5 Essential Steps To Maintaining Quality in Outsourced Processes: Top Tips for Cleveland Businesses

Cleveland organizations can benefit from BPO but must maintain quality to maximize ROI and protect their brand. This article offers steps to ensure excellence in outsourced processes. If you're considering a Cleveland call center but worry about quality, read on for tips!
Maintaining Quality in Outsourcing - featured image

Table of Contents

Cleveland-based organizations can unlock significant benefits through business process outsourcing (BPO). However, maintaining quality outsourced processes is crucial to maximizing returns on investment (ROIs) and protecting brand reputation.

If you want to partner with a call center service provider in Cleveland, Ohio, but are hesitant due to quality risks, this article is for you. 

It explores vital steps to ensuring and maintaining excellence in outsourced processes. Don’t miss out on the cost-efficient benefits of outsourcing. Keep reading to learn more!

1. Research vendors and select the right outsourcing partner

1. Research vendors and select the right outsourcing partner

Partnering with the first firm you find is not practical. Building a strong foundation for your outsourcing engagement depends on your choice of BPO provider. To find a reliable provider with sustained service quality, you must carefully assess its team’s skills and capabilities through meticulous interviews and screening.

Prioritize quality over cost-cutting. Select a vendor with a proven record of success, even if it means paying a slight premium. Doing so helps you save in the long run and maintain high-quality outsourcing processes. Extensively read about your prospects and compare their potential based on:

  • Portfolio and track record
  • Industry and niche experience
  • Specializations and expertise
  • Client reviews and testimonials
  • References and recommendations
  • Workforce skills and technologies
  • Contact center as a service (CCaaS) solutions and other infrastructure

Another great way to ensure prospects’ teams and processes meet your standards and needs is by requesting a project proposal or pilot period. Smaller-scale engagements allow you to experience their work firsthand and assess their quality standards. 

Trial periods also let you identify potential communication, cultural, or technological gaps before committing to a more extensive or long-term contract. The provider’s approach, methodology, resources, and timeline are a few factors to consider when engaging in a trial project and ensuring your chosen BPO partner is compatible with your technical systems and values.

2. Develop a comprehensive service-level agreement (SLA)

Once you have chosen a BPO provider, work with them to create a contract that protects your goals and needs. Listing your objectives and requirements helps you stay aligned throughout the outsourcing initiative. 

Learning how to write an SLA is simple and critical to maintaining quality and ensuring effective outsourcing partnerships. Your agreement should outline specific expectations for all parties involved, including:

  • Deliverables
  • Timelines
  • Quality standards
  • Communication protocols
  • Escalation procedures
  • Key performance indicators (KPIs)

Make sure quality metrics are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART). Some common and generic objectives include improving accuracy rates, turnaround times, error rates, customer satisfaction scores, or cost savings.

For example, with Cleveland’s rise as a tech hub, consumers expect more efficient and effective services in the field. Thus, you might outsource technical support to reduce the wait time for the information technology (IT) helpdesk by 20%. You might also expect to achieve this goal by the sixth month of your BPO partnership. 

Establishing quantifiable benchmarks allows you to objectively assess performance and identify areas for improvement. Your SLA should also include clear communication strategies, points of contact (POCs), and collaboration platforms. These actions are necessary to ensure high service quality for BPO teams.

3. Engage in thorough BPO onboarding and training

3. Engage in thorough BPO onboarding and training

Integrating BPO teams into your business model is critical to ensuring exceptional service delivery. Through proper onboarding programs, external staff learn firsthand about your procedures, quality standards, and expectations.

