if they’re expecting you to manage your own reporting. Determine the cadence of reporting you’d like, and what kind of help you can get from your partner deciphering the information if needed.
At Conectys, one of the best value-adds we offer to clients is the ability to extract very useful information from reports that many other people don’t see. We can use the data we gather to give you real strategic insight that will better support your business goals.
Reporting may not be the most fun aspect of a BPO partnership, but it’s a very crucial one. Make sure to get aligned with your provider from the beginning, so you can use the reports you get as a tool to maximize the value from your work together. To learn more about how we can help your company scale, please contact us.