BPO industries are progressively increasing all around the world. They are a gateway to opening lots of jobs for interested individuals which in turn helps generate revenue for the companies. It is an incredibly attractive industry that enables people to outsource their skills in the open market and for all those wishing to become BPO partners.
A multitude of industries has acknowledged outsourcing as a valuable means of accessing skilled professionals, cost-effective labor, and infrastructure. The advantages of lower costs, improved efficiency, quicker turnaround times, and adaptable staffing options further enhance the appeal of outsourcing to these companies.
There is a wide-range of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) vendors available and selecting the appropriate one can lead to rapid success, whereas choosing an unsuitable one can become a significant problem. Although there may be a sense of urgency to make a prompt decision, investing time at the outset can have significant long-term benefits.
Having good intentions and brilliant ideas is not enough to make your business succeed and despite having proper planning, businesses often fall into the following traps:
Prioritizing Price Reduction Instead of a Seamless Transition
It is a mistake when certain businesses approach outsourcing their contact center services as if they were making a purchase at a discount. They may be tempted by a great price and make a hasty decision based on the notion that it is a limited-time offer.
When you come across a proposal that offers an hourly agent cost significantly lower than your in-house labor rate, it may seem enticing. However, if the service provider fails to meet your expectations, trying to save money could lead you into trouble.
There are several factors to consider when evaluating the overall cost of your contact center operations beyond just the hourly wage of the agents. It's important to also take into account the recruitment and training process for both agents and middle managers provided by your BPO partner. In addition, it's crucial to assess the level of investment your partner has made in onsite technology and whether they have redundant security and service capabilities.
Look for a BPO service provider that is open about their financials and has a strategy in place to improve agent retention. Failing to involve the middle and senior management of the BPO provider in the transition process can lead to complications and inconsistencies in your operations. These management teams are responsible for overseeing day-to-day activities and their involvement is crucial for ensuring a smooth transition. Without their support, your agents may struggle to understand their role and how it fits into the bigger picture. Poor or misaligned management structures can impede the flow of information from the contact center floor to your clients. A lack of engagement from middle management may also indicate high turnover, which can create additional problems and jeopardize your objectives.
Neglecting the Initial Training and Agent On-boarding
It's important to be cautious of BPOs that claim to have complete control over your training program. Although it may seem appealing to delegate this responsibility and view it as the vendor's duty, it's crucial to be involved in establishing this fundamental aspect of your BPO partnership. By not taking an active role, you not only relinquish control over how your agents are trained, but you also lose control over how the "trainers" themselves are trained.
If you neglect this crucial step, you will venture down a path where you have no control over how trainers evaluate your curriculum and develop the agents who will represent your company. In the absence of trainers who comprehend your brand, how can you expect your customers to understand it?
Not participating in the initial training and onboarding sessions means losing the chance to share important institutional or tribal knowledge that is unique to you. Our clients often develop their own business processes, methods, and tools over time, incorporating and abandoning various practices. However, they often fail to document and codify this intellectual knowledge.
This knowledge can be dispersed throughout different levels of your company, including HR, customer experience operations, and marketing. It may not be feasible to expect this expertise to be easily transferred to a vendor located thousands of miles away in a different country.
If you don't integrate your trainers into the new contact center, the knowledge they possess will be lost once your staff moves on to new positions, switches to different organizations, or retires.
Failing to Prioritize the Development of an Authentic Partnership
When clients focus solely on labor arbitrage, they overlook the importance of establishing a genuine partnership with their service providers. This leads to a lack of evaluation during the selection process, including the provider's ability to ask the right questions and understand the client's challenges. As a result, communication breakdowns occur, problems persist on the contact center floor, and ultimately, customers are affected.
Without a true partnership, it becomes difficult to assess performance, monitor the provider's progress toward performance goals, and receive feedback on what's working and what needs improvement. Consequently, without this level of engagement, both the client and the contact center provider miss out on the benefits of a partnership approach that aligns with their interests.
If the parties involved in an outsourcing partnership fail to align on their objectives, and values, and establish effective communication channels to handle arising issues and opportunities, the partnership may quickly deteriorate. Being aware of this beforehand enables you to select the most suitable BPO provider, establish the partnership for success and manage it more effectively.
When utilized correctly, outsourcing can provide advantages like cost savings, enabling companies to focus on core business competencies, improved quality, enhanced skills, reduced time-to-market, and competitive edges. Companies that make outsourcing a fundamental capability will always have a strategic advantage.