Business Process Outsourcing: What to expect in 2019

BPO 2019 Blog Image

If you had been outsourcing in the past or are planning to start soon, and are somewhat unsure of its future, well you may put all those worries to rest. Outsourcing has survived over the years and will most definitely survive in the future. But to understand what the future holds for the BPO industry, let me first reflect on the past year.

2018 in a Nutshell

Last year has been nothing less than a rollercoaster ride for the BPO industry, all thanks to the technological innovation, the rising global political instability and the return of the protectionist sentiment in the western economies, which combined, has been the continuous source of disrupt in the industry. And the result?

1. The global delivery system has gone under tons of pressure as the clients are demanding more and more from labor and digital arbitrage propositions.

2. BPO firms, as well as multi-service companies, are focussing on acquiring more digital and automation capabilities.

3. All this and various other factors have lead to more severe competition between the global multi-national companies and other in-house shared services and IT companies.

Predictions for 2019

New Technologies

BPO industry has always provided businesses with cost-effective solutions. And the trending technologies of 2018 such as social media, cloud computing, software, and automation have served well to reduce costs and to accelerate growth. This trend will continue well in 2019 as well.

Multi-Tasking

Earlier BPO was synonymous only with call centers. This outdated notion has been replaced with web design, human resources, accounting, coding, and various other tasks. That’s why a huge chunk of outsourcing companies have been investing in offering multiple services such as mobile applications, cloud computing, digital technology etc. in their supplying countries, a trend which will go well in 2019.

Engaging Start-Ups

The past few years have seen a significant surge in startup growth with many startups succeeding under a lot of pressure with time constraints and limited resources. These startups with a small budget often look overseas for cost-effective labor. And where they find it? In BPOs that excel at providing talent at lower costs, thus help complete tedious tasks such as recruitment and trading. Another trend in continuation.

Transparency

Earlier, when only large multinational BPO companies were actively involved in the industry, it became really difficult to gain information on the policies and contracts. Even the employees were kept in the dark. But the transparency has most certainly increased recently. In 2019 too, many more organizations are expected to adjust their policies so as to avoid losing business to more trustworthy organizations.

Politics

Remember how the new administrative power emerging after the 2016 US Presidential elections directly impacted the rules and regulations affecting the BPO sector. The more Trump focussed on “America’s First” policy, the more it encouraged the return of anti-outsourcing bills in Congress. But things aren’t that bad. Despite Trump’s policy claims, the outsourcing industry can continue to expect unstoppable growth in 2019.

Continued Growth

The established outsourcing destinations such as India, Malaysia, Philippines etc. will continue to see growth this year and many more years to come. And we are not only talking of BPO, this year will see an emergence of KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) sector that will further help cater to the new demands besides offering more specialized roles such as web design, market research, equity research etc.

New Outsourcing Destinations

Oversaturation and reduction in business growth have left businesses to search for alternate outsourcing destinations apart from the already established ones (India, Malaysia, Philippines). The five countries that will emerge as new destinations for outsourcing in 2019 are-

1. Bulgaria

2. Romania

3. Egypt

4. Mexico

5. Columbia

Artificial Intelligence

And lastly, comes the AI technology customization which will also have a major impact on the outsourcing industry in 2019. How? As more and more customers are inquiring about the AI capabilities or how AI can help improve their products or services or what role AI plays in helping us achieve our goals, it becomes imperative for outsourcing firms to hire AI experts to meet these growing client demands.

Conclusion:

In the end, nobody can argue that today’s disruptive outsourcing environment is filled with remarkable opportunities so as to enhance innovation and market competitiveness for forward-thinking organizations. And as you have already seen, 2019 is going to be an exciting year for outsourcing as it is filled with new technologies that continue to unravel and paradigms that continue to change.

Latest Innovation Swings in Customer Service

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With the increased adoption of tech channels in our routine life, the innovating customer touchpoints also experience the digital transformations that change the consistency of human sales and service channels. But with new technologies, challenges come too. The steep learning of using new innovations in customer services and support is needed to keep yourself up-to-date in the run.

Change is the only constant thing in the world of customer services and if you don’t go for these innovation swings, you will be left behind. The massive benefit of these developing trends is to give more and more realistic experience to the customers which improve your business revenues. Not only the money matters but it also encourages the process improvements, knowledge sharing, risk reduction and much more.

