clients aren’t from mars and customer care providers don’t have to be from venus – managing great expectations

clients aren’t from mars and customer care

providers don’t have to be from venus


JUNE 2021


By Scott Newman, CEO, Transparent BPO

     Tom Silzell, Managing Partner, CX PartnerSource

Good relationships don’t just happen.  

They don’t happen in life and they certainly don’t happen in business either. In the corporate world, they take work. They take a lot of work. We’re not talking about transactional relationships where commodities are bought and sold. These associations are one-time or occasional transactions that don’t require a deep understanding of your client’s long-term needs. 

We’re focusing on the profoundly intimate relationship between your company and your customer care provider, where the provider works and hires the right people so it knows your core business almost as thoroughly as you do. 

As with any relationship, there are two sides – and we want to examine the tangible components and then, of course, a discussion of the intangibles.

First the tangible factors. These are easier to measure because hard figures can be assigned to each and tracked over time. But too frequently, not enough attention is paid to the low-hanging fruit of measurable performance metrics that form the foundation of any good customer care relationships. But which ones should you focus on?



This goes without saying but too often this is viewed in the short term. Price is always relative to what the client wants to achieve. A provider may have an attractive hourly rate that provides immediate savings in the near term, but the costs may escalate in the medium and long term because of multiple factors. The provider offered an a la carte service where additional services (training or holiday coverage) weren’t included.

A cheaper provider may have a long talk and hold times or lower CSAT scores that weren’t accounted for when you were going through due diligence. Or perhaps a cheaper provider has a higher agent attrition rate, so you’re constantly having new agents talk to your customers week after week, month after month. In the end, your brand suffers and the costs add up.



Is this customer care provider a good service fit? If you need customer service agents, does the company have a history of providing sound customer service? Do they have agents that have the technical training to help your customers on Level 1 or 2 tech calls? Do they know how to upsell to give your customers more options from your catalog of products so you move more inventory?

Sometimes in the haste to retain a customer care provider, clients occasionally overlook the capabilities the company can provide and instead just want seats filled to ensure calls are answered. To ensure the provider can meet your specific requirements, do the heavy lifting: check their client references and not only with companies and contacts they provide. Find out who used to use them and why they left? Check their technology stack – are they compliant and can they reasonably protect your data and your customers’ information? 

Clearly, a key requirement is language skills. Does the provider have a pool of agents who can support your customers in the language they prefer? North American customers are overwhelmingly English-speaking but there are also needs for Spanish and French-Canadian services.   

Accent neutralization programs can be effective in helping your agents smooth out their accents, particularly when supporting English-speaking customers. But these programs can be expensive and take time to get agents hired and on the phones. It’s helpful to have native, English-speaking agents who can get up to speed quickly but who are also comfortable going ‘off-script’ to help customers. These agents offer a certain amount of empathy to customers who are in a stressful situation and may be having trouble with your service or product.   

Don’t pass up a chance to conduct a site visit. Visiting the facility where your calls are being answered can give you a clear line of sight of the people who are acting on your behalf. You can learn a lot about the provider, the competence of the leadership on the ground, and the quality of the agents who are talking to your customers every day. Make the time to conduct a site visit, the experience is invaluable.



This broad category can also include recruiting and implementation but essentially focuses on the care and feeding of the agents acting on your behalf. 

It begins with the proper recruiting. Does the customer care provider have a good pool of candidates to hire from in the first place? How are they advertising and sourcing candidates? Also, it might be helpful to check how your provider screens candidates and the percentage of candidates actually get hired? Are they selective on who eventually becomes an agent, and do they conduct background checks? Finally, are they hiring employees who just want a job or are they recruiting personnel who want a career in customer care and work their way into leadership positions? 

Once hired, what kind of training is offered? Does your provider work with you to customize a training program that fits your company? The time and criteria is important but you also want to meet the trainers who are prepping agents to support your account.

Once all the recruiting and training is complete, then it’s time to go ‘live.’ You should have a clear picture of the implementation step. This is not the time for surprises and you want to ensure your provider has all the bases covered? You can ensure success here by reviewing other launches they’ve managed with similar programs in scope and in size or a similar industry or account size with the same number of agents. The implementation step is the end of the beginning, but also marks the beginning of hopefully a long relationship with your provider.  