Well-defined onboarding and training processes help you maintain service quality in outsourced processes by:

  • Reducing learning curves
  • Fostering shared understanding
  • Improving skills and knowledge
  • Increasing confidence and motivation
  • Building stronger relationships

During this part of the integration, you can expect your outsourcing team to master your goals, products, services, and processes. To further solidify their proficiency, consider the following best practices:

  • Tailor training to Cleveland’s context. Consider local regulations, industry nuances, and cultural differences relevant to the outsourced tasks. If you outsource customer support, teach your team the Cleveland dialect and slang for smoother interactions. 
  • Provide in-depth compliance training. Although most firms already instruct their teams in industry-specific laws, additional training is always good. Let’s say you’re in the healthcare industry. You can offer more in-depth training on the Health Information Technology for Economic and Clinical Health (HITECH) Act.
  • Utilize technology. Leverage training platforms, simulations, and knowledge-sharing tools to facilitate ongoing learning and skill development. Ensuring your chosen technologies are user-friendly and accessible is vital to outsourcing’s success.

4. Regularly monitor processes and provide feedback

The key to maintaining quality in outsourced processes is establishing control measures and providing constructive criticism. Reviews, audits, and performance metrics are some ways you can implement this step. 

With clearly defined goals, specific KPIs, and a comprehensive SLA, monitoring BPO teams’ progress will be seamless. Here are a few tips for monitoring and providing feedback to your outsourcing vendor:

  • Utilize monitoring tools. Time tracking, productivity management, and quality assurance software and platforms can help you automate data collection and analysis.
  • Combine qualitative and quantitative data. While numbers are significant, do not neglect subjective feedback from clients, internal staff, and the BPO team.
  • Provide timely and specific feedback. Avoid vague statements such as “do better.” Instead, pinpoint specific areas for improvement and suggest concrete actions the BPO team can take.
  • Focus on solutions and collaboration. Highlighting issues is essential, but offering suggestions for resolution and collaborating with the third-party team to find solutions is also critical.
  • Maintain a positive and respectful tone. This tip does not mean sugarcoating issues or avoiding difficult conversations. It highlights the importance of delivering constructive, solution-oriented feedback that preserves the collaborative partnership.

5. Provide continuous training and upskilling opportunities

5. Provide continuous training and upskilling opportunities

Cleveland’s resurging economy and business-friendly landscape make it attractive to corporate giants and startups. To remain competitive in this booming corporate scene, you must keep your internal and BPO teams up-to-date with the latest trends and best practices.

Thus, providing regular training and skill development programs is critical. These strategies allow your local business to position itself for sustainable growth by helping maintain quality in internal and outsourced processes.

Here are some tips for creating a successful upskilling roadmap:

  • Identify skill gaps. Regularly assess the BPO team’s skills and knowledge against your expectations and industry standards. This process helps target training effectively.
  • Align with business goals. Link training to specific quality improvement objectives and ensure alignment with your overall business goals.
  • Involve the BPO team. Gather the team’s input on learning needs and preferred training methods, fostering buy-in and engagement.
  • Combine various formats. Use a mix of instructor-led training, online courses, workshops, mentoring, and job shadowing to cater to different learning styles and preferences.
  • Take a micro-learning approach. Break down training into bite-sized modules for easier absorption and knowledge retention.

The bottom line

Although outsourcing presents quality assurance risks and challenges, these issues also have simple solutions. Your Cleveland-based business can easily take back control and maintain quality outsourced processes with adequate preparation.

Let’s connect if you are looking for a BPO provider for your local organization! Unity Communications has been committed to delivering quality outsourcing services since 2009.

Picture of Ezra Samarista
Ezra Samarista is a history graduate who found a career in and passion for writing during the pandemic. She enjoys copywriting the most but finds content writing and research fulfilling. Her love for learning and simplifying information led her to become one of the minds behind the pool of business process outsourcing (BPO) knowledge that the Unity Connect website offers its visitors. Outside work, Ezra is either creating digital art, playing video games, shopping, spending time with her family and cats, or just sleeping in.
Picture of Ezra Samarista

Ezra Samarista

We Build Your Next-Gen Team for a Fraction of the Cost. Get in Touch to Learn How.

You May Also Like

Meet With Our Experts Today!