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From vendor to trusted partner: The importance of shared values

The saying, ‘Two heads are better than one’ is applicable in many aspects of life, including in business. In today’s hyper-competitive global market, with new brands launching on a daily basis, it’s imperative that companies remain laser-focused on core business activities that are income-generating and growth-related. This typically includes constantly improving and evolving the products and services that are at the heart of their success in order to keep up with market trends and consumer demands.

With the majority of employees rightfully engaged in these key functions, many companies look to outsourcing to support other areas of their business, such as accounting and financial duties, HR functions, IT operations and customer service. In addition to freeing up your team’s precious time, external vendors can provide expertise and oftentimes increase efficiency and effectiveness.

It sounds like a win-win situation, and it is in many regards. But, what if there were additional benefits available that you weren’t tapping into? What if you could replace a vendor relationship with a trusted partnership?

When values align

Customers are increasingly choosing to do business with brands that share their personal values and want to reinvest their patronage in helping realize positive social outcomes. The global 2017 Edelman Earned Brand study found that 50% of consumers worldwide are “belief-driven,” defined as buyers who will choose, switch, avoid or boycott a brand based on a company’s values. Their buying based on beliefs is an uptrend with 30% of consumers worldwide saying that they make belief-driven purchase decisions more today than they did three years ago.

Additionally, job seekers are also placing a greater emphasis on a company’s values when choosing where to work. These deeper more meaningful alignments are resulting in significant positive outcomes for all. According to the latest Role of the Company Survey - an annual poll from MetLife, among employees whose companies reflect their values, 85% described themselves as loyal and 54% said they’re willing to go well beyond their work’s scope. This is in stark comparison to those whose values and work aren’t aligned where results dropped significantly to 44% and 4%, respectively.

Just as consumer-brand and employee-employer relationships benefit by having shared values at their core, so do company-vendor relationships.

The heart of the matter

For corporate values to be meaningful, they must be observed practically – not just written on a website or on an office wall. Your company values are a representation of your people, products and culture, and they unify the qualities that bring meaning to the work your organization was created to accomplish.

“We've worked with TELUS International for more than eight years on a partnership that is based on ensuring we meet the needs of our users by providing products, services and support that make a difference,” said Kyndra LoCoco, Partner and Community Programs Manager for Google Accessibility. “Today is another exciting milestone in our partnership, as we launch customer support in American Sign Language alongside Connect Direct - powered by Communication Service for the Deaf, to enable deaf and hard-of-hearing consumers to contact customer support in their native language.”

TELUS International’s complementary focus on diversity and inclusion extends to an internal program for hiring and training team members with hearing impairments in Guatemala, and has also supported numerous projects with ‘Listen Up!,’ an advocacy organization that seeks to support the deaf and hard-of-hearing community in Bulgaria, including the revitalization of schools in the cities of Plovdiv and Sofia in Bulgaria for children with hearing impairments.

Months into the partnership, Google saw its customer satisfaction ratings climb. As the Google customer base grew, so too did its relationship with TELUS International, and today the company devotes nearly 3,000 employees to handling support cases for several Google products.

“With aligned corporate cultures and a shared dedication to customer experience innovation, it’s clearly a partnership that works both ways,” said Jim Radzicki, vice-president, strategic partnerships at TELUS International. “Like Google, TELUS International strives to simultaneously invest in our business and the communities where we operate to improve the lives of our fellow citizens.”

Trusted partnerships foster sustainability

Trusted partnerships benefit everyone: businesses, customers and employees. Businesses can broaden their relevance and increase their addressable market; customers benefit from the strengths and offerings each organization brings to the table; and employees can expand their development opportunities through exposure to new perspectives and expertise.

Deepening ties between complementary businesses also fosters collaboration, enabling companies to offer services and solutions that help their customers live better lives. At the end of the day, when core values are shared, partnerships will thrive over the short and long-term, for sustainable success.

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