5 Tips to Ensure BPO Will Help Grow Your Business
In today’s ever-changing business environment, organizations are continuously seeking ways to cut costs while simultaneously keeping a focus on core business operations. To achieve these goals, many executives have turned to business process outsourcing (BPO).
While it may seem obvious for some businesses to outsource, many still struggle with what to consider to ensure cost savings and top notch performance.
There are 5 best practices that will ensure BPO truly makes the difference – from customer support to back office.
1. Know your growth plan
Before your company starts the outsourcing process, it is imperative to align your strategic goals to your long-term business and financial plans, as well as pinpoint possible outsourcing partners that have the global presence that your company is looking for. For example, if a hotel chain has anticipated growth and expansion in eastern Europe over the next five years, a localized call center in eastern Europe may be the best strategic location to deliver services based on infrastructure and language requirements.
2. Infrastructure Consolidation and Centralization
Companies should try to consolidate and centralize their BPO efforts. Too often, outsourcing is a way to save costs, but by doing so it’s easy to fragment and displace important people, processes and tools by searching for the "ideal" combination of countries to outsource services to in order to achieve the lowest possible cost.
As opposed to outsourcing specific processes, such as call centers, to an expanded group of locations, your company should centralize and consolidate the support services to be able to fully understand the increased efficiency and quality and decreased costs. This concept also allows companies to more thoroughly maintain streamlined business processes, which is key for the bottom line.
3. Track your Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
Service Level Measurement (SLM) is a critical factor to the success of any outsourcing efforts. When making the decision to implement BPO, there will be deliberate performance metrics that your company must maintain such as a consistent level of productivity, efficiency and quality to its customers and end users. Depending on the industry, some key results from tracking KPIs include:
- Increased revenue
- Increased customer satisfaction rates
- Reduction in number of Tier 3 (desk side support) incidents
- Increased end-user productivity
- Overall reduction in the number of IT-related errors
To best identify the value of the KPIs and make adjustments as necessary, your company needs to implement a quality management process to monitor the KPIs and SLMs on a weekly and monthly basis.
4. Identify the right solutions for your company
With the fast-growing and emerging trends in technologies available today, companies have the opportunity to use a number of customized solutions that enable outsourcing initiatives to transition smoothly and seamlessly within the customers’ existing infrastructure. Arguably, one of the most important factors your company needs to consider is whether or not the outsourcing firm you are using is adhering to specific IT security standards of compliance. Just as important is that the provider has a clear understanding of the certifications needed to do business within a specific industry. For instance, retail and hospitality companies are required to meet the Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard – a set of requirements designed to ensure companies that process, store or transmit credit card information maintain a secure environment.
Key features of successful outsourcing solutions also drive process efficiencies by allowing for complete visibility with incident management, product management and knowledge management work flows through a web-based ticketing system, managed and operated from a centralized call center location.
5. Remember, your level of performance is only as good as your people
When it comes to BPO, your people are the most important factor. The first step is identifying the roles and responsibilities of each resource as well as the skill requirements the partner mandates for its employees. For instance, if a hotel chain decides to outsource call center services as it expands globally, it may require their employees to be multilingual to work with customers around the world. Executives should also leverage outsourcing partners that use only badge (W-2) resources versus temporary or subcontractor labor, and outsourcing partners that leverage a dedicated support model versus a shared support model.
Outsourcing partners that recruit and hire badge employees on dedicated support teams have much higher retention and customer satisfaction rates as compared to outsourcing partners that do not have a dedicated support model. It is important that executives search for potential outsourcing partners that provide continual training that enables their employees to be abreast of technology upgrades and changes within the customer environment. Furthermore, the outsourcing partner should always be investing in continuous training for its employees – the more comprehensive the training, the more consistent the performance and, ultimately, the result is an enhanced service delivery to its end users.olutions: