By Matthew Agronin, Ubiquity
Successful challenger brands run a two-legged gauntlet. Part One: Reposition what’s possible in your corner of the market.
Part Two: Own that corner.
After all, the goal isn’t to stay a perpetual challenger—it’s to become a leader. And that applies to every facet of your business operation.
So when it comes to outsourced customer experience, it’s key to have a BPO provider that’s aligned in the same way.
That’s focused on an upward trajectory to reach that audacious goal—and then helping you stay there. The trouble is, it can be hard to figure out which BPO providers fit that mold.
After all, we can’t quantify everything. Here are the tell-tale signs of a BPO that can support challenger growth and sustain success through CX.
Some are rock solid. Others are kind of squishy. All are key.
1. They put the right people in the right roles
Growth-oriented BPO providers pick and train specialists best suited to bring you success.
Agents are the bridge between your business and your customers. For complex operations, there’s no one-size-fits-all solution for effective outsourced CX.
That’s why it’s vital to determine what success looks like for a program up front—then align the ideal agent profile accordingly.
In fact, it’s key to have an ideal profile for every program (or even more than one to handle servicing tiers or white-glove service). What key skills do agents need to excel in that particular aspect of service?
An agent who’s adept at critical thinking will likely thrive in a back-office function. A deeply empathetic person is primed to deliver that “wow factor” customer service in the correct support position.
Look out for personalized coaching and development programs. Your business is growing fast—your agents should be, too. Does your BPO provider celebrate agent wins? After all, an employee’s success directly translates to greater client success.
2. They view responsibility as a privilege, not a burden
Advanced BPO providers are as obsessed with developing their employees as their employees are about developing your business. And with development and growth come added responsibility.
Contact centers have a reputation for high turnover and low job satisfaction. Agents don’t last long—frankly, they often don’t plan to. Growth-oriented BPO providers buck this trend.
Invested agents lie at the heart of outsourced CX fit for challenger brands. And a key “metric” is a focus on continued learning.
BPO providers consistently coach agents to learn new elements that tie back to being successful in their role or honing skills for a promotion.
Not only that, they interrogate their own training programs—are agents consistently engaged? Are high performers recognized and rewarded? How are we motivating our employees?
3. Their managers give a shit
Perhaps that expletive stopped you in your tracks. It should. It’s impossible to fake true care. BPOs that pay lip service to agent and customer care simply aren’t fit to look after CX for ambitious, disruptive brands.
Contact center managers are the guardians of an authentic culture–good or bad.
A good agent manager handles all of the regular day-to-day requirements—schedule adherence, quality reports etc. And they do it well.
But the best managers do more than just box ticking. They focus on agents’ specific needs when it comes to their individual coaching and development.
Mass training programs don’t create advanced agents. Coaching based on the individual that enables them to drive outstanding customer service in their specific area is the hallmark of a growth center.
Agents have the flexibility and support to pivot to different roles and career paths. If an agent wants to become an expert in a particular support role, they can. That’s when BPOs truly become stakeholders in their partners’ success.
And development doesn’t stop with agents—it’s equally vital to coach coaches. Contact center line managers constantly develop those beneath them, including those in leadership roles.
A carousel of ongoing development and coaching across team leads and their staff creates a culture of relentless improvement—improvements that manifest as better customer experiences.
4. They’re constantly self-examining
Laurel-resting isn’t part of advanced BPO DNA.
Running a challenger brand is a dance between testing and iterating—a constant process of striving for new and better.
That’s why stale contact center culture and static CX playbooks don’t cut it. Advanced agents are relentless self-improvers—they strive for better as diligently as the brands they serve.
The most effective CX outsourcers dedicate themselves to analyzing the client support experience—including what’s going well.
That only happens when your BPO provider is invested in your success.
Are they forecasting and staying ahead of trends? Do they anticipate customer needs? A truly invested BPO provider constantly brings fresh ideas and solutions—whether from the operations team, account managers or a new hire.
5. They never forget the job is about people
We said there’d be a squishy one here. But it’s no less important.
This is the quality advanced BPO strives for, that’s integrated into training and forms the basis of every interaction across every support role.
Empathy permeates every aspect of the customer (and employee) experience.
Leaders look at how they can apply empathy based on different situations. Agents apply empathy to whatever client scenario they’re working through.
Are agents incentivized and empowered to go above and beyond to help a struggling customer? Can they control a conversation outside the parameters of a script? Do they care about customers?
These are tough questions to ask. But they’re the difference between static, stale CX and an engaged, invested and human customer experience that can sustain ambitious challenger brands.
We like to think we’re the latter … and would love to prove it to you.