How to Outsource Community Moderation

How to Outsource Community Moderation

How to Outsource Community Moderation

 

What is a Community?

According to the Cambridge dictionary, a community is “all the people who live in a particular area, or a group of people who are considered as a unit because of their shared interests or background.”

As we can perhaps make out, the idea of a community being constituted of people ‘who live in a particular area’ may be a bit dated, since we now live in the digital world, powered by the Internet, enabling us to make the transition to an online community which could be described as ‘a group of people connected on the Internet because of their shared interests or background.’ In fact, even people living in the same neighborhood could be part of their neighborhood online community. As each person has many facets, she could be a part of many online communities as well.

In the context of BPO work, a community would, by default, mean an online community.

An online community is sometimes also referred to as an online forum.

 

Branded Community

The focus of this post is a type of a community that we can call the branded community which is a community created by a ‘brand’ primarily for furthering its own interests though some of them might convey that they created the community for the benefit of others, like customers, or suppliers.

Also, the term ‘brand’ should not be taken to represent for-profit entities only. Not-for-profit entities also create and maintain vibrant communities for furthering their own interest that may be related to making more people know about them, or fundraising, or advocacy. Similarly, for -profit entities could have a different set of objectives:

Customer Support – Creates a support system where the issues faced by one customer can be resolved by another who may have faced a similar issue earlier or otherwise has the answer. Makes support cheaper for the business as they don’t need to deploy staff to address these issues.

Feedback – As members mostly interact with each other, it is viewed as an open and fair exchange where people are able to share their experiences openly. This provides the most honest feedback to a business. The business can also seed discussions on subjects where they need feedback.

Product feedback and features – As a logical extension of the feedback, it can be used for a lot of actions like modifying product features, changing strategy, or anything else. It can be a great testing ground for planned introductions as well.

Promotion through fans – A satisfied customer is the best advertisement for a business, said a management guru. A happy customer even more so. The community brings them together and even identifies them. Their disposition towards the business and its products can be channelized into promoting the business; like having a volunteer sales force.

 

Need for Community Moderation Solutions?

Like any ‘open’ space on the Internet, an online community can be barged into by unwelcome elements and violated. This will not only detract from the sponsor’s objectives in creating the space, it could also vitiate the environment of the space with the result that members might feel unsafe and start shying away from participating.

It is a responsibility to create and maintain an online public space as much as it is to maintain a physical public space.

Apart from the lack of safety aspect, the creator also needs to play multiple roles; solving customer issues that stay unresolved, seed ideas for wholesome conversation, provide inputs to management on trends, run campaigns and activities like contests and share relevant information and updates. In short, be the life and soul of the party. You don’t want to be the host of a lifeless party.

Hence the need.

 

Community Moderation Solutions – Guidelines

Online moderation guidelines, in general, are driven by commonly accepted principles of civil society, a loose, ambiguous moral code of conduct that also guides our behavior in the real world.

Since moderation will involve judging the actions of others, as a starting point, it is recommended that guidelines be clearly laid out by the host, so that, when a moderator needs to take a call which may be against the wishes of another person, this code can be referenced.

The guidelines should define who the community is for and who not for and guidelines regarding self-promotion, thread-jacking, going off-topic, etc.

Penalties should be defined as well and effort should be made to both interpret infractions and levy penalties judiciously and consistently.

In the end, it is a part of your business or brand, and you need to ensure you run it in a manner that enables you to best meet the objectives it was created for. It is a group of people. Human qualities like empathy, listening, politeness, trust, will always have value.

 

What to Look for in a Provider

While theoretically a business has a choice whether to outsource community moderation or do it inhouse, increasingly, there is a preference for outsourcing. Hence, without going into the merits and demerits of the options, we will focus on the parameters that should be used to identify the most suitable provider for your requirements.

Knowledge

Community moderation services often need to be carried out across multiple platforms including Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Digg, Reddit, Yelp, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, and several more. Each of them might have their own rules and guidelines and code of conduct that need to be respected by brands that have built a community on that platform.

On top of platform rules are the different laws and regulations around the world where the platforms operate and where members are from. While they cannot be legal experts, familiarity with laws that impact on their work, like those related to public obscenity, copyrights, safety of children, privacy, etc. would be beneficial.

Our senior management, with over 20 years of hands-on experience, set the pace for oWorkers. Under their guidance, the teams engaged in moderation have gradually picked up expertise and skills on a variety of platforms and fora and learned to navigate their way around client guidelines and codes of conduct for moderation.

Past Experience

When you outsource community moderation, except for community specific guidelines created by the host, the general policies governing moderation, in the sense of common global and civic acceptability, remains uniform. Having provided similar services to another client earlier would be an advantage as most of the skills and knowledge are portable, except what you draw up as the code of conduct for your hosted communities. In many cases, even the community guidelines end up being of a similar nature.

With client relationships that are growing over the eight years we have been in service to them, oWorkers has wide experience in providing community moderation services to our clients. We are also GDPR compliant which, operating from the Eurozone, is a requirement.

Balancing multiple roles

Unlike social media moderation, which is more of a one-way street with the objective of identifying and blocking content that could be disturbing or harmful for other users, community moderation solutions need to straddle multiple roles.

The moderator needs to:

  • be a watchdog who monitors and filters out content of objectionable nature.
  • be the customer service front for the brand, identifying content that could represent a customer issue and ensure it gets resolved.
  • collect data and information on the trends that emerge on the community
  • create engagement and activity through fun and games, contests and promotional activity
  • look for new customers
  • strengthen the voice of advocates while weakening that of detractors

In short, promote the interest of the brand through the community.

Growth of our client relationships, including several unicorn marketplaces, testify to the facility with which we have discharged these multiple roles and have become an integral part of the marketing teams of our clients.

Pricing that creates value

Being a commercial engagement, the community moderation solutions arrangement has to eventually boil down to a pricing number, with lower being better. Though on the face of it seemingly a difficult task, as the client wants lowest while the provider wants highest, sensible businesses do reach sensible conclusions on pricing. However, from an outsourcer’s perspective, ensure that what you seek from the pricing is great value, and not necessarily the lowest number.

Clients of oWorkers report savings of up to 80% of their costs prior to outsourcing. Our efficient and committed operations allow us to operate economically, enabling the benefits to be shared with our clients, as demonstrated by the competitive pricing we offer.

Speed of response

Online activity could happen at any point of time during the 24-hour cycle as someone, somewhere in the world, is always up and active. With online, speed expectations have also gone up. While many of the activities in a community can wait, if inappropriate content is posted or the conversation veers off track and the fair name of the host comes under threat of being maligned, it would need quick action. Hence, like other online moderation activities, when you outsource community moderation, the speed of response would be an important parameter.

oWorkers is always ready. Our moderators are active 24×7 so that you can sleep soundly. Depending on client requirements, our moderators are in a position to offer ‘live’ interjections and responses on online communities.

