A global mainstream practice for startups, SMEs, and Fortune 500 companies is to rope in freelancers and specialist firms to take care of supplementary business functions. The practice, termed as Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), is a response and growth strategy across scales and sectors. The external expertise introduces innovation, specialized knowledge, industry best practices, and advanced technologies into the outsourced business functions while helping the organisation skip overheads on people and paraphernalia associated with an in-house setup. The arrangement works like a charm, helping the outsourcer stay competitive and achieve productivity gains, measurable cost savings, and higher customer satisfaction and retention.
BPO is broadly classified into two self-explanatory categories – Back-office and Front-office. The former arrangement involves deploying BPO companies to handle internal business functions, including invoicing, billing, data mining, talent recruitment, and claims processing while the latter deals with the customer processes, notably customer care, and market research.
Yet another parameter for BPO classification is the location where three possibilities exist – Onshore, Offshore, and Nearshore.
Onshore: The BPO vendor shares the same geographical location with the outsourcer. Think, Reliance Industries outsourcing a billing job to an Indian BPO company.
Offshore: The vendor is located in a distant country. For instance, an American tech company relying on a vendor in the third world for certain business function.
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Nearshore: The vendor is operating out of a neighbouring country. Suppose, an Indian enterprise preferring call centre companies based in Nepal, Bangladesh, or Sri Lanka.
The value that outsourcing brings:
BPO is a value proposition for every business, regardless of size or specialization. If implemented properly, the outsourcer can expect tangible benefits, such as, but not limited to:
Indisputably, the BPO juggernaut evolved because of cost savings it brings to outsourcers. They can put to rest the hassles and outlays associated with staffing, infrastructure, equipment, and other in-house set-up essentials. With outsourcing done to low labour cost locations, the outsourcer invariably ends up saving big on operational costs. Additionally, outsourcing is a flexible arrangement, allowing the outsourcer to capitalize on variable-cost models.
Focus on core competencies:
Business management already has so much on their plate to bother about supplementary business functions. Here BPO companies step in, taking such functions head-on. Resultantly, the management can focus on overall business development, capacity building, customer acquisitions and retentions, and other core competencies essential for long-term growth.
Peak in the peak season:
Festive seasons accompany a heavy influx of customers, leaving the in-house customer care service overwhelmed. Contrarily, the call centre companies are not only better equipped to handle the deluge but also to create great customer experiences that keep them coming back. A call centre can come up with response strategies to cope up with the growing number of callers and may scale up their team to the outsourcer’s exact needs, wants, and budgets.
Customer care is a crucial touch point for any business, creating customer satisfaction and loyalty. When outsourced to a quality vendor, outsourcers can create a personalized response to each caller round the clock in his/her native language without going overboard with expenses.