Clients are often in two minds with regards to their own customers when embarking on a global outsourcing programme. Should they keep their clients in the loop or should they remain secretive about their plans? Will clients react badly to being informed about the changes to come and even more worryingly will they expect any potential cost savings to be passed through to them?
There can only be one response in this situation – clients must be informed and ideally should become involved in the process. Any transition of work will very likely impact on them in one way or another and you have a duty of care to keep your clients fully informed throughout your journey.
Clients need to be in the loop for several very good reasons:
- If they find out by chance they are very likely to be irritated and start to look for reasons why you shouldn’t be putting them ‘at risk’ in this way. When you talk to your clients you normally talk about partnership and wanting to develop long-term mutually beneficial relationships. Partners are up-front with one another.
- You can benefit from customer input and having them involved in the process from an early stage will build confidence that you are progressing with their needs in mind. You may find that clients can pass on valuable knowledge from their own experience which will help your transition progress more effectively.
- Most of your customers are also either in the process of outsourcing part of their business or have already done so years ago. They understand why you want to go down the outsourcing route and you may find that they react very positively to the development. You may even be able to leverage some of their relationships.
- You might need clients to help you with knowledge transfer at some point – especially if the work being outsourced requires high levels of customisation or market knowledge. The more complex the process you are transitioning the more important it is to have your clients onboard.
- The outsourcing process can result in a few your employees becoming demotivated and even resentful towards the process. The last thing you want is for your clients to hear about your decisions from disgruntled, possibly negative staff members. You must be in control the message at all points on the journey.
Ensuring continuity in levels of client service are critical during any outsourcing process and having your clients feel comfortable about the changes is essential. Your messaging needs to be well-thought through and consistent and everybody within the organisation needs to be fully aware of what is being communicated to clients at all times.
We would love to talk to you about maintaining client satisfaction during the outsourcing process – why not contact us for an initial chat?
Latest version updated
16th November 2017