The Nordics is one of the fastest growing startup hub in recent years, and one of the most active ecosystems in Europe. The Nordics have fostered some of the continent’s finest startups — including shining stars of
f the likes of Klarna, Pleo, Aiven, Lunar, Cognite, Oda, as well as 19 more unicorns.
The region has given us some of Europe’s most successful startups and with record-breaking funding spells and some of the largest rounds in Europe in 2021, its bustling tech ecosystem is one of the most active in the continent, valued at $2.6bn in Q3 this year.
With one of the highest number of unicorn per capita after Silicon Valley (27 unicorns from 26 million people), it boils down to the ‘Nordic model’ which combines market capitalism with technological advancements (ranked by the European Commission, Finland and Sweden are at the top of most digital countries in the EU), an international mindset, a stable welfare model and a long tradition of private-public collaboration on business initiatives. These are only some of the reasons that attracted the international VCs’ attention.
Yet, to compete with contenders like the Silicon Valley, Nordic startups often need to look for growth drivers beyond their domestic borders, and, although operating in a global startup hub, these Nordic startups may face several challenges when the need to scale up arises:
- Strong competition for talents due to saturated recruitment pools and low unemployment rates
- High salaries compared to the rest of Europe
- The steady need for these startups to seek new growth drivers in international markets (e.g. rest of Europe), due to the limited size of their domestic market
In fact, the Nordic region presents the lowest unemployment rate in Europe. Trading Economics shows that Norway’s unemployment rate inched down to 3.2% in the third quarter of 22 (lowest jobless rate since 2012).
Additionally, amongst the EU Member States, one of the highest average annual adjusted full-time salary was recorded in Denmark.
As a result, with a relatively saturated market when it comes to recruitment, high salaries, and scarce pool of Nordic language speakers, the recruitment pool for Nordic startups can be very limited. As such, growth can sometimes be a challenge, especially when it comes to responding to growing customer demands.
Moreover, as mentioned above, in the Nordics the trend of expanding internationally at an early-stage seem to have become the norm because of the small size of domestic markets. Yet, expanding in unknown territories can often be a challenge especially at an early stage.
All of these challenges come on top of those faced by most startups around the globe through this past year caused by volatility and uncertainty of the global economy.
How can Nordic startups scale in their domestic market and the rest of the world?
As such, to face those obstacles and succeed like many Nordic startups, outsourcing can be an interesting solution to explore to scale their model internationally.
Working with a trusted BPO partner can thus allow startups to grow by:
- Unlocking a recruitment pool around the globe
- Focusing on their business while the outsourcing partner covers most services from Customer Support to Sales
- De-risking their growth model – with improved flexibility and agility in managing international teams
- Absorbing market shocks more easily
- Building a long-term competitive advantage and accessing new skills and technologies
- … and so much more
As a quick reminder, by partnering with The Nest by Webhelp, any startup across the globe can expect to operate in as many as 80 languages across all countries (we’re present in 60 countries) and industries.
However, in European Nordic countries, outsourcing is not an unknown concept. In fact, many organizations in Sweden, Denmark, Finland and Norway often delegate IT infrastructure, application development and service desks to third-party vendors, yet some may remain reluctant to benefit from the entire outsourcing portfolio as the result of a well-rooted prejudice against BPOs with myths such as:
- Myth 1: Outsourcing is only for big companies
- Myth 2: Outsourcing is not a long-term solution
- Myth 3: Outsourcing delivers low-quality output
- Myth 4: Outsourcing makes you lose control of your business
We’re here to show and prove you otherwise
Myth 1: Outsourcing is only for big companies
Outsourcing is often falsely associated with large organizations that operate on a wide scale, such as telecommunication organizations, tech giants, and fast fashion businesses that need the support of a BPO to answer customer inquiries in no time. However, factors such as the company, industry, geography, unforeseen demand and more, influence the initial decision to outsource. As such, outsourcing as a service may be tailored to each company’s size and specific need.
Moreover, contrarily to big companies who already operate on an international level, outsourcing for startups and scale-ups can represent the key solution to internationalization in no time. In 1 month, a startup can start operating in more than 80 languages and literally reach the 4 edges of the globe (yes, we operate in more than 60 countries, we serve more than 90 markets and we allow your brand to ‘speak’ in +80 languages!)
Outsourcing can thus be even more interesting for startups and scale-ups who want to expand their horizons to new markets, and get that competitive edge of ‘you speak another language? No worries we do too’ to all customers. Overall, outsourcing offsets operating expenses and provides a competitive edge especially by offering key strategic advantage: a fast and accurate international recruitment capability.
Moreover, The Nest by Webhelp has designed a solution specific for startups and scale-ups who need to start with a small team or require CX consulting to build CX operations from a people, technology and process standpoint.