Multilingual

Though you might operate the community in a particular language, and you might even put that as part of the guidelines for participation, you cannot prevent people from posting in other languages. Whatever automated filters we may put, languages that use the same script or alphabet will go through the barrier. Again, you would have a choice; permit such participation or delete it/ filter it out. At the very least, you may need to have an understanding that a particular comment/ post is in a different language, and needs to be handled differently. It could even be an offensive post in a different language. Hence, multilingual capability comes in handy when you outsource community moderation.

With a coverage of 22 major languages across our three centers, oWorkers can cover most language requirements of clients.

Modern technology

Reliance on technology is a given in today’s world, with efficiency and consistency being the outcome of technology deployment. However, technology becomes obsolete very fast and needs to be updated/ refreshed regularly to ensure that it delivers the benefits you expect from it. Reliance on dated technology could be counter productive as the context changes with the passage of time. For example, usage of the term ‘disabled’ is not considered appropriate now; the current usage in most situations is ‘differently abled.’ An automated filter that is dated might permit ‘disabled’ to be used in the community whereas a modern version might filter it out.

It helps that more than 85% of our clients our technology companies as it keeps us on our toes. We have forged partnerships with major technology providers and are able to deploy their technologies for you when you outsource community moderation to oWorkers.

Our facilities are secure and we are ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified.

Hiring and Scaling capacity

When you outsource community moderation to a BPO partner, you are outsourcing an activity which, at least to some extent, will need to be done manually by trained resources. The BPO will need to hire and train resources so that they can provide requisite services to your business. Hence, the BPO should have:

  • A continuous supply of interested candidates or access to pools of talent that can be hired and trained
  • Ability to hire in large numbers for a short period of time to match seasonal or other spike in volumes

Being deeply rooted in the communities we work in, oWorkers is a preferred employer and gets applications for jobs all the year round. This reduces our cost of reaching out to interest candidates in our jobs, which we are able to share with our clients, as reflected in our pricing.

In addition, with the trust we have built, we can also hire to meet short-term peaks, to the tune of 100 resources within 48 hours. We are able to do this because historically we have managed to absorb many such hires in other jobs that open up in the company, or to fuel our growth.

Training Infrastructure

Community moderation services, to some extent, are context driven, which can keep changing. Hence a committed training team that can keep refreshing the knowledge and skills of moderators becomes important. In addition, moderation of online communities is often done ‘live.’ In other words, there is no check on what a moderator is doing in the community. While there may be subsequent checks and balances of the moderator’s participation, the best solution is to have a well qualified and trained moderator doing it for you.

In all their work locations, oWorkers runs a training facility independent of the delivery team. They periodically test the knowledge and skill levels of even tenured resources and provide inputs, where required.

Project Management and Transition

Probably more than other services, community moderation services require project management and transition expertise. It is not a one-time lift and shift operation that will take the inhouse work to a vendor. It is more like the setting up of a model through which the provider will become an extended arm of the client since, as we already have seen, there are many critical tasks that will be performed by this team which will go a long way towards establishing and promoting the brand, image and goodwill of the organisation, provide inputs to it based on interactions moderated, and attempt to extend the reach of the client. In brief, it will do what the marketing team and senior management would generally be tasked with.

With over a hundred transitions under its belt, and each new transition adding to the knowledge base and experience, oWorkers is ready to offer suggestions on the engagement model based on our experience.   

 

Conclusion

While we will do the heavy lifting, we would suggest that when you outsource community moderation, not being solely a rule-based delivery setup, and with the opportunity of making an active contribution to the marketing and brand-building efforts of the client, your management team, especially on the marketing and communication side, be closely involved in its functioning for best results.

With your business, the more we serve you, the more opportunities we get to serve the local communities by creation of job opportunities and enabling more youngsters to cross the threshold into the digital economy powering the world.

How to choose a provider to outsource video moderation

How to choose a provider to outsource video moderation

How to choose a provider to outsource video moderation

 

What is a video?

Intuitively, we perhaps understand what a video is.

If we want to get a little more technical, we could use the definition provided by Wikipedia, which is “Video is an electronic medium for the recording, copying, playback, broadcasting, and display of moving visual media.”

What about moderation?

According to dictionary.com moderation is “the quality of being moderate; restraint; avoidance of extremes or excesses; temperance.”

That can also be understood in the language sense of the term.

But what is video moderation?

Based on the above, we could perhaps say that video moderation is the practicing of ensuring that videos are moderate and restrained and avoid extremes or excesses.

But why is it needed?

It is needed because we live in an open world, where each one of us is a consumer as well as publisher of information, the most common formats being text, image, audio and video. Video, being the richest format, as it can contain all of the other three formats, carries in itself the maximum potential for benefit or damage.

So what?

Do you know that every minute, 500 hours of video content is being uploaded on Youtube every minute? Minute after minute. It means 30000 hours every hour, 720,000 hours every day, and so on. Incessantly. Day after day. Month after month. With the trajectory of upload rising as time goes by.

It takes all kinds to make the world. While most of this user-generated content (UGC) is safe, with people uploading videos of childrens’ pranks, their holidays, special events, and so on, some parts might not be, either inadvertently or deliberately. There could be nudity and violence that might be undesirable for young minds, there could be disrespect for symbols held in high esteem by some sections, there could be religious and racial slurs. In short, anything.

Some of the video content has the potential of damaging the sheer fabric that holds our society together and causing schisms that could lead to conflict.

This is why video moderation is needed; to moderate the content that is being uploaded this very minute and either remove it or prevent it from being published.

It is a bit like a film certification body or a Censor Board whose job it is to certify, or reject, a movie before it is released to the public. A Censor Board generally is a statutory body or a public institution. Video moderation, on the other hand, is an activity that platform owners need to take upon themselves.

 

Who Needs Video Moderation

If you have a web presence that permits open participation in the form of UGC, where anyone who accesses your website can leave content in the form of video, you need video moderation.

You could be a social media platform like Facebook or Instagram or YouTube where astronomical volumes of video content is being created, or you could be a business trying to connect with customers and prospects in an open and transparent manner in order to gain trust and confidence and enabling the good word about your business to get around.

 

To Outsource or Not To Outsource Video Moderation

It is a bit like the ‘buy or build’ fork that you reach once in a while in a business. Whether to build inhouse or whether to buy an established product offered by a supplier with expertise in that particular area.

The most basic questions to ask when you are at such a fork would be:

  • Is it a core part of your business?
  • Does your business, and its staff, have the expertise to do it effectively?

If the answer to at least one of them is a ‘yes,’ further deliberation may be required to find the right answer.

If the answer to both is a ‘no’ the ‘buy’ choice might be the best choice.

In the case of business services, which is what video moderation services would be counted as, a ‘buy’ choice will translate into an ‘outsource’ choice instead of a ‘do it inhouse’ one.

 

Choosing a Suitable Video Moderation Solutions Provider

Outsourcing video moderation is unlike a lot of regular BPO outsourcing work. It interfaces directly with inputs coming in from users and not through its client. The stakes could be quite high; image of the brand and potential legal tangles. And in some cases, it is real-time work and needs to be done right away.

