Companies all over the world are realizing the immense value that business process outsourcing (BPO) services can bring to their organization. Allowing businesses to reduce spending, increase the quality of work, and fuel company growth are some of the main attractions when it comes to outsourcing. Companies like Affirma help individual businesses incorporate BPO services to their full advantage.
It makes sense that the BPO industry is growing fast. In a post-pandemic world, studies predict more businesses will turn to BPO firms to optimize resources and encourage company growth.
By handing an organization’s non-primary operations to a quality BPO company, businesses can stay focused on the work they initially set out to do. Business process outsourcing can eliminate a lot of day-to-day hassle, creating a smoother and simpler business model.
We’ll get into the details of the benefits that outsourcing can bring to your company. But first, let’s explore what “business process outsourcing” means.
What is BPO?
Business process outsourcing occurs when an organization hires a third-party company to conduct certain business operations. The point of using BPO services is to help businesses reach their goals while reducing operational costs. BPO providers can help with both front-office and back-office functions. A business may use BPO for client-facing functions like customer support, data entry/analysis, and outbound or inbound sales. Common back-office outsourcing includes human resources, accounting, and helpdesk support.
Instead of hiring an in-house financial staff to manage your payroll, for example, you pay an external company to manage your accounting aspects. In this hypothetical scenario, your business would have a knowledgeable, experienced team handling your finances, but at a much lower price tag than hiring your own accounting staff. In turn, your in-house staff can utilize their time on critical initiatives that grow your business rather than the time-consuming overhead of managing staff.
BPO is not to be confused with process automation, such as business process automation (BPA) or robotic process automation (RPA). Both strategies are frequently practiced in the business world—and both can be very useful. The difference between automation and outsourcing is the actual source behind the activity that is being carried out. With outsourcing, a third-party company is hired to conduct some of your business activities instead of automating them with software. In automation, coded software would automatically generate scheduled lists of leads, let’s say. So, a robot is the source. With business process outsourcing, you are paying a team of real people (and their software) to create and act upon those leads. Source = humans + technology.
Four Advantages of BPO
The advantages of BPO are numerous. Let’s cover four common benefits that drive business leaders toward outsourcing.
Reduces Operational Costs
Return on Investment (ROI) is one of the most important considerations in business. In 2020, cost reduction was the primary reason that companies outsourced. Employing a whole department to handle certain business processing is expensive. When organizations outsource certain business processes, they are getting work done by experienced employees at a lowered cost. This way, businesses don’t have to pay for as many employees.
Another cost-saving factor of outsourcing is that there’s not as much need for space when there are fewer employees. A company utilizing BPO services can get a lot done in a much smaller office. Production increases while the need for more desks, computers, and office supplies is reduced, too.
Gives You Access to Key Technologies
BPO businesses should have the latest and greatest software since their companies depend on it. This is another reason why outsourcing non-primary business operations can improve a company’s quality and productivity. A great BPO provider will use top-of-the-line strategies to enhance your operations. Most businesses can’t afford to buy every piece of new, expensive software that enters the market. But investing in the latest software is what makes BPO firms competitive, so these companies must keep up. With outsourcing, your business gets access to top-notch technology without the hassle of learning or paying the high price tag for it.
Better Quality of Service
Another major plus of hiring a BPO company is that the tasks you designate will be carried out by experts. Your business gains valuable productivity from someone who specializes in the relevant area without paying full price. And there’s no need for costly training and onboarding. Their team already knows what they’re doing and are ready to begin.
Increasesd Customer Satisfaction
The employees working for the BPO company engage with your customers and establish a connection. They keep track of feedback and common questions that can offer valuable insight for your company and its products or services. BPO employees can improve the quality of the customer experience by answering questions promptly, making personalized suggestions, and resolving any issues. Outstanding customer service increases and maintains current clientele, making your business more competitive.
Who is BPO Right For?
Any business can benefit from outsourcing their business processes if they incorporate it the way that’s best suited for their business. BPO’s can even be effective for a one-person start-up. The key is identifying your business needs and where an outside party could help improve operations the most.
Deciding to outsource may look like this: One employee runs your marketing and customer service. You really wish they could focus more on creative marketing for your company, but you’re hesitant to commit thousands of dollars to hire another employee to run customer service. This is where BPO could be very valuable, taking care of the easy customer service responses and solutions so your employee can use their time and talent on the important and creative tasks.