Starting in a new country and finding the right people is not an easy move – it can take months. Relying on a specialist partner to do this can help you save time and gain relevance with agility. You will not have to deal with local HR, labour law or training issues.
Myth 2: Outsourcing is not a long-term solution
When both the client and the partner are dedicated to and invested in the project’s long-term success, outsourcing relationships are most successful. The finest customer experience will be delivered by a committed team of frontline coworkers, team leaders, operations managers, and trainers who are experts in your industry and your products.
The Nest by Webhelp operates in many varied industries, from healthtech or high-tech to fintechs or even mobility players. We are experts in your sector and can easily create your dedicated dream team with a passion for your product or service.
Additionally, partnering with a business process outsourcing provider can help derisk in times of economic uncertainty and focus resources on critical core competencies. When a startup starts to scale, it can be easy to get distracted away from focusing on investing in and developing core competencies and service offerings. As such, by outsourcing a startup can still devlier quality experiences to customers without needing to divert internal resources.
Not only can an outsourcing partner help a startup derisk, it can also absorb market shocks and ‘take the hit’ in times of crisis for the startup – for example if it needs to reduce their staff or costs. With a BPO, the startup can easily ramp down the team knowing that our experts will be reassigned to other projects.
Overall, an outsourcing company is a long-term solution and accompanies its clients no matter the obstacles or periods, good or bad.
Myth 3: Outsourcing delivers low-quality output
Quality doesn’t have anything to do with the decision to outsource. It has everything to do with the training and recruitment of the agents that will interact with your customers or work on other tasks.
Luckily for you, The Nest by Webhelp is supported by the leading BPO on the market, Webhelp which has more than 20 years of experience working with large corporations across all sectors. This means that we benefit from deep industry knowledge, well-defined processes and objectives, as well as highly skilled agents who have worked on varied projects in your field.
Additionally, your extended dream team will be supported by a complete management team made up of team leaders, operations managers, trainers, quality analysts to make sure that they integrate your team and culture as part of your own and operate with the highest quality possible. Moreover, a good BPO (like The Nest by Webhelp) is one that continuously trains and develops new skills for all its agents insuring efficiency.
What we mean to say is that we are the ultimate partner for increased quality (our trusted clients told us so ?).
Moreover, what better way to improve the quality of your customer experience than if you’re available 24/7, can respond to all customer queries in under 2 mins all year long and can handle any specific or general task at the speed of light? (Let us know if you want to attain this 2023 resolution).
Since many startups and scale-ups in Nordic European countries have a digital business model, a top-notch customer experience is particularly important to remain competitive, stand out in the industry, and most importantly attract and retain customers.
Myth 4: Outsourcing makes you lose control of your business and customers
It’s a common outsourcing myth that you lose all control of outsourced functions. This is not the case when choosing the right BPO that fits in with your culture and objectives. A good BPO is one that lets you remain in control of decision-making and objectives set.
You must pick an outsourcing partner who puts you in control and adjusts operations to your needs:
- Work in accordance with your policies and protocols.
- Work to achieve the metrics or Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) you specify.
- Give you regular reports and performance updates.
- Maintain communication with you and your team by using collaboration and communication tools.
What is extremely important to mention is that by partnering with a BPO company, you don’t lose sight of your customers. On the contrary, the dream team which will help you with customer service or other will be completely integrated in your company and operate as your own. They’ll share your company culture, your tone of voice, your special relationship with customers and continuously share results and data with you.
You can also rely on your BPO to provide all insights gathered when interacting with your customers. In fact, we’ll hand over all the data allowing you to still record the needs and wants of your customers regarding your products or services.
Myth 5: Outsourcing is only for customer service
Sorry to break it to you but outsourcing is far from only handling customer support!
Our services vary from Data Annotation (data classification, sentiment analysis, speech transcription, etc.), Content Management (internal data entry, data processing, categorization, data enrichment), Content Moderation (UGC moderation, content check, risky content removal, etc.), Community Management, Technical Support, Helpdesk & IT, KYC, Online Payment Management, Credit Management, Debt Collection, KYB but also B2C & B2B sales support.
We cover so many other services allowing you to focus on your core business while we take care of the rest.
There are many other misconceptions out there, but we hope we were able to prove you otherwise.
Outsourcing can be the answer, especially in light of macroeconomic trends and the shift in VC markets where there is a need to go from overloaded headcounts towards slim organizations with low and predictable OPEX and lower costs.
Looking to level up your customer experience game? As a Nordic start-up or scale-up, you know that delivering top-notch CX is crucial for success. But managing it all in-house can be a challenge. That’s where we come in. Our team of CX badasses will help you design, implement, and optimize a strategy that fits your unique needs and goals. Don’t let limited resources hold you back – outsource your CX to us and watch your business soar. Contact us now to get started!Hannes Ahbe, Business Director Nordics at The Nest by Webhelp
Contact us to make 2023 your year!