This week the Teleperformance team was at the National Outsourcing Association annual symposium, possibly the biggest event on the outsourcing calendar in the UK. We had arranged for Kate Vitasek, the author of “Vested” to be there signing books.
Kate’s book is about the idea of vested outsourcing; that partnerships between companies work best when both can gain from the deal, when they both have a vested interest. This sounds obvious, but how many supplier selections have you seen where mutual interest is the primary concern?
There is a different dynamic in the relationship between clients and suppliers today as many industries have become so complex. It’s more symbiotic – the suppliers need business from the clients, but the clients have a real need for the expertise they do not have internally.
Just look at this recent feature in Computer Weekly talking about the requirement in many companies for data analysts. Of course, this is an enormous area of growth as every company that wants to understand their customers today needs to analyse the data they have. Forrester Research has suggested that there in a capability gap in this area – companies simply don’t have the in-house skills to analyse data well enough and therefore the only credible solution is to work with a partner.
I believe this applies equally to the wider business of creating a great customer experience and data analysis is just one part of this. When customer service meant operating a voice call centre and possibly answering some customer emails, it was possible to keep that team in-house. In fact, many companies said they specifically wanted this team in-house because they have direct contact with the customer.
Now the customer journey has evolved and customer experience is the number one boardroom focus in most organisations it’s not possible to just amble along, hoping the internal team is good enough. Companies need expertise and this is why models of partnership like that documented by Kate Vitasek are so important.
The idea of partnership between clients and suppliers has been discussed for years. It has often been considered the ideal way to structure and outsourced project, but too often genuine partnership was pushed aside as other priorities became more important. I believe that the market is different today. In business areas, such as customer experience, there is now a real need for clients and suppliers to work together if they both want to succeed.
What do you think of how the outsourcing market has changed and is the Vested model really becoming a reality in areas such as CX?
Photo by US Pacific Fleet licensed under Creative Commons.