What to look out for when choosing a BPO
Outsourcing business operations have paved the way for companies to tap into a pool of rich resources globally. Initially, choosing to outsource your operations can cause apprehension. Therefore, understanding what BPOs are and what they do is crucial. Business Processing Outsourcing or BPOs are third-party vendors that you can subcontract your business-related operations.
Today, BPOs have progressed from working with manufacturing and supply chain units to an array of businesses like IT, Healthcare, Human Resources, Hospitality, and Customer Service.
Why should you choose a BPO?
Investing in a BPO provider can bridge the gap between a business’s plans for growth and successful results. BPOs are useful for both front-end and back-end operations. Front-end operations include processes such as marketing, sales and tech support. In contrast, back-end operations cover IT services, human resources, and payment processing.
It doesn’t matter if your business is small, mid-size or large, outsourcing your operations can help create a seamless workflow within your office, because employees are not tasked with duties that fall out of their expertise.
Due to a higher amount in corporate tax, several U.S. companies outsource their operations to countries like the Philippines, Mexico or Ghana depending on the requirement. Outsourcing from another country is also known as offshoring and is said to be cost-effective, ensuring better results.
Imagine a healthcare practice with only 20 doctors and 30 nurses during flu season. While their priority should be helping patients get better, their services are lacking because other office operations like tracking patient records, managing payments and insurance, and filing prescriptions and reports take precedence over treatment. Not only does this create chaos in the workplace, but it is deemed unprofessional. By outsourcing back-office operations like medical billing and tracking, the healthcare unit can pay more attention to tasks that matter, like treating patients.
Once you tick off all the reasons you need a BPO, the next step is the choose the right one. When choosing a BPO suited for your business needs, there are five things to consider:
- Industry Experience and Ability to Communicate
Selecting the right BPO comes with many considerations. Just like a customer would research a product they’re interested in by looking online, reading reviews and assessing the brand’s reputation, choosing a BPO requires research.
Sometimes, the best choice is a large, well-known BPO that has been in the industry a long time, has an excellent reputation and is known for its work ethic. However, sometimes choosing a smaller BPO makes more sense because there is a better for service needs and budget requirements. When choosing a BPO, examining their industry experience can tell you everything you need to know. Additionally, after you’ve settled on one, assessing how the BPO communicates with you, understands your needs and delivers results is essential.
- Connections and References
While your first step was evaluating the BPO’s industry experience and capabilities, the next step is to examine their standing in the industry. A BPO can be known in the industry by the quality of its services and by their connections and references.
Evaluating the kind of companies and individuals the BPO is connected to, understanding their relationships and closely studying the quality of their services can help in the choice process.
- Employee Retention
When team members feel valued in a workplace, employee retention is higher. Frequent changes in teams and employee rosters can create an imbalance at work. When choosing a BPO it is crucial to look at employee retention rates and work culture.
If the work culture at a BPO is stressful, employees are unhappy and there is no form of encouragement, its effects show in the services provided. According to Hammerjack, customers are more likely to choose a BPO that makes an effort in caring for its employees. A good work environment results in healthy employee relationships which ensure stellar services provided.
- Security Measures
While the pros outweigh the cons of outsourcing business operations, there are several “what if” questions businesses must ask themselves when choosing a provider. The biggest one is, “What if all our data is leaked or tampered with?” When choosing a BPO, studying their process for data protection, security and transparency are essential. Understanding a BPO’s IT infrastructure will help you determine how they store and manage data.
According to The National Outsourcing Association, there are three matters about BPOs that cause the most issues:
- Ability of the company to implement contracts with offshore providers (93%)
- Enforcing data protection in cross-border transfers (93%)
- Technology transfer law (83%). If a BPO is hesitant in being transparent with you regarding their IT infrastructure, you should reconsider and work with a BPO that is transparent in their communication.
- Low Customer Attrition
The end goal for every BPO remains the same—excellent customer feedback. By choosing a BPO you know is well-trusted by its customers, you’re setting yourself up for success. Customer testimonials and reviews are important things to consider when choosing the BPO.
Attrition occurs in most businesses. However, it is essential to understand why it happens. If the cause for attrition isn’t identified and rectified, customers will leave BPO which can cause issues. If a BPO has a low customer attrition rate and works to make sure all your requirements are met, you’ve made the right choice.
In recent years, the Philippines has become a hotspot for BPO companies, owing to their experience, dedication and work ethic. Ranking in third place in English proficiency within Asia, BPOs in the Philippines offer businesses excellent service and cultural compatibility.
Choosing a BPO is no easy task and requires careful consideration. At Fair Trade Outsourcing, our highly skilled team can help manage and optimize your business operations with precision and transparency on agent performance, while helping to ensure the health and happiness of the agent.