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How the BPO Industry is Changing and Evolving to Meet the Needs of Businesses

Following the emergence of new technologies, innovation and the growing competition in the market, the Business Processing Outsourcing (BPO) industry has blossomed into one of the world’s most dynamic realms. Amid this phase shift, the BPO industry has been an excellent booster for businesses worldwide as it has always been adaptive to serve their demands.

In this blog post, let’s explore more how the outsourcing industry is changing and evolving to serve the needs of businesses in this day and age.

Why is BPO on the Rise?

The BPOs of today go beyond just handling the non-core functions and are moving towards a more critical approach. Also empowered by digital transformation, the quality of their services delivers superior experiences across all processes and departments.

In fact, according to Grand View Research, the 2021 global business process outsourcing market has a value of USD 245.09 billion and will expand at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% from 2022 to 2030. The factors driving such an increase are businesses’ focus on improving efficiency and business agility, decreasing operating costs, and emphasizing core competencies to survive the constantly changing business dynamics.

Many businesses are starting to outsource more and more functions to BPO service providers, helping fuel their industry’s growth. And as more and more companies jump on board, the BPO industry will only continue to grow and evolve in time. 

The Resilience of BPO Beyond the Pandemic

Despite the COVID-19 outbreak that took the nation by storm in 2020, it did not stop the growing landscape of the BPO sector from proliferating. Instead, they were able to utilize that era of disturbance and seismic change as a silver lining to establish a more future-proof, robust, thriving, and resilient service provider, even post-pandemic.

First, it played a critical role in ensuring that people across the globe could transact online and companies could run business normally even when the world is facing a total lockdown. They were prompt in revamping their frameworks and guaranteeing business continuity for their clients, which led to processing clients’ claims without delay, e-commerce operations running smoothly, and providing timely assistance. Second, it changed from a well-known choice of minimizing financial outlays to an option for the rescue and survival of companies. 

The resilience and demonstrated the ability of BPOs to sustain economic growth amidst the pandemic have made them more technically advanced, modern and better prepared to take on any abrupt circumstances in the future.

Ahead Of The Curve: Trends the BPO Industry is Adapting

Many businesses are starting to outsource more and more functions to BPO service providers, helping fuel their industry's growth.

1. Emerging New Technologies

Multi-channel Communication

Those days are gone when the customer service industry depended entirely on phone calls, websites and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) to transfer a call to the correct representative. The constant advancement of digital technologies with the ever-evolving competitive business climate led many companies to realize that using diverse platforms is a game changer. It will render an unprecedented wealth of consumer data and feedback and improve a company’s ability to analyze upcoming trends for innovation.

Businesses are now keen to invest in real-time customer engagement to gain first-hand insights about their products and services, transforming these issues into solutions that will address future problems instead of simply settling in mere call centre programs. 

With that, BPO companies saw a massive opportunity in the shift of customer management that a huge portion of their operations started investing in the capabilities of multi-channel communication tools to offer a wide range of services from social media monitoring to business intelligence and actioning customer response.

 Some of these multi-channel communications are:

• Social Media

Managing social media tools are no longer a good-to-have but rather a must-have. Social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn have been instrumental in how companies market to consumers and in how consumers give feedback to companies. 

As it evolved to become a goldmine of data if leveraged correctly, it also holds an immense potential to help companies understand consumer expectations and bring solutions according to the market needs.

An article from Forbes elucidated that BPO companies that provide customer services through call centres are now switching toward social media engagement and management to sort out and rectify issues posted to social media platforms, usually in viral posts or consumer tweets. After all, the Internet is very public, and many businesses will seek to outsource to BPO companies that can quickly tend to their customer’s concerns and quench the fires before they even spread. 

• Live Chat

Live chat software allows businesses to operate a rich customer experience that directly impacts their overall customer satisfaction. Customer service agents can engage with consumers in asynchronous conversations in real-time as the chat software is integrated with the company’s website, text messaging, mobile application, and social media channels. 

