When you’re about to dive into an outsourcing engagement with a BPO partner, it’s common to be excited and nervous at the same time. You might be eagerly awaiting the improvements you expect to see in efficiency, customer retention and profitability, but you also might have some concerns about how the transition to outsourced services could impact your existing team. Here’s a look at how you can be intentional about retaining your company culture as you begin outsourcing – and beyond.
Alignment Around Purpose Across the Board
The first step of keeping your company culture intact as you start an outsourcing relationship is to make sure the existing culture is ironclad. At this point, you should already have built your business around a singular mission. Is your goal to protect companies in vulnerable industries from data security threats? Is it to give peace of mind to business owners who need your product in order to gain control of their finances? If you’re ready to outsource, you should not only have your vision identified, but it should also be your company’s North Star and your current team should be completely bought into it.
If this is the case, you can begin to talk about the culture you’ve built with the BPO partners you’re thinking about engaging. Make sure you share detailed information about your vision and mission with these companies, and ask questions to find out how they’ll convey the heart of your purpose with their team members.
Your main goal should be picking a partner that aligns with how you operate and what your values are. At Conectys, we don’t want to just be a vendor; we want to be your partner and a real ambassador of your brand. Whichever outsourcing company you choose, you need to make sure you’re getting this level of cultural alignment. A collective focus around something greater than just the day-to-day tasks that need to be accomplished lays the foundation for a cohesive culture.
A part of communication that’s key to keeping your company culture solid is being upfront with your team members about how their jobs and daily work environment will (or will not) change once your outsourcing engagement begins. Nix any fear of replacement by explaining that outsourcing is going to give your on-site team more time and resources to focus on the areas in which they really excel.
Keep your tone positive, and give employees a chance to ask questions or express concerns. By opening up a candid dialogue, you’ll further nurture your culture and your team, and they’ll be more excited about welcoming in the team members your BPO partner will provide.
So you’ve been clear with your employees and your BPO partner about your company’s mission – and how you want it to be upheld. You’ve over-communicated and encouraged an environment of honesty to your internal team. Now that your internal center is aligned with your BPO partner, the next thing to do is practice!
A customer should be able to meet with your sales team in-person, and walk away with the same feeling and understanding of your company that a customer has when they call in and speak with someone from your (outsourced) customer service team or that a prospect has when visiting your website and checking out your online collateral. The more consistent your branding, imagery and messaging, the more your culture will be emphasized internally and externally.
Additionally, now is the time to ensure that your internal quality team is aligned with your BPO partner. Make sure calibration sessions are set up between the two teams and that your quality monitoring scorecard is set to drive the right agent behaviors that further support culture and brand. During this time, the quality team should increase evaluations and provide actionable insights into progress. Further, the management team should also be a part of the monitoring, holding interactive feedback sessions with agents. This approach ensures that the culture has strong roots and will be able to grow without strain.
It’s natural to wonder how your culture will be impacted when you begin outsourcing, but this next step in your business actually opens up a great opportunity for you to revisit what your culture is built upon and how you can grow it. Outsourcing will help you reinforce this within your walls, as well as with your outsourced partners.