Do you know how important it is to choose your BPO partner wisely? If not, then understand that the business process outsourcing industry plays a critical role in major businesses nowadays. From online giants like Amazon to finance powerhouses such as JP Morgan, BPO companies are what allows them to remain efficient and relevant in the world economy.
The BPO industry is valuable because it helps businesses delegate operations without the risk of restructuring or spending for expansion. With more BPO companies emerging, business leaders should know what to look for when partnering.
More organizations of all sizes are choosing to outsource their business services than ever before. Experienced outsourcers that have been doing so for years are upping the ante, and there is a marked increase in first-time outsourcers who are looking to achieve greater efficiencies and improve customer experience across their operations.
The drivers behind the significant increase in offshoring are diverse, and they bring complexities to the journey to finding the best-fit BPO partner.
With years of experience on both sides of being a client and a provider at iContact BPO, we want to share some of the most important considerations to look into when finding the best BPO partner for your business.
Eight Top Considerations To Choose A Bpo Partner
A trusted outsourcing facilitator will have extensive experience in different markets and geographies with different BPO providers and can provide referrals and BPO partner selection options that integrate with your technology outsourcing and digital transformation strategies.
When you embrace your BPO partner strategically, such a facilitator puts in the hard yards both in terms of expertise, market reach, and time to help your business expand sooner with a proven outsourcing strategy and process, avoiding the hurdles and pitfalls along the way.
1. Channel Competency
It is vital that your BPO partner has got experience and technical skill sets to deliver on the type of channel you need to deliver on your customer experience objectives.
Ask yourself, if the BPO provider has a core competency in the same or similar channel you require support on.
Ideally, if you want WhatsApp and chat support, you will want to see a track record in these channel competencies.
2. Industry Vertical Expertise
Certain businesses may have specialized outsourcing needs like screening of medical records, insurance claims processing, research and surveys, and so on.
It is ideal to seek out the expertise of a niche BPO partner that not only specializes in such functions but also has direct experience in servicing clients in the same industry vertical, bringing proven experience and hard-earned hindsight to the table.
3. Language And Accent
There are countries that are very accent-challenged, and while the language requirement may be English for example, other factors to consider are whether the agents speak clearly and whether the accent is comprehensible.
Can the agent clearly understand the customer and vice versa? This is not about getting rid of accents or being accent agnostic, but rather about comprehension.
One of the reasons why South African BPO partners like iContact BPO perform so well in North American markets is that the accent – although not American – has a strong British influence and is clear and easily understood.
4. Cultural Affinity
It is wise to ensure the agents of your BPO partner can build a rapport with the customers they serve, and be able to pick up and run with different cultural nuances of your market.
A significant advantage that South Africa has in its favor that goes far beyond the factors of linguistics, technology, and economics, is the empathy and work ethic of its people.
When it comes down to customer experience and cultivating a culture of empathy, South Africa’s call center agents are well advanced in this vital customer service skill. There is also an easy cultural fit with certain figures of speech, euphemisms, and terminologies of the US, European, UK, and Australian markets.
5. Talent And Human Capital
Before choosing your BPO partner, we suggest finding out who the people are that will be providing the service and support. Check up on their level of training competence and quality assurance, their experience, and commitment to the supervisory and operations teams.
It is also wise to meet up with the team in person regularly. Moreover, find out the process your BPO partner uses for recruitment, training, and handling attrition and retention of agents.
It is vital to have a solid understanding of the sophistication, experience, and commitment of the management team that will be running your outsourced operations.
Do not be afraid to weigh out your options.
Figure out how important flexibility is within your systems, processes, management style, technology, and so on versus a BPO partner who adheres strictly to a fixed playbook of how they operate.
This is an important consideration, especially when you are outsourcing for the first time. Typically, when a client is building their outsourcing model for the first time, the needs and technology requirements are not always distinctly defined.
Therefore, there is a need to build the strategy on a ‘discovery’ basis. In this case, you can look to work directly with experienced and collaborative executive teams that are willing and capable of building a CX model tailored to your business needs, rather than enforcing a pre-determined playbook that may not be a good fit.
Your BPO partner must have a passionate and personal stake in your success!
7. Look At The Real Value, Not The ‘Price’
The value-added services that the right BPO partner brings to the table can prove immeasurable and goes way beyond the basic metric of ‘price’. The data and analytics capability and AI now available in contact centers are innovative and provide incredibly deep insights for customers to act upon.
Consider the speech-to-text capabilities and sentiment analysis that now allow BPO providers to deliver quality assurance to clients at levels never seen before.
Other crucial ‘value’ adds include advanced digital technology, productivity management tools, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), innovation in process and training, compliance, data security, and hands-on leadership which goes well beyond the commoditized services of price and language capabilities alone.
8. Proximity And Distance Are Less Important
Often, customers still prefer to collaborate with vendors on the near shore, and there is a perception that closer is better. However, once a program is launched, it is rare that the client needs to visit the provider’s location.
The pandemic experience proved this without a doubt. What is important is whether your BPO partner has a solid track record and experience in managing, training, and supporting your operations remotely, no matter where they find themselves in the world.
Rather ensure they have the right infrastructure and tools to communicate effectively.
Choose The Right BPO Partner
The success of every client-BPO partnership is underpinned by delivering strong offshoring fundamentals, bringing together the best of customer experience, economics, quality BPO services, rapid scale when needed, high service levels, and an absolute commitment to the operational performance metrics that matter most to your shared business model.
Partnering with the right BPO partner will reduce costs, improve CX, grow the bottom line, and most critically, provide the scale and support needed to act rapidly wherever, and whenever market opportunities arise.
Contact us to find out about outsourcing with our highly qualified and experienced agents.