Common Features of Live Chat Software 

A live chat has various features, which usually encompasses the following: 

Chatbots – This feature enables businesses to communicate with customers 24/7, even if they don’t have an available agent. However, chatbots also have limitations where they can only handle simple and repetitive customer inquiries. Customers will be redirected to a particular agent once more complex requests spiral in during a live chat. Nevertheless, the use of chatbots will help customer service teams to answer more customer requests in a more efficient manner. 

Smart Triggers – Also known as proactive chat, this feature lets customer support agents initiate real-time chats whenever someone visits a company’s website. It also provides the option to create proactive chats when facilitating the checkout process for customers. 

Performance Metrics & KPIs – This live chat feature provides valuable insights that can unravel salient information concerning the KPIs and metrics. As for KPIs, it’s the data about the first response time (FRT), customer satisfaction score (CSAT), or average wait time

Omni-Channel Communication

Omni-channel communication management is gaining attraction across all touchpoints, especially for customer service support. It is salient for a business to provide a seamless, uniform experience across all channels to avoid the confusion and exhaustion from juggling from one platform to another. For example, connecting and integrating every customer communication into an interface through Omni-channel allows you to see all your customer’s messages from across different platforms in a single chatbox.

Additionally, it will provide a homogenous experience and long-lasting impression to customers if businesses can recognize and identify that all these interactions come from the same person.

Big Data & Analytics

Data Analytics is one of many industries’ most adapted technological tools in the past decade. It has become relevant for BPO companies because of the volume of data they gather, as they also realized the value of managing useful information from the enormous volumes of business data they handle every day. By analyzing the data, they can produce strategic insights for their clients, engage more customers by retaining them and deliver superior quality business solutions. 

As many companies now depend on predictive analysis to improve their business solutions and enhance customer satisfaction, data analytics technologies’ efficiency has become strategically more helpful in resolving challenges and opening doors for opportunities.

Automated System

In today’s technology-driven world, customers are no longer willing to wait to get what they want and will most likely choose your competition if you cannot address and resolve their problems. For that reason, it triggered the introduction of automated systems due to the growing dislike for slow service.

Now, with automated systems coming into the picture, BPO service providers can dedicate their whole time to amplifying the quality of their service while these systems will handle the rest of the operations. It saves a lot of time and cost as automated systems can respond to various customer queries as quickly as possible. There’s also a lower risk of error and inefficiency due to the absence of human intervention.

Business processes and operations have undoubtedly benefited the cost and time efficiency, error reduction, and resource and energy conservation of automated systems. 

Here are some significant examples of automated systems that are reshaping today’s customer management:

• Artificial Intelligence (AI)

Artificial intelligence benefits the BPO industry because it helps automate repetitive tasks, such as customer service and data entry. This saves companies time and money while improving their service quality. Additionally, AI can help identify and prevent fraud, which is vital in an industry that relies on sensitive customer data.

• Augmented Reality (AR)

Augmented reality (AR) is a digital technology that uses computer graphics to overlay information on a user’s real-world view. AR often creates interactive applications, including virtual tours, training simulations, and product demonstrations. AR has several advantages for the BPO industry. For instance, it can help companies improve customer service by providing customers with an immersive experience that immerses them in the customer’s environment.

​​Virtual Reality (VR)

Virtual Reality (VR) allows the user to experience a three-dimensional environment that is either simulated or real. This technology has many benefits for the BPO industry, including increased worker productivity and decreased worker fatigue. VR also allows employers to assess customer needs better and provides training simulations that are more realistic than traditional training methods.

• Robotic Process Automation (RPA)

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) utilizes bots and artificial intelligence to complete mundane tasks faster at a lower cost. The BPO industry is one of the most promising markets for implementing RPA due to its reliance on repetitive and manual tasks.