Small and medium business holders are adopting virtual storage and systems to counter a lack of data centers. In this way, the tech drifts of present days are proved as a strong strategy to advantage business process outsourcing. So, upgrading yourself with the latest innovation trends keep your BPO services ahead among its competitors.

What are the booming trends in Customer Service Technology?

Video Communication

Video voicemails are the one the top trends in these days. We know that eye contact is a more powerful tool to build up a strong relationship among customers and a client. So, face to face conversation or video proves a viable business improving tool with growing expectations of customers. With the help of Visual Voicemails, service providers can schedule meetings with the customers as well as clients for face to face interaction whenever it possible.

Real-Time Messaging

In this fast-paced world, customers expect you to be online always and interact via chat instead of email. Real-time messaging and responsiveness leave quite positive reactions on the customers. It’s not about Facebook Messenger or WhatsApp, but the on-site conversations really matter in gaining customer satisfaction.

Social Media Management Tools

Browsing social platforms has emerged as the third most popular online activity. So, for the BPO service providers opting social media management tools is a game-changing strategy. Companies these days invest more in real-time customer engagement instead of call center software programs. This will allow companies to gain first-hand insight over their products and feedback that enhance a company’s ability to analyze issues with the products as well as give solutions for future problems.

Talk Bots

Bots are different interaction mode and an opportunity to engage your customers more effectively. Bots can work all the time especially when your customer service team is asleep. We can say it is a self-service for customers that reduce expenses of BPO vendors by providing a new repeatable method of communication. This technology will continue to make a huge advance over the next few years and will be capable of doing more than humans today.

Machine Intelligence

Machine Intelligence or more commonly known as Artificial Intelligence is predicted to use in customer service by 80%. However, many call center outsourcing companies already using AI in their customer support operations. Nowadays, Artificial Intelligence is still a tool with fairly limited functionality. But in coming days this will prove as an efficient tool to suggest replies to human agents.

Google Voice

Voice technologies have been a major trend with the advent of Alexa, Cortana, and Google Assistant. Being present in Android and iOS phones, Google Voice is the leading digital assistant and the use will grow significantly in customer’s lives. In the coming few months, these technologies will rule the world and implementing these in your enterprise will helpful in your business improvement.

Data-Driven Technology

No matter, which technology you are using, but it must be an effective data-driven technology. These service technologies record a variety of information about customer interactions so, the added software must be beneficial across your entire organization. Your sales team will need this data to understand customer’s needs and use these insights during their sales pitch.

Conclusion

Balancing today’s priorities is a constant struggle while changing technology drifts. The customer support outsourcing is growing and the major concern is to increase skill shortage. That is actually possible with new generation technology. These new innovations continue to grow and benefits to encourage your business like no before. Outsourcing service providers at a global level are expected to use these innovations to effectively address market challenges.

Emerging technologies such as social media platforms, data-driven software, cloud computing, and automation providing cutting cost solutions to enterprises. Expanding businesses do not want to hire a large number of people for small tasks where these techs will help them in an effective manner. While it is an uphill task for many call center outsourcing service providers, many top-notch players of this industry already giving an edge with the help of robotic process automation in their standard client service portfolios.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/latest-innovation-swings-in-customer-service/

Why Outsourcing BPO Services To India Is Still A Good Choice?

Western countries have been outsourcing BPO services to India for the last two decades. India has been the preferred destinations for all western nations to outsource various services like customer support, technical support, lead generation and many other BPO processes. This is not just limited to voice support but also non-voice processes like chat support, email support, and data entry services. But what makes India the number one choice of all these countries for outsourcing? Continue reading below to find out.

1)Extremely Cost Effective

Due to the huge difference in the currency value between India and western nations like the U.S or U.K, Indian workforce can work for a fraction of the cost of their American counterparts. This gives a huge benefit to foreign companies looking to outsource.

2)English Speaking Workforce

India is a country where a majority of the educated workforce can speak English quite well. This makes it easy for them to interact with western customers over the call. Because there is no language barrier, Indian companies can easily handle processes of English speaking nations.

