Industry Commentary

Keeping Executive Talent Needs to be an Outsourcer Priority

By February 18, 2018July 25th, 2023No Comments

Good agents foster better interactions with consumers, and keeping such agents around helps call centers succeed. Of course!  But this lesson applies with each step up the call center ladder. In today’s market, providers need to examine their own levels of executive churn to see if they can do better at hanging onto the individuals who drive operational and strategic value for the enterprise client.   This exercise is essential in a sector where profitability is under constant pressure, a problem that outsourcers can potentially mitigate by keeping the talent capable of driving value.

Over the past year, there has been a significant number of executives in the front-office BPO sector who chose to move their cheese to other contact center service providers.  To be fair, there will always be a degree of top-level churn in any industry, including customer experience management.  And, in some cases individuals in leadership roles will be let go for lack of performance.  However, a fair question that any firm needs to ask itself is why its best and brightest at the executive level are voluntarily choosing to take their enthusiasm elsewhere.  There are indeed rational explanations on what leads to this phenomenon from a broader cross-industry perspective, many of which can apply in BPO boardrooms around the world.  It is incumbent upon providers to recognize if any or all of these issues exist in their organizations in order to limit leadership churn. By doing so, they will benefit in various ways.

For one, maintaining the integrity of its management team will help any outsourcer keep its eyes on the objective of delivering first rate customer interactions.  When executives leave, holes need to be plugged, which can mean lethargy around decision-making while a replacement is sourced.  Equally, in today’s labor market finding the right person to fill an executive role can take months, not to mention the amount of time such a new recruit needs to get up to speed in their new post.  Keeping good management team members is a much less operationally disruptive alternative.

And this leads to the discussion around the value that leaders provide the overall strategic direction of a BPO provider, and why their departure can be dangerous to the long-term health of a company.  If an executive who is passionate about driving better interactions leaves voluntarily, that organization will be void of their judgement, experience and energy.  In a sector as hyper-competitive as the outsourced contact center space, such a lack of presence can have dire consequences in helping a firm overcome today’s challenges and in figuring out where to go next.

Front-office BPO providers have focused on managing front-line attrition for years, but the time has come to look introspectively at how they can best retain their executives.  A great deal will depend on the each organization’s management culture and the willingness to make changes where needed.  To do so may mean some short-term discomfort, but the tactical and strategic benefits of keeping good management will pay dividends in the long run for forward-looking providers. When it comes to contact centers, keeping the outsourcing executives positively engaged helps maintain the focus on making their enterprise clients happy.