Delivering the best results to clients lies at the core of the outsourcing business model.  And, while it is clear that the BPO community aims to realize this goal, ramping up the different skill sets, technologies, or subject-matter expertise may not be feasible for many players in the short term.  This is where partnering has proven effective for outsourcers.  The challenges faced by enterprise CX departments in the current business climate are considerable. Rightly or wrongly, there is an anticipation that outsourcers will be equipped with everything that is needed to ensure top-flight interactions, effectively the full meal CX deal.  To meet these expectations, partnering can be the right answer.

Cooperation is a wonderful concept and is pertinent in all aspects of life, including business. It is also a model that is especially applicable in the CX outsourcing sector.  For example, more often than not, existing clients and prospects anticipate that their BPO suppliers will have a set of languages at hand, be able to deliver service using a specific model or have the capacity in an especially desirable destination. This means that the pressure can mount for outsourcing executives very quickly to meet these requirements and is a key driver for these same operators to look for opportunities to work with a fellow BPO.

Partnering can also deliver other competitive benefits.  For one, in the current market where execution is key to success, a partnership can provide an operator the chance to move much faster than if they were to incorporate new CX elements into its own value proposition. Equally, it saves up-front investment costs by leveraging the assets of a partnered outsourcer.

No one can doubt the value that a strong partnership can bring to the client relationship.  Two outsourcers leveraging the complementary strengths of one another to benefit an enterprise’s customers means better outcomes and a lasting client relationship.  The potential for these arrangements has never been more à propos.  With so many clients looking for business continuity via geographic diversification, a well-aligned partnership permits rapid entry into new delivery markets.  The same applies when it comes to rapid access to new languages, delivery models, or functional/vertical expertise.

The ongoing relevance of this approach is highlighted by the recent partnership between Concentrix and emerging South African outsourcer Outworx.  As noted in the associated  announcement, the deal provides Concentrix the chance to be serviced from a highly desirable offshore destination. Meanwhile, Outworx will have the opportunity to tap into the expertise of a leading international operator.

However, at a more broader level, outsourcers must ensure that prospective partnering arrangements are thoroughly considered.  No partnership should be made unless both sides feel that there is a commitment to quality from each party.  With so much in the current CX industry riding on flawless delivery, a BPO cannot risk client relationships with a partner that is unable to meet key performance requirements.  The same goes for compliance.  Finding an outsourcing partner that is on the same page when it comes to watertight data security is essential.  And, the cultural aspect of the relationship is also vital.  No two BPOs should consider working together if there are differences in respective CX delivery management approaches or philosophies.

Above all, outsourcers in the current marketplace must recognize areas in their own delivery model that may be lacking, and then determine if a partnering arrangement is the right way to remedy any shortcomings.  Forward-looking operators should also be working to market their own strengths to prospective third-party partners.  Few outsourcers have the resources to invest quickly to bridge gaps in their value proposition, so finding a quality-driven partner is a rational way of ensuring market relevance.

Image by Nick Youngson used under Creative Commons 3 license