Due care needs to be exercised while selecting a partner to outsource video moderation work to. Detailed below are suggestions on what you should look for.

  

Automated solutions to augment humans

While automated solutions do not possess the intelligence of humans and are not yet able to produce the same level of accuracy, in many cases, especially where speed to publish is of the essence, automated tools become necessary when you outsource video moderation.

We are all impatient creatures and becoming more and more so. If we share a video on a platform, it should show up even before we press the ‘submit’ button seems to be the expectation. It is impossible for a human, even if the team works 24×7, to provide this kind of a turnaround for most transactions. Automated and Artificial Intelligence (AI) driven tools become necessary.

The oWorkers Advantage

Combining the human element with state-of-the-art technology, we offer video outsourcing that can cater to most requirements, including a variety of video file types. Our partnerships with leading technology providers enables us to access the latest in technology which we deploy for the benefit of our clients.

Data Security

With data being shared digitally and across electronic networks, the need for ensuring security of client data is paramount for video moderation services.

The oWorkers Advantage

We create a logical separation of networks on which data for different clients is transmitted. Our employees sign non-disclosure agreements (NDAs) committing to keep the data secure. We are also able to physically isolate the work area when working from a physical workplace. Our ISO certifications (27001 :2013 & 9001:2015) testify to our security protocols.

Speed of response

The partner should possess the ability to respond to UGC in the form of a video at a speed that is in line with expectations the business has set for visitors which, in turn, should be in line with expectations for content of this nature. If competitors respond within one hour, it may not go down well if one particular business takes a day for the video to be visible.

Remember that a video could be uploaded at any point during a 24 hour and 365 day cycle. The vendor needs to provide assurance that the expected timelines can be delivered regardless of when a video is uploaded.

The oWorkers Advantage

With facilities in three geographies that operate 24×7, our video moderation solutions can cater to all turnaround time requirements.

Trial Run

The proof of the pudding is, eventually, in the eating. After all the talk and discussion have happened, does the partner have a setup where they can show how the real process will work if you outsource video moderation to them, with a real video or videos being uploaded, and taking it through the paces of moderation as would happen once the contract is signed. Of course, this will be a limited trial, and it could even be a paid trial, if that be the policy of the vendor. But it certainly helps in gaining a much better understanding of what will really happen.

The oWorkers Advantage

A trial run is always an option that can be negotiated. Typically, we offer a Trial Run as part of a Project Plan that defines success criteria that, if met, automatically graduates the engagement from trial to a regular one.

Attrition and People Management Practices

In the end, it is about people. When you outsource video moderation to a BPO, even more so. Even in processes where technology can be implemented, many decisions will still come to a human being. The ability to manage people can be a key differentiator. Setting the right expectations at the time of hiring and following them through while they work for the company should be the expectation, as should be following best practices in people management, ensuring timely payments, adequate time off and channels for voicing complaints.

The oWorkers Advantage

Compared to many BPOs which rely on freelancers and contractors to do the work they take on from clients, oWorkers has chosen to work with employed resources. Our workers are our staff. While it gives us greater responsibility in terms of managing them, it also provides us greater flexibility as well as satisfaction in helping them make a career for themselves. Remember that the work you outsource to us helps us bring more people into the ambit of formal employment and enable them to participate in the digital revolution sweeping through the world.

We provide flexibility to our staff to work from home when the need arises and where permitted by the project.

Our attrition numbers are among the best in class.

Hiring and Scaling

Related to people management is the ability of the partner to hire on a regular basis and scale up or down in significant numbers if required by a client for video moderation solutions.

One of the fallouts of attrition is that it creates the need for hiring fresh resources to fill the headcount gaps created. And since hiring is a time-consuming exercise, it needs to be done as a plan so that the company always has a few people ready and waiting to replace people who leave, because leavers can often leave suddenly, without completing notice period formalities.

The greater the effort the partner has to make to attract and hire resources, the greater will be the financial impact, and vice versa.

At the same time, some of the client processes could have seasonal or other variations in volume. If the vendor can provide headcount for those spikes in volume without retaining idel staff for the rest of the period, it can be a huge financial benefit for the client and a huge positive in favor of that vendor.

The oWorkers Advantage

Being closely involved with the communities we work with gives us an advantage in hiring. We are a preferred employer for many in the community, hence we always have a lot of candidates interested in a job, making our cost of attracting candidates very low. This is a perennial flow, throughout the year at all our locations.

This also affords us the flexibility of hiring some resources for a short-term spike, though, where possible, we end up absorbing most of them in one process or another. This being our history, we rarely face a challenge in hiring for even short-term spikes. We can commit to scaling up by 100 resources in 48 hours.

Training

In a BPO, training is an essential function that keeps humming all the time, mostly supporting new hires make the transition to being billable resources on a client project. Sometimes the training function is called upon to reskill existing employees either for redeployment or for refreshing the skills in case performance is slipping.

Since video moderation services directly interface with the external world and are subject to developments taking place, there is a need to keep the staff au fait with those developments so that the same may be integrated into the work SOPs. Whether done by the training team or the delivery team is immaterial, as long as there is a process to take care of this need.

The oWorkers Advantage

With independent facilities in each of our three global locations, training is a key enabling function for oWorkers, working to sharpen the skills of new hires and retraining tenured staff. For video moderation solutions, which, at times, can cause psychological impact on the humans moderating raw video content, in consultation with the delivery teams, the training teams also make arrangements for psychological counselling of staff engaged in the activity.

Business Continuity

Being a perennial activity, it is essential that once you outsource video moderation, it keeps on happening, minute after minute, hour after hour and day after day, because someone, somewhere, could be uploading a video at any time.

Though businesses provide for many back-up plans and contingencies, there are times when events make it impossible to operate from and out of a particular geographical location. It could be on account of a natural catastrophe or it could be on account of a general strife or conflict of some sort. Governments have even started restricting internet services at such times. How does, then, a continuous activity like video moderation get carried out? It is important for a vendor to demonstrate the ability to provide business continuity as otherwise the only option that would remain for your business is for it to be done inhouse, which is not what you wanted hence outsourced it.

The oWorkers Advantage

With three global locations in different geographies, oWorkers is positioned to provide business continuity support to clients, where needed. If it works better, we can also offer multi-site delivery for projects where this is required, so that the outage, if it happens, is not 100%, a certain part of the service stays afloat, with possibly some degradation of service levels.

Pricing

Of course, no commercial contract can be complete without a pricing element. Though an integral element, care should be taken to ensure that this does not outweigh other parameters in the evaluation exercise, and you don’t end up choosing the lowest price, in total disregard of all the other advantages you may get with other vendors. Hence, treat is as just one more parameter and not the only one.

The oWorkers Advantage

You get the benefit of options in pricing when you outsource video moderation to oWorkers. Pricing can be offered based on length of video moderated or on the resource committed to the task. Even for committed resources, we are happy to commit to SLAs and TATs, making it a win-win for the client.

