Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) involves delegating work to a dedicated agency when the company prefers not to do it in-house.
Such delegated work could involve customer service and telemarketing, which is taken care by the call center .
There are a number of reasons why a company might choose to outsource specialized work such as customer service.
The in-house personnel needs be focused only on the core business events, it might prove inefficient on a financial scale to deal with telemarketing in-house, or the company may not be in a position to get a hold of the volume of agents required to deal with the queries sufficiently.
Another big reason why it is beneficial for companies to outsource their customer service to call centers is that these centers have the dedicated call center software, which is designed to draw more meaningful information out of the data, automate processes and generate maximum efficiency.
Using the call center solutions, call center agents are able to communicate more effectively, keep customers more satisfied and generate more revenue in sales in the long run.
In this article, we will discuss the types of processes that are outsourced, how BPOs work with these processes and how the relationship between a BPO and its parent company turns out to be one of the mutual benefit.
1. Technical support outsourcing
Tech support is one of the most common features of a company that is outsourced to dedicated firms.
Larger companies typically face a lot of queries every single day regarding the technical aspects of their products, either from the customers who do not have the technical process to navigate it on their own, or because an aspect of the product is behaving in an anomalous manner.
Whatever is the case, the sheer volume of calls coming in means it is not feasible for the company to deal with it in-house.
Even for small and medium sized enterprises, outsourcing tech support allows their employees to focus on the crux of their business operations and leave the communication to the experts, so that both of these crucial elements of the business are managed by the people who put their full attention to it and are equipped to handle the challenges associated with it.
2. Chat support outsourcing
Live chat is a comparatively new feature to come up in the sphere of customer service, but it has already established itself as a premier form of management.
Chat support can easily be integrated in any online pocket, making it easily accessible to the customer and allowing the resolution of issues in real-time, which makes it more likely for customers to be satisfied with the level of customer service being provided.
Agents at BPOs are assigned to stay glued to their screens and spring into action whenever a live query comes in through chat.
In modern software, chatbots and automated conversation modules deals with the rudimentary and repetitive questions, leaving agents in charge of newer problems and complex solutions.
3. Email support outsourcing
Emails are the most important form of official communication.
They have very few restrictions in structure, which make them the perfect fit for call centers looking to reach out to the customers by providing all the relevant information they think that will catch the customer’s eye.
Emails allow them to attach audio or video for reference, link to websites, share testimonials and carry the perfect balance of an official tone and personal messaging.
Email support is also an important manner of customer service, simply because everyone checks their emails – the message is sent straight to their phones, their laptops, their tablets, etc.
It is so accessible that it becomes the most important way to be in touch with the customers and ensure that they invest in your business.
Call center agents are entrusted with the responsibility of making calls to leads, telling them about the product or service that the company is offering, directing the conversation in such a way that the customer on the other end of the line is interested and eventually convinced that the product in question would add value to their personal or professional lives and then complete a sale.
This entire cycle of telemarketing is handled by the BPO executives, starting from accumulating data about the customers to personalize conversations, using the technology available to answer queries by the customer and clear their doubts, highlight the USP of the product and push a sale through.
After the sale, telemarketing agents stay connected to the customer in a bid to keep them loyal to the brand for future purchases as well.
5. Inbound support outsourcing
Inbound support refers to the situations where customers dial in with the queries, as opposed to agents calling up the customers trying to complete a sale.
Inbound support is one of the most heavily practiced forms of customer service, since customers generally do have a lot of queries about the product they just purchased, or something that is relatively new in the market.
This is where both the knowledge and the communication skills of an agent are really tested.
They have to know everything about the products and services offered by the company, so that they are effectively able to answer any query that might come up.
On top of that, they have to explain stuff in a manner that is comprehensible to the customer, who may be a layman with no knowledge of the jargons of the trade.
6. App-based outsourcing
There is an app for everything these days.
Every corporation has an app showcasing their utilities.
Everybody has an online portal where customers can log in and perform their activities.
With the advent of such applications and the Smartphone boom, came the need to maintain these systems, monitor customer activity, respond to their demands and provide online services just as seamlessly as they are provided over the telephone or through offline means of communication.
BPOs take on the responsibility of such app-based outsourcing as well, generating the systems required, supporting customers who use the app and integrating customer service features.
