When we launched ArenaCX in September 2020, during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, our mission was to to help companies survive and thrive amid unprecedented labor conditions: government-imposed quarantines, the rise of remote work, “quiet quitting,” The Great Resignation — you get it.
Fast-forward to 2023 and staffing challenges are nearly the opposite: waves of layoffs as the tech sector sheds headcount, reduced business funding as the capital markets tighten, and the uncertain role of people as generative AI reshapes the customer experience.
First, people were quitting; now, they’re being laid off. If the past couple of years have taught us anything, it’s that black swans are very real. It’s no surprise the world’s labor models need to be more agile and resilient than ever.
But are they? As the CEO of a global marketplace for outsourced business services, I’m afforded a unique vantage point into the world of staff augmentation. And I would argue that, no, industry staffing models are not typically agile and resilient. Quite often they are immature, brittle, and inflexible, and much more difficult than necessary at every step of the journey.
That’s why ArenaCX created CX Source, a robust staff augmentation solution built exclusively for Freshworks customers. It’s the culmination of months of collaboration, and we’re thrilled to announce this.
CX Source is available for free on the Freshworks app marketplace, and makes outsourcing safe, easy, and affordable for customers of all sizes at every step of the journey:
Step 1: Identify
When it comes to developing a shortlist of likely matches, many buyers simply invite “the usual suspects,” meaning outsourcing companies they’ve used before, met at a conference, heard about from a peer, or found on a search engine. But there are tens of thousands of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies, and they vary widely. It’s just not possible to get a cross-section of the industry by running an RFP with only 3-10 companies invited to pitch.
ArenaCX has pre-vetted hundreds of business process outsourcing (BPO) companies and hand-picked a roster of best-of-breed BPOs with expertise on the Freshdesk and Freshservice platforms. Our digital interface lets you profile your outsourcing needs and instantly matches you to the best-fit partner(s).
Step 2: Vet
The typical industry Request for Proposal (RFP) process usually takes 2 to 3 months to complete, with the bulk of that time spent on partner vetting. The CX Source program offers a revolutionary change to this process.
We’ve already vetted hundreds of BPOs with a process that includes reference calls, financial health checks, video site tours, and a battery of more than 200 RFP-style questions. All responses are kept in our database and preconnected to our integrated RFP engine.
ArenaCX is the world’s only outsourcing platform with an RFP engine that is preconnected to a huge roster of vendor partners who have already responded to industry-standard RFP questions. This makes it possible to cast your RFP to 10 times the usual companies and complete it in one-tenth the usual time.
It’s also important to note that, as of the writing of this post, we are currently accepting only about 1 out of 10 BPOs who apply to join the ArenaCX marketplace, and even then, only a subset of those is accepted into the specialized CX Source program. BPOs do not pay to be listed in a catalog; rather, they apply to join the marketplace and are listed only if they qualify.
When it comes to vetting, we did the heavy lifting so you don’t have to
Step 3: Contract
When an RFP is completed, the standard journey requires an additional month of dreaded contract redlines. With CX Source, this lengthy process can be dramatically shortened. All BPOs in the program have agreed to trade using standard terms and conditions. If a customer is willing to do the same, the contract can be automatically generated and ready-for-signature as soon as the deal is ready to proceed. This is optional, but, due to the time savings and flexibility provided, these standard terms have been used on 98% of marketplace deals.
Step 4: Manage
Managing a team of internal agents and managing an outsourcing vendor-partner require completely different skill sets. Therefore, having access to marketplace best practices can be very useful.
But the real power of trading via the CX Source marketplace is leverage. High performance leads to additional marketplace opportunities for your BPO. Conversely, a consistently low performing BPO risks not only your account but a larger book-of-business. When positive and negative incentives are magnified, that’s leverage. And it leads to better outcomes.
In an industry where 38-50% of forecasted ROI is lost (aka, “value leakage”), creating strong incentives is critical.
Step 5: Change
In the wider industry, 1 of 5 outsourcing contracts are terminated early. Reasons vary from poor performance, to changing priorities, to mergers and acquisitions, to macroeconomic factors. Whatever the reason, it’s painful and expensive to “rip and replace” an outsourcing relationship.
With CX Source, powered by the ArenaCX marketplace, flexible contract terms and marketplace dynamics combine to make it easier than ever to add, change, or exit relationships when your business needs require it.
Compatible Contact Center Tech Stack
Here’s some exciting news for existing and future ArenaCX customers: With this partnership, ArenaCX also becomes an authorized reseller of Freshworks software. This complements the robust ArenaCX contact center tech stack offering, which includes Freshworks-compatible technology for telephony/voice, workforce management, quality assurance, hardware, and more. Imagine a discounted end-to-end contact center tech stack plus outsourced talent, all on one convenient platform.
Outsourcing has been a promising solution for decades. In fact, more than 90% of the Fortune 500 already outsource. But the model is also decades old. Consequently, the outsourcing industry is highly fragmented and absolutely rife with inefficiencies. Together, ArenaCX and Freshworks are paving the way for a new era of outsourcing solutions. We invite you to join us on this transformative journey and experience the unmatched benefits of CX Source.
Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our team.
The CX Source app and program are free to Freshworks customers. Interested in learning more? Get in touch with our team.