Automation and technological advancements have made growth an easier proposition for companies, and more companies are growing. But this rapid growth can cause some growing pains.
With this rapid growth, the need for a different approach becomes crucial. It’s time for Nearshore providers to look beyond plug and play clients happy with a one-size-fits-all approach to scaling up to 500 or 1,000 seats, and consider the very different needs of small to medium clients.
Depending on the country, as much as half and up to 90 percent of the labor force may work for small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs). Around 80 percent of those in Canada, China, and Korea working in SMEs, according to OECD statistics. While the appeal of scale is always a consideration, many smaller companies are looking for the right partner to help them grow into scale and to build and develop with them across their own growth journey, through, for example, shared senior management.
As much as half and up to 90 percent of the labor force may work for small and medium sized enterprises
The rate of change is now so rapid that small businesses need to adapt fast to CX best practices and collections policies, just as large companies and BPO industries have kept pace with these trends.
Bespoke Support for Bespoke Needs
The support needed in these circumstances varies from business to business, but many do not have the expertise or the bandwidth to tackle workforce management or training material in the way that a larger or more experienced company may be able to do – particularly when they need to do so at scale.
Because of this, the approach must be different. It’s imperative to work with the customer to develop those workforce management capabilities and develop the kinds of training materials needed rather than relying on existing materials. This means developing specialized training materials and responses that consider common requests by the consumers from each SME.
Smaller customer service operations of between 25 and 50 people may have grown organically using job mentoring from existing staff to train new service staff. But as they grow those needs evolve and the right partner can offer the support needed to scale up in this way.
Reaping the Rewards
By working with a client in this way, Collective Solution coordinated a ramp up of 50% more agents in 30 days for a technology start-up. This included screening, hiring and training – and maintaining an 89.10% in customer satisfaction. This approach is also an opportunity for the Nearshore partner to grow with the customer.
Smaller customer service operations may have grown organically but as they grow needs evolve and the right partner can offer the support needed to scale up
In addition, this entrepreneurial approach can also help with redundancy, working together with the existing customer service operations, and thus acting as prevention when the in-house CX has technical issues because of natural disasters, blackouts, or political disturbances. This also means supporting seasonal ramp-ups as Nearshore providers often have more experience with hiring temporary support and handling screening, training, and turnover.
This entrepreneurial, bespoke partnership offers clients with existing expertise in these areas a different perspective in scaling their operations, as well as lower costs. It can have real tangible impact for clients.
The Right Partner for SMEs
In order to make this work, SMEs should look for Nearshore partners that can offer:
- Unique hiring practices for small companies
- Bespoke training that can scale with the business
- Malleable quality programs that can change based on customer need
- Customized scheduling capability as customers are acquired seasonal ramp-ups occur
- QA shared supervisions to tackle system improvements and common complaints
- A knowledgeable team and platforms that can accommodate different consumers’ touch points as clients grow, starting with chat and expanding to audio and ticket touch points
For example, the development of bespoke training and a performance dashboard for the a video social network helped the client reduce its error count by 63 percent in 4 months, while achieving 99% accuracy. Similarly, a customized QA program, comprising bespoke training material and key performance metrics for a major social media and e-commerce platform in the US has now graduated 800 associates in three countries.
In another case, adopting this approach guaranteed long-term forecast and improved customer satisfaction metrics by 6 percent, while still ensuring compliance with Six Sigma guidelines and Kaizen-Ishikawa approaches.
The tailored approach and support yields dividends for SMEs that want the benefits of Nearshore but are looking for more than just an off the shelf solution that would require certain systems and processes in place already in place. Finding the right partner can make or break the scaling up process for small and medium-sized companies, so matching your needs to those of a provider that can grow with you is crucial.