These are the measurable items but there are still components that are harder to measure but they also contribute to the bottom line. 


The Intangible Elements



This is a difficult component to measure. It is relatively easy to find a customer care provider that will follow instructions and deliver routine service day after day. But it is harder to find a provider who looks under the hood of your business to find a better way to serve your customers. These providers bring ideas to you that improve customer loyalty or they sit down with you to solve customer-related challenges and provide real alternatives. 


Process Improvement

You should find a customer care provider who is always tinkering with the process. Continuous process improvement never ends and comes with an appreciation that there is always a better way to do something. It’s not easy to pull apart a process but if you put yourself in the customer’s position, you can always find a better way to fulfill the brand promise and customer experience. 


The right fit

Finding a partner with the right cultural fit is hard. Their corporate DNA is critical because their task is to represent your brand in a consistent manner that mirrors your values. This isn’t easy but once you’re comfortable that they will never leave an opportunity on the table, then you know you have a good fit. 

These expectations are not easy to achieve and it takes work – on both sides of the table. But it’s reasonable to expect each criterion from your customer care provider because they each play a role in your customers’ experience which equals loyalty and that can be measured on your bottom line. 

To listen to The Podcast episode, click here


what makes a contact center outsourcing partnership work?

what makes a contact center outsourcing partnership work?


JUNE 2021


As we’ve stated before, managing a healthy contact center outsourcing partnership takes work. The largest component to success is ensuring you have selected the right partner. Unfortunately, “size matters” when it comes to building a successful BPO partnership. Many of our clients initially chose larger BPO firms when they decided to outsource. Although not in all cases, many have since asked us to evaluate other options due to their current partners’ lack of focus and performance failure.

In our view, the characteristics required for a successful outsourcing relationship include shared goals and expectations, strong communication and motivation to improve, and genuine concern for the client’s experience no matter how large the program. Large BPO’s are built for scale and large programs (500+ FTE). Smaller BPO’s have built their models to offer scale, efficiency, genuine concern, and cost-benefit.

If you are not happy with your current partner, we can help you find a partner who “gets it”.



when should I consider changing my contact center outsource partner?

when should I consider changing my contact center outsource partner?


JUNE 2021


Maintaining a healthy relationship with your chosen BPO partner is crucial to maintaining a healthy relationship with your customer. With that said, sometimes it makes sense to change partners or add a partner to help motivate your existing partner to step up their performance.

Most of our clients engage CXPS to help them find the right partner to fit their needs. The three most common motives for doing so include lack of performance from their existing BPO partner when compared to the client expectations, poor communication related to performance failure and plans for improvement, and lack of genuine concern for the client relationship (small fish in a big pond).

In almost all cases, we found that the client was “oversold” on the BPO Partners’ capabilities, commitment, and overall investment to be made into the relationship by the selected BPO Partner.

Our conclusion: it never hurts to understand your options.

We have built our business around sharing information and working with clients to find the right contact center outsourcing partner who can exceed expectations – reach out if you are currently facing any of these challenges with your BPO partner. We can help.


when should you outsource your contact center?

When should you outsource your contact center?


APRIL 2021


If you’re considering outsourcing your contact center, you may be wondering if it’s the right time. Outsourcing helps companies of all sizes reduce cost, mitigate risk, scale up and down based on need, and reduce capital investment which can be used for other things.

Outsourcing is growing to become a betterment to companies everywhere- no matter if you need 5 agents or 500. Thanks to advancements in technology which offers the ability to reduce contacts, leverage worldwide lower-cost labor, and focus on your core business. utilizing outsourcing has become easier than ever. 

How do you know if it’s the right time to outsource? Well, here are a few questions to call on. 

  •  Are you trying to build momentum? 

Anyone that has led a business knows the anticipation that comes when things really start rolling. However, growing fast brings a certain set of challenges and many businesses find that this is when they need help from a third party.

Outsourcing gives you the opportunity to gain momentum at a much faster rate than building and managing your own in-house contact center. A common misconception is that smaller companies can’t access the benefits of outsourcing your contact center because you are too small – that is wrong!

Now, smaller organizations can have the same opportunities for success as their larger competitors thanks to the emergence of smaller, more focused BPO’s.

