Tips to Increase Productivity within Outsourced Teams

Outsourcing has become a common practice in the business world. Companies have become reliant on the skills and expertise of people outside their business more than ever before. Talk about IT outsourcing alone –in 2018, it was at its highest percentage in five years. Interestingly, businesses not only assign tasks to large corporations but also to mid-sized and small service providers. 

A business may choose to outsource a project or section of its business operations for various reasons. The main purpose of hiring external sources for one or more operative functions is to reduce cost. For instance, instead of establishing an IT department within their organization, a business may outsource IT and hire tech-savvy experts.

Moreover, outsourcing allows businesses to focus their attention, time, and efforts on the core needs and business operations. While outsourcing offers many benefits, a major concern among businesses is how to keep the outsourced team motivated and increase productivity. Managing an outsourced team is more challenging than leading the internal workforce. 

The problem arises because of a lack of communication, trust, relationship, and project management. This means you are giving work to the most qualified person but not creating an environment for them to use the exceptional skills.

With little things like respect, encouragement, motivation, and communication with them, you will see a sudden boost in their productivity. This can build their trust in you, and they feel happy to work for your company's betterment.

So to achieve an increase in the productivity of your outsource team, you can take help from the following tips.

Tips to Increase Productivity within Your Outsource Team


  • Choose Task Wisely


Before you outsource any project or department of your business, make sure to devise a plan. Do not outsource large tasks as there is an increased risk of delays, and your production may come to a halt due to several reasons.

For instance, it is difficult to define and provide each detail of such projects to the outsource team. The missing information and lack of communication can overwhelm the team members to the point where they deliver below par work or not meet the deadlines. 

Break down the tasks and create to-do lists as it will help members focus on their work with increased energy and productivity levels. 


  • Ensure Your Teams Is Aware With the Big Picture


Every single member of your outsource team should know about your goals and objectives. Share the important aspects of your business, like process, customers, and people, to align your outsource team with your business goals. Develop a solid mission statement or one-liner purpose for each project. 

The statement must clearly define the purpose of the task and how it will help the company. When everyone is on the same page, the outsource team will feel more connected with the organization and its future vision.


  • Do Communication with Your Team Regularly


Communication can do wonders to shoot productivity if you are working in the office or working remotely. It can raise employee job satisfaction, improves productivity, and cut down turnover rates. However, communicating with your outsource team is a little more difficult since you can’t run to them to discuss any looming problems in your organization.

But technology makes it a little easier. There are multiple tools to communicate with your team. You only need to make a process accessible to everyone. 

Moreover, it’s wonderful if you can try to know the other person before giving them projects. You can do this by having a Skype call or any other way. Also, ask them to contact you by any means such as through texts, email, message, and others so that you both can always track each other when you are in need. 


  • Always Reward, Recognize, and Respect Them 


Who does not like appreciation? Little words of recognition like “Well-done! Great work" and receiving a reward can become one of the greatest motivations. 

You can communicate with them over phone calls or email your team members to show that you acknowledge their hard work and tell them that they are giving good results more than the expectations. This is the fastest and effective way to boost your team’s productivity.

Treating your outsourced team with respect is essential. If your team is doing work in another region or setting, that doesn't mean you have the right to disrespect or burden them with work. Do remember that you need these team members, and they are valuable and know that you can't sustain the position you have in the market without them. Let them know what you and other team members think about them. 


  • Try To Remain Flexible With the Deadlines


Yes, it’s important to work on deadlines because of the contract, but you need to be flexible with your team. Do realize that some of your team members are living in different time zones. For instance, you can’t expect outsourced team members to follow the eight-hour work shift as your in-office staff. Flexibility is crucial to ensure a smooth workflow. 

Moreover, be aware that when your team members are more productive and any life problems they have at the moment, which is preventing them from completing the task on time, such as a power outage or software problems in their laptop. If you know these things, both of you can sit together and can find a solution to know the best hours of working for both. 


  • Resolve Your Team Problems


Handling the stressful circumstances and problems can either make the bond between the company and the outsource team stronger or result in budget overturns, missed deadlines, and frustration.

Try to solve the problems before they come in your way. Also, keep your employees, management, and stakeholders aware of the risk to confront any issue. Moreover, don't throw the blame on a single person to take it off from your head. This can reduce the trust of other team members on you. 


  • Use the Technology 


Keep your outsource team connected by using collaboration tools such as Dropbox, Google Docs, Slack Skype, Zoom, or Google Chat. This will also help to keep them up to date and aid in creating a solid relationship and report between you and your team.

Choose any virtual tool that is easy for you, and that makes your project communication simple by keeping it in one place. It gives a way to your team to communicate and collaborate in real-time. It gives way to increase productivity because the operation will run smoothly.


  • Build Trust in Your Team


Trust and credibility is the key to increasing productivity within your outsourced team. You hired them because you had trust in them after checking their references or resume, asking questions, checking online reputation, and undergoing testing. Now it’s important that they also trust you.

Trusting your provider is essential. Regular meetings with your team members can help you to monitor the projects' progress and make corrections where necessary. However, dictating them in every matter can lower their productivity, slow them down, and kill their creativity and initiative.

So, if they trust you, they will don’t face any of these problems. In this case, you can make a relationship with your outsourced team, motivate them to do work, and recognize and acknowledge their work. This will go long and encourage your team to do hard work for the future betterment of your company.