Quality of Work

Of course, eventually it is about the capability of the vendor to deliver video moderation services of a quality desired by us. If they can demonstrate their experience of having done similar work for others, it is good. If they can provide client testimonials in support of the great work they have done, even better.

While good quality work of a similar nature will be in favor of the bidder, absence of experience with similar work should not be a reason for rejection. Often what may happen is that the vendor, for building a new line of work, might give other benefits to the client to induce them to become the first client for that service.  

The oWorkers Advantage

With a track record of consistently providing over 98% accuracy across a variety of engagements, quality is one of our biggest strengths. Being the choice of some of the global unicorn marketplaces, and growth in engagements, can only be the result of good quality. Many of our clients are referenceable.  

 

In Conclusion

Wait! There is more.

We are a pure data services BPO excelling in our chosen area of work. We are one of the three best data entry BPOs in the world.

Operating out of the Eurozone, GDPR compliance is not a choice for us, it is a requirement.

We offer services in over 20 common languages.

Our clients claim savings of up to 80% as compared to their inhouse operations.

Guide on how to outsource social media moderation

Guide on how to outsource social media moderation

Guide on how to outsource social media moderation

 

Social Media is important

Businesses crave for visibility; of the positive kind. The kind where their business is spoken well of, products appreciated, customer service lauded.

The business can say good things about itself, and nobody can stop them. This is what businesses do through advertising. They pay money to post positive messages about their business and products in the media so that their target population will see it and think better of them and buy more from them.

They can also place positive messaging about themselves on their website. This is somewhat akin to paid advertising. You buy a domain, buy hosting space, probably pay a design and development professional to create the website where you say nice things about yourself.

And that is one of the challenges of this approach. You say nice things about yourself. The discerning customer sees through this and is unimpressed. The other challenge is that there is really no reason why your target audience will come to your website and read/ view your ‘positive’ messaging.

This is why it has come to occupy such an important role in the media strategy for businesses. It has the potential to create a vibrant community around your business that will serve to promote its interests. And since it is independent feedback and views posted by people who don’t have an interest in the money the business makes, they become a source of believable information.

 

Social Media has challenges

There are no unmixed blessings.

While social media can create a vibrant community around your business or product, being independent, it operates without control or inhibition which, in turn, can be harmful for your brand and do exactly the opposite of what you wanted to leverage social media for.

Content posted on social media may not just be harmful for your brand, but could also violate commonly understood guidelines of civil society, like gore, nudity, abuse, hate-speech, etc. Though visitors might understand that it has nothing to do with your business, it will still have a rub-off effect on your business.

Thankfully, these are only a small portion of the posts.

Much of the interaction that happens in the community you create is beneficial. Positive comments and feedback provide an opportunity for showcasing and highlighting your strengths to others. Negative feedback can serve to fix issues being highlighted and go back stronger. You get customer insights in a close-to-natural setting where customers are posting without duress or pressure. In some ways, the purest form of input for your business.

Obviously, you would want the benefits to continue and multiply.

Since we cannot throw the baby out with the bathwater, we need to find a solution.

 

Social media moderation solutions is the answer

The answer lies in moderating social media user-generated content (UGC).

The process of screening and filtering content on your social media pages can be defined as social media moderation. Its objective is to not only ensure that you are filtering or weeding out content that could be offensive, think porn, think violence, think gratuitous mud-slinging, but also promoting healthy interactions towards fulfilment of your objectives of social media presence.

If social media presence is part of the strategy, your presence and involvement in it becomes a requirement in any case. Consumers may drop messages to you on one of your platforms. You need to pick it up and respond. If you are not in a position to, then you should rethink your social media strategy.

Moderation goes a step beyond participation and exercises control over the content being posted.

It is not as straightforward as it may seem. For example, if a consumer has posted a review that portrays your product in bad light, while you do take the feedback and will do a review of the product, will you permit it to be visible or not on the platform? Different companies may take different stands on this.

A clearly articulated social media policy is generally a good starting point and any moderation should be in line with it. This can help you avoid causing offence to people posting in good faith but inadvertently stepping across the acceptability line. It is, after all, your page and you have a right to determine what is acceptable and what is not.

An example of a policy posted by the University of Colorado, Denver: Social Media Moderation (ucdenver.edu).

 

Who should moderate?

Should you outsource social media moderation or keep it inhouse?

The explosion in activity on social media witnessed over the last decade, with many organisations needing to respond in fairly similar manner, has resulted in the emergence of a specialised skill-set of social media moderators. Though each owner may define their own rules, in many cases, they are similar, guided as they are by the general code of conduct of civil society.

As a result, instead of building this specialised skill-set inhouse, businesses find better value in relying on the accumulated expertise and skills built by a vendor who offers social media moderation services as a service.

Unless you have strong reasons for keeping it inhouse, outsourcing should be the default option.

 

Choosing a Provider for Social media moderation Solutions

That means you will need a business partner; someone with expertise in the service you seek. Though at times it can be a challenge to reach the message across to potential vendors, normally, as businesses themselves, providers, like bees, should be able to divine the source of the honey (your business) and make a beeline for it. What we will focus on here is the criteria you should use to identify the most suitable provider for you to outsource social media moderation to.

Consistent delivery of quality service

Prospective vendors should be able to demonstrate a high level of accuracy, meeting or exceeding agreed service levels, preferably in a process similar to the one you seek to outsource. Supporting testimonials from clients of these services will also create confidence in their ability.

With social media moderation services being done for several clients over eight years of operation, oWorkers has continued to build its own knowledge in the space that has enabled us to provide inputs to clients that have enabled them to update their own policies regarding moderation. Many of our clients are referenceable and, we believe, will be open to discussing their engagement with us.

Preparedness for virtual, distributed workforce

When you outsource social media moderation, you cannot pretend that Covid-19 did not happen. It has caused an upheaval in the world, uprooted many of our closely held beliefs and forced us to negotiate many non-negotiable ones. For many BPO clients, work being done from physically secure premises was one that many clients would insist on. Come Covid-19, and boundaries had to be redrawn. The same clients today are happy that work has continued, with agents and supervisors working from home and connecting virtually to client systems, knowledge tools, work rosters, monitoring schedules and, of course, with each other.

oWorkers has been quick off the blocks ever since the world went into lockdown, to ensure client businesses remain unaffected to a great extent. We allow our staff to work from home; the option being with the staff member. We have also put in place hiring and training systems which enable us to hire resources without ever meeting them face to face, as well as training them. The same being the case with the Internal Quality team who access transactions and provide feedback to agents virtually. We are seamlessly able to switch between onsite and virtual operations, including delivering with an integrated model.

