Automation vs The Human Touch — How Outsourcing Can Bridge The Gap
There is no question, the nature of how we do business has evolved exponentially in the past decade. How we do our marketing, how we interact with our customers, how we manage our processes, & how we build all the infrastructure to run this way — has all changed with the evolution of the internet.
But at the core, businesses are grown through the interactions of business people with human customers or clients. Several years ago, that could be argued, where so many were seeking to automate EVERYTHING & do away with the human element. But in 2017 it’s a different playing field, people buy from people & expect &“exceptional delivery”. (Look for the book ‘Oversubscribed’ by Daniel Priestly on this topic).
In my company Ezy VA, we’ve seen a shift recently towards more & more companies looking to humanise their automation. Putting in “Customer Service Representatives”, “Client Account Managers”& the likes, to bridge that gap between automation & “exceptional delivery”. There are some commonalities that I usually see with these businesses who typically adopt this methodology:
- Innovation is one of their core values.
- It’s obvious from the outside they are leaders in their industry.
- They get noticed. A lot! They win awards, get media attention & they have raving fans who share their wins on social media.
I’m not at all suggesting it’s a given that if you put in a “Client Account Manager” (or whatever role fits in your business model) that you’ll get this attention, you still have to do a good job of it! I’m just saying that it’s these types of innovative leaders that are the first to embrace this level of quality in their business, coupled with everything else they do, they are the ones usually winning business.
So where does outsourcing come in? Here’s a few pointers to make sure that if you’re considering this, you have the best chance of success:
- Outsourcing is no longer about just saving money from getting cheap staff. The Philippines especially has a huge talent pool which you might even find people on par or better than locally. Getting them cheaper is just a bonus.
- You get what you pay for. Don’t try and get VA’s (Virtual Assistants) for a few dollars an hour. You’ll end up with wasting your time. (Trust me, I spent 2 years of my life doing this).
- Bring your staff on as team members, don’t treat them like external freelancers. This is one of the biggest mistakes we see. Bring your new team members into the culture of your company, include them in everything, treat them as if they are in your office with you. You’d be amazed at what they will do for you over time if you treat them well & include them!
- Work with a partner company who has the infrastructure offshore to manage the staff. You don’t want a staff representing your business who works from home, is attending to their baby at the same time they are working for you, have unreliable internet & you can hear chickens in the background. Partner up with a company that houses the staff in professional offices with multiple internet lines, backup power etc. You’ll pay extra, but not only will you get the professionalism, you’ll get more than the extra you spend in productivity.
- Especially in a role that requires phone work, you’ll want that partner to support you with the technology to ensure you have quality communication with your clients.
That’s just a few pointers of many. Of course, your business will have its own unique needs & challenges, and depending on where you are at in your business cycle or level of growth, putting in staff to execute “exceptional delivery” will require a different strategy. For some further insights, please download the ‘Essential Guide to Offshore Outsourcing’ at www.ezyva.com.