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When should you outsource?

When should you outsource?

By Edouard de Ménibus, 2 March 2021

Your start-up is finally taking off, and you need to take control of its growth, or want to make your customer service become a strong and differentiating pillar of it. In either case or uncertainty about the next step, you might want to consider outsourcing as an option, and here’s why:

Are you getting closer to the scaling point? What we mean by this is: has your startup reached a stage where its growth will take off (without necessarily corresponding to the definition of a scale up)? If so, it might be worthwhile to consider outsourcing some of your customer service or customer acquisition operations. This is what a structure like The Nest by Webhelp is made for.

(While thinking about it, read this article if you’re still wondering: Outsourcing your customer relationship good idea or big mistake?)

To clarify this notion of scaling point, here are some indicators or milestones that can signal whether your startup has reached, or is very close to it:

  • Your startup has acquired certainties regarding to its market, its product, its clients, its customer journeys, or support
  • Your growth is sustainable
  • You have already tested your customer experience processes internally (and eventually tried to automate certain actions)
  • Thanks to some fundraising efforts, you will be able to further develop your company (add new features to your products, expand towards wider territories or new countries, etc.)

Now, here are some signs indicating that you might have exceeded this so-called scaling point:

  • You are starting to experience operational constraints
  • Your team is under strong pressure
  • To face your clients’ and prospects’ demands, you involve people whose primary mission is not to do so (and who eventually start complaining about it)
  • Your clients’ feedbacks are not positive enough in terms of customer relations
  • The service provided is not up to the ambitions you have set for your startup, etc.

These signals must draw your attention – if nothing is done to tackle them, your growth can suffer from it. They reflect a flow of activity that has become too difficult to control.

To give you an idea, an indicative overload threshold would be equivalent to a team of at least 3 customer advisors – which corresponds to the outsourcing threshold at The Nest by Webhelp (by threshold, we mean the CX team size recommended to start outsourcing).

Successes and failures: what we learned in 3 years of supporting start-ups

The first lesson learned since the opening of The Nest by Webhelp in January 2017: A fruitful partnership requires that the startup has already reached a certain level of maturity in customer relations.

In fact, in our first 2 years, we sometimes tried to accompany early-stage start-ups, but the results were ultimately disappointing, for one or both parties. It just wasn’t the right time to outsource.

To make it simple and estimate your ability to outsource, here are 3 questions you need to ask yourself:

  • Have you sufficiently tested your processes internally (without necessarily having tried dozens of options)?
  • Are you able to identify the main types of requests made by your customers and prospects?
  • Do you already have some first KPIs and other statistics on these requests?

Then you can review and ask yourself the ultimate question: Are your answers to these 3 questions positive? This corresponds, in our opinion, to the level of maturity needed for a real synergy to develop between your startup and our teams, which will be beneficial to you.

As we have observed on many occasions: when the customer experience processes have been tested internally, our teams were able to optimize these processes, to design and train a team internally, and to provide strong guidance on these topics.

Second lesson learned: the tools used by start-ups are never an obstacle for us (or very rarely). This is essential because, on a daily basis we need specific data to monitor the activity, optimize production quality, operate in agile mode, and provide relevant reporting for the start-up. In short, we adapt to your needs and that’s our role.

In general, The Nest is agnostic in its selection of tools and in its technical partnerships. This broad experience of technologies and technological partnerships has enabled us to bring great value to several start-ups.

The Nest by Webhelp: offering Sales and Customer Service support to fast-growing start-ups

Another lesson learned – we had to pivot our support offer and adapt it to the specific needs of start-ups. Historically, The Nest by Webhelp was focused on supporting early-stage startups, but has now repositioned itself as a support program dedicated primarily to fast-growing start-ups as they expand their sales and customer service operations, both nationally and internationally.

This positioning is intended to be win-win: by developing the startup’s activity, The Nest develops its own in the medium term.

On the startup side, the “Webhelp equation” is unique: 50 countries, 75,000 employees, 40 languages, and a culture of growth recognized and rewarded by Frost & Sullivan outsourcing accolades. In addition, we have been awarded the CSR label (Webhelp rewarded for its commitments). Not bad for a startup created in 2000! And what are your objectives? How can we help you?