  • Are you searching for a more consistent customer experience? 

Many teams don’t have the bandwidth to keep up with the demands of customer care, technology, or even social media marketing. More so, most businesses don’t specialize in the types of technologies they depend on to create a consistent experience.

Outsourcing gives you access to tools, technology, and an unlimited number of people to help support your growth in a variable model.

Imagine not having to worry about the details because you have a trusted team ready to manage the day-to-day experience and provide you with standardized KPIs and organized reports on a regular basis. 

That’s where we come in. We provide you with everything you need to know if you’re considering outsourcing your contact center – from the FREE quote to finding the right partner, and long after the contract; we streamline the search and increase your chances of finding the partner who best fits your needs. 


the Philippines is back after COVID19 – see what’s happening

There’s no doubt that the Philippines has been holding the golden torch when it comes to offshore outsourcing. In the last year, however, the pandemic has taken a toll on all of us in the workforce. 

How much did it really affect this offshore location? Today we are looking at the advantage of outsourcing in the Philippines- with or without COVID. 

We first have to acknowledge the undeniable rise of outsourcing. BPO call centers have continued to grow and expand in different cities and regions throughout the country due to the admirable demand in telemarketing and customer care found in the Philippines. This has caused the market to raise prices. 

Remember, countries like the Philippines have a lower cost of living – which usually translates into lower salaries. That’s not the case here. This area is known for its competitive compensation market as outsourcing services rise. 

While COVID-19 has hindered the speed of the region to offer seamless remote-work models, the technical fundamentals of their personalized service remains. 

Nonetheless, the Philippines continues to be the top outsourcing option among its competitors. 

Scott Newman, Founder and CEO of Transparent, says “operating work from home in the Philippines since 2009 has given Transparent BPO a lot of best practices that allowed our team members to continue to serve our clients without interruption during the Covid-19 pandemic. The quality of our WFH team’s work-life balance has been greatly increased, by avoiding extremely long commuting times and lost time with their families.  This increased employee satisfaction and engagement has had a direct result in top-notch customer support to our clients.”

Bottom line: the Philippines is operating at an accelerated rate given the global crisis. To learn more about outsourcing during these challenging times or where to get started, click here

risks of selecting the wrong BPO partner

Selecting the right BPO partner can be challenging – after all, you are trusting another company with your most valuable resource, your clients. Further complicating matters is the ever-expanding lists of providers from around the globe. Getting references from colleagues can also be daunting as no other business is exactly like your own.

Luckily, it’s not all doom and gloom. The expanding number of BPO providers can work in your favor to get costs down and quality up, something you may have thought impossible. To help, we’ve compiled a shortlist of potential risks along with mitigation solutions.

The Risks

Loss of Control – Most obviously, when allowing another company to take over a function as precious as customer service, concerns arise. Will the partner maintain your quality? Will they handle customers as well as before? How will you transfer so much knowledge?

Loss of Visibility – It can be uncomfortable to manage people you cannot physically be in a room with, especially if your company has used in-office resources. From adhering to processes to monitoring performance, physical distance can create anxious moments, especially during launch.

Changes in Data Handling – Giving third party access to precious customer data – particularly financial or health data – comes with its challenges. Will the partner stay in compliance? Is data safe from hackers? Will all processes be followed?

Mismatched Culture Fit – When you hand over customer service, you’re not just allowing someone to field issues, you’re also asking someone to represent your brand. How do you know that another company in another country can represent your brand to your standards?

The Solution

With so many vendors scattered across several continents, it would be impossible to vet each of them and mitigate all of these common concerns. For the most part, BPO companies are excellent at their work and have been in business for many years, some decades. Their process, tools, and people are all focused on providing exceptional service when servicing clients who meet their “ideal profile” (akak – large scale).

However, this doesn’t mean that you can throw a dart and choose any partner. Teams like ours at CX Partner Source ensure your priorities match the core competencies of your partner. We have already vetted the portfolio of partners, reducing the selection time significantly and allowing us both to focus on what’s most important to your company. For instance, culture fit might be a top priority for call handling – we can help with that.

Don’t go it alone when choosing your BPO partner. CX Partner Source has a proven methodology to make outsourcing simple with our pre-vetted partners with your unique needs so you can focus on growing your business.