Sharing Adventure: Five Essentials of Smart Partnerships
Clear, transparent and continuous interaction between all partners is significant to the health of an alliance.
Business process management (BPM) as an industry has evolved remarkably in the past decade. Today, the focus has shifted from voice support for customer service to larger, complex unified customer experience solutions. In the context of emerging digital and business trends, the idea of strategic partnerships for global BPO/BPM players, based on shared goals and objectives, has become very significant.
According to a study conducted by the CMO Council and the Business Performance Innovation Network, about 85% companies deem partnerships and strategic alliances as a crux to their business operations. Companies tend to indulge in key partnerships with BPOs as it helps them in the areas of cost containment, better customer service and flexible staffing options. BPO players emphasize on the role of open communication and trust building in achieving these alliances. In this regard, the strategic feasibility of the partnership between the concerned companies is of utmost importance.
A successful smart partnership is based on strong reliance on the partner to build and manage a customer servicing team, which constantly evolves and innovates on enhancing the customer experience, and also focuses on improving product development according to changing market needs.
Essentials to consider for smart strategic BPO partnerships:
Communicate executive goals openly and honestly.
There should be utmost clarity in expressing the shared goals, objectives and insights that the partners aim to work around. Players should be committed to their decisions and all decisions should be aligned to the common goal. A clear understanding of both players’ position is very crucial to the success or failure of the partnerships. Business enterprises in a partnership should strategically identify a common ground of inspiration and passion that will motivate their conjoined business.
Employ feasibility studies so you are true to what you can achieve
Understanding what is needed and where we stand is very important! Feasibility studies will further help to parallel business requirements with business actions. With the feasibility studies, it is also essential to challenge the status quo and the current program.
Innovate and use incubator models, with concept-building and modeling for pragmatic application
All business functions are driven by different actions. It is beneficial to understand business requirements thoroughly, basis of which, different solutions and actions course should be decided. Such solutions may change from time to time based on what the customer is looking for and therefore players should be willing to improvise and innovate with the situation. The range of services should be multi dimensional and should help enhance the unified customer management strategy further.
In the case of one of HGS’ award-winning partnerships with an electronics manufacturer, we extended the engagement to implement a unified customer engagement strategy. We are transitioning contact types from traditional email and inbound voice to our Smart Channel Selector, which boosts the client’s self-help collateral by providing FAQs, virtual chat, a printer self-help portal, knowledge documents and instructional videos for products that generate the most calls. Additionally, we are creating videos that retailers can host as well.
Look for consumer growth opportunities and ways to boost revenue
The ideal growth aims at increasing customer retention while driving down overall operational cost. Therefore, it is important to employ mechanisms that provide maximum value across the client relationship cycle at minimal cost. Suitable skill development through extensive training helps to enhance services. Training should be aimed at increasing compliance and quality of customer services.
To increase consumer growth opportunities, it is important to understand the partner’s brand and products, and further integrate elements from these with the customer’s requirements.
Monitor, report, and re-calibrate
Clear, transparent and continuous interaction between all partners is significant to the health of an alliance. Maintain a regular dialogue where all requirements and actions of the partnership are profoundly monitored, discussed and brainstormed over. It is important that the expectations of all partners are met and the trust in the partnership is absolute.
Whether you are addressing one particular process or an entire function as a BPO, one thing is for sure: the depth of services transcends the siloed approach of traditional outsourcing. More than merely exceeding SLAs, good BPOs keep clients happy by helping to build strategy and realize client vision.
As head of Global Corporate Communication at HGS, Smita is responsible for building the HGS brand internally and externally through Media and Industry Relations, Employee Communications, Corporate Branding and Community Relations.
She brings in over 20 years of experience in Corporate Communications and Marketing, a decade of which has been in the BPM industry. Prior to joining HGS, she headed the Corporate Communications and Marketing function at Firstsource and handled the entire gamut of Marketing and Communication activities including Internal & External communications, Advertising, Media Relations, Brand Campaigns, Product launches, Online marketing and Demand Generation. She also held a similar profile with WNS and has worked in the corporate communications teams of Principal Financial Group and Thomas Cook before that.
Smita holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the Mumbai University, India and a Diploma in Mass Communication from St Xavier’s Institute of Communication, Mumbai, India. She loves a wide range of world music, is into movies and is also passionate about bowling.