Techniques for Ensuring Innovation from Offshore BPO Companies in the Philippines

Offshore BPO companies in the Philippines should hold regular reviews and involve partners as a regular activity to ensure innovative growth. Good governance is pivotal to the success of any and all offshore BPO firms in the Philippines.

There is no lack of innovation from BPOs in the country. But as in all business, problems arise and those BPO providers in the Philippines who are quick to act upon it and provide solutions are the ones that the clients are looking for. However, BPOs not a one-way street. Most clients should pose the question, “What techniques or methods can I employ to ensure I get the innovation I want from my BPO provider in the Philippines?” Innovation is best obtained via transformation, best practices, new technology, and continuous process improvement of call center companies. Fortunately, there are a variety of techniques for extracting innovation from your contact center providers in the Philippines.

Innovation Reviews. Quarterly, bi-annual, or annual innovation reviews of offshore BPOs in the Philippines focus typically on state of the market, industry trends and relevant information, technology updates, solution demonstrations, site visits, and other relevant factors. Leverage other buyer peer groups to understand what is happening in the BPO industry.

Benchmarking. Clients should always activate their benchmarking clauses; unfortunately, most don’t. When benchmarking, focus on best practice and comparisons of innovation—not just cost comparisons. Benchmark both functional excellence and outsourced environments from any offshore BPO company in the Philippines.

Stakeholder Satisfaction Surveys. Offshore BPO firms in the Philippines should perform monthly, quarterly, and annual customer satisfaction surveys. They should be able to cover multiple dimensions and all internal and external stakeholders.

Act as a True Business Partner. Invite your offshore BPO provider from the Philippines into your annual planning sessions. Brief them on your strategic and business objectives, and ask them to brief you on how they can help you achieve these objectives. Get your BPOs to think and act above simple tactical delivery.

Financial Base Case. Ensure your financial base case has sufficient funding in the out years to pay for continued innovation. Funds must be set aside for business case investigation, evaluation, and development.

Gain-sharing and Incentives. Use a gain-sharing mechanism on a case-by-case basis to pay for business-case development. Include mutual rewards for both your organization and that of your offshore BPO partner in the Philippines. A “license-to-sell” innovation to the client by the offshore BPO operator in the Philippines is just as important as a gain-sharing mechanism.

Superior Service Levels. Some SLAs must be tied to innovation or it will not happen. Project milestones, events, and pilots are tangible measures of innovation in collaboration with your company and your BPO vendor. Other measures include accuracy, customer satisfaction, productivity, defects, work elimination, and others.

Quality Outsourcing Management. Your internal governance team should have a transformation or innovation owner, sufficient staff and budget to help drive innovation and must hold the offshore partner accountable for innovation. Reassure and demonstrate that the relationship is long-term; otherwise, they will be inclined to disinvest in innovation, and the relationship. Your organization must retain process management expertise at a level at which you can clearly articulate future state requirements, evaluate proposals brought forward by the offshore BPO firm, and work with your organization to get the business case for change.

Executive Visibility and Support. Ensure that senior executives from your BPO operator in the Philippines have highly visible and accessible. This would include joint speaking engagements, regularly scheduled calls, and quarterly and annual briefings. Facilitate meetings and foster face time between your senior executives and offshore BPO operator in the Philippines senior executives.

Professionalism/Communication/Culture. Be prepared to invest in and encourage change. Communicate your aspirations early. Transformation requires a partnership mindset, not a transactional orientation. Innovation is often not brought to bear because clients do not ask for it, define what they mean by it, motivate the offshore BPO companies in the Philippines to deliver it, or put restrictions around it. There are cases of clients who rarely help the BPO providers to understand what is important to them.

The Contract. Transformation and its associated requirements must be a definable project in the contract. Build a fair cost structure into the contract that allows for innovation.

Want innovation from your offshore BPO vendors in the Philippines? Try these tested and true techniques and it may just help get you on the innovation path with your BPO provider.

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