  • Arrange Regular Meetings


You cannot run into your outsource team members every time a problem surfaces. Therefore, managers have to be proactive about giving them a specific forum for communicating and collaborating to remain linked to other team members. Emails are a great option, but nothing can replace the face to face or voice to voice contact, which you can achieve by Skype or other tools. 

As a manager, you need to include every single member of your outsource team in your regular meeting. Also, make sure that everyone is on the same page. If you organize a meeting with only on-site team members and don't include the outsourced team, then it can surely lead to miscommunications. Excluding the outsourced team members can lead to sacrifice essential feedback you need and can impede team cohesion.


  • Keep Transparency in Your Relationship


Building a trustworthy relationship among the outsourced team members who may have never met the on-site workers is a challenge. Therefore, it is more important for their manager to be as transparent as possible about the changes and developments, such as changes in the entire strategy, changes to team personnel, and an increase in team member performance. In this case, frequent communication on a single forum regarding performance, whether informal or formal, can be helpful.

On the other hand, you also need transparency in return from your outsource team. Ask your team members to disclose their level of engagement with their work. Give them opportunities to share their feedback and discuss the problems they are facing.

Bottom Line

If you are facing any problems keeping your outsource team at the same pace, and creating a cohesive team, then you might be doing something wrong or even not taking essential actions at all. Moreover, if your outsource team is not as productive as you think they can be, it must be your fault. So to evaluate the productivity of your remote team, you need to consider the tips mentioned above.

Once you start following these strategies, you will see the chart of accomplishments of your organization going up. Not only will you feel proud, but because of the new and strong relationship with your outsource team, they will also feel remarkably happy and try to work even harder. 


The Difference Between Customer Support and Customer Success Teams

When we talk about your business product or service, there is no doubt that both support and success teams are considered as essential assets for the entire customer lifecycle. Since customer support and customer success are often intertwined, we think that is critical to define and understand their differences and roles, especially when your company’s output is based on a certain tech infrastructure.

Customer support – A necessary way to be there for your customers.

Dedicated support teams pursue to ensure customer satisfaction through ongoing technical support for a certain product or service. These kinds of teams solve customer’s challenges, questions and concerns regarding individual issues and provide technical guidance. For a better understanding, we should define a couple of specific traits.

Removes obstacles

Regardless of the customer support channel – email, chat or call – the team in charge solves their problems as soon as customers submit a ticket or send an email, not before. Thus, the role of customer support is to meet their needs in a reactive manner, meaning that whenever an issue emerges they take care of it. In this way, a support team removes any kind of obstacles when it emerges in customer’s direct interaction path by providing necessary resources such as documentation or self-service portals.

Focuses on cost

The number of favorable customer experiences is inversely proportional to financial losses. In other words, based on Nicereply point of view, if a support team provide efficient solutions for customer’s problems, the churn rate, which means here the annual percentage at which customers stop subscribing to a service, will be reduced. However, support teams aren’t strictly a centered-cost department, as originally built, they can also impact revenue by advising on common reasons for churn or identify upsell and cross self-opportunities in their conversations with your business customers.

Has short-term objectives

According to Hubspot, support interactions are transactional which means when a customer submits a certain issue or question, those are solved by a support assistant – and may have in view immediate technical or usage issues. After all, the main purpose of support teams is to solve specific issues as quickly as possible in order to drive customer satisfaction, which is the main baseline for success teams.

Customer success – The next step in scaling customer experience.

From Gainsight perspective, customer success manages company-customer interactions and aligns client and vendor goals for mutually beneficial outcomes. Success teams influence revenue through their proactive actions in order to accomplish long-term objectives, but we will talk about all of these attributes below:

Uses proactive strategies

The main objective of a success team consists in initiating conversations with your customers before they contact you. Therefore, they have to be proactive, meet their needs, anticipate them and identify opportunities to solve problems that they are not yet confronted with, but they might be. Identifying these solutions in advance must be based on the company’s long-term objectives. Their job is to make sure that customers understand the full potential and value they can achieve from your product/service. In other words, success teams ensure insights-access for users regarding the most efficient way to use your solution and adopt it on a long-term.

Focuses on revenue

In this context, when we talk about scaling your business, customer success teams play their main role. They focus less on technical issues and more on the aspects that are directly related to business development. So they drive expansion via churn-reduction as in decreasing the number of unsubscribed customers and up-selling, cross-selling, referrals techniques in order to promote your business solutions.

Customer Success provides a whole mechanism not only for uncovering upsell and cross-sell opportunities but also for gaining advantage from them. Besides that, it’s the most desirable way to initiate reduction, helping subscription growth for a certain product or service.

Has long-term objectives

Success team’s interactions don’t have an end-point. As we mentioned earlier, they look at the entire customer’s process lifecycle in order to solve universal adoption issues and other common narrows that prevent users from achieving their goals. Moreover, as Gainsight believes, ensuring customer success brings about a significant positive impact on businesses as they focused on increasing retention, repeated purchases or lifetime value.

Different roles, same team

To conclude, support and success teams provide services for customers and help them generate value for your company. Both of them focus on successfully integrate the product or service in your users’ lifecycle with each aid, improving retention, boosting value, and increasing advocacy. The best businesses succeed in bringing support and success together, leveraging their differences to consolidate this entire process of removing obstacles that prevent your business customers from achieving their goals.