What is a partner? A lot of people have a vague idea of what it means, but the little details that make a working relationship a true partnership are often lost in the world of business. A partnership implies a level of equality, where both sides are putting in equal effort to reach a common goal. In the world of contact center outsourcers, this is too often not the case. It’s time to ask ourselves 4 big questions: “How are WE the solution when it comes to client relationship management? How do WE help drive the client’s business to reach goals? Do you let the client dictate, or are WE part of the solution for them? Do WE make our clients look like the heroes?”
Answering questions like this can be the difference between a successful business partnership and a failing one. To answer these questions for those in our space, you need to know what a partnership means for those in the BPO space. At Humach, we have a consultative approach to turning ourselves into a true partner for our clients.
It’s not simply about doing everything that your clients dictate, but about offering multiple options or strategies to obtain their goals. The old adage – “there’s more than one way to skin a cat” is so true in the business world. A partnership can be so much more effective if both sides are bringing their experience and knowledge to the table to accomplish a common set of goals. So listen to your client, hear what their goals are, understand what they believe the best strategies are to obtain the goals, and be prepared to
share your expertise in order prevent your client from learning lessons you have already learned along the way.
The formula for success is quite simple: strategize, implement, analyze, REPEAT! Initial strategies should be a combination of the client’s expertise about their brand and your expertise on the processes and procedures of effective customer engagement to reach your partner’s goals. After input from both parties is taken into consideration to develop the initial strategy, it is incumbent upon your team to implement the strategy effectively and to communicate any hurdles along the way. After implementation, the consultative approach is taken to the next level through data and analytics.
Data is nice but the analytics are what lead to action items. The key is being able to turn raw data into a story for your client that predicts whether their goals are attainable or not. Anticipate your client’s questions and needs when it comes to providing data. If you know the requested data set will raise questions, use all other data available to you to enhance the story and fill in the blanks. Don’t hold back or hope they won’t notice anomalies with the data. Be prepared! From there, both sides have the opportunity to change the strategy to make it more effective. Whether it be better customer segmentation, or more targeted offers, or reduced hours to align with your clients’ best interests – even if that is counter intuitive to your own business needs. Sometimes giving up a little for a short-term basis in the name of partnership and achieving your client’s goals can win you long lasting loyalty from your client. This is one specific example, but the overarching theme is that data and analytics should drive decisions and be the basis for all meetings between partners in this space.
While data and analytics can tell a story of their own, adding front-line feedback from your team who are interacting with your client’s customer day-after-day will seal the deal. People in our industry are dealing directly with our clients’ customers on a daily basis, so we have intimate knowledge of their customer that our business partners may not have. By sharing this feedback along with actionable items to move closer to the goals at hand, you are providing your client with the opportunity to initiate change in their own organization either from a branding perspective or price point perspective, or whatever else may be holding them back from success.
Finally, remember, presentation is everything! If you want to help your client achieve their goals and it requires initiating change in their organization – help your client tell the story to their executives. Lay it out for them so there is no mistake about the path that should be taken, why the path was chosen and the rewards that lie at the end of that path. This may be done through detailed reporting, expert analysis or well thought out plans of action. If you place the golden nugget in the hands of your client and they just have to present it to executive management, you have now made your client the hero, you have gained their loyalty and trust, and you both get to accomplish the common set of goals. True partnership is about a win-win for all.
Everyone needs a helping hand. Find your business partner today.