Sometimes the most challenging math problem in business is simply the act of counting our blessings. The last 18 months put every industry on their heels — and many are just now coming to terms with how their work will be forever changed.
For BPO providers, with clients expecting seamless and stable service (no excuses), many of these pandemic challenges were tackled in the background, minimizing the impact to clients.
It was a huge disruption. It created a lot of uncertainty in its wake, but it also highlighted a number of reasons why BPO professionals should be thankful this year.
Give Thanks: BPO Providers are Resilient
From leaders, managers, and agents on down, the entire industry scrambled to transition to a work-from-home model. With hardly any time – or precedent on how to proceed – the industry embraced their new processes and found ways to do it effectively.
In addition, clients immediately had new remote-work challenges that they had to solve. So not only were BPO providers tasked with getting their respective houses in order, they immediately began breaking ground on business-essential services for their clients to navigate this new working environment.
The BPO industry didn’t just weather the storm. It emerged stronger than before, armed with a new arsenal of technology and procedures.
Give Thanks: BPO Providers are Essential
Faced with the biggest global crisis in a generation, many companies quickly began to reduce or eliminate anything that wasn’t deemed essential to their operations. Almost overnight, organizations suspended or ended many of their core services.
But not customer support. Businesses are nothing without their customers, and maintaining a direct channel for those customers to acquire information and request help will always be a priority. The topics of these inquiries may have shifted, but the demand for agents to handle them remained largely unchanged. In fact, many industries needed more outsourced agents than ever before.
Give Thanks: BPO Providers are Getting Better Every Day
The BPO industry, born on the cusp of a generation of incredible technological evolution, has always been challenged to keep pace with the rapid evolution of industries and their customers’ demands.
Today, there are a number of ways BPO providers continue to level up their offerings for 2022 and beyond:
Innovation – Technology continues to provide new ways to elevate service.
- Previous brick-and-mortar costs, such as equipment, utilities, and lease agreements, can now be rolled into tech investment to increase your margins.
- Many new technologies aim to help remote teams maintain compliance so they can continue WFH models that help reduce overall costs.
- LMS software has emerged as a great new way to drive employee engagement for remote and in-office workers alike, giving agents and clients more flexible staffing options to improve utilization and reduce costs.
Support – BPOs continue to refine training and agent support, including customer experience as well as employee experience.
Specialization – Many outsource contact centers pride themselves on being flexible enough to help many types of clients, but others have chosen to double down on a handful of core industries and services. Far from a jack of all trades, these BPOs offer unmatched expertise in their focus areas. They go beyond offering an exceptional customer experience and also serve as a powerful strategic partner for their clients.
Give Thanks: BPO Providers are Helping Expand the Industry
Amidst the pandemic disruption, new markets continue to emerge – in addition to existing markets, not instead of them. Established markets continue to thrive, while new ones are pulling up a seat at the table.
- Recent years have seen massive investment in infrastructure and training in the African outsource call center market. Coupled with a massive workforce and a low cost of living, Africa is undoubtedly a region to watch.
- In established regions like the Philippines and Central and South America, large cities boast established – and in some cases, saturated – outsource call center industries. As a result, new BPO development has moved to smaller population centers, with considerable success. The combination of highly skilled talent and a slightly lower cost of living have these areas poised for continued growth.
- And finally, the growth of remote work has created a wider talent pool to draw from. With fewer proximal barriers to agent work, more qualified professionals can be considered for BPO roles. What’s more, the increased scheduling flexibility a WFH environment offers continues to expand the potential workforce.
Stay Thankful in 2022
Outsource Consultants is grateful to be part of a thriving industry comprised of thoughtful and energized BPO partners and professionals — and we are thankful for the privilege of helping partners and clients reach their collective goals.