I am frequently asked by enterprise contact center buyers, “What sized outsourcer is it best to engage with for customer experience delivery?” Actually, there is no right or wrong answer to this question. There are some superb offerings in the customer experience space at the moment that are being provided by outsourcers with revenues ranging from less than $10 million to large global players with revenues exceeding $1 billion. The trick is to determine the partner that lines up best with the enterprise’s requirements and internal culture.
As someone who has been around the BPO space for two-decades, I certainly understand the attributes so many larger providers bring to our sector. When counselling friends on the enterprise side about the benefits of working with a large global services partner, there are several that immediately come to mind. First and foremost, the scale that these vendors bring to the table cannot be understated, especially in terms of being able to deliver competitive pricing to the Fortune 500 segment of the market. Equally, the variety of locations from which larger outsourcers can deliver contact center services (both onshore and offshore) is a major selling point; for a client looking to diversify the sites from which their end-users are supported, this can go a long way. Clients can also consolidate a large amount of their needs with one global provider, which can save a lot of resource in managing contracts and business relationships. And, larger vendors usually have a stacked arsenal of the functions and the technologies that they can offer enterprises.
But, what about clients that are looking to work with a more boutique-oriented outsourcer? Well, in my opinion, there are equally compelling reasons to choose this alternative. For example, one of the biggest drivers for enterprise contact center decision-makers to select a smaller player is the personalized attention that they can count on. With fewer clients, these outsourcers can spend more time getting to know their enterprise partners, effectively tailoring the customer experience strategy to a ‘T’. And, I am increasingly noticing that smaller providers are diversifying their points of delivery and service / technology offerings. Sometimes this comes from internal investment, while in other cases it is on the back of a robust partner network. Regardless of the model, smaller outsourcers are better placed to service their clients in the current competitive market. This is on top of the niche expertise found among so many of these providers, whether it is vertically-driven, functional or channel.
The key in this discussion is for enterprise decision-makers to determine what they want in terms of a provider. Are they looking for the scale that a large partner can bring to the table? Or, do they prefer to work with a smaller outsourcer that may not be global in size, but that offers a more tailored offering and intimate level of service? Luckily, once executives have answered these questions, they will not be short of choice.
Written by Stephen B. Ferber