Services Management

Services Management

 

Anna Engstromer shares an article on the management of external services, specifically, BPO transactions.

Consequences of poorly managed services are like chronic diseases: spreading its consequences little-at-a-time over vast areas – like customer service, availability, performance and speed of delivery – slowly building awareness for the problem but not considered as such until something breaks, or stops.

Temporal Focus

Much of any organization’s cost is external. How significant it is and how it breaks down by categories vary across sector and organization. Most organizations buy a significant volume of services through Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). The creation of such outsourcing usually gets proper resource allocation and management attention. The initial operating period typically gets it too, especially if much is at stake or if implementation success is part of managers objectives. 

But what about the continued management of external services? Typical BPO transactions have a life of several years. The process to source services is so complex it is a tempting option to extend services through renewal rather than to launch a new strategic sourcing process. Many BPO contracts go on being poorly managed, from the client side, for several years. Who notices this and raises the flag? Consequences of poorly managed services are like chronic diseases: spreading its consequences little-at-a-time over vast areas – like customer service, availability, performance and speed of delivery – slowly building awareness for the problem but not considered as such until something breaks, or stops. Since there is rarely one single cause for problems, the work to un-nestle third party contract management is hard. The people who do it are not always prepared for it, nor are they consistently understood and rewarded.

 

Key points in this article include:

  • Elements of good contract management
  • Vendor-led Conversation
  • Contract fatigue

 

Read the full article, Why an A-Team to Do BPO Vendor Management, on Engstromer.com.

 

 

The scope of an internship or employee position can be difficult to define; fortunately, Robbie Kellman Baxter shares key tips that help clarify communication and identify requirements, ensuring expectations are understood.

The needs of a new subscription business change rapidly, especially early on.

Before organizations invest in technology infrastructure, they often serve subscribers in a more labor-intensive way. This is a good strategy for businesses to take as they work to refine product market fit and race to launch that first offering (minimum viable product) into the market.

Having an intern, or a contract (short-term) employee can be a cost-effective and flexible resource. And because of the global pandemic, there is a lot of talent available. Many talented people have been laid off and want to get into something new and growing. Students taking all their classes online have extra time available that would have gone to extracurriculars, sports and socializing. And many students are taking time off from college.

Even though the market for interns and contractors is huge and highly active, many executives seem unclear about how to optimize roles that work for both the organization and the individual workers.

I know this is a little bit of a departure from my usual newsletter content. But I hope many of you find it useful as you get creative in building out the talent for your team. And I also hope it is helpful for students and jobseekers who are open to roles that are less structured than the standard full-time employment.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Intern vs Contractor
  • Payment Options
  • Negotiation and communication

 

Read the full article, How to Scope and Define an Internship, on LinkedIn.

 

 

Duygu Cibik shares an article that identifies the key factors that can help you find an efficient and effective customer success manager.

What is the right customer success manager (CSM) profile?

This is another question that CEOs and other executives raise often.

Clearly, desired CSM profile depends on your expectations from CSMs tied to CSM role definition. I’ve summarized my expectations in a previous post titled “What is Customer Success?” and I’ll cover the desired CSM skills and experience in line with those expectations.

  •     Consultative skills

To be able to provide advice to clients regarding the product, potential use cases that would benefit the clients and help clients optimize their business processes, CSM should act as a consultant partner to their clients. Because consultative skills is a broad term, I’ll try to divide it into specific components.

  •     Analytical skills and intellectual curiosity

For CSMs to be consultative, they need to possess strong analytical skills and be curious so they can quickly understand their client’s business model, the revenue and the industry dynamics. This would enable them to understand and position the most relevant use cases for those clients.

For example, consumer good clients use Sprinklr primarily for marketing, a retail bank may use it both for marketing and brand reputation management while an investment bank typically leverage Sprinklr to identify and manage potential risks to their brands.

Developing industry based playbooks help CSMs to gain this knowledge to a certain extend; that said if you have analytically skilled CSMs, you can put them in any client situation knowing that they’ll figure out how to deliver value to the client.

 

Additional points identified include:

  • Emotional intelligence
  • Client management skills
  • Domain knowledge
  • Project management skills
  • Commercial acumen

 

Read the full article, What is the right Customer Success Manager (CSM) profile?, on LinkedIn.

 

 

Ben Dattner co wrote this article for Harvard Business Review on the issue of building ethical AI for talent management. 

Artificial intelligence has disrupted every area of our lives — from the curated shopping experiences we’ve come to expect from companies like Amazon and Alibaba to the personalized recommendations that channels like YouTube and Netflix use to market their latest content. But, when it comes to the workplace, in many ways, AI is still in its infancy. This is particularly true when we consider the ways it is beginning to change talent management. To use a familiar analogy: AI at work is in the dial-up mode. The 5G WiFi phase has yet to arrive, but we have no doubt that it will.

 

Areas covered in this article include:

  • Training data sets
  • Efficient predictions on a candidate
  • Bias and creating homogeneity in organizations

 

Read the full article, Building Ethical AI for Talent Management, on the Harvard Business Review.