How to Choose the Perfect BPO Vendor

4. CULTURE CLASH Different companies possess different corporate cultures. Think of culture as a set of business personality traits. It's the feel of the company combined with the way work is handled. Culture may be driven by values or the lack of them. Though culture is intangible, it can be felt. Customers sense a company's culture when they interact with customer service. Culture is even more palpable to employees. They live it. What's the feel of your company? Is it a "loose" organization or a "tight" one? Does it exude a customer-first approach? Is it upbeat, approachable, and transparent? Chances are that your company invests considerable effort to project the right image to your customers. Why? Because aside from great products and services, an appealing corporate culture cultivates brand loyalty. Vendors are no different. You can feel their culture, and your customers can as well. The best vendor/client relationships usually feature two companies with similar cultures because a BPO should be a natural extension of your company. If your vendor does not project the same feeling your company has worked so hard to embody, you have a major disconnect. If cultures between your company and your BPO don't align, you'll know it. Customer reviews, complaints, and sales figures will bear it out. Your vendor management team can also sense big differences in corporate culture. Symptoms may become apparent, like noticeable friction, delays, personality conflicts, or an overall sense that things aren't running as smoothly as they could be.

5. FRAUDULENT ACTIVITIES Does your vendor have the right processes and systems in place to protect your company and your customers? Is anyone doing something they shouldn't? For instance, one of our partners had a vendor with agents given access to a special perk meant for customers. The agents began using it for themselves. This situation cost our client thousands of dollars. The worst part was that the fraudulent activity wasn't even on the vendor's radar. Our client had to spot it and bring it to the BPO's attention.

In this case, the vendor clearly did not have sufficient checks and balances in place to protect the client company.

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