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James Towner

Opinion

09 November 2016

Why Germany is ready for transformational outsourcing

The landscape of customer services in Germany continues to change at pace and the need to focus on innovative solutions and new and more inclusive ways of working has never been greater.

Until recently the drivers for change have typically come from one dominant stakeholder. Today we see the perfect storm with all three stakeholders demanding changes.

Customers

The demand from customers for a better, faster and ultimately easier customer experience is changing what customers expect and accept from providers. Better informed customers, higher expectations of simplicity and ease and new competitors mean we need:

  • simplified and consistent self-service solutions across all channels
  • attuned advisers delivering a differentiated services
  • constant flexibility to be where our customers are, and to be relevant, in the fast moving world.

Employees

The introduction of the minimum wage on 1 January 2015 has created an unsustainable position in many customer management centres with the upwards pressure on salaries and restrictive working practices making change un-attractive to employees and painful for businesses. 

We need to reward progressive and competitive behaviours to retain good customer service and sales advisors and avoid losing them to other industries. The market has become more competitive, the challenge is to ensure we are paying for the things we need – quality, sales and efficiency outcomes and not just supporting outmoded legacy structures.

The 'digitisation of the workplace' is critical to bring advisors with you on the journey, providing training and coaching to work in a world which they are typically already familiar with as consumers.

Business

Digitisation and the continued growth of self-service across all customer contact which started more slowly in Germany is accelerating. This is creating a need for realisable strategies in contact automation but also is challenging all businesses to rethink their sales through service approach in a world where self-service is ever more prevalent. The need to become a proactive and trusted voice in the complex landscape of cultures and permissions has never been greater. This challenge of reducing contacts to realise savings balanced with delivering increased sales and better customer retention requires smart thinking. 

And so we must constantly ask ourselves and come up with new solutions to:

  • how can a service which is cheaper to operate be better for our customers?
  • how can the ease and convenience of self-service still enable increased revenues?
  • how do we re-focus the role of advisers creating jobs which are recognised and valued? 

This changing landscape means that you need a customer service partner which thinks differently – a partner which understands and focuses on the outcomes that our clients require and is prepared to give certainty by committing to those outcomes.

The attached paper explores these themes in greater detail, outlines our approach to outcome based outsourcing and how this might help your business make the most of the opportunities these changes bring.

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