Ask the Right Questions before you Outsource

Your company has been looking for the right outsourcing service provider in India. You have done a lot of homework. You have also reviewed samples and spoken to past/current clients. Now all that’s left to do is to directly talk to the potential service provider. But you are not sure of what exactly to ask.

Here are eight questions that you can ask a vendor to better understand their experience, their processes and your expected results from the outsourcing contract. You can hold an interview over a phone or simply email these questions across:

1. How long have you been in the business of providing a particular service? (content writing, software development, bookkeeping, graphic design etc)

The answer to this question will give you insight about how experienced the service provider is in their chosen field.

2. Why did you choose to become an outsourcing service provider?

This is a good question to ask. It will help you learn more details about their background and you will also be able to judge their enthusiasm for their work.

3. What are some of your primary skills that you would say you are best at?

Avoid partnering with a vendor who says “everything”. Every professional service provider has something that they are best at doing and this is what they should tell you about. The service provider should not give you false promises that claim they are good at everything.

4. What are some of your other skills, which you have, but are not using right now?

As your business needs expand, you will probably want the service provider to carry out more business tasks for you. Asking this question will give you a fair idea of how things will work out between you and the vendor in the future.

5. How many customers do you currently cater to?

Asking the outsourcing service provider this question will help you evaluate their overall workload and whether or not they will have the time to devote themselves to your work.

6. What are your processes like?

A good outsourcing service provider will have a specific way of working in order to be effective, productive and efficient. You need to understand the service provider’s way of working, so you can be sure of high quality work.

7. What are your working hours?

If you are thinking about hiring an online virtual assistant or live contact that you need frequently, then this is a very important question to ask. The answer to this question will give you a fair idea if the service provider can keep up with your expectations.

8. Does your company work on a project basis or on a retainer?

The answer to this question is essential to know before you outsource. You need to be aware that many virtual assistants charge upfront retainers every month. Check with your staff and be absolutely sure of how much work you will need before you hire the vendor.

You can use these questions as a springboard for your own question list. You may need to adapt the above questions, depending on the unique nature of your project and the type of outsourcing vendor that you are looking for.

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