Businesses need to stand out from the competition. And while this is somewhat of an obvious statement – the mantra has been a mainstay of first-year marketing courses the world over for decades now – what is becoming more apparent than ever is that companies cannot afford to be complacent with their offerings or messaging. Buyers are looking to work with providers that distinguish themselves from the rest, and generic front office offerings will result in stagnation. The time for innovation around service lines has never been more apt for the long-term success of contact center outsourcers. With enterprises more conscious of working with partners that are leaders in their domain, developing and effectively marketing one or more service niches is a prudent course of action.
There is a clear need for outsourcers providing front line BPO to differentiate themselves in the crowded field of competitors. Frankly, contact center delivery has a reputation for being among the most generic of all third-party services. While this model may have worked in the past, today’s clients are less focused on finding the cheapest ‘your mess for less’ option. Increasingly, they are interested in working with an outsourcer that drives excellence across its service lines. Front office BPO providers need to recognize this fact, and respond accordingly.
As a starting point, it is important for outsourcers to consider their messaging to prospective and existing buyers. Estimates place the proportion of total workstations with outsourcers in major demand markets between 20 to 25% – a considerable volume. If front office BPOs want to grow their share of this market, and potentially go beyond into first-time users of these services, the need to develop a unique selling proposition that reflects the shifting priorities of enterprises cannot be understated. For example, in sounding the views of enterprise contact center executives in North America, the UK and Australia, the last iteration of the Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office Omnibus Survey showed a clear trend that both existing and prospective buyers are interested in working with providers that have expertise in work-at-home delivery, customer experience strategy formulation and compliance management. Tailoring marketing messages toward expertise in these areas would be an ideal departure point for providers that want to stand out from the crowded field of competitors who focus their efforts on front-line services only.
At this point, the onus falls on the outsourcer to ensure that they are positioned to deliver on these sought-after capabilities. If a provider is planning to go to market with a message touting added-value expertise, they must be certain that they have the technology and human resources available to deliver on end-client expectations. This cannot be done in half-baked fashion; it may seem obvious to outside observers, but it is paramount that a client can count on an outsourcer to hit the ground running on any aspect of service being offered. Thus, any BPO provider should make sure it has all the pieces in place to kick off either baseline or complex offerings. Today’s enterprise executive expectations are more stringent than ever, and there is no room for learning on the job.