Contemporary People Management practices

People being a key resource in any BPO that you outsource social media moderation to, ensuring transparency and reasonableness in their treatment separates successful from the non-so-successful BPOs. While much of the demonstration may be academic, based on theoretical practices shared by the vendor, attrition is one parameter which often reveals the true nature of its practices. As a bugbear of BPOs, attrition has no equal. It creates a need for constant hiring and training, which is a drain on company finances. It also results in draining accumulated wealth of knowledge, which impacts on quality of delivery.

As a strategy meant to deliver long-term benefit, oWorkers has chosen to work with employees on our rolls, and not freelancers and consultants on short contracts. It enables us to build relationships and show employees a career path. Our attrition numbers remain best in class. We are consistently rated 4.6 or more on Glassdoor by our employees.

Workforce Planning and Management

The team that ensures optimum resource utilization, especially the human resource, has their task cut out in a distributed operation environment. Creating rosters, work schedules, ensuring adherence, has become all the more challenging. A vendor with the tools and ability to continue to deliver, can give that edge to your business as well, when you outsource social media moderation to them.

With our technology infrastructure, oWorkers provides flexibility to its staff to work either from home or office in a seamless manner, the choice being the employee’s. The communication tools deployed on the internet bring everyone together, facilitating the task of the Workforce Planning team.

Independent Internal Quality process

The Internal Quality (IQ) team is a fixture of most forward-looking BPOs. It functions outside the delivery structure and not only monitors their performance, but also provides corrective inputs. It is normally staffed by the people considered as experts in the process, who have the ability to monitor and guide others. It provides ‘assurance’ to senior management that the process is functioning along lines expected by the client.

oWorkers has adopted the independent structure of the IQ team for its social media moderation solutions. It reports to senior management who rely on their inputs for feedback on performance. Our IQ team serves as the ‘eyes and ears’ of the client and is able to implement corrections before the errors cause dependent processes on the client side to suffer. With this team’s support, oWorkers is able to deliver accuracy levels better than 99%.

Pricing is competitive and value accretive

This is an integral part of any commercial engagement, lower being obviously better. However, pricing should be viewed in the context of social media moderation services being a B2B engagement where the bouquet of services will be unique. Hence, ‘better value’ and not ‘lower price’ should be the guiding principle.

Being the most valuable provider is the goal of oWorkers, not being the cheapest, though we may be the cheapest on many occasions without trying to be. With our pricing options for clients, of choosing between dollars per unit of time and dollars per unit of output, clients can choose what works best for them.

Support for multilingual delivery

This is a necessary condition in an increasingly global world. Many businesses today have a global footprint and the ones that do not are trying hard to get it.  For social media moderation services. multilingual support is essential as a social media imprint could arise from any part of the world, in any language, even though the business may not be serving customers in that part.

With support provided in over 20 languages, oWorkers is primed to be a partner in the expansion drive of its clients who don’t need to go looking for more partners for the same service.

Deploys modern tools and technology

As a dynamic, incessant activity, social media moderation has few parallels. Someone, somewhere, could be posting content on your social media profiles at any point of time. Sometimes there could be a flood of posts at the same time, especially on social media platforms of big and popular consumer businesses. Manual moderation can be expensive. Modern tools and technologies, driven by Artificial Intelligence (AI) become necessary for such businesses.

With the help of our alliances with owners of key technologies, we offer the most current technologies required for social media moderation solutions.

Scalability and access to human resources

Being a people driven business where attrition is a feature, interested parties need to demonstrate the ability to hire regularly at reasonable cost. Further, when you outsource social media moderation, as a result of seasonality and other factors, volumes can fluctuate, requiring the BPO to meet short-term resource requirements as well. The greater the effort required in accessing interested pools of candidates, the greater the financial pressure.

oWorkers has access to talent pools as we are a preferred employer owing to our deep involvement with the communities we work in. This enables us to hire throughout the year without excessive effort in unearthing fresh talent pools. It also gives us the flexibility to hire for short-term spikes as our talent pool trusts us in making the right choices, like retaining them if there is a possibility.

Project Management expertise

The beginning of a relationship between a client and a BPO delivery partner, when delivery needs to be uprooted from its moorings on the client side and placed on the vendor side, can be a traumatic experience, like giving birth. There are many moving parts that often go out of control, requiring managerial skill and experience to bring back in line. It calls for expertise in Project Management and Transition to ensure the engagement gets off to a flying start. Like they say, ‘well begun is half done.’

With over a hundred transitions under its belt, with each new instance adding to the already deep knowledge base, oWorkers has ‘been there, done that.’

 

Next Steps

oWorkers is a GDPR compliant and ISO (27001:2013 & 9001:2015) certified provider and operates from three global delivery centers that can provide business contingency for your work. We specialise in data and back-office BPO work. Our 24×7 operational machinery can cover all time zones in the world. Our clients advise savings of up to 80% when they outsource social media moderation work to us. We hope you will too.

10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

Copy of 10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

 

It can take years for a business to build a reputation. To destroy it, a moment may be sufficient.

This might be the biggest driver for moderation services.

In today’s online world, many businesses make efforts to build thriving online communities with their business and products at the center of it; communities where there is an ongoing conversation, either with the business or amongst the users themselves. Not only does this provide insights to the business about user behavior, it also creates a huge amount of user generated content (UGC) that, not having been created by the business, has great value as a source of authentic information for visitors.

Online interaction is often seen as the best way for a business to understand its customers and their needs as it is in a ‘natural’ setting without any pressure to cook up the inputs, as might happen when you conduct a survey. It can be used to improve your product, your strategy or even decide to kill off an offering that is not making sense.

Of course, UGC can be created in many formats, video, audio, image and text being the most common and well understood.

While most UGC is genuine and of acceptable standards, some of it can be malicious and hurt sensibilities. To protect its image from being sullied because of such content, moderation is required.

This article will focus on text moderation, which could be defined as the process of monitoring and blocking or amending content submissions that either violate the policies of the site on which they have been submitted, or of civic society in general.

 

Who Needs Text Moderation Solutions

If you have a web presence which is open for public participation, the sanctity of content on your website is subject to the vagaries of the people who visit it and their moods. While most content that gets created is genuine and sane, one can never rule out the possibility of a person creating content on your website which either violates the policies you have defined for your website or, in a more general sense, is not within the general rules of civil society, and hence, not acceptable.

This requirement is not limited to a certain kind of business or industry. Whether you are a car manufacturer or an education portal or an e-commerce platform or a matchmaking portal or a news platform or a furniture maker, if you permit open interaction on a web property owned by you, text moderation will be needed by you.

 

The Case for Text Moderation Services

There could be abusive language. Or hate speech. Or insult to symbols and beliefs held in high regard by some. Or a challenge to the rule of law. There could be many other issues of a bilateral nature which are surfaced on such sites, but, in the context of the possibly national and global scale issues, are perhaps of lower significance.

Where could these be posted?