Areas For Outsourcing
Virtually any department can utilize BPO functions. Different BPO companies specialize in different areas. Some companies are large enough to cover multiple areas. Here are some common outsourcing services among departments:
BPO companies that specialize in customer services can handle most, if not all, of your customer service operations. Outsourced customer service representatives can assist customers, process orders and payments, conduct customer surveys, recommend products, resolve issues, and process refunds.
BPO services aren’t lacking when it comes to IT business functions. App and website development, technical support for customers and employees, IT helpdesks, and software maintenance can all be outsourced to keep companies running smoothly.
Finance and Accounting
If you aren’t running a finance or accounting company, hiring a BPO to handle your money relations isn’t a bad idea. A BPO company can collect and track payments, manage payroll, send bills, and file taxes. The BPO company can give you monthly, quarterly, or yearly reports and analyses. They can create a budget best for your business and tell you where to adjust spending.
Because the BPO company has your best interest in mind, it may also be easier to make decisions based on their recommendation. This leaves less room for possible tension where finances are concerned.
Outsourcing for HR operations can be very valuable. Your company can get all the management and insight that comes from HR without staffing a department in-house. Human resource BPOs can develop policy handbooks, recruit and hire employees, conduct training and onboarding operations, plan insurance and healthcare policies, and manage performances.
There are hundreds of BPO firms that specialize in sales. Sales BPO companies can target leads and reach out to potential customers. Because these are trained sales professionals, they are immediately ready to start generating revenue for your company.
When it comes to marketing, BPO firms can help here, too. They can prepare reports that gauge customer feedback, ad performance, and ROI on other advertising efforts. They can manage customer data for a more personalized experience. Even social media management can be outsourced. Another advantage of outsourcing marketing is that the BPO company is likely already familiar with the best strategies and can help you come up with more.
How to Incorporate BPO
As we noted earlier, business process outsourcing has become a huge industry. With so many options, getting started can seem a bit overwhelming. Different BPO companies provide different services. A simple online search for the services you’re interested in can help you develop a list of potential outsourcing partners. You’ll want to evaluate the cost of each BPO company, which is sometimes listed online but requires a consultation for other firms. The price of outsourcing varies. Differently priced packages are offered for various services. Sometimes, packages are spread across multiple departments, like Peach BPO, who can handle your customer service, human resources, and financial operations. Determining the type of BPO company that will be the most helpful for your business will make the search easier.
After you’ve narrowed down your list, there are a few things you need to investigate before committing to a BPO company.
- Verify that the company has the proper certifications, property rights, and patents to conduct business. Certifications are necessary when it comes to any BPO business. The provider should also abide by the intellectual property rights and patents. Your data and sensitive information may be with them, and you need to know that they will maintain confidentiality and regulatory standards.
- Make sure the company has sufficient staff—this is why you’re paying an external entity, after all. Learn the company’s number of employees. When you decide to hire a third party, you need to make sure that your company reaps the benefits. The company needs to have enough staff to fulfill your operation and perform effective work for your company.
- Check the company’s technology commitment and practices. Are they using the latest technology? Do they have a backup in case their power goes out? How is their data and security protection? You need to know these things before you give your valuable business information to them. A firm that is insufficient in these areas should be quickly crossed off your list.
- Consider the location of the company. There are BPO firms all over the world. That’s why you may hear the terms “offshore” and “onshore” outsourcing. Offshore outsourcing refers to hiring a company that isn’t in the country you’re based, typically with lower labor costs and laws. Onshore outsourcing means outsourcing from a BPO firm in the same country. Because of the different labor laws and costs, some find they save more money with offshore companies. India, the Philippines, and Malaysia are some of the most popular BPO destinations. This should be considered in terms of rules and regulations. Clarify what laws the company must follow. Another consideration should be time zone. If you’re looking for a customer service BPO, outsourcing from Italy may not be the best choice if their employees’ hours are when most of your customers are typically asleep.
- It never hurts to read testimonies from their current and previous customers. Search the company’s name with the word “review” and see if you find anything. You probably don’t want to take a chance with a BPO firm that has one out of five stars overall. If you can’t find reviews or only find a few, that isn’t always a telltale sign of a poor company. You can book a meeting with them to form your own impression if the research isn’t helpful.
To learn more about how business process outsourcing can best serve your company, schedule your free consultation with our BPO experts below.