Four Keys to Successful Outsourcing

When you decide to use an outsourced company to manage your tech support desk, it’s critical that you treat this new relationship the same as you would any other business relationship.

To have a productive and profitable experience, you need to invest time in managing and cultivating the relationship. Here’s some best practices that will smooth the process and help create a positive working relationship.

1. Negotiate for success: Make sure they have the staff, infrastructure and knowledge to deliver. Don’t strong arm for rock-bottom prices, or you may end up with a sub-standard quality of service. Take time to do your research, check references, and listen to what the outsourced company is saying about the ability to deliver. Most of all, make sure the goals of the outsourced company are in alignment with your core objectives.

2. Invest in training: An outsourced partner is only as good as your ability to train them. They may come to the table with a wide array of technical skills, but it’s still critical that you invest time and money in building a solid knowledge-base with them. You need to provide the needed training they require for your systems, processes, product lines, and services. Include a solid overview of the long-term goals of your company, your culture, and branding. The more you position your outsourced team for success through training, the better the outcome will be.

3. Clear communications: Set the stage right from the start by communicating clearly and openly about business objectives, and project needs. Good communication is key to any healthy relationship. Make sure all of your communication, whether in writing or verbally, is clear and concise. Once the outsourced company is in place, make sure you have regularly scheduled meetings or follow-up calls to check-in and answer any questions that may arise. Don’t focus only on areas that need improvement. It’s equally important to share successes with both your internal staff and the outsourced team.

4. Treat them like a business partner: Even though the outsourced team is off-site, you’ll develop a stronger relationship with them by placing a high value on their expertise and taking an interest in what’s happening in their community and with individual team members. Simple touches like sending a birthday card or a thank-you note for a job well done can really solidify the message that you value this team and appreciate their efforts.

Add the outsourced team to your internal mailing list and include them in company announcements or monthly newsletters. Think about how you treat your best client in terms of appreciation and extend those same courtesies to your outsourced team. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care.”

Follow these four steps and you will be well on your way to developing a productive partnership based on mutual respect with your outsourced team.

Micah Laughlin

Micah Laughlin is the founder of Canvas IT and a leader in technology management services, supporting organizations of all sizes and helping them to thrive in spite of IT challenges and organizational changes. His first-hand experience with Service Desk Outsourcing companies led him to create a better way of doing IT outsourcing, the way he’d want it done. Today his philosophy carries on at Canvas IT as he creates a custom solution for each client just the way they’d want it done. Micah’s service desk management philosophy has supported dozens of growing businesses, adding value to the IT services they provide. Prior to founding Canvas IT, Micah spent more than 24 years managing IT operations – with 18 spent balancing the need for open, flexible systems with the restrictions of the highly-regulated healthcare industry.

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