CX Strategy: What Now? - The Case For Multisourcing

by Peter Ryan | October 16, 2020


I’m pleased to announce that I will be participating in a debate hosted by 5CA on October 27th. The title is CX Strategy: What Now? I know that there are a lot of webinars and online debates these days, but I really think you should make time for this one:

Peter Ryan

The panelists are:

Mark will be moderating the discussion – he is based in São Paulo, Brazil. Robert is based in the Netherlands, Stephen in the USA, and I’m in Canada. It’s a very diverse group that has a strong mix of experience and wisdom.

One of the subjects that I know we will be discussing is the case for multisourcing in a post-covid business environment. This is an area that I have been thinking about a lot recently – I can remember a wave of interest in multisourcing about five years ago that just slowly dissipated.

At that time, it was Gartner that was really beating the drum for multisourcing. Their argument was that when you are outsourcing services to a supplier, it’s too risky to put all your eggs in a single basket. By choosing a selection of suppliers you can move services around – it’s more flexible and also lower risk.

The downside is that it can be hard enough to monitor one supplier relationship, let alone several. The answer was always to improve governance, which is convenient if you are the kind of company that sells governance consulting services but is not easy to change overnight.

Multisourcing started fading from view after about 2016, but clearly there is now a strong argument for CX executives to take another look and to think about how they structure their partner relationships so they build greater flexibility and resilience.

Traditional contact center operators have had to change quickly during the pandemic. They sent their agents home and are now operating a blended service with most agents still working from home (WFH) and just a small percentage in the traditional contact centers. The experience of managing a distributed team has been forced on many companies, but after several months many are now comfortable operating like this.

To my mind there is now an opportunity to benefit from the value of working with more than one CX partner. For example, this could be about securing the very best global talent for a high-value customer segment, or supplementing a more traditional BPO capability with a flexible WFH partner to better handle peak periods and seasonality, or accessing specific domain knowledge for the part of the customer lifecycle or journey.

When multisourcing was a popular topic for analysts five years ago we had not experienced the chaos of a global pandemic and the requirement to remotely manage a distributed workforce. A lot has changed since then, making it far easier to contemplate working with more than a single supplier. I think that it’s time we looked again at multisourcing as a mainstream post-covid tool to enhance business resilience.

Please leave your ideas or questions here as a comment or if you would prefer to message me privately just send a direct message from my LinkedIn profile here.

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Peter Ryan

Peter is a seasoned BPO Advisor with a specialty in Customer Experience Excellence, Work-at-Home Delivery, Business Continuity Planning and Offshoring