Cloud Computing/Platform

The rise of cloud computing allowed BPOs to take data storage, sharing and retrieval to another level quickly and easily. As a result, many competitive and future-facing businesses have preferred outsourced services delivered through the cloud platform to eliminate unused space and storage while simultaneously reducing huge energy consumption. It also promoted smooth communication and collaboration between the remote team and outsourcing party, as new or updated instructions are relayed promptly. 

Moreover, cloud computing has become a breath of fresh air to the BPO sector in terms of high-quality data usage and reduction in overall costs. Technological innovation is one of the prime goals of many companies, so to develop a high-performing operation, BPO resorted to adding services with zero compromises to the clients, such as SaaS, PaaS and IaaS. It sufficed the growing IT needs of businesses and has helped BPO to keep pace with the constant change of technology, improve platform concurrency and increase service deliverability. On the other hand, Cloud is cost-effective and eradicates the need for servers and IT departments, which usually require ample space and maintenance costs. 

2. Customer-Centric Approach

Businesses are now seeking BPO companies not just to outsource their entire operations to a third party but also to provide personalized and specialized services in marketing, HR, and customer service solutions. As a result, they are turning to one-stop shops that can perform several functions and handle all their needs.

3. Multi-Tasking to Overcome Skill Shortage

Multi-tasking is becoming a trend in the BPO industry as companies strive to overcome skill shortages. Many employers believe that employees can be more productive if they are allowed to work on multiple tasks at once, and there are many tools available to help workers stay organized and focused. The BPO industry is adapting to the trend by providing training programs that teach workers how to multi-task and remain organized and developing software that makes it easier for employees to switch between tasks.

4. Startups Becoming BPO Customers

There has been a recent increase in the number of startups turning to BPO services as an alternative to traditional business processes. This shift is likely due to the increasing complexity of business processes, the rise of digital platforms, and the rising cost of conventional outsourcing services. In addition, startups are typically nimble and agile, which makes them well-suited for using BPO services to streamline their operations.

5. Increased Transparency

Only large-scale BPO firms were a prominent part of the industry in the past. Therefore, getting details about policies and procedures at that time was tough. In addition, the majority of employees on the client side were unfamiliar with technology stack plans, challenge areas, and other systems. On the other hand, the supplier side employees weren’t fully informed regarding their investment areas, organizational structure, capabilities etc. 

The emergence of smaller businesses prompted the BPO industry to improve transparency and disclose their contracts, prices and policies. BPOs and vendors must maintain a high level of transparency to preserve effective collaboration. Moreover, greater transparency also develops better partnerships between customers and suppliers, leading to more business opportunities and productivity due to enhanced communication.

6. Securing Data / Stricter Data Security

With the surge in technology and widespread access to the Internet globally, Information protection and privacy are a growing concern for BPO companies, as they are responsible for the clients, stakeholders, providers and vendors.

Given most of the transactions are often negotiated over the Internet and are usually conducted by offshore BPO service providers, they impose a completely safe environment. Recent studies suggested that from time to time, certain vendors even considered amending the contract to ensure that BPO companies were held accountable for a breach of security.

Likewise, technology is helping BPOs alleviate their fear of security breaches. Control of technology, control over data, control over employees, control over cloud services, disaster recovery and management system security are helping BPO narrow the protection gap.

Conclusion

The BPO industry is constantly evolving, as are the needs of businesses. BPOs must evolve and adapt to meet these demands.

The BPO industry is ever-changing, and so are the businesses’ needs. BPOs must evolve and adapt to meet those demands, or they will find themselves in a disadvantageous position in this competitive market. 

And to stay ahead of the curve, BPOs must continuously offer more value-added services and solutions to help companies grow and achieve their goals and become more agile, technology-innovated, and productively responsive.

Your every wish is our command at an excellent outsourcing marketplace like The Lead Enquiry. From the latest technology to exceptional service, we’ll exceed your expectations for high-end solutions and outstanding results! Contact us today. 

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