3)Flexibility

It is a time-tested fact that Indian companies can provide 24/7 support and can work easily according to the schedule and timing of the clients or customers of the western part of the world.

4)Tech Savvy Employees

The Indian BPO companies have well trained technical staff and have a good reputation worldwide for providing quality technical support to customers of some of the biggest tech companies in the west.

5)Less Expenditure on Infrastructure

When companies have to carry out a process in-house, they have to bear the expenses of hiring and training of employees. They also have to spend money on infrastructure for these employees. Outsourcing to India takes care of all these issues and reduces the cost of operations. This also lets businesses focus on their core objectives.

6)Proven Track Record

As stated before, India has been the choice for outsourcing for the last two decades. The reason for this continued faith in Indian outsourcing companies is that they provide constant quality service and a track record for saving costs and increasing profits for their various prestigious clients.

The above reasons clearly prove why Indian BPO companies are the best choice even today for the west to outsource their various services. However, since the needs of their customers are changing at a rapid pace, they need to partner with companies that can provide customer support on various channels, not just through the voice channel.

They also need a company that can provide them a tailored solution as per their requirement and can scale as per their needs.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/outsource-bpo-services-india/

Choosing the Right Call Center Services Provider for Your Business

Call center services are essential for companies in almost every industry. The scope of call center services has grown as well with so many different inbound as well as outbound call center services being offered by outsourcing companies these days. The competition in the BPO sector has been fierce as well over the last decade in India. If you want to outsource to India, you have so many options to choose from. The question you would ask yourself is how can I choose the right BPO services provider in India for my company?

There are a handful of key factors that need to review before you can take the plunge and sign on the dotted line with a BPO company. Below are some of these factors –

List of Services

There are some call centers that dedicatedly offer one type of service. This could be inbound call center services that include a combination of customer care services, call answering services, technical support services etc. If you looking to outsource any of these functions, then it’s great. But, what happens when tomorrow your requirements change and you need to outsource outbound call center services like lead generation services, telemarketing services, customer survey processes etc. Would you go looking for a different call center to hire for this?

It is best to hire a call center that offers a wide variety of services from the get-go. This leaves an option open for future outsourcing needs of your company.

Multi-Channel Support

Today’s customers look for customer service on every platform they are present on. They are not happy with their company providing support over voice platform only. They want to support over website chat, via email and even on social media platforms. While hiring a BPO services provider in India, make sure they are offering their clients multi-channel support services that will help companies reach out to their customers on the channel of their preference.

Availability & Flexibility

If your business requirements are such that you need a call center that works around the clock, check their availability in advance. There are processes that may not need to be functional 24/7. For them, you really don’t care about around the clock availability as long as the call center staff is working for you during business hours. There is also an issue of holidays. Do you need your call center services functional on all days of the year or are you fine with the process being closed on special occasions like Christmas, new year’s day etc?

Technological Capabilities

Having access to cutting-edge technology is critical to how effectively a call center can handle its responsibilities towards its clients. You need to check whether the BPO company you are looking to outsource to have the required software, tools, system configurations, CRM, seamless internet connectivity etc to deliver high-quality service that you expect from them. If possible, do a site visit to ensure that the required infrastructure is in place.

These are some of the most important factors to consider before choosing the right call center provider. There may be other factors as well depending upon your business’s unique requirements.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/choosing-right-call-center-services-provider-business/

The Evolving Scope of an Indian Outsourcing Company

The Indian outsourcing sector has gone through many changes in the last two decades. There was a time when most of the call centers in India in their early phase only used to act as customer support outsourcing centers. The earliest clients of this sector were mobile network operators. One of the first technical processes to be outsourced to an Indian outsourcing company was mobile data support process. It was the early times of mobile data. The old 2g network internet was used in cell phones. One of the biggest challenges customers those days faced was that their handset did not automatically pickup data settings.

For this reason, mobile companies would get a lot of calls from customers that needed someone to walk them through the various steps of installing mobile data settings. Now, if we talk about domestic outsourcing processes, the scope of outsourcing has really seen a transformation. Similarly, India has been a hub for western countries to outsource their various processes as well.

