If you are in the contact center industry, you’ve undoubtedly heard of business process outsourcing. In fact, you may have even heard your own line of work referred to this way. However, there are marked differences between the two. Understanding those differences and how the two are related and play into one another can help those who are interested in being part of the customer service or business process outsourcing fields thrive well into the future.
Let’s examine business process outsourcing and the projections for this industry in the coming years. You may find that your place in this industry is not what you expected!
First: What is Business Process Outsourcing?
Business process outsourcing - also known as BPO - is simply the handling of specific tasks by a secondary entity. This is done for a fee and takes the responsibility of these tasks off the primary business entity. Many large companies around the world work with BPOs to handle everything from customer service to IT tasks and more.
There are several types of BPO organizations - offshore, nearshore, and onshore. Offshore BPO organizations are located in countries far from that of the primary business. Nearshore BPO organizations are located in different but geographically local nations. Onshore BPO sare located in the same country as the company they are handling the business processing tasks for. Which type a business chooses depends on a variety of factors including the cost and the type of tasks being handled.
What is the Relationship Between Contact Centers and Business Process Outsourcing?
Because of the fact that a BPO may handle customer service - including making phone calls - many people may believe that the terms “contact center” and “BPO” are interchangeable. However, this isn’t true. The terms are related, but they are not synonymous.
A call center is a BPO, but a BPO is not a call center. Business processing may include handling phone calls and communication for business purposes, so a contact center may be considered a BPO. However, BPOs also handle many other types of tasks that are not limited to communication and customer service. Therefore, all BPOs cannot be considered contact or call centers.
What Are Some Examples of Business Process Outsourcing Operations?
So, if contact centers are one example but not the only example of BPO organizations, what are some others? Essentially, BPOs may handle any type of task that helps to “fill in the gaps” for the company or companies they are working with. Whatever a business doesn’t want to handle on their own primary location, they can outsource to a BPO and trust that the job will be handled properly.
Some examples of tasks that a BPO can handle for your business include:
- Legal work and legal process outsourcing. Everything from legal transcription to higher-level legal specialty work can be handled by a properly-trained BPO. Just be sure that your partner organization is prepared to handle legal specialty work.
- Information technology services. Everything involving the use of data and the processing thereof - your BPO staff can handle it for you.
- Knowledge process outsourcing. This is the provision of domain-based expertise. Whether it’s analysis and research or work in programs like Microsoft Word and Excel, these types of services are a valuable part of the overall chain for many companies - and take the stress off of on-site employees so that they can handle other tasks.
- Research process outsourcing. A specialty of research and analysis functions, this is a type of BPO service that investment, marketing, biotech firms, and other businesses in these fields.
- Travel logistics. Whether you need to book hotels, tickets, or something else related to employee travel, this can be handled by this department in your BPO.
- Human resource services. This may include hiring and recruitment, payroll management, insurance processing, agent training, dispersal of retirement benefits, and more.
- Customer interaction services. Let your BPO schedule appointments, attend to voicemail and email, handle surveys, marketing, quality assurance, and much more. Anything involving direct interaction with consumers can easily be handled by a well-trained BPO staff.
- Back-office financial transactions. Including credit, debit, and check processing, collections, procurement, warehouse management and more. Basically, anything that is happening behind the scenes to keep things moving smoothly, your BPO can handle it.
- Accounting services. This includes billing, auditing, general payroll, accounts payable, and regulatory compliance.
There is almost no task that a good BPO can’t handle for you - and take off the shoulders of your overworked on-site agents!
Why Do Companies Outsource Their Business Processing?
There are several reasons to consider outsourcing your company’s business processing functions. Some of the most common include:
- Decreasing costs
- Improving focus on meaningful or key operations
- Enhancing flexibility and scalability
- Increasing productivity, speed, and efficiency
While it may sound counter-intuitive at first blush, another big benefit of outsourcing your business processing may be increasing consumer satisfaction. How? Because the professionals you partner with at a BPO are more likely to be highly skilled in their specific tasks. That means the consumers that they serve at your direction are more likely to be highly satisfied that that service - and you will get all the credit!
What Does the Future Look Like for BPO Organizations?
Because business process outsourcing companies do so much to provide other businesses with valuable services, the trend of positive growth in the industry is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. Few other industries are as secure as this - after all, companies are always going to be around needing help with those smaller tasks. And as long as they are, they will be willing to pay for those services - keeping the BPO field strong and steady for years to come!
Whether you’re looking for technology to simplify your call center operations or software to support your business process outsourcing operation, ChaseData has everything you need. Contact us today to learn more about how our software and solutions can deliver the tools your team needs to be productive and profitable - regardless of what you do and who you serve!