Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the practice of delegating a discrete business process to a third-party provider who is responsible for performing the process based on defined metrics and managing all required technology. Business process outsourcing may include activities such as accounting, data entry, marketing and advertising, accounting, and customer service delivered through a contact center.
What is a BPO contact center?
A contact center performs customer service functions, communicating with customers via telephone, email, chat, web, social media, mobile apps, SMS text, and other channels. A business process outsourcing contact center, or BPO contact center, is a third-party provider that offers services such as technical support, customer service, market research, help desk services, and other functions typically delivered by an in-house contact center.
What are the types of BPO contact centers?
There are three different models for BPO contact centers.
- Offshore contact centers are based in different countries that may offer access to highly educated labor at lower wages.
- Nearshore contact centers are based outside the country in locations that are easier for managers to access.
- Onshore contact centers are based within the same country as the business, which is often important to customers.
What are the advantages of using business process outsourcing for contact centers?
A BPO contact center offers several significant advantages.
- Lower costs. A BPO contact center lets businesses avoid the cost of setting up an in-house contact center as well as the overhead costs for space, utilities, training, and technology. When outsourcing to a contact center in another country, the cost of wages may be significantly lower as well.
- International presence. Using business process outsourcing for contact centers enables global companies to provide customer services in various languages, cultures, and markets.
- 24/7 service. BPO contact centers enable businesses to offer support to customers around the clock.
What are the challenges when hiring a BPO contact center?
- Lower visibility. Outsourcing contact center services has traditionally meant a loss of visibility into the performance and efficiency of the contact center and its agents.
- Less engagement. Agents working in a BPO contact center will likely interact with customers for more than one company, which may mean they are less engaged and focused on delivering excellent service than the agents in an in-house contact center.
- Limited control. Outsourcing inevitably involves a certain loss of control over how contact center agents are trained, coached, and monitored.
- Difficult communication. Customers may find it more difficult to communicate with agents working in an offshore BPO contact center because of differences in language and accents.
What are the challenges of managing a BPO contact center?
Managers of a BPO contact center face many of the same challenges as managers of in-house contact centers.
- Satisfying customers. Creating loyal, happy customers is the ultimate goal of the contact center. Yet many operations struggle to meet the KPIs that drive customer satisfaction: short wait times, fast resolution on the first call, and empathetic and knowledgeable agents who are empowered to solve each customer’s issue.
- Retaining agents. Attrition is one of the most prevalent challenges within the contact center industry. When contact centers can’t adequately train, coach, reward, and engage employees, it’s difficult to avoid high turnover rates.
- Integrating technologies. Many contact centers rely on multiple technologies for managing phone calls, call routing, IVR, training, and other critical functions. Integrating each of these solutions can be challenging for IT teams, and mastering each technology may be difficult for agents and managers.
- Maintaining optimal staffing levels. Managers must staff their contact centers with enough agents to keep customers from waiting too long, but not at levels that result in idle agents.
- Monitoring quality. To maintain quality, contact centers can record and review every interaction with customers across channels. Yet, the enormous volume of interactions can easily overwhelm contact center managers and make it difficult to get a complete picture of quality and performance.
What is the role of conversation intelligence in the BPO contact center?
Conversation intelligence technology automatically captures and analyzes every conversation that contact center agents have with customers across any channel. Combining speech analytics for audio conversations and text analytics for email, chat, social and other text-based channels, conversation intelligence can determine the meaning of a customer’s words as well as the emotion that drives their behavior. With the ability to automatically analyze all customer conversations, conversation intelligence software provides highly accurate contact center metrics that reveal deep insight into the mindset of customers, the performance of agents, and the steps required for continuous improvement.
How does CallMiner Eureka improve BPO contact center operations?
As the world’s most comprehensive conversation intelligence platform, CallMiner Eureka uses AI-powered analytics to help BPO contact centers and the businesses who hire them to better understand customer interactions and agent performance. Eureka captures, analyzes, transcribes, categorizes, and scores 100% of conversations between agents and customers. For BPO contact center managers, Eureka makes it easy to benchmark agent performance, improve coaching, and leverage real-time guidance that helps improve the outcomes of customer calls. For businesses using BPO contact centers, Eureka makes it possible to monitor the performance of outsourced services and to gain a deeper understanding of the needs, preferences, behavior, and motivation of customers.