The cost-benefit and the availability of talented, English speaking youngsters made India the preferred outsourcing location for the west. Indian outsourcing companies got famous all over the world for providing technical support to the customers of some of the biggest tech companies in the world. Over the years, the scope of outsourcing to India grew from technical support to a wide range of services. Outsourcing itself has changed a lot. From BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) to KPO (Knowledge Process Outsourcing) and LPO (Legal Process Outsourcing), the type of services outsourced has seen expansion.

Here are some of the various services being offered by Indian outsourcing companies and the range of processes being outsourced to them both locally and internationally –

  • Virtual Assistant Services

A virtual assistant is a remote employee that works at a remote location for an organization and handles a wide range of services. Also known as a virtual receptionist, popularly they answer phone calls, book meetings, reply to emails & chat and handle many other backend processes like data entry. Many companies hire these virtual assistants as they can save on their operating expenses.  Recognizing this need, companies like Octopus Tech offer virtual assistant services to sectors that need this service the most – doctors and real-estate firms.

  • Chat Support Services

Today’s customers prefer getting support via website chat rather than over the phone. Through online chat, they can get a real-time resolution to their problems without having to wait on hold for a long time.  Most of the companies outsourcing their chat services are e-commerce companies that want to capitalize on live website chat for boosting their conversion rates. Other sectors that benefit from live chat outsourcing are travel websites, banks, and telecom companies.

  • Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)

Lawyers have too many responsibilities to handle on a daily basis. Whether it is a small legal practice or a large firm, there are many administrative tasks that need to be handled. In order for the lawyers to focus on their core tasks, these administrative and backend tasks are outsourced to legal process outsourcing companies.  Some of these legal functions that are outsourced are – litigation support, paralegal services, legal document review and more.

  • Email Support Services

Email still remains one of the most preferred channels of communication for customers when they want to get in touch with brands. Many companies are now recognizing this fact and are starting to outsource their email support services to BPO companies. Effective email support helps boost customer satisfaction and customer retention. It is an important tool for delighting customers.

  • E-Surveillance Services

This is the latest trend in outsourcing. Businesses now have started to outsource their e-surveillance services to outsourcing companies to add an extra layer of security to their business. The basic concept behind outsourcing e-surveillance is that banks, warehouses, retail chains, restaurants etc outsource their surveillance video monitoring to a third party that monitors all security footage in real-time from a centralized command center. In the event that any criminal incident is detected, real-time alerts along with the evidence are sent to the concerned persons.

The scope of the Indian outsourcing company has expanded over the past decade. These Indian companies are no longer just a destination for tech support but also for a host of different services that help companies reduce costs, increase revenue, retain customers, keep customers engaged and get feedback.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/evolving-scope-indian-outsourcing-company/

Common Inbound Call Center Services Businesses Today Need

The BPO sector has seen many changes over the past decade. There are several call center services that have been added to an ever-growing list of offerings that contact centers are now offering businesses across the globe. There was a time when a call center was only synonymous with answering calls of troubled customers. While that is still a big part of the inbound call center services that are offered, many new additions have been made to the services.

Contact centers have adapted to the changing times and the changing needs of businesses. Outsourcing has been an important cost-cutting measure for companies for over two decades. The list of tasks to outsource has grown significantly. Inbound services have always been significant as they help businesses provide customer service in a cost-effective manner, all the while being able to focus on their core objectives.  We shall now understand what other inbound call center services businesses today need.

  • Technical Support Services

Technical support or as it’s also known as – help desk services, are inbound services that are outsourced by companies that usually sell some sort of hardware. An OEM (Original Equipment Manufacturer) usually outsources this service to provide support to those customers that face challenges using their products after making the purchase. These organizations can include – desktop manufacturers, laptop manufacturers, mobile, and tablet manufacturers to name a few.

Even though outsourcing help desk services is more common for hardware companies, there are certain software companies who do it as well. Whether they have utility software or a web-based application, whenever customers face any challenges with it, they need technical support. With the growing number of applications that are released every year, I believe 2017 can be the year that software companies will overtake device manufacturers in availing inbound call center services.