Once again, anywhere. There are many different channels for communication that exist in the online world. There are reviews of many kinds, book reviews, film reviews, art reviews and product reviews, like on ecommerce websites, to name a few. Anyone can access these spaces and post a review. There are comments that can be placed on articles and posts in cyberspace and on news items published by established media houses. Thriving online communities are a part of many businesses, like technology platforms. For a consumer business, it is difficult to directly respond to each and every query being raised by individual customers, as there could be millions. Many businesses and SAS platforms are particularly good at this, creating communities where questions raised by some members could be responded by others. Some of them even have a system of rewards for members who are the most active in providing accurate and fast responses. Then there are forums (or fora), profiles, and the ubiquitous social media presence. Content that may need to be moderated could be on any of these.

Moderation will, to a large extent, keep you safe from exposure to issues like trademark violations, PR scandals, brand image compromise and even legal tangles.

 

Outsource Text Moderation or Keep Inhouse?

The need being established, a natural question to emerge at this stage is whether to outsource the activity or create the skills to do it inhouse.

While each business still needs to make the choice, going by the choices made by many, at this stage it does appear that the outsourcing content moderation option seems to be an overwhelming favorite. The reasons could be many:

Text moderation services are applicable in a fairly uniform manner to most platforms, overlayed with specific website moderation rules that your business might develop, which are also fairly similar to rules created by others. Hence, there is no uniqueness for which a skillset needs to be created.

Moderation is not a core competence or skill of your employees. Their skill most likely pertains to your business. If they do moderation, they will probably be incompetent and uninterested moderators.

Moreover, your business activities will suffer as your staff is engaged in other work. And your primary work, since it is your core competence, cannot be done in a better way by a partner through outsourcing. It needs to be done by you.

Thus, at this point of time, to outsource text moderation is the preferred option.

 

The 10 Steps to Outsource Text Moderation

Having been done thousands of times, the process of outsourcing is well established, and perfected by vendors who take on text moderation solutions work of clients. Of course, improvements are always possible and also, there could be multiple ways of reaching the common goal of a smoothly operating shop run by a partner.

A recommended sequence of activities is shared here:

1. Define the process, identify part to be outsourced

In order to produce the product or service which eventually is sold to a client, businesses run a series of processes, the output of one being the input of the next.

Though it has been decided to outsource text moderation, at this stage, the business needs to ignore whether it is outsourced or not, and update its Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reflect the addition of text moderation as a part of the overall process, and defining the inputs into and outputs out of it. This also ensures the people involved understand that it is an integral part of their business and not a random activity being done for them by a partner as and when it is outsourced.

2. Forge consensus on approach

It is important to get everyone in the organisation ‘on the same page.’ This can be done through open sharing of information about the proposed outsourcing, inviting feedback and criticism, and giving all concerned a chance to be heard.

Documentation also helps achieve clarity and consensus, hence, reasons for outsourcing should be documented along with the benefits analysis.

This phase should result in consensus on the decision to outsource text moderation.

Effort should also be made to identify the project lead for the planned outsourcing, if not the entire project team.

3. Create the outsourcing blueprint

Some outsourcing deals run into heavy weather because one of the parties, typically the buyer, or outsourcer, has not put adequate thought into it. The greater the clarity in terms of requirement and expectation, the greater the chance of success. Now that the project lead has been identified, this would be the right time to flesh out the details to the next level. This detailing will also help in setting the right expectations with potential vendors interested in the contract. A recommended checklist of items that this phase should cover:

  • Objective of outsourcing
  • Details of the process
  • Types of for and web properties to be moderated
  • Consumer profile
  • Defining rules
  • Domain knowledge requirement
  • Quality standards
  • Timelines
  • Volume

 

4. Establish criteria

Though this could be considered a part of the previous step, as a key step in eventually selecting a partner, it has been carved out separately.

A recommended list of capabilities and attributes to look for in a partner:

Experience of doing similar work – Helps in getting off to a flying start and enables a view of what it will look like when you outsource.

oWorkers has successfully executed several text moderation projects for global clients. With our 24×7 operations, we are up and running to cover anyone, anywhere, posting on your web properties, so that you can sleep soundly.

Quality and accuracy – Familiarity with the type of work brings value only if executed to the required accuracy levels. Quality level offered by the vendor will be of importance in any outsourcing not just when you outsource text moderation. Existing client testimonials validating quality levels will always be of value.

Consistently providing accuracy levels above 99%, oWorkers has a global client list, many of them referenceable.

Processing Speed – While quicker turnarounds are of value to business in general, for text moderation services the importance is immense, as many businesses have a process of pre-moderation; reviewing the content before permitting publication. Customers, on the other hand, want to see their contribution become visible quickly.

With three global centers, 24×7 operation, and the flexibility to work from home, oWorkers provides unmatched response times, with SLAs of response under a minute also possible.

Pricing – A necessary part of a contract. Clearly, low is good, but since it is a B2B arrangement, where it is a customised basket of services being contracted, the focus should be on value and not merely the lowest price.

Clients of oWorkers advise save 80% in comparison with their pre-outsourcing cost. Our pricing is transparent, with a choice of per hour or per output unit pricing.

Multilingual capability – Instead of contracting multiple vendors for the same service in different languages, a vendor’s multilingual capability in text moderation solutions can allow the client to focus their efforts on a single outsourced engagement. Again, an important consideration since texts can be created in any language.

Supporting over 22 major languages across three global centers, oWorkers is uniquely positioned to support you, regardless of where your consumers are and what language they post in.

Current Technology – There could be an avalanche of activity on a website from time to time. Some websites could be ones where there is heavy footfall all the time. Human intervention being expensive and slow, automated, AI driven solutions, are becoming a necessity for handling text moderation services.

With its partnerships with leading technology solutions providers, oWorkers makes available to you the best technologies for your requirements.

Data Security – Joined at the hip with technology is data security. The digital data being generated for a client needs to be maintained and transacted securely.

Being ISO (27001 and 9001) certified, oWorkers implements the latest in security practices and protocols for ensuring security of client data, in transmission as well as in storage and while being worked on.

Scalability – Being a human activity, a regular supply of jobseekers is as important as the ability to expand the hiring number for a short period of time to cater to a sudden spike in client business volumes.

oWorkers data outsourcing services ramping up and down by a hundred headcount in 48 hours. This is made possible by our deep connects with the communities we operate in.

Financial health – A stressed financial situation often leads to suboptimal decision-making and hesitation in making investments in business, eventually impacting on client projects. It is important to ensure that the company to whom you seek to outsource text moderation to, is in reasonably healthy financial condition. Further, it is recommended that this be validated once a year.

oWorkers has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It is registered as a local enterprise in each of its geographies and pays local and social taxes for its employees

Training facility – Required to ensure rapid upskilling of new hires to join the process and contribute to the work being done, for text moderation solutions training acquires an added importance of having to refresh the skills of its workforce as the practices and tools in the environment may keep changing.

oWorkers relies on independent training facilities attached to each of its three facilities to train new hires and keep the knowledge of existing staff fresh by conducting refresher sessions.