Apps also provide a terrific opportunity for innovation, so companies expect more creative and innovative solutions to be presented in their applications.
App-based outsourcing is touted to grow exponentially in importance as more and more customers and companies go digital.
7. Content generation
The web space is crawling with content from the million different sources for the different purposes.
Companies use content as a marketing tool, as a mean of reaching out to the customers, providing greater exposure, highlighting their products and services, advertising their features, showcasing their previous success and trying to convince customers that the value proposition on the table is too good to refuse.
Content generation, thus, is an integral part of any online campaign or digital marketing scheme to be taken on by any company.
Not only is content a surefire way of grabbing eyeballs, it solidifies the reputation of the company on the internet, which is often the first point of contact a customer has with a brand.
When a customer uses Google to find you, you want the results to come out in your favor, and that is exactly what contact centers helps you achieve with regards to content generation.
8. Social media management
Social media has taken the world by storm.
In terms of business implications, social media is perhaps the most powerful outreach tool that companies have in this day and age.
Half of the world is on social media, and presumably for corporations selling products or services, most of their customer base is active on one or more of the most popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, etc.
Social media management, from a business point of view, encapsulates communicating with the customers, receiving feedback on performance, offering up new solutions, live resolution of issues, direct engagement with the brand, revealing new offers and products up for grabs, maintaining a virtual fan base and utilizing the platform to garner new customers.
9. Customer Surveys
Market research is an essential part of progress for any organization.
Companies want to know how their products are performing, how their service is being perceived and what sort of improvements customers would be looking forward in the subsequent products or services.
All of this data is available through the feedback that customers provide.
Conducting surveys, asking customers what they thought of a product, how they think it should evolve, what improvements are necessary, etc. helps companies gauge exactly what the public wants and then tap into that inherent demand.
This process of data accumulation, storage, analysis and projection is all carried out by the outsourced call center agents, with the help of a dedicated software.
10. Automation and dynamic scripting
Automated services are served to increase the productivity and efficiency of operations at call centers tremendously.
Gone are the days when agents had to manually sift through tons of data to find patterns in behavior and model their activities according to the personality of the customer.
Today, you have systems doing that for you in under a minute, showing future projections, extracting patterns and guiding agent activity, thus allowing for dynamic scripting where the agent follows a pathway of communication as directed by the analytics system in real time, based on its analysis of the customer concerned, and the conversation that is currently in play.
All of these features make it far more profitable to allocate specific outsourced resources to take care of customer service operations instead of trying to do the same within the bounded scope of the organization , where there is a paucity of cutting-edge software, manpower, resources and skills to execute the job properly.
Outsourcing of call center operations has been very popular, especially in terms of larger Western companies outsourcing operations to the east in countries like India, Singapore or the Philippines, for a few decades now.
In recent times, the advent of new technology and the sharp increase in global accessibility to the internet, coupled with things like digital payments and online purchases becoming normalized around the world, such outsourced projects have assumed greater importance than they ever had before.
New and improved telemarketing software solutions are being developed by the brains behind these call centers, revolutionizing the market and deriving new ways to capture the growth of digital audience.
For example, the tools we use today in terms of multi-channel communication, social media management and online chat features, have come into use fairly recently, but have already assumed importance because they see just as much traffic as the traditional on-call queries that keep coming in.
Business Process Outsourcing works on a simple symbiotic principle.
The company in question wants to focus its resources and manpower towards the development of better business solutions that will lead to excellent products and greater assurance from their brand.
In doing so, they have accumulated a customer base which has a plenty of queries, and they have also identified their target audience who would like to rope in as the customers.
Taking on this responsibility would divide their attention and hamper their progress on building a better product.
This is why they turn to the call centers.
They get a host of new skilled agents armed with the best call center software to perform to the best of their abilities, who would take care of customer service effectively, for a fee.
This is a relationship of mutual benefit for both the parties.
The call center gets paid to do its work, and the company gets assurance of the high quality customer service for the money that they are paying.
Thus, we can see how the world of business has compartmentalized its own operations to ensure that each of these parts works to the best of its abilities, and is led by people who have the specialized skills to deal with the same.
Outsourcing to a viable call center with skilled agents and good quality call center software solutions is a good idea for any company that is looking up the back in terms of production, innovation and communication, all at the same time.