  • Inbound Sales

Inbound sales can be considered an extension of telemarketing services. The whole concept is to try and convert a potential customer who calls in with a business inquiry into a paying customer. This inbound sales service enhances the revenue of the company and is a business model that many service providers offer. These inbound sales can be generally of three types –

Up-selling – Up-selling refers to when an existing customer calls in for information about any aspect of their service and you try to sell them on a higher plan or a costlier plan than the one they are already subscribed to.

Cross-selling – This is a similar concept to up-selling but here you do not try to sell a more expensive plan, you try to sell a service or product that is related to the one a customer already uses.

Customer Acquisition – Unlike up-selling and cross-selling, here the individual that calls you is not an existing customer. They are just someone that saw your company’s number on its website or social media page and called in for information. The goal here is to educate the caller on the products and services of the company and their various benefits in order to convert them into customers by making a sale.

  • Booking Orders

As the name suggests, this inbound process involves booking orders from customers when they call in. There are so many websites that sell their products online these days. However, there are situations where your customers may not be able to order online for the products. That is where order booking processes come in. Inbound calls are received from customers who want to place their orders over the phone. Their details like product number, product description, shipping address, payment method etc are confirmed and their order is booked over the phone.  Just like inbound sales process, this process also helps enhance the revenue of the business.

  • Customer Service

Even though customer service has been mentioned above in the beginning of this post, it deserves a mention in this list as well. Customer service remains the most important and widely outsourced service as far as inbound call center services are concerned. Providing customers with good customer service ensures their loyalty with the brand and keeps them retained. That is why this aspect is never over-looked and companies outsource their customer support to reliable inbound call center services providers.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/common-inbound-call-center-services-businesses-today-need/

How You Can Save on Customer Support Costs

Providing above par customer support has been recognized as a crucial aspect of running any successful business. When you provide your customers with good customer support, you have a greater chance of retaining them. In a competitive business environment like today’s, good customer support gives your organization a much-needed edge. Since acquiring new customers is an expensive and time-consuming ordeal, more and more companies are putting more focus on their customer retention efforts with customer support being on top of their list.

Companies want to focus on customer support but they do not want to spend a lot of their working capital on this function. So, how can your business provide excellent customer support/customer service and still save on your operating costs? Read on to know exactly how.

Self-help is the Best Help

The role of automation in business today cannot be ignored. The same goes for customer support. The truth is that if most people can solve their various service related issues themselves, they would never really bother calling your company. That is why your company’s website should have an FAQ page where customers can get answers to common issues that may occur with your service.

If you provide a technical service or sell a technical product, you need to have a self-help section on your site too. In this section of the website, you should have step by step guides that contain troubleshooting procedures for different technical issues that your existing customers are facing. If your customers have this option, they would much rather use it than call your support number. Even if they do want to call you, chances are that these steps would be able to resolve their issues so it would be a moot point.

Learn From the Feedback and Adapt

If you get complaints from your customer repeatedly regarding the same issues, its time you did something about it. That is the best way to reduce the number of support calls your team receives daily. No matter how good your customer service becomes, if your service is horrible, you are going to lose customers. So, why not help your hard-working support team out by improving the service.

There was a time where companies selling sub-par services or products were able to make a profit because of low competition. When customers have no other alternative, they would settle for such companies back then. The situation has changed a lot now. As stated in the beginning of this post, competition in the service world has never been higher. Customers have so many options that you have no other choice but to improve upon your shortcomings.

Outsource Your Support Team

Outsourcing allows businesses to focus on their core tasks and let other companies that have well trained and experienced staff members handle their various non-core tasks. Outsourcing helps reduce the cost of operations for your business while helping you provide excellent customer support. This is possible because your company’s staff may be proficient in their various tasks but not in customer support.

When you outsource your call center services to a company providing BPO services in India, you get access to well-trained staff, experienced in providing customer support via various different channels including voice, chat, email and social media. The less of your time is spent focusing on customer support, more you can focus on improving your services. All the while reducing your customer support costs.

Managing an in-house customer support team is always more expensive than outsourcing. There are several expenditures involved when you have an in-house team. Outsource your customer support functions to avoid all the added expenditure.

Conclusion

Customer support remains an integral part any successful business. Outsourcing it to a third party can make sure your customers get the best support possible in the most cost-effective way.

Original Source: https://www.theoctopustech.com/can-save-customer-support-costs/