Over the years, Australian businesses, big or small, have continuously outsourced some of their operational activities and processes to low-cost regions around the world.
After all, it makes good business sense to hire highly-skilled and seasoned workers outside the country at a fraction of the cost needed when working with an in-house staff.
However, the high cost involved in operating onshore contact centres in Australia is not the only reason why businesses are exploring offshore options.
There are other hard to miss benefits that encourage companies to go offshore. For one, there’s the ability to leverage on different time zones, enabling businesses to provide round-the-clock customer service.
In addition, with some tasks being expertly handled by skilled offshore employees, managers and decision makers have more time to focus on core business functions.
Taking all the advantages offshore outsourcing has to offer, it’s not surprising why it has become more of a need as opposed to an option for most businesses nowadays.
However, success is not always certain. There are also outsourcing risks and pitfalls to watch out for.
To boost your chance at outsourcing success, keep the following key success factors in mind:
Choosing Activities to Outsource
Prior to outsourcing, it is vital to pinpoint which business activities are fit to be outsourced.
Ideally, you can start by delegating tasks that are less risky and retain those functions that require great care or in-depth specialty. At least until such time when you are confident about what your offshore partner can do.
For instance, an IT company might want to delegate their billing inquiry and technical support services to an offshore contact centre. They may also include the transactional work, e.g. managing accounts. However, they may retain their telesales operations onshore as this is a more important function.
Choosing Where to Outsource
The location of an offshore outsourcing operation is also important to success. Failure to choose the right country may limit the efficiency of a contact centre.
Other main factors to consider include literacy, accent quality, technical ability (for technical support), and cultural alignment. Additionally, the present status of the contact centre industry of the chosen country should also be taken into account.
Case in point: if a company decides to outsource in Asia, the obvious country of choice would be the Philippines. Apart from the high literacy percentage, it also has a huge English-speaking population. In addition, it is also considered a big player in the global contact centre industry.
Project Management Capabilities
It is an obvious fact that success is also highly dependent on the project capability of a contact centre. Functions that are delegated offshore should be delivered within the agreed time-frames, within the set budget and most importantly, with the best results possible.
In line with this, it is important to choose a vendor that has the right project management capabilities. It would be best to outsource to an offshore contactcentre handled by a management and support team armed with the skills and experience to tackle similar business processes.
The workforce of a contact centre serves as it’s main engine. Sans an efficient set of teams working together, success is just not possible.
Acquiring human resources is critical not only during the initial stages but all throughout the duration of a project. A continuous supply of talents should be available to support the continuity of the operation.
The ability of the recruitment and human resource staff to hire the right people is no doubt crucial. They should be able to properly hand-pick the best among the rest.
IT Infrastructure and Support
In addition to ensuring efficient project handling capabilities and sufficient workforce, it is also important to check for the efficiency of the technology infrastructure being used.
All staff should be provided with the type of hardware, software and other resources needed for the tasks at hand. There should also be a fast and reliable communication network with several back-up connections to ensure 0% downtime.
On top of that, professional IT support personnel should be available throughout the working hours to ensure that all things are working efficiently.
Offshore outsourcing has gained quite a following over the years and with good reason. Companies playing in the global marketplace deem it wise to hop on the ‘off-shoring bandwagon’ in order to stay competitive. Fortunately, as long as you have all the bases covered and you have a comprehensive plan in place, you can look forward to enjoying all the benefits offshore outsourcing has to offer.
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