Getting your Outsourcing Right!

It always been quite a baffling experience over the years trying to understand as to what makes outsourcing tick. If we knew the answer, we ought to be able to solve the issue of customer satisfaction and keep all our clients happy. But time and again, we kept witnessing an unpredictable phenomenon; Outsourcing on an individual or small business level works well for some, while it backfires miserably for some others.

The moot question being why is it so unpredictable, though the most obvious reasons would simply point to poor quality of service. The fact remains that it isn’t the only reason for failure. We found that success is not exclusively dependent on the quality of service alone, but depends on a lot of other factors, especially when you are dealing with a situation of cross-border global work exchange.

So I tried to set forth on understanding the factors that affect the success of outsourcing especially w.r.t individuals and small businesses. With large business or Fortune 500 outsourcing, it is usually a business process or a transaction flow that gets outsourced and there are typically large teams on both sides to manage the transition and the associated risks. It is relatively harder to manage expectations when compared to let’s say manufacturing outsourcing, but is still easier when compared to managing individual expectations.

The key problem here being that an individual’s expectations are rather fluid, likely to change with time, seldom possible to capture / document properly and is quite unlike a business process. Can one capture an individual client’s needs within a Service Level Agreement? Extremely difficult, if not impossible.

To add to the complexity there are other issues like cultural differences, sometimes communication barriers and the willingness of the client to get organized. Many clients read about outsourcing, get excited at the prospect of being able to do it as an individual and promptly sign up. And 99% of the time, they either over anticipate their needs at the start or they haven’t organized themselves properly and analyzed as to what can be outsourced and what is best kept in-house. When this happens and there is a mismatch of expectations, it generally leads to a sense of disillusionment for those that are under prepared for the challenges of outsourcing.

There are some clients who have been with GetFriday for the past 5 plus years and are still going strong, while there are others who drop out in frustration within weeks. So after years of studying cases of failure to meet client expectations, we came up with the idea of a video tutorial to help clients understand what it takes to succeed. We used the concept of illustrative story telling (concept inspired by RSAnimate) to capture the essence of it, in 7 clear steps. And hence titled ‘The 7 Steps to Outsourcing’. We hope you will like it and please do share it with friends / co-workers and others who may find it useful.

P.S. This video is definitely not meant to pass the buck of making outsourcing work, exclusively to the client. It is meant to help clients and potential clients understand what it takes from both sides to make it a success. This apart, there lies an even bigger responsibility on a VA service like GetFriday to understand client expectations better, deliver good quality of service and be able to help the client gain time.

Regards
Sunder P
CEO

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