Business Process Outsourcing is a growing sector at a rapid pace and will expand in 2021 for several reasons when remote working has come to the mainstream.
We have entered a different business ecosystem where companies prefer to outsource most of their non-core and even highly-specialized functions to BPO service providers to keep their in-house team short and manageable. Processes that used to work with onsite teams are now included under BPO services. Regardless of remote working in full swing, BPO services are offered by both on-premise and work-at-home agents, making the team more agile and flexible. Certain operations require onsite attention. Most modern contact center solutions leverage the blended operations model, which is one reason for their ever-increasing demand.
What are the basic categories in BPO outsourcing?
On a basic level, BPO is categorized into two segments – front office and back office. The former covers customer support, answering services, telemarketing and sales activities that involve direct interaction with customers or clients. The latter takes care of accounting and payroll, medical billing, logistics, legal, and others. The numbers of outsourcing destinations for the front office were many. They were needed back in 2015 as they are today. Recently, there has been an upsurge in the number of specialized call center in Philippines, India and Jamaica where such complex back-office operations are also taken care of.
What are the key reasons companies are choosing BPO services instead of setting up in-house teams? If one has to sum these up, there are several crucial advantages that you can get by offloading important functions to nearshore or offshore call centers:
- Less costly than hiring
- Emerging offshore and nearshore locations
- Access to talent
- Time zone flexibility
- Flawless customer service
Getting access to the best talent is not as easy as pie, especially for firms that need to recruit on a large-scale. Companies also look forward to lower management overheads. And by partnering up with a call center in Jamaica or any place with a low labor charge, you can save considerably on your total cost of overhead. BPO is not just about offloading tasks; it is about outsourcing an entire business operation to a skilled workforce from different corners of the globe. It brings a huge difference in expenses. Let’s discuss other reasons in detail.
Why is outsourcing less expensive than hiring?
What is a substitute for outsourcing? If there is any better substitute for outsourcing, it is hiring in-house staff. Hiring and recruitment is a time-intensive procedure. You need HRs and managers to scrutinize the capabilities of the applicants and find out who fits the job well. It requires office space, setup, and the involvement of the technical team for hassle-free operations. Hiring and recruiting people is becoming a pain point for businesses; this is why outsourcing has turned out to be a habitual practice.
Those BPOs offering other services than customer care, like accounting or legal, give you a better edge because they have expert teams working for different clients across the USA, UK, Canada and EMEA regions. Either you need them for a legal battle or to keep your accounts receivable in top shape, a call center in Philippines or other popular outsourcing destinations can help.
Why are emerging nearshore and offshore BPO centers helpful?
The BPO services industry is moving towards globalization of workforce just like Information Technology services sector. Just like the BPO revolution in Canada helped US or Canada-based businesses outsource to home centers. A call center in Montreal can target and understand US customers better because of similarity in culture and lifestyle. Many call center locations are emerging in developing counties like India, Philippines, Albania and Jamaica because of favorable government policies, growing infrastructure and increasing fluency in multiple languages. The offshore market for BPO in 2021 is going to expand due to industry-specific service demands like healthcare customer service, medical billing, order processing for eCommerce, student loan collection for education and more.
Why third-party BPO services provide access to the right talent?
Most companies lack the expertise to recruit suitable candidates. Now, imagine you need to target French-speaking nationals for your eCommerce start-up. You will require customer service agents fluent in French and who understand French culture. If you don’t understand French, how will you recruit and run a process? A global call center in EMEA location can be a great cost-effective alternative for you.
Now, suppose you run a chain of clinics and hospitals and you need help with medical coding and billing. You can’t vet the skills of a medical coder. So, there is no way you can find if the new joinees are productive or not. You probably need a QA, a technical lead, and medical coders working in a team. Offloading these services to a third-party improves the company’s core expertise and gives you instant access to the right talents at the right time.
How BPO provides time zone flexibility?
Suppose you are branching out or starting an office in Qatar, the US, or Sweden, and you need representatives speaking different languages. You should not shy away from working with a global BPO services outsourcing firm. When companies consider outsourcing to a call center in Jamaica, they often have questions about how the time difference with their home center will affect the business operation. For the USA, Jamaica is a nearshore destination, but the time difference will be huge for the UK, Asia-Pacific, and EMEA regions. This can apparently cause hindrance, but in reality, different-zone outsourcing can offer untapped advantages. Global BPOs have offshore teams working from multiple locations across different time zones. This gives staff flexibility, enlarges your billable hours, accelerates the functioning of projects.
Businesses, in the future, are not going to outsource core expertise, no matter what. For instance, if you are a healthcare giver, you won’t outsource treatment and clinical procedures to remote physicians.
It makes a lot more sense from a practical viewpoint to outsource non-core functions, even if the call center is located in a different time zone.
Why is flawless customer service important in 2021?
An immaculate customer experience is most likely the single most crucial factor in the success of any brand. Where businesses once only invested only in phone support, in today’s omnichannel customer-first environment, having voice support ain’t gonna crack the nut! You will require live chat support, the capacity to respond to text messages via app, 24-hour email support, round-the-clock marketing and sales support, and more. For several small-sized companies, setting up all these communication channels internally is hard enough, let alone staffing them 24/7.
Whether it is a way of overcoming customer service challenges without investing too much in your service team or finding cost-efficient ways to outsmart the competition, businesses are chalking out ways to up their games. That’s where BPO services come in. Whether you are outsourcing all your functions or just a part, the results can be positive in 2021 and beyond.
Alicia Johnson is an outreach consultant for multiple technologies industries. With expertise in corporate communications and practical knowledge about different technologies, she has spent the past 7 years working in the technologies industry and she loves to share her experience with readers.