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The call center is one of the initial points of contact between a brand and its customers. As such, it plays a pivotal role in shaping the customer experience (CX) strategy. Internal call centers, operated by a brand’s employees, offer a sense of control over the CX ecosystem. However, in-house operations are resource intensive and require a substantial investment. Rising costs, staffing challenges, and rapidly changing technology lead us to the age-old question: What is the best strategy for your company’s call centers? Should you maintain and grow in-house call centers? Should you outsource to third-party business process outsourcing (BPO) companies? Or perhaps ...
Call center agent engagement and feedback are more important than ever in today’s high growth business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. CustomerServ is proud to present our comprehensive global market research study of call center agents in over 25 countries. We hope this report provides brands, CX leaders, and BPOs valuable insights to help you improve the agent experience. CLICK HERE to read the report. #Outsourcing #OutsourcingStrategy #Onshore/Nearshore/Offshore #OutsourcingKPIs #ManagingVendorPartners
If the past few years have shown us anything, it’s that change is the only constant in the business process outsourcing (BPO) world. As we bid farewell to 2023 — a year marked by economic fluctuations, workforce scarcity, and increased automation — we can’t help but look forward to what 2024 holds. In 2023, businesses continued to wrestle with the ripple effects of the pandemic, which spurred a seismic shift in consumer behavior and expectations. Amid these changes, the BPO industry remained resolute by meeting the demands of the new normal. The increased emphasis on data privacy and the growing reliance on technology also has shaped the BPO landscape, compelling ...
Artificial intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) remain two of the hottest topics in call centers. The promise of AI and RPA to solve service issues and reduce labor costs is gradually becoming a reality. Thanks to technological improvements and broader adoption, AI is beyond the "hype storm" and has demonstrated significant value across industries. Similarly, RPA has proved valuable in automating routine tasks, improving service delivery, and increasing efficiency. Not only that, but recent advancements like Generative AI and ChatGPT have emerged as powerful solutions for customer service. (More on that later.) The End of Human Interaction ...
The global business process outsourcing (BPO) market is currently valued at over $260 billion and is expected to exceed $500 billion by 2030, according to Grand View Research . Outsourcing markets like the Philippines and India are well-established, but saturation, high turnover, and intense competition for labor are among the concerns in these and other mature locations. Next-generation “hot spots” for call center outsourcing will continue to emerge as brands seek untapped markets with talented workers and new suppliers. Africa is leading the geographic diversification "revolution" with competitive BPO solutions. Let's delve into the emergence of ...
WHERE TO LOOK AND HOW TO VET THE RIGHT PARTNER The right call center or business process outsourcing (BPO) vendor relationships can lead to a great customer experience and sustained growth for both parties. Partner with the wrong vendors, however, and the experience could be quite different. That begs the question: When is the right time to look for call center and BPO vendors? All BPOs will experience ups and downs in performance, staffing, and other areas. Higher-quality BPOs are generally proactive and quicker to address problems, but BPOs with deeper organizational issues will consistently struggle. Searching, selecting, and onboarding new vendors is ...
Remember the old saying, "Nobody ever got fired for choosing IBM"? Truer words were never spoken, especially in the call center outsourcing industry where the age-old debate of big vs. small vendor is a mainstay conversation. The topic of vendor size always sparks lively discourse and sharing of diverse perspectives. In some circles, there is a perception that the largest call center vendors or business process outsourcers (BPOs) are the most reliable options. There is also an assumption in the industry that sizeable BPOs are safer choices or better at scaling and handling complex workstreams than their smaller counterparts. Our industry is crowded with vendors ...
What is impact sourcing, and why is it relevant? Impact Sourcing is a socially conscious business practice where companies are intentional about hiring individuals living in areas with persistently high unemployment and limited career opportunities. In many developing countries, job seekers significantly outnumber formal job opportunities. Therefore, socially oriented outsourcing strategies aim to make a positive economic impact on disadvantaged and marginalized sectors of the population, in addition to eradicating inequities faced by women and minorities. The dual objective of impact hiring is to deliver top-level performance for brands that contract ...
If 2020 and 2021 were years of change, transformation, and tumult in the business process outsourcing (BPO) world, how do we describe 2022 ? Was it more of the same? And what can we expect in 2023? It’s hard to say how 2022 turned out for many because it “feels” like the year came and went incredibly fast, with mixed outcomes. Many businesses told us that 2022 was a down year and a time of uncertainty. In contrast, other companies and brands said that it was their best year on record. All of us seem busier and more preoccupied than ever. We’re running a mile a minute still dealing with the aftereffects of the pandemic — our workload, family, and ...
