What is BPO?

1 Business process outsourcing (BPO) is a form of outsourcing that involves the contracting of the operations and responsibilities of a specific business functions (or processes) to a third-party service provider. Originally, this was associated with manufacturing firms, such as Coca Cola that outsourced large segments of its supply chain.[1]. In the contemporary context, it is primarily used to refer to the outsourcing of services. BPO is typically categorized into back office outsourcing - which includes internal business functions such as human resources or finance and accounting, and front office outsourcing - which includes customer-related services such as contact center services. BPO that is contracted outside a company's country is called offshore outsourcing. BPO that is contracted to a company's neighboring (or nearby) country is called nearshore outsourcing. Given the proximity of BPO to the information technology industry, it is also categorized as an information technology enabled service or ITES. Knowledge process outsourcing(KPO) and legal process outsourcing (LPO) are some of the sub-segments of business process outsourcing industry. 2 BPO as expanded sounds as Business Process Outsourcing and can be aptly defined as the act of utilizing the services of a third party by a company in order to perform its back office operations that might be payroll administration, customer help desks/ call centers, tele- marketing, accounting, billing; the list is endless. Business Process Outsourcing includes the following areas and a lot more • • • • • • • • • Back office operations Customer Relationship Management Call Centers and telemarketing Tele-servicing and product support Payroll maintenance Finance / Accounting/billing Human Resources Logistics Management Supply Chain Management

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Medical transcription Back Office Operations Insurance Claims Processing Legal database maintenance

The BPO Industry
The BPO industry has flourished at a frantic pace in the last few years and companies have ended up with huge savings by being a part of the industry. By outsourcing their back office business processes to cheaper nations like China, India, Philippines, Mexico, South Africa etc companies can cut costs, better concentrate on their core businesses and strengths, ensure better customer satisfaction and in a way get an edge over their competitors. A report suggests that US firms have saved nearly $8 billion through outsourcing to third world nations like India. • Benefits of BPO • Increase productivity • Cut operational costs • Provide better service • Save costs • Improved accountability The BPO boom seems to be increasing everyday with more and more companies deciding to follow the race, making conditions really viable for a positive growth in the BPO industry. You can make money online through BPO.

Reasons for outsourcing
Organizations that outsource are seeking to realize benefits or address the following issues:

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Cost savings. The lowering of the overall cost of the service to the business. This will involve reducing the scope, defining quality levels, re-pricing, re-negotiation, cost re-structuring. Access to lower cost economies through off shoring called "labor arbitrage" generated by the wage gap between industrialized and developing nations.[ Focus on Core Business. Resources (for example investment, people, infrastructure) are focused on developing the core business. For example often organizations outsource their IT support to specialized IT services companies. Cost restructuring. Operating leverage is a measure that compares fixed costs to variable costs. Outsourcing changes the balance of this ratio by offering a move from fixed to variable cost and also by making variable costs more predictable. Improve quality. Achieve a step change in quality through contracting out the service with a new service level agreement. Knowledge. Access to intellectual property and wider experience and knowledge.

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Contract. Services will be provided to a legally binding contract with financial penalties and legal redress. This is not the case with internal services. Operational expertise. Access to operational best practice that would be too difficult or time consuming to develop in-house. Access to talent. Access to a larger talent pool and a sustainable source of skills, in particular in science and engineering. Capacity management. An improved method of capacity management of services and technology where the risk in providing the excess capacity is borne by the supplier. Catalyst for change. An organization can use an outsourcing agreement as a catalyst for major step change that can not be achieved alone. The outsourcer becomes a Change agent in the process. Enhance capacity for innovation. Companies increasingly use external knowledge service providers to supplement limited in-house capacity for product innovation. Reduce time to market. The acceleration of the development or production of a product through the additional capability brought by the supplier. Commodification. The trend of standardizing business processes, IT Services and application services enabling businesses to intelligently buy at the right price. Allows a wide range of businesses access to services previously only available to large corporations. Risk management. An approach to risk management for some types of risks is to partner with an outsourcer who is better able to provide the mitigation. Venture Capital. Some countries match government funds venture capital with private venture capital for startups that start businesses in their country. Tax Benefit. Countries offer tax incentives to move manufacturing operations to counter high corporate taxes within another country.

