The key to crafting a good working relationship with BPO providers is to ensure critical goals are enshrined in SLAs. Heres how to do it.
By Michael J. Alfonsi |
Updated on May 13, 2014
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SLAs can be baked into an organization’s primary contract with its BPO provider. They can be an addendum to the contract, or they can be separate legally binding contracts that specify consequences for failure to meet their targets. Even if it’s not technically called a “contract,” an SLA has the force of a contract if it has all the components of a contract: offer and acceptance, capable parties, and considerations, as part of a legal enterprise.
Agreeing on the right metrics to include in an SLA requires careful consideration. The goal is not to have hundreds of different agreements. The goal is to have the right targets to achieve the organization’s specific business objectives. An SLA should help the customer make sure its BPO provider has the technology, the processes, and the people behind the scenes that will enable it to meet expectations. It should also specify what happens if those expectations are not met. The research is clear: When problems in an outsourcing relationship are investigated properly and resolved quickly, both parties benefit. (See the Wall Street Journal’s “Making the Most of Customer Complaints” and “Don’t Fix Customer Experience Problems, Prevent Them” from Forrester Research.)
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