There’s an interesting paradox happening in the outsourcing industry: as more businesses are looking at outsourcing as a viable alternative to many IT infrastructure challenges, more processes are being successfully automated — taking time and error out of many outsourced processes. In fact, the rise of automation in many business processes has come to be seen as a huge benefit to both IT outsourcing customers and providers.
However, the strength of a successful outsourcing relationship is largely due to the effectiveness and strength of the communication between customers and providers. And that’s a critical role in the relationship that can’t be replaced by an automated service.
That’s the reasoning behind a recent whitepaper from Dell Infrastructure Managed Services. This insightful paper reiterates the importance of communication and personal interaction in an offshore/outsourced model — as well as how that same communication is a clear indication of a service provider’s ability to provide high-quality services and a customer experience that meets and exceeds expectations. Deepak Satya, Director—Solutions, Dell Services, relates how, “Seeing the customer in person makes employees feel more appreciated and satisfied with their jobs, making them willing to go the extra mile. And when customers appreciate the job done, employees are more likely to go off script, creating a more personalized customer service experience and adding value to the interaction.”
Putting the person in personal
The deeper the personal relationship the better for all involved. In other words, both IT service providers and customers benefit from strong communication and face-to-face interaction. “From a customer perspective, interactions that are more personal improve their opinion about the employee’s contribution, quality of service and the company as a whole,” Deepak writes. Of course, that’s not always possible, as many growing businesses have travel restrictions and off-shored services aren’t always in compatible time zones.
Despite the obvious challenge of distances, Deepak reasons that service providers can easily implement five steps that strengthen personal interactions, including:
- Increasing customer touch points.
- Ensuring every member of the team goes through customer-specific onboarding programs.
- Making an effort to introduce customers to team members, using online video conferencing solutions.
- Using online collaboration tools, shared applications and team workspaces
- Adopting social media channels, including blogs and wikis, to help customers and team members collaborate.
“At Dell, we believe that service providers need to look at customer service as a fundamental part of the overall service delivery — utilized as both a key tool to grow the value of the customer base, and an important strategic differentiator,” Deepak explains. To be successful, customer service interactions should be seen as opportunities to deepen understanding of unique customer needs, and should be nurtured to provide a strong support structure for both customers and providers.
While the demand for offshore services is still largely driven by costs, the ongoing rise in intellectual capital among offshore services firms enables an increasingly quality-driven value proposition. Organizational effectiveness is key to improving service quality. But in an offshore/outsourced model, a lack of communication and personal contact when delivering IT services may be perceived as an absence of organizational effectiveness. This paper discusses the importance of communication and personal interaction in an offshore/outsourced model and its reflection on a service provider’s ability to provide rich, high-quality services and a comprehensive customer experience.
About the author
As the Director—Solutions, Dell Services, Deepak Satya heads the solution center for APJ, EMEA and the Healthcare vertical. Having conceptualized and created the solution center hub in India, Deepak has assumed responsibilities for keeping Dell Services and its customers ahead of the curve, by developing new services, identifying transformational opportunities and creating solutions. Prior to joining Dell, Deepak has defined and aligned the services vision with business goals for Wipro Infotech, Wipro Technologies and Cognizant. He has extensive expertise in creating IT infrastructure services strategy, architecture, methodologies, standards and governance and is skilled in establishing and managing high-performance global teams, using blended onshore/offshore delivery models.