Activities for outsourcing

What is Outbound Calling?
As a job duty descriptor, you may see or hear the term outbound calling. As a homeowner or business executive, you’ve likely experienced the result of outbound calling first hand. Outbound calling refers to phone calls made by a company to a specified list of contacts. In sales, outbound calling encompasses telemarketing, lead generating, and other steps necessary in the sales process. As opposed to employees who handle inbound calling, employees who perform outbound calling may be required to abide by certain laws that apply to their job or type of work. When a job description requires employees to handle inbound calling, they are usually

fulfilling duties that are governed by the company’s policies. Customer service, company or business inquiries, and so forth are handled through incoming calls. However, outbound calling, such as in sales or collections, is partially mandated by state and federal law. For example, a company who uses outbound calling as a way to build a client base to sell a product or service is required by law to remove names from their contact list if the contact requests them to do so. It can be considered harassment under the statutes of law if a company repeatedly calls upon an individual or business for the purposes of solicitation once they have been asked to stop. Calling lists for outbound calling are usually purchased from third parties who compile lists based on any number of specific factors, from homeownership status to income bracket to previous purchasing history. In many cases, outbound calling lists are preprogrammed into automatic dialers that constantly move through the lists, dialing the numbers and simultaneously routing all answered calls to an employee. This is one way for a company to increase its productivity in outbound calling and maximize its sales base. Outbound calling can be the crux of some companies’ operation. However, it is difficult for many companies to find reliable and competent workers to perform outbound calling, especially in telemarketing fields. Most job seekers looking for phone jobs first look for customer service positions and other jobs that handle inbound calls, and job seekers who are specifically looking for outbound calling jobs often prefer business to business calling rather than business to residence calling. However, in some fields, outbound calling and lead generation can actually become a lucrative field, depending on the product and market. Most companies who hire telemarketers offer to train, as opposed to inbound call centers that frequently require some experience in a call center. Similarly, outbound calling for business to business sales often requires some experience as well. - Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the contracting of a specific business task, such as payroll, to a third-party service provider. Usually, BPO is implemented as a cost-saving measure for tasks that a company requires but does not depend upon to maintain their position in the marketplace. BPO is often divided into two categories: back office outsourcing which includes internal business functions such as billing or purchasing, and front office outsourcing which includes customer-related services such as marketing or tech support. BPO that is contracted outside a company's own country is sometimes called offshore outsourcing. BPO that is contracted to a company's neighboring country is sometimes called nearshore outsourcing, and BPO that is contracted with the company's own county is sometimes called onshore outsourcing.
Business Process Outsourcing (or BPO ) refers to a decision to sub-contract some or all non-core processes. The main motive for Business Process Outsourcing is to allow

the company to invest more time, money and human resources into core activities and building strategies, which fuel company growth. Managers, in fact, don’t need to justify outsourcing. They might even have to justify work done internally, that could easily be outsourced. The global market today is highly competitive and ever-changing. A company must focus on improving productivity and yet, cut down costs. Therefore, a lot of tasks that use up precious time, resources and energy, are being outsourced. BPOs, or the units to which work is being outsourced, are flexible, quicker, cheaper and very efficient. Business Process Outsourcing helps free up a firm’s capital and reduce costs. The functions or processes being outsourced range from manufacturing to customer service to software development and much more. Many of the companies that seek to outsource are in the western hemisphere and most of the BPO units are in the east, like India, China, Malaysia and even Russia. The Indian BPO industry is growing rapidly. But as the outsourcing movement grows, there is also a backlash against BPOs, as white-collar jobs move from USA and UK to offshore locations like India. With multi-lingual skill-sets developing, the European market too is likely to open up to BPOs, in the near future.

What is a Call Center?
A call center is an office where a company's inbound calls are received, or outbound calls are made. Call centers are increasingly popular in today's society, where many companized have centralized customer service and support functions. Call centers employ many staff in customer service, sales and support functions. Call centers are often large offices staffed with representatives who either make or receive phone calls. Depending on the size of the call center, a single office could have anywhere from a few dozen to hundreds of telephone staff. Depending on the needs of the company, call centers can make either incoming or outgoing calls. Some call centers focus on answering inbound calls, such as a bank that gives out a toll-free number for customers needing assistance. In that case, call center representatives can give account balances and take loan applications over the phone. Other call centers focus on outbound calls, such as a survey company. In that case, survey representatives make outbound calls to ask people to answer survey questions over the phone. Call centers provide a number of advantages to companies. By centralizing telephonebased service and support in one location, companies can easily adjust staffing to match call volume. Call centers can be located almost anywhere, allowing companies to take advantage of time zones and cheaper labor rates in different states and countries. Call centers also centralize the technology needs of companies, allowing major telecommunications setups to be installed in a small handful of call centers instead of a number of smaller offices, making upgrades and training easier to complete.

