If you’re new to the world of outsourcing, you might be at square one, wondering: “what is BPO?” Or if you’ve dabbled with an outsourcing engagement in the past, you might think choosing a business processes outsourcing (BPO) partner is fairly straightforward. Check out the company website, determine if they seem qualified and then find out how much the services you need will cost. Whichever company can give you what you’re asking for at the lowest price wins your business because cost reduction is most important of all. Right?
Not so fast. This is a common mentality among businesses that are just beginning to think about outsourcing, but it can backfire and be a disastrous way to choose a BPO partner.
Cost is Only One Piece of a Large, Complex Puzzle
Let’s say you start to look for the right outsourcing vendor and narrow your list down to a few options that seem qualified. Then you compare them side by side and see which one will charge you the least. The main problem with this is that you’re not comparing apples to apples. So, if you’re only looking at cost (and cost reduction), you’re missing all of the surrounding context that can make one engagement drastically different from another.
For instance, you should be looking for very specific answers to some well-defined questions from any partner you consider. Depending on what services you need, you should gather detailed information about things like what certifications they have, their approach to quality management and data security, what references they have and what KPIs they use to measure their effectiveness on your behalf. Simply evaluating their merit based on cost will cause you to overlook some of these crucial areas, which matter far more in the long run and can make or break the success of your engagement.
You Get what you Pay for
Another major error in the cost-comparison approach comes when you ignore the “you get what you pay for” philosophy. When we so badly want to save our organizations money and still be able to get the support we need (in this case, through outsourcing), we tell ourselves we’ll still get the same value from a vendor that charges us significantly less than another. But once again, cost doesn’t paint the whole picture.
Especially with outsourcing, cheaper companies might promise you the same services as a top tier company will, but their lack of quality will trickle down to your customers. Some outsourcing companies try to save money by hiring with little to no experience and opt to train them to bring them up to speed. Unfortunately this approach can result in inefficient, unqualified or low quality personnel, when failing to train them properly – or some combination of all of these scenarios and the impacts are felt directly by your customers. Furthermore, these companies often use old technology in order to save money and as a result offer few abilities for integration, experience high latency that can end up slowing down your processes and efficiency, and don’t offer high levels of data privacy and security. Even if they save you money upfront, the headaches they cause and mistakes they make can end up costing you money (and even your brand’s reputation) in the long-term.
If a vendor tells you they’ll give you the services you need and gives you a price point that’s drastically lower than what other vendors have quoted you – take that as a red flag. There are definitely cost differences between providers, but “if it seems too good to be true, it probably is.” When all is said and done, you almost always do get what you pay for.
The Best of Both Worlds
Before you get disheartened about costs and think you’ll have to pay a fortune to get decent service, there’s still a way to get professional, top-notch service while paying fair prices. At Conectys, we’ve structured our business to be very lean. We created in-house technologies that are dependable, secure and sophisticated, and by using these, we save ourselves a lot of costs that a typical BPO partner would incur. We’re aware of how our expenses end up impacting our customers bottom line, so we stay as lean as possible in every single area of our business. Those savings get passed on to our customers, and end up making a big difference. These differences turn into cost savings and revenue generation for our customers which is exactly why finding the right partner is so critical.
As you go to search for your ideal BPO partner, keep cost in mind – but don’t let it eclipse the other key benefits of each company you consider. To help you navigate these decisions and know the right questions to ask, we developed a workbook that can help you choose a provider easily and with all the information you’ll need to make the best decision for your company.
Your BPO partner should be, above all else, a true partner to you that fulfills the services you’re asking for and makes your business better in a variety of ways. Please contact us to learn more about how to start an outsourcing engagement or how we can help you.