Working with an outsourcing company can feel like trusting strangers with the keys to your own success, but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you want to work effectively with a remote team, trust should be the first thing you establish.
But how do you know if you can trust your provider?
This article has two parts to cover the answer to this question. The first part lays out the two main trust challenges we see and how to overcome them. It’s for you who enjoy a good read.
The second part is for the listacle fans out there, and presents 18 signs that you can trust your outsourcing partner.
Quick note: Our perspective on this topic comes from providing WordPress outsourcing services, meaning we build WordPress websites as a subcontractor to digital agencies based on their design files.
Trust challenge #1 – Start with doubt
When companies reach out to us, they are inherently suspicious of who we are, what we can do and whether we will be able to live up to our promises.
Outsourcing companies have some simple disadvantages compared to local companies in this regard:
- They communicate mainly over phone and email instead of meeting face-to-face
- Not known in the local community, especially if they are “white label” like we are
- It’s difficult to know what door to knock if you would ever need to file a complaint with “whoever is in charge”
The most common approaches we see from agencies that want to close that trust gap when they reach out to us a possible outsourcing partner are:
- “Can I see some sites that you’ve built?”
- “Do you have some references that I can call?”
As a white label provider, these wishes aren’t that easy to fulfill. We work with professional agencies as an extension of their team without making any fuss about it. We are their “best kept secret” as one partner phrased it.
Instead, we believe in building relationships with our partners already from the first call. Our experience is that anyone seriously interested in a high-quality partner has been willing to invest some time in getting to know us.
Overcoming trust challenge #1
When you talk to an outsourcing company, use the first call to listen if they qualify you as a good fit for them too. At White Label Agency, we ask a few important questions to make sure that we can meet the demands of new clients in terms of complexity of their work, volume and pricing.
Being able to say no is a key part of building that first trust. So you should get suspicious if the outsourcing company says yes to everything you ask of them and claims to do everything. It could be a perfect match, but it could also be empty promises.
“You should get suspicious if the outsourcing company says yes to everything you ask of them.”
What does it sound like in a first conversation with us?
WordPress development is the only service we provide, and we only work as a subcontractor. Our developers are highly skilled, but we don’t (yet) work with custom integrations between WordPress and systems like product inventory software or Salesforce. We also don’t build web applications or plugins.
Notice how we talk both about our skills, and the limitations to what we can do.
Trust challenge #2 – Not allowing second chances
If you search for web development companies, there’s no shortage of options. If you’re looking for freelancers there are even more to choose from.
Hence, if you don’t have an established relationship with your outsourcing company, it’s likely that you don’t give them second chances when they screw up.
As we’re only working in long-term partnerships with our clients, we would only be wasting time and effort if we built only one site for any new client. Therefore, we build relationships as much as we build websites.
In fact, we don’t count new clients as part of our customer base until they’ve started their third project with us. Up until that point, we’re just learning their preferences and testing out the collaboration.
Overcoming trust challenge #2
The first project is always a challenge with any outsourcing company. Many assumptions, preferences and expectations will only become clear as you start working together on real projects.
If the company has a good onboarding process, it shows that they care and helps them catch your unspoken wishes. If they miss something the first time, it helps to correct any mistakes until the next project.
Yesterday, I was on a call with a client that we just built a first project for. They have a great designer with a higher attention to detail than we’re used to. I failed to catch that until we were well into the project, so we needed to spend more time on fixing their feedback.
Since we had started with rich communication, we were able to talk about the problem in a constructive way. For their next project I have added “pixel-perfect” to their default specifications. It will be a bit more expensive for them, but that’s the service they want and we know how to do it.
18 signs that you can trust your outsourcing partner
Below I’ve listed some quick but effective strategies that we use to build trust in our client-supplier relationships.
Look for these signs as you work with your outsourcing partner, and you’ll know better if can trust them to be support you in sickness and in health:
During engagement, they:
- Understand your needs
- Qualify you too, and don’t say yes to everything
- Get on a call with you, and don’t just send emails
- Make you feel prioritized
- Give you references (if they can)
- Show consistency in branding and communication about what they’re all about
In sickness, they:
- Avoid giving you negative surprises
- Get on the phone (or plane) to talk to you
- Give you multiple points of contact so you can reach “whoever is in charge”
- Are flexible with solutions
- Never get defensive towards you
- Give back any money that they don’t fully deserve
In health, they:
- Use rich communication, maybe visits, to build the relationship
- Show honesty and transparency
- They push back sometimes, when it’s needed
- Do a little extra, and not just what you ask of them
- Ask you if you’re satisfied
- Deliver quality results
Much of it comes down to good customer service, but you’ll know pretty soon if their culture supports a good working relationship.
As an added benefit if you succeed to build trust with your outsourcing partner, it not only gives stability to the relationship, it’s also makes work more social and engaging.
Ready to start outsourcing your WordPress development? Fill out a form with some basic information about what you need, and we’ll schedule a first call to see if it’s a fit.