Many call centers use a number of different technologies to help improve performance and customer experience. Inbound call centers often use automatic call distribution, in which incoming calls are assigned to representatives on the order they are received. Other call centers utilize call monitoring, in which customer calls are randomly monitored by quality assurance staff to ensure that phone representatives meet customer needs. Call center technology evolves constantly, helping call center staff assist customers more efficiently and effectively. Call centers have been increasingly popular as outsourcing increases. With outsourcing, companies contract out some functions to other companies. As it can be expensive to maintain call center equipment and staff, some companies choose to outsource their telephone functions to an external call center. In this case, external call center staff can be trained to answer phone calls from a number of different companies. Types of CallCentres • Inbound call Centre • Outbound Call Centre • Web Enabled call Centre • CRM Call Centre • Telemarketing Call Centre • Phone Call Centre

Inbound Call Centre
An inbound call center is one that exclusively or predominately handles inbound calls (calls initiated by the customer) rather than outbound calls. A call center may handle either only inbound or outbound calls or might deal with a combination of the two.

Call center interaction dos and don'ts
Handling customer interactions isn't always easy, since every interaction is unique and different customers present different challenges. We've put together this list of the things call center agents and customer service reps should and shouldn't do during a call center interaction. DO: Speak clearly and professionally -- Little things like introducing yourself at the beginning of the call and stating the name of your company and purpose of the call (if you're working for an outbound call center) can go a long way towards improving the customer experience and customer satisfaction. As a call center professional, you're acting as the voice of the company, and customers expect you to be professional and clear.

Be courteous and personable -- This is extremely important, especially if you are working for an outbound call center and calling customers directly. Always ask if it's a good time for them to speak, and always thank them for their time. Your customers value their time, and they should know that your company does too. Know your products or services -- Developing a thorough understanding of the products or services you offer will make you a more confident and successful agent, says call center expert Donna Fluss. It will also help establish credibility with the customer and build customer confidence, and increase your motivation to up-sell or cross-sell during a call. Take pointers from a successful call center agent -- One of the best ways to improve your own performance is to get tips from someone who is doing well. Sit in on calls with a successful call center agent and listen to how they manage their calls and handle customer interactions. Then, incorporate their techniques into your own dealings with customers. Show empathy -- Customers relate better to call center agents who demonstrate empathy, genuine supportiveness and are there to help the customer, says Fluss. While the best call center agents are inherently empathetic, call center empathy is a skill that can be taught in communications training courses. Set customer expectations from the beginning -- According to Fluss, setting customer expectations and developing a time frame in which customers can expect to have their issues resolved is crucial. Setting customer expectations from the beginning will help you avoid problems down the road. Learn how to handle difficult customers -- The first step to turning an unsatisfied customer into a satisfied customer is to accept that there is a problem and avoid making excuses. By apologizing to the customer and making it clear that you will work to fix the problem, you could be saving the relationship. Get comfortable communicating in different channels -- According to CRM experts Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, multichannel customers are often a company's most valuable customers, and companies should encourage customers to get in touch with them in whatever way they want to. Because of this, call center agents who are comfortable communicating with customers both online and over the phone are a great asset to a company. Gain customer trust and act in the customer's best interest -- There are two main factors to building customer trust: acting in the customer's best interest and competence. Call center agents should focus on what the customer really needs, rather than just trying to sell him something. This approach will build customer trust and long-term customer equity. DON'T: Read from a script too closely -- Call center agents who read directly from a script often sound stilted, says Fluss. Sticking too closely to a script doesn't allow call center agents to communicate empathy, an important part of the customer interaction. Call center scripts can be useful for directing conversations, but avoid reading them word for word.

