Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) has been a popular way for businesses of all sizes to manage costs. From large, international conglomerates to smaller operations, using BPO services helps companies to scale their growth and elevate their standards. In 2022, specific outsourcing trends have gained traction as the BPO industry grows at a rapid pace. The core industries, such as customer service and highly-skilled professional services continue to be the most sort-after services.
What has emerged is the shift in expectations of BPO providers. Service providers need to understand how the expectations of companies using BPO services have shifted from a hands-off, detached relationship toward an invested interest in how services providers are including the brand of the companies they serve in their interactions with customers and clients. Let’s take a closer look at how those expectations are taking shape.
The COVID-19 pandemic reshaped notions of the ‘workplace’. While many people who were forced to work from home adapted to the idea of remote work and the home office, others did not. However, offices have been slow to reopen. Many people fear that vaccine rates are too low and that the pandemic is not over. This means that companies have been forced to keep their options open. Rather than returning to a full office-based workforce, many companies have found ways to incorporate BPO providers into their workforce, eliminating the need for a physical space.
Customer service has always been a popular area of outsourcing. Telecommunications support for customer service enquiries makes sit easier for customers to contact you and elevates their levels of trust. This now also includes chat support. The best part about using a BPO service to fulfil these roles is that most workers are no longer required to enter an office space, but can fulfil these roles from home. That means that costs for hiring these services are lower, workers are given better environments and working conditions and businesses get the support they expect from professionals who are happier and more relaxed.
Social Media Management
Social media is essential to the digital marketing plan of any business. Managing those engagements takes a large amount of time, research and creativity. Depending on the strategy, engagement can mean responding to each social media engagement individually, or taking a broader approach and connecting with customers in a more holistic way.
BPO services that include social media management are valuable to companies that require fast scalability options. Digital marketing agencies have entire teams dedicated to content creation, SM messaging and omnichannel management. The expectation from businesses is that their brand is represented in the way they expect, using their brand voice and always on message.
Cloud Computing Services
Small and medium-sized businesses are outsourcing non-core business cloud computing tasks. As per Forbes, more than 77% of companies outsourcing in this sector have one or more apps and most of them are using cloud computing services. Cloud computing has helped organizations to grow. The enhanced services provide continuity, agility, resilience, high-level data security, and remote server access.
Most BPO providers in the tech industry are high-skilled professionals who are able to assess the needs of their customers and offer solutions that suit their budget, goals and capabilities. This is increasingly important to eCommerce merchants who are interested in providing excellent online solutions using a combination of resources, including cloud solutions that are tailored to their needs, but not necessarily exclusively owned by them.
BPO agencies are equipped with the latest technical solutions. This means that their communications solutions are exceptional. Outsourcing communications and the management of multiple channels through a single solution is not only a cost-effective solution for businesses, but is also a resourceful way to manage a branch of non-core operations without having to invest in equipment, training and space. The BPO providers specialising in omnichannel communications are capable of providing the latest technology and trained teams who are provided with the information to represent their clients in a professional and even ‘branded’ manner, using singular ticketing systems so issues are streamlined and resolved in the manner businesses offer excellence expect.
BPO companies recruit skilled professionals in essential roles such as human resources, accounting, data entry services, customer support, law, data analysis, digital development and more. This highly-skilled workforce that is used by any number of companies, rather than asking them to work for a singular company, means that workers have greater opportunities for growth and development, and companies have access to committed and experienced professionals who are engaged with their work. Companies are able to focus on their core-business resources and access the best workforce for the tasks that are required as supplementary to the essential roles.
Specialized outsourcing has become a valuable asset for many emerging businesses that need scaling opportunities without high overheads. Specialised BPO operations include the types of services that businesses need on an ad-hoc basis, but want to have as a consistent supplier, such as lawyers, accountants, HR and IT specialists. Such agents are experts in their fields, and their services are provided with the understanding that they must meet base requirements to fulfil their contractual obligations. This means that businesses have far great leverage than they perhaps would by employing such professionals directly, and they reduce their costs by paying for the service they need as they need it. For instance, a business might only need additional accountants during the tax period, so using a BPO service to fill the gap for a few months is more cost-effective than hiring a number of professionals who are only needed short term.
Cybercrime surged by 600% during the early period of the pandemic. The move from networked offices to cloud-based businesses caught many companies off-guard. Security was not up to protocol and hackers had the perfect opportunity to cause havoc. And mostly, it was just that. Serious security breaches are rare. Most of the cybercrime reported is the hacking of social media accounts and Zoom meetings. Businesses that moved quickly to create remote work environments faced challenges to security that have now been patched.
One of the ways that smaller businesses met these challenges was through BPO services in IT, which have increased in demand rapidly.
Transparency is a quality expected not only by customers in the consumer market but also by customers in the business market. The BPO industry has improved dramatically in the past 10 years. Industry standards, particularly in telecommunications, have improved dramatically. The competition for customer service contracts means that when a business approaches an agent, they have far better options for language proficiency, technical capability, service standards training, script recognition and support-team levels. Banks and airlines using international call centres have elevated the standards for all business types, leading to improved service overall. This means that contracts are now more transparent, with expectations for branding recognition, script, escalation recognition and other customer service expectations met to higher levels than they had been even 5 years ago.
Outsourcing trends in 2022 point to a higher need for professional services that offer niche solutions to an exceptional standard. Businesses want the ability to focus their resources on their core operations with the opportunity to grow and scale. BPO services have improved in the past few years, especially since the pandemic, as an appreciation for remote working and scalable business models. BPO services are the future of business expansion.
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