This week we had a call from a company, desperate to arrange working with us within 7 days as their current call management provider had suddenly gone out of business, leaving them high and dry.
Of course, sadly, companies can cease trading for a plethora of reasons, however, in this case the writing had been on the wall for a long time. So what were the warning signs that were missed by their clients and when choosing to outsource, what lessons can you learn from other's misfortunes?
1. Google - Simply searching for a company online brings you to news about the company (that they may prefer you not to know). In this case we found stories going back a year that staff hadn't been paid and staff turning up for shifts only to be told they had been made redundant. Stories are all over the media and the news was so scandalous it had even made the Daily Mirror.
2. Suspect Trading History - A brief check on Companies House showed that the directors had a track history of folding businesses and setting up new ones leaving a trail of debt in their wake. Liquidators had been brought in more than once previously. Directors had been struck off previously - This is never good for reassurance this will be a long term partnership.
3. No ISO accreditations - The international standard that specifies requirements for a quality management system. Quality focused businesses use the standard to demonstrate the ability to consistently provide services that meet customer and regulatory requirements.
So, the clues were certainly there, if only prospective clients had looked. Serco had also outsourced government contracts to the company, so somewhere along the line, basic due diligence was lacking.
We would urge prospective clients to do their due diligence as it's only when you do that can you be 100% assured you are partnering with the right team that will care for your business and its customers.
We get that it's tempting to take up a cheap deal from an outsourcing company that on the surface looks professional. However we implore you to take your time to dig a little deeper, as after all, any company can have a shiny website that gives a gloss of respectability and credibility. The devil, as they say, is in the detail.
Yes you will find that quality, as with everything in life costs a little extra, but then after all, you are trusting that company with your biggest asset - your customers. Surely this is a decision that requires a little more homework?