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Imagine the car salesman pitching a brand new, 2021, luxury, 4×4, electric, sports edition, bulletproof SUV for the price of a 1993 Toyota Camry. Something would not add up. This same thing happens in the outsourcing industry and often goes overlooked. Outsourcing is not a terribly challenging concept for folks to grasp. It often leads to improved business efficiencies, decreases in operational costs, and is a steppingstone, proven by many large businesses, for excellent year over year growth. It is, however, difficult to implement at a small scale because of unreasonable expectations. I hear it all the time, especially from entrepreneurs or small business owners looking for a virtual assistant. They almost always want someone to come in and be a carbon copy of themselves, doing all the tasks that they may not have time for, like making cold calls or assisting annoying customers.

A lot of virtual assistant firms will offer solutions to the problems prescribed above and will do it at an incredibly cheap rate. Almost always, this leaves the customer with a painful outsourcing experience where they feel slighted by their virtual assistant employee. Now instead of seeing the benefits of outsourcing, all the customer knows is their bad experience and will forever shy away from an outsourcing solution ever again. This is not only bad for the industry but is also bad for the customer.

The best way to avoid this is setting reasonable expectations up front. If you owned a small rental care business and needed a person to answer customer calls and explain how to get from the airport to a hotel in the city, would you hire someone locally our outsource the function overseas? Let’s think about it. It is presumably easy for someone born and raised in, let’s say, Seattle to explain how to get from SeaTac airport to the Hilton downtown. Now insert an offshore employee, this task becomes incredibly more difficult because someone in the Philippines has most likely never been to Seattle and probably does not know where Washington state is on a map. The result, a terrible, angry customer experience for your client base. How was your last experience with aa on call, airline customer service representative? I know how mine was, horrible. Even someone with a perspective on outsourcing can lose sight of the challenges in the moment. I am angrily calling an offshore customer’s service representative because my flight has been changed four times and am irate because they are failing to understand my frustration. Well, they have never been on an airplane let alone been to an airport, so it makes sense why they are failing to understand.

Now, its not to say that outsourcing this type of functions is impossible, it is not, but it takes a lot of time and effort to deliver great results. We have a customer service rep with a local property management company that can intelligently talk local real estate and answer any questions that clients may have. Outstanding service, but it took six months to get there. As in any new employee, there is rarely a turnkey solution. It almost always takes time, training, and leadership to get the desired result. Using offshore resources is an excellent idea for both your business and your growth goals, but you need to set expectations up front and don’t necessarily believe everything you hear. Like you would shop for a car, do your research, know what you want/need, and know exactly what you are paying for. I promise doing these simple steps will make your outsourcing experience exponentially better.

If you have any questions about outsourcing for your business contact us today and start speaking with one of our consultants.

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