5. Seek participation from interested parties

Having lined up your ‘ducks in a row’ with the outsourcing blueprint being prepared and selection criteria being established, all that remains is for competent providers to ‘come to the party.’ Which, of course, is easier said than done. For that to happen, the word needs to be spread in the right communities and through the right channels.

In many cases, it eventually boils down to one of the following channels to communicate the message:

  • A Request for Proposal (RFP) is issued. This is generally preferred by large enterprises. An RFP is a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you seek.
  • Direct outreach to providers who you know provide similar services to competitors.
  • Advertising in trade circles, if you are a part of them.
  • Direct contact through databases like Yellow Pages and web search. They will respond if interested.

 

6. Review and Shortlist

If the communication has been done effectively, you should have received interest from vendors.

Assuming you have received interest from may parties, this stage involves sifting through the applications and identifying the few with whom you would like to go into more detailed discussions. Unfortunately, as time is at a premium, it is advisable to not do that with all applicants. A B2B partnership needs to be carefully navigated and negotiated, hence it is recommended that you go into greater detail with a few rather than less detail with many.

Of course, if you don’t have responses, you would need to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out the reasons. Were your requirements not clear? Were your terms too stringent? You may need to do one more round of interest solicitation, delaying the process.

7. Detailed discussion with a few

This is where the detailed discussions will happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of a Non Disclosure Agreement (NDA) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing. This is one of the key phases of the process. This is where detailed discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels, all take place.

8. Shortlist down to 1

Eventually you will decide on the most suitable partner and issue a Letter of Intent. Contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage, would now be formalised. The other shortlisted vendors will be retained as backups if this partnership falls through for some reason.

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

9. Implementation and Transition

Implementation of the Project Plan, that would have been agreed during the commercial negotiations, is now kicked off, leading to the eventual transition and stabilization of the process with the vendor.

Initiation of a Trial Run, if agreed upon, will happen at this stage, with success criteria and actions following achievement or non-achievement, clearly defined.

All other dependencies, like identification by the vendor of the team that will support activities under this contract, outsourcer arranging the initial training, technical handshakes required, hiring of staff, finding the physical space for the new team, will be handled as per the Project Plan.

10. Begin work, test and then go full steam

Work begins. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Staring slowly, the work gradually ramps up to handle the agreed volumes.

Note: This is an indicative sequence of steps and not mandatory. Not all steps will be needed in all cases. In some cases, the sequence could also change, like a Trial Run could happen before a contract is signed.

 

In Conclusion

Keep your business safe from abuse by seeking the right partner for your text moderation.

Identified as one of the three best data services providers in the world, oWorkers should be part of your evaluation exercise for a suitable partner. We are the preferred partner for many businesses around the world. We hope we will be yours too.

10 Steps to Outsource Online Media Moderation

Copy of 10 steps to outsource online media moderation

10 Steps to Outsource Online Media Moderation

 

What is online media?

In simple terms, we could say it is the communication and exchange of information and ideas through the Internet or the World Wide Web.

What is online media moderation?

As a logical extension, online media moderation could be the name given to an activity that filters the content being exchanged through the Internet in order that it adheres to the general code of conduct of civil society, in addition to defined laws of course.

Online media moderation services – why are they needed?

It takes all sorts to make the world. The anonymity one sometimes feels when one is online, can act as an encouragement for misdemeanours. Some may feel compelled to post content like violence or porn that may be harmful for impressionable sections of Internet users like children. Some may use the Internet to spread messages of hate and incite one group against another. Yet others may engage in annoying acts of self-promotion and spamming. The list is long. Even though this might be only a small percentage of content shared on the World Wide Web, it has enough potential to cause damage which is why moderation has become a requirement.

Who needs online media moderation solutions?

Anybody who uses online media and relies on it for one reason or another and has created spaces in the online world where such exchange of ideas, information and media can take place in an open manner; in other words, any visitor could access the space and leave an imprint.

In real terms, it is organisations and businesses who use the online world in this manner, by creating open spaces where anybody could drop in and leave an impression; good, bad or ugly. They do this for promotion of their organisation’s objectives and for creating thriving online communities with their products/ services/ business/ organisation at the center of it. Hence, this discussion will be limited to the spaces created by organisations and businesses.

Who should moderate?

To make it simpler, this question is asked from the perspective of a business or an organisation that might even be a not-for-profit.

The main choices are:

  1. Build the skills to do it inhouse
  2. Outsource online media moderation to a provider who has the skills to be able to do it for you

Though today it seems like a given for an organisation to be reliant on online media for furthering their objectives, this channel is only about a couple of decades old. Online media moderation might be almost as old as the use of online media.

Over the course of this period, online media moderation services have become established as an independent business in their own right. While it may have been a debate in the early stages, today it is well accepted and established that online media moderation is best done with the enlistment of a partner who specializes in the service instead of creating a new skill-set within the organisation.

That being the case, the selection of the provider becomes a key question for the organisation. As each organisation is different, you need to be cognisant of the fact that the process being outsourced is a part of your business, and probably has linkages in and out from and to other processes which are known by you and not the vendor. Eventually, you define the success and failure criteria for the process.

In short, the ownership for the outsourcing of your online media moderation solutions work needs to be with you and your organisation.

The process of selection of a partner will be discussed in the ensuing paragraphs.

1. Carve out the section (or process) for outsourcing

It is probably a repetition, but whether you outsource online media moderation or not, it is a part of your organisation and its sequence of processes. If not done well, some other part of your organisation will be impacted.

Hence the need to define it as a part of your integrated chain of activities where instead of the ownership for that part belonging to an internal team or set of employees, it is the vendor who is given that responsibility. Of course, there will be a set of people or a team who will still be responsible for monitoring the vendor’s performance.

At this stage, update your Manuals and Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to reflect the addition of online media moderation as a part of the overall process, and define the inputs into and outputs out of it. This also ensures the people involved understand that it is an integral part and not a random activity being done for them by a partner as and when it is outsourced.

2. Obtain internal sign-offs for the approach

Nothing is a given, especially in an organisational context. You are always striving to do it better and better. Besides, organisational memory is short. While it may have been discussed and largely agreed, if it is an important decision, it is recommended that opportunity be created for a discussion on the subject amongst decision makers, followed by a formal agreement or sign-off.

As there should be a logical reason for every organisational step, so should there be one for outsourcing. This should result in the creation of documentation of reasons for outsourcing along with the benefits analysis which would be the stepping stone to the consensus on the decision to outsource online media moderation.

As a corollary of the agreement, the responsibility structure for the ensuing phases, along with a project lead, would ideally also be identified, so that it becomes an approved activity being handled by defined resources, instead of senior leadership having to be involved again and again.

3. Detail the requirements

With responsibility now identified, detailing the requirements and expectations, to the level possible and reasonable, will benefit the ongoing journey and discovery process. Often, outsourcing deals run into trouble because the outsourcer has not put enough thought and detail into the activity and assumed that by hiring a professional service provider, the organisation will be doing enough to protect their interest.

