5 Tips to Ensure BPO Truly Makes a Difference!
In today’s fast changing business culture, many organizations are looking for ways to save costs while staying focused on core operations. To achieve these goals, many executives have turned to business process outsourcing (BPO).
But, when it comes to BPO, what should companies consider to ensure cost savings and top of line performance without extra oversight?
There are 5 best practices that will ensure BPO truly makes the difference – from customer support to back office solutions:
1. Know your growth plan
Before outsourcing services to a new partner, it is important for companies to align their strategic roadmaps to their long-term business and financial objectives, and identify those potential outsourcing partners that have a global presence in similar growth markets. For example, if a hotel chain has expected growth and expansion in eastern Europe over the next five years, a centralized call center in eastern Europe may be the best strategic location to deliver call center services based on infrastructure and language requirements.
2. Infrastructure Consolidation and Centralization
Along the same train of thought, companies need to consolidate and centralize BPO solutions. Often times, outsourcing is a means to save costs, but in doing so it’s easy to fragment the required people, processes and tools by searching for some ideal combination of countries to outsource services to in order to achieve the lowest possible cost. But, rather than outsourcing certain processes, such as call centers, to an expanded list of locations, companies should centralize and consolidate the support services to realize increased efficiency and quality with decreased costs. This model also enables companies to better 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 component of the success of any outsourcing engagement. When making the decision to pursue BPO, there will be specific key performance metrics that the company manages to maintain 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 and overall reduction in the number of IT-related incidents. To best evaluate the value of the KPIs and make adjustments as necessary, companies need to implement a quality management process to monitor the KPIs and SLMs on a weekly and monthly basis.
4. Identify the right solutions
With the emerging trends in technologies available today, companies have the opportunity to leverage 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 companies should consider is whether or not a company is adhering to specific IT security standards compliance. Just as important is that the provider is aware of the certifications each particular organization or industry must possess simply to do business within its 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, people are the most important factor. The first step is identifying the roles and responsibilities of each resource and 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 employees to be multilingual to work with global customers. Executives should also leverage outsourcing partners that use only badged (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 badged employees on dedicated support teams have higher retention and customer satisfaction rates compared to outsourcing partners that do not have a dedicated support model. It is also imperative that executives seek out potential outsourcing partners that offer continual training that enables their employees to be aligned with technology upgrades and changes within the customer environment. Furthermore, the outsourcing partner should 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.