Avoid asking for help -- If you're unsure about the answer to a customer's question, ask a trainer, coach or team leader for help. Maintaining open communication and asking for help when necessary will not only build your knowledge and improve your quality monitoring evaluations, but it will improve the overall customer experience. Force customers to give you the same information more than once -- It negatively impacts the customer experience if customers need to repeat the same information every time they call your company. Your call center software should store customer data and call center agents should know how to access this data when a customer calls. Avoid cross-selling and up-selling -- Many call center agents are hesitant to crosssell and up-sell, but selling in the call center can be easy if you know when and how to do it. A good rule of thumb to follow is instead of thinking about how to sell a specific product to a specific customer, think about what product that customer might actually need. This will result in more successful sales interactions and increased customer value in the long run. Make the customer wait for an answer -- First call resolution (FCR) plays an important role in shaping the customer experience. According to customer experience expert Lior Arussy, FCR demonstrates that the company is there for the customer and respects the customer's time. As a call center agent, you should aim to answer the customer's question the first time they call, and avoid transferring them from person to person to get an answer. Put off discussing customer issues with your call center manager -- Sensitive customer situations and issues will arise, and call center agents are usually the first people in the enterprise to learn about problems. Because of this, it's important to let your call center manager know when issues come up, says Fluss. Call center agents shouldn't keep these calls to themselves -- instead, flag any calls that involve sensitive customer situations so that managers can review and make sure the situation was handled correctly.

Outbound call center
An outbound call center is one in which call center agents make outbound calls to customers on behalf of a business or client. Calls made from the center can include telemarketing, sales or fund-raising calls, as well as calls for contact list updating, surveys or verification services. A call center may handle either outbound or inbound calls exclusively or might deal with a combination of the two. An outbound call center uses distinct metrics to measure agent success, such as cost per call, revenue earned, total calls made and tasks completed. An inbound call center uses different metrics, such as first call resolution (FCR).

What is Call Center Outsourcing?

For many small, medium and large businesses outsourcing a call center is an excellent way to generate sales and help current customers with tech support and customer support issues. While some larger companies have the money, time and resources to put in place their own call center, most smaller and mid sized businesses opt for a streamline approach to call centers and choose to outsource their call center needs. Here are some tips on how to outsource a call center. If you are looking to outsource a call center, your business must first decide what they are trying to gain in the process. For instance, most businesses are looking for a low cost way to either sell their goods, support customers with technical problems or customer service issues. The reason most businesses choose to outsource call centers is usually due to the low cost and management in place that is far more affordable than it's business spending lots of time, resources and labor creating their own call center from scratch. Outsourcing a call center does take decision making and careful analysis on the business side, as well as consultation and solutions on the outsourcing side. For instance, before a business decides to contract a call center with an out sourcing firm, it must first look at its business needs and understand how the new service will either spur sales or enhance customer satisfaction, thus increasing customer retention and limiting customer churn. Once a business knows what kinds of services it needs, a business usually requests bids from call center outsource services. Most of the time the bidding process removes lots of contractors that can not meet the businesses qualifications, labor requirements and technology requirements. From usually 2 or more bids, the business then makes a choice or further consults with call center outsourcing companies on bid price and solutions that they can offer. Once a call center is chosen and contracted for services with a business, a deeper consultation takes place in which the business and the outsource work together to create a solution that either generates sales for products or services, gives customers support for billing or technical products. It is up to the business to decide the amount of resources it is determined to give the outsourcing company in order to deliver results. For instance, a large computer company with only a handful of tech support specialists hired through a call center can do more harm than good. If you don't' have enough resources in place, your support services will lack credibility and customers will be turned off by your effort. Most call centers are created to give enough resources to call center outsourcing companies to do a job right, this includes having enough technical and labor resources in place, having a clear mandate, software application and technical abilities, having a labor force that can handle the volume of calls and that are well trained to handle tasks that they are given. In addition, it is important that certain milestones are set up throughout the contract to make sure that customer satisfaction is high, that enough calls are being answered in a satisfactory manner or that enough sales are being generated.

Being able to determine if a call center is achieving results and accomplishing goals is usually the work of management using metrics such as customer surveys, retention and churn data and sales data. There are dozens of call center outsourcing companies available, as a business seeking solutions; it is your job to contract with one of them that can deliver results you are looking for. While many businesses are always looking for rock bottom services, sometimes when it comes to lower bids or the most affordable services, you may be cutting costs too much for a service to provide you with resources that are well trained or technical equipment and support that fit the needs of real world business issues. Since each call center outsource company does offer a different product, your best bet is to analyze your specific needs and then do plenty of research to find a match with a call center outsourcing company that can fulfill these needs.

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