Would it be better to go with eCommerce outsourcing or keeping it all in-house? The moment of truth faces most businesses in this fast-changing digital world. Maintaining an eCommerce platform requires constant updates and seamless support to meet the needs of your growing business. Many companies realize that the complex eCommerce operation distracts them from focusing their core business when the order volume and customer demand increases. That’s the reason, many successful entrepreneurs prefer to outsource their eCommerce functions to a full-service eCommerce agency. Also, outsourcing eCommerce tasks has its own risks and surprises if you’re trying it out for the first time. Let’s have a deeper look at the most common outsourcing mistakes and the way to avoid them.
Typical Example of Outsourcing Gone Wrong
Picture it: You’ve called customer support for a product you purchased, and you get stuck in a robotic, impersonal queue. You keep selecting from the provided menus, only to be put on hold. A monotone, computerized voice repeatedly tells you that you are the next caller…for the next 20 minutes.
And when you do get to speak to a representative, they can’t answer your questions. The game of “transfer the caller” begins. You finally get so frustrated that you hang up.
This scenario is an example of what can happen in an offshored call center where some things have gone wrong. When outsourcing or offshoring isn’t done thoughtfully and well, customers are the ones who feel the pain first. And then they either choose another company to do business with or leave terrible, scathing reviews online.
Don’t let this happen to you and your business. Read on to find out how to outsource eCommerce support services successfully.
Four Common eCommerce Outsourcing Mistakes & How to Avoid Them
eCommerce outsourcing services have not been the same in this modern post-pandemic world. The increase in technology and customer demand has changed the scenario that every entrepreneur and eCommerce owners should have a look at. Time and again, the same four mistakes are being made in offshoring scenarios, so let’s discuss what those outsourcing mistakes are and how you can avoid them.
Mistake #1 – Treating Outsourced Employees Differently
The most common outsourcing mistakes — and maybe the easiest one to avoid—begins with you. Make sure you are treating any contractors as valuable team members. If you don’t, morale and buy-in will suffer and negatively impact your bottom line.
Communication and collaboration are vital to your eCommerce outsourcing services partner, just as they are to your home team. Make sure this is happening regularly and that it’s being done well.
- Regularly connect with them (using technology from Module 5 as needed)
- Communicate clearly and often (goals, expectations, checking in, etc.)
- Help them understand where they fit into the big picture at your company
- Rely on your outsourcing champion to bridge any gaps between the teams
Your outsourced eCommerce support service providers are real people with real feelings, and they are just as vital as everyone on your home team. They are supporting your bottom line and helping to make your business happen. Make sure you are treating them accordingly, and you’ll get great results.
Mistake #2 – Not Providing the Resources They Need to Thrive
You know how this works. If your staff doesn’t have the resources and tools they need, they can’t do their job as effectively. They’re less productive, have lower morale and commonly made outsourcing mistakes. They don’t feel supported. They may even feel as if they aren’t valued and go to work somewhere else.
It’s no different for your outsourced team members. To avoid increased turnover rates that can occur when your team doesn’t have the right resources, consider the following to be minimum requirements.
Make sure all team members have access to:
- Clean, working restrooms
- Modern equipment (computer, printer, phone)
- Ergonomic workstations (desk, chair, monitor setup)
- Stable internet and phone connections
- All the appropriate software they need to do their job
- A comfortable climate with minimal distractions (air conditioning/heat, privacy)
- A place to take breaks away from their desk
Also consider if they will need access to extras like transportation, onsite food, and parking. If you consistently provide a quality work environment, your company will be an employer of choice, and you will enjoy more productive, satisfied employees and contractors. Not providing them with resources is considered the most important mistake to avoid meeting your eCommerce outsourcing success.
Mistake #3 – Not Properly Investing in Your Outsourced Contractors
Along with the above minimum resources, all your employees need your time and attention to thrive. Also, need to know in detail the term “what is outsourcing” and nee to understand that it is an investment that can bring BIG returns, but it does require upfront and ongoing effort.
From the very start, make sure you:
- Research and engage a great outsourcing/offshoring partner.
- Dedicate that local champion to represent your outsourced team
- Create systems and processes to support outsourcing.
- Hire the right team members for the right roles/projects
- Really focus on onboarding them well, and also help them get to know your company and their roles within it
- Continue to invest with ongoing:
- Conversations and check-ins
- Prompt feedback
- Timely support as needed
- Regular training
- Face-to-face visits
Remember, this is a significant investment to support your business, potentially long term. Fully invest in your people, and they will fully invest in you.
Mistake #4 – Not Having a Solid Plan B on eCommerce Outsourcing
This is a big one.
While we would like to say – “imagine if anything could go wrong in the future you should come up with a plan B”, unfortunately, the future is here and happening. The current pandemic situation has an unprecedented effect on businesses. And, with employees working from home, there is a greater risk for data security and data loss. No, it’s not too late, every business can still reframe their current outsourcing plan to meet the growing needs of your employees and the economy.
Picture it: Your offshore facility and/or employees are in a region of the world that has some extreme weather conditions. One day, you turn on the weather and hear of a typhoon heading right at your location.
In this location, you have priceless company resources: the great employees you worked hard to find and retain, the facilities and infrastructure, and the data servers housing untold amounts of irreplaceable data to support your operations. Now is not the time to come up with a Plan B…
Even if your outsourced employees are right down the street from your physical location, what happens if their home burns down with company resources inside?
Less dramatically (and more likely), what happens if a computer crashes and data is lost? Or a contractor quits unexpectedly?
Therefore, it’s key to think about these things in advance and have plans in place for disaster recovery and backups.
Some questions to help you draft that solid Plan B:
- What processes should you put in place now to protect your employees and company resources in the event of a disaster?
- Why and What should employees do if their technology fails, computer crashes, and also if the internet connection goes down, etc.?
- What happens if an employee can’t access their typical work location?
- How will the most probable disasters affect your day-to-day operations?
- How do you ensure maximum uptime for your customers?
Staying Ahead of the Curve on eCommerce Outsourcing
Learning from the outsourcing mistakes of others is an efficient way to accelerate your own success. Take note of the mistakes above and how to avoid them, and plan accordingly for your business.
If you are a first-time outsourcer, you just need to be keener to get your business on the right path that you are looking for. Vserve, the full-service eCommerce agency can help you with all sorts of eCommerce support services such as product catalog management, customer support, data management, product content writing, image management, data entry, and much more. Stay in touch with us to learn more about the updated strategies on eCommerce support services. Also, you can write to us on firstname.lastname@example.org for queries and outsourcing needs.
Interesting posts to read:
Benefits of Outsourcing & Cost-Saving Secrets in Pandemic Era
A Brief Introduction to Outsourcing in the Post-Pandemic World