As with all other engagements between contracting parties, the greater the clarity in terms of requirement and expectation, the greater the chance of success. This detailing will also help in setting the right expectations with potential vendors interested in the contract and ensure genuine, serious bidders only apply. A recommended checklist of items that this phase should cover:

  • Objective of outsourcing
  • Details of the process
  • Types of online media to be moderated
  • User profile
  • Defining rules
  • Domain knowledge requirement
  • Quality standards
  • Timelines
  • Volume

 

4. Define vendor selection criteria

A recommended list of capabilities and attributes to look for in a partner:

Prior experience with online media moderation solutions

Will help your project get off the ground fast, and save on resources at the initial stage of implementation and transition which takes a lot of investment and time.

With several online media moderation projects handled for global clients, oWorkers can enable you to get off to a quick start. Our 24×7 operations will keep you safe all the time.

Consistently high quality of work

Is self-explanatory. This is what we want and why you initiated the process to outsource online media moderation. Will be even more powerful if combined with quality being in the same line of work. Even if not, demonstrating good quality is a healthy sign of commitment to delivery.

Though each client has its own unique measure of performance evaluation, oWorkers data entry outsourcing company is proud of its track record of consistently providing over 99% accuracy levels.

Responsive and quick

With quality and pricing, one of the three key deliverables for any Operations team. The quicker the response, the lower the exposure for the organisation to malicious online content. Also provides greater satisfaction to consumers, who would not like their user generated content (UGC) to sit in a queue for long.

With SLAs driven by client requirements, with three global centers and 24×7 operation, oWorkers can deliver to your response time requirements when you order content moderation services.

Low attrition and modern manpower practices

To ensure that the key resource, manpower, is taken care of so that hiring is not more difficult than it needs to be and attrition is within acceptable range.

oWorkers works with employed staff and not freelancers. While this brings a greater responsibility, it enables us to build long-term relationships with our staff and provide career-paths for growth. Owing to our position as a preferred employer in all our communities, we have a steady stream of walk-in talent that keeps our hiring costs low. Our attrition is also best-in-class on account of our transparent employment practices.

Price that delivers value

Clearly, low is good, but in a B2B contract, where the price is likely a negotiated one, creating value from the contract should be the priority and not getting the lowest price.

Being the cheapest provider is not our objective, but being the most valuable provider is. That being said, we are the lowest in many cases because of our efficient operating model that enables us to pass on the savings to our clients.

Financial health

Permits investing in the relationship and helps avoid the vendor cutting corners in delivery which has a harmful impact on the client in the long run. When you outsource online media moderation, an efficient operation that leads into a healthy financial position needs to be validated, not just at the start but on an ongoing basis, perhaps once a year.

oWorkers has been a consistently profitable enterprise. It is registered as a local enterprise in each of its geographies and pays local taxes as well as social taxes for its employees.

Multilingual delivery

Whether your organisation is global, or aspires to be, a vendor offering multilingual capability is a plus, especially in online media moderation solutions where interaction on your web properties can originate in any language from anywhere in the world.

oWorkers already supports over 22 major languages, and the list keeps growing.

Technology and Data Security

While the final solution may rest with a human being, it can also be expensive and slow. Automated, AI driven solutions, are becoming a necessity for handling online media moderation services. Access to cutting-edge technology solutions that can handle a bulk of the workload can be helpful in negotiating large volumes.

A related aspect is data security, since most data is now exchanged and used digitally. The vendor should have reliable processes and systems for securing clients’ data.

With its partnerships with leading technology solutions providers, oWorkers makes available to you the best technologies for your requirements and implements the latest in security practices and protocols for ensuring security of client data. oWorkers is ISO (27001 and 9001) certified and GDPR compliant, operating as it does from the Eurozone.

Hiring to meet peaks

Every business has peaks and troughs. One could either retain resources for peak requirements through the year or hire short-term to meet peak. The second is obviously preferred as it limits cost exposure. Vendors with the ability to provide resources for short-term requirements should be given preference.

oWorkers offers ramping up and down by a hundred headcount in 48 hours. This is made possible by our deep connects with the communities we operate in.

5. Ensure your requirement is known to relevant parties

Once you are clear on your requirements, the only thing that stops you from getting online media moderation services is the provider, who is yet to be identified and selected.

To initiate the process, you should ensure that your requirement is made known widely enough and in a manner such that capable providers come to know of it and become interested in the job on offer as that will induce them to make competitive bids.

In many cases, it eventually boils down to one of the following channels to communicate the message:

  • Issuing a Request for Proposal (RFP), generally preferred by large enterprises. An RFP is a standardised proposal form where you specify the information you seek.
  • Direct contact through databases like Yellow Pages and web search.
  • Direct outreach to providers who you know provide similar services to competitors.
  • Advertising in trade circles, if you are a part of them.

6. Eliminate and prune the list

Once the earlier step is done effectively, you should have received interest from vendors, review submissions based on criteria set out, and begin. A B2B partnership needs to be carefully navigated and negotiated, hence it is recommended that you go into greater detail with a few rather than less detail with many, hence an initial rejection step may be needed.

Of course, if you don’t have responses, you would need to go back to the drawing board and try to figure out the reasons. Were your requirements not clear? Were your terms too stringent? You may need to do one more round of interest solicitation, delaying the process.

7. Detailed review and analysis

Detailed discussions will now happen and both parties will be required to share information. In most B2B cases, this will be preceded by the execution of an NDA (Non-Disclosure Agreement) which binds both parties to treating the information received as confidential and enjoins them to ensure it is handled with the utmost care. This is the stage where the potential vendor will make a case for being selected, scope of services will be discussed, including indicative pricing. Detailed discussions, site visits, interacting with staff members, exploring combinations, negotiating on price and service levels, all take place at this stage.

8. Finalise and contract

Eventually you will decide on the most suitable partner and issue a Letter of Intent. Contractual terms, which would have been already discussed during the previous stage, would now be formalised. The other shortlisted vendors will be retained as backups if this partnership falls through for some reason.

The formal agreement is executed based on mutually acceptable terms and conditions.

9. Implement and Transition

Implementation of the Project Plan, that would have been agreed during the commercial negotiations, is now kicked off, leading to the eventual transition and stabilization of the process with the vendor.

Initiation of a Trial Run, if agreed upon, will happen at this stage, with success criteria and actions following achievement or non-achievement, clearly defined.

All other dependencies, like identification by the vendor of the team that will support activities under this contract, outsourcer arranging the initial training, technical handshakes required, hiring of staff, finding the physical space for the new team, will be handled as per the Project Plan.

10. Begin work, test and stabilize

This is when the work starts. If volumes are large, there is a ramp-up generally provided for in the Project Plan. Staring slowly, the work ramps up to handle the agreed volumes till the time we reach what is called the BAU (Business as Usual) stage, the stable, predictable phase of the journey, is reached which will continue to work towards achievement of your organisational goals as envisioned when the seed was planted to outsource online media moderation.