What are the key ingredients for success in a technical support outsourcing engagement?
If you’re like most support operations managers, your time is stretched thin. Not only does the buck stop with you in terms of customer experience and overall quality, but you also have to execute on your CEO’s ideas and cut costs wherever possible. When your capacity is being exceeded, it might be time to call in help – and one of the best areas to outsource for help is technical support.
But in order to get the best outcome with business IT outsourcing, there are five essential components you’ll need to get right. Here are our tips to make you successful in your BPO engagement.
1. The right BPO partner
You might’ve had a hunch this would be our first trip, but it’s the one that matters most. In order to get the best technical support, it only makes sense that you’d need the best technical support specialist. Whether you use Conectys or another BPO provider, make sure you’re choosing one that has deep expertise and credentials in the types of technology you need help with.
Another key point to keep in mind when deciding which partner to go with is how they’ll work with your company. Will it be a shared team to handle your tech support that not only supports your company but other companies as well? Or will you get a dedicated team? Will you get the most experienced IT specialists, or will you be given junior team members who are still learning? Make sure to dig deep to find out specifics. If your outsourcing team’s qualifications and working style match your needs, you’ll be far happier with the results.
It’s also a good idea to check that the BPO partner you’re considering engaging with has experience in your particular industry. If you’re in healthcare, for example, request a case study (or two) on work they’ve done with a company in the same field. If they don’t have one, consider it a red flag.
2. Relational parameters
Once you’ve selected the right partner, the next step is to define the terms of the engagement. Of course, this will include the scope of services, deliverables, and cost, but it should also go further than that. The best BPO partnerships are ones that are exactly that – partnerships. In order to make your function like this, you’ve got to clearly delineate your roles from the start.
It can be hard to relinquish control, but you need to trust the BPO provider you’ve chosen and not overstep your bounds in the relationship – and this goes both ways. Your engagement will thrive if you empower your outsourcing partner to handle their area of expertise (technical support), so you can focus on your core strengths. After all, that’s really the whole point of bringing in support.
3. Security and quality standards
Back when you were choosing the right BPO partner, you should have vetted each provider for their security certifications and quality standards. But once the engagement is about to get underway, it’s time once again to discuss security and quality more in-depth.
Make sure you’re both on the same page about what ironclad security looks like, and that your partner keeps their security certifications current. At Conectys, we prioritize our security certifications. Currently, we are ISO 9001:2018 certified, PCI (Payment Card Industry) compliant, COPC CX aligned, ISO 37500 Outsourcing Framework, GDPR, and ITIL compliant. Your tech is only as good as the security of your customers’ data, so this area is critical to understand and trust.
Then, depending on your industry and company, your ideals in terms of quality will vary. But no matter what, make sure your BPO partner understands them and embraces them too.
Even if you set the perfect technical support plan at the onset of your engagement, it’s only natural that things will change over time. You might expand into new locations, come out with new product lines, or have leadership changes that create a slew of other transitions. It’s impossible to know the future, so you need to be sure that your BPO partner is able to adjust and course-correct as needed. At times, you may need to scale up (or down) the scope of their services.
The goal should always be to rely on your outsourcing provider to optimize your processes and operations and handle the tech support areas in which they excel. Discuss flexibility at the beginning of the relationship, and find out how willing they are to ebb and flow alongside your company, as your needs change. If they’re unbending, they shouldn’t make the cut as a partner.
5. Clear, consistent communication
Finally, communication is a must. The worst relationships (professional and otherwise) often end because of unmet expectations. If you regularly practice honest, tactful communication with your BPO partner, you’ll always know where one another stands. This will help you to stay in tune with what’s working and what isn’t working, so you can make adjustments as necessary and continue working together to achieve your goals.
What should you know about technical support in Conectys?
Technical support is one of the best areas to outsource, and if you ensure these five ingredients are present in your engagement, you’re bound to succeed. Contact us if you’d like to learn more about our technical support services.