Top 5 Challenges SMBs Face When Outsourcing Services
Do you take customer service or tech support for granted?
You shouldn’t—not if you’re an SMB.
Tech support and customer service aren’t just conveniences for your customers. They’re business critical services you provide.
They can boost customer satisfaction, differentiate you from your competitors and minimize downtime. They can also boost efficiency and increase productivity.
Not many business strategies can do all that simultaneously.
And when you’re an SMB, you need every edge you can find to survive and thrive.
What’s Holding You Back?
Despite these benefits, you may still be wrestling with the idea of outsourcing. That’s not unusual. Uncertainty about key issues often holds SMBs back from exploring outsourcing.
Things like cost, data security, volume of work, management experience, and a lack of clearly defined processes are the key issues that typically hold SMBs back from unlocking outsourcing’s potential.
A clear understanding about outsourcing and its requirements are also issues that typically hold SMBs back from outsourcing services.
Other things that can hold back SMBs are the common myths that pervade the marketplace—myths like:
- “We’re too small to outsource.”
- “We cant’ afford outsourcing
- “The ROI of outsourcing isn’t proven yet.”
- “Outsourcing means spending more time with vendors who don’t know our business.”
Action Point: Review your current situation. Note any issues or myths that may be holding you back from exploring outsourcing. Jot down ways to overcome those issues or myths.
Experience Proves Otherwise
Whatever the issues, experience with outsourcing has proven otherwise. Put simply, outsourcing offers too many benefits for SMBs not to consider it seriously.
The cost savings alone from outsourcing should get you to consider outsourcing tech support and customer service. Worldwide, many SMBs employ an outsourcing strategy highly effectively.
In fact, nearly 45% of what business spends on IT worldwide in 2014 will come from SMBs, according to Gartner. And Gartner expects SMBs to outlay more than $836 billion on IT in 2014.
In addition to cutting costs, the ability to re-allocate personnel to more strategic activities is also a popular driver of outsourcing.
Shifting personnel to more strategic activities can transform your business and help you outgun larger competitors.
Not If But When
For SMBs then, it’s not a question of if but when you’ll implement outsourcing. When you do, expect to confront these challenges:
Alignment of focus
Alignment is a key element of fit when looking for a service provider. Providers come in all shapes and sizes. Size does matter in some cases but not always.
What matters more is the provider’s focus. Some providers offer services other than tech support and customer service that can cloud their focuses. Make sure your provider’s focus aligns with yours.
Lack of defined processes
SMBs don’t always have well-defined processes. Things will go smoother if you have a well-defined process—whether it’s tech support or customer service.
Spend time nailing down your processes before bringing a provider on board. It will save both you and your provider headaches.
Commitment to the relationship
Large providers often work with large clients. Small providers work with small clients. Make sure your provider—large or small—values the relationships. If it does, it will have a stake in the outcome of the engagement. That spurs performance.
Examine not only a provider’s industry record, but also its SMB record. Has it worked with SMBs before? Has it been effective in those situations?
Providers who have are often tuned into the nuances of outsourcing projects. They’ll have the experience to anticipate problems unique to SMBs and advise you on effective solutions.
Lack of structured governance strategy derails many outsourcing projects. Many SMBs outsourcers under invest in time and money when it comes to governance.
Governance is too critical to an outsourcing project’s success. Create a rock solid governance plan and invest in it.
Make sure the plan defines the project’s objectives, provides a flexible, collaborative working model, features a detailed SLA, and offers an arbitration mechanism that’s fair.
Given the intense competition in today’s marketplace, it’s no longer a question of if you’ll outsource key services but when.
Address the five challenges described above when implementing your outsourcing project and you’ll unlock the potential of outsourcing.
Let us put our proven experience in providing tech support for small and medium size companies to work for you. Request a quote from our sales team.