With the dramatic growth of global outsourcing, the distinction between nearshore and offshore should be quite clear. But too many people are still referring to all work outsourced outside of the U.S. as 'offshore,' which is incorrect. Outsourcing is often mislabeled as 'offshoring' even at the highest levels of business and government. It is essential to distinguish offshore and nearshore as two completely distinct outsourcing regions. Offshore and nearshore are not only geographically far apart, but each consists of different costs, labor pools, countries, culture, size, history, languages, agent skills, service delivery, market maturity, and saturation. ...
By Nick Jiwa The right call center or business process outsourcing (BPO) vendor relationships can lead to a great customer experience and sustained growth for both parties. Partner with the wrong vendors, however, and the experience could be quite different. That begs the question: When is the right time to look for call center and BPO vendors? All BPOs will experience ups and downs in performance, staffing, and other areas. Higher-quality BPOs are generally proactive and quicker to address problems, but BPOs with deeper organizational issues will consistently struggle. Searching, selecting, and onboarding new vendors is time-consuming and resource-intensive, ...
There is a great deal of debate about what metrics call centers should measure now, especially with COVID-19 and the accompanying shift to work-at-home agents , staffing shortages , and persistent supply chain issues straining customers’ patience. Despite changes in technology, new contact channels, and omnichannel communication, some call centers are still "partying like it's 1998," using outdated metrics and operating as a cost center. Times have changed, and where necessary, call center and BPO metrics must change with them. Here, we answer the following eight questions regarding metrics that call centers should use today: What are call center metrics, ...
Our industry does a nice job of illustrating the functions agents perform inside a call center or from work-at-home. However, we often overly focus on what they do versus analyzing and understanding who they are, an error that could contribute to some of the staffing and retention problems we currently face. How can we effectively recruit, train, develop, and retain talent if we don't know who we are hiring or why they're applying for a call center job in the first place? With our industry's continued frenetic growth and recent staffing shortages, we have become so fixated on headcount that we often end up treating the hiring and training process as a ...
We initially thought that 2020 was “the” year for change and seismic shifts in the BPO industry — and it was. However, we didn’t know that 2021 would bring even bigger changes and reverberations to the BPO landscape. We work with hundreds of BPOs and brands that utilize outsourced contact center services. We lean in and obtain feedback constantly, and we’ll do our best to cover at least some of the major trends and catalysts in 2021, as well as what to look out for in 2022. In August, we discussed the surge in outsourcing demand in 2021, so I won’t spend too much time on it here. Let’s just say that brands are continuing to struggle with supply chain ...
We have discussed the prevailing perceptions of global outsourcing in previous articles. The topic always spurs a lot of conversation; however, there is still a common mislabeling of where outsourcing occurs and what it actually is. For example, not all outsourcing is offshore. And not all offshore outsourcing is, in fact, "offshore." In contact center and BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) parlance, outsourcing destinations that are closer to the US mainland are not considered offshore — they are, in fact, nearshore. What is Nearshore? Is CALA Nearshore? An Overview of Nearshore Countries Why is Nearshore so Hot? Is Nearshore a Cure for ...
In today’s agile business environment, the Request for Proposal (RFP) can seem like an overly cumbersome process for vetting call center outsourcing vendors. In our article, The Blind RFP , we described how RFPs are often blasted out to vendors indiscriminately. Let’s expand on this conversation with a more holistic analysis on what’s wrong with RFPs, what’s right with them and alternatives to the traditional RFP process. Let’s Start with Some Interesting Numbers… We surveyed dozens of call center outsourcing clients and vendors across industry segments and deal sizes. We asked a few simple questions about their views on RFPs, and our findings paint an ...
Companies today are finding it increasingly challenging to cut costs without sacrificing quality and customer experience. It is no surprise that “cost-centers,” such as in-house call center operations, often come under scrutiny when corporations look for ways to reduce expenses and improve efficiencies. The decision to outsource is predicated on many considerations, including cost, which is very often “the” deciding factor. And yet, a number of companies often grossly underestimate their fully-loaded costs to operate work-at-home or on-premise internal call centers. The most common miscalculation of cost occurs when leadership views their internal call ...
Encouraging signs of an economic recovery are visible across the U.S. — cities and states are easing restrictions amid widespread vaccinations, businesses are reopening, the housing market is booming, retail sales are strong, and consumers are eager to spend. So, where are all the call center workers? That’s what an increasing number of company leaders are asking as in-house and outsourced call center operations report severe staffing shortages and fewer job candidates. Despite an uptick in the unemployment rate to 6.1% in April, job applicant flow has been inconsistent, and the show rates dismal. Several call center outsourcing vendors have disclosed that ...
Demand for outsourced call centers is becoming increasingly relevant. In 2020, brands, organizations, and government agencies quickly learned that they were ill-equipped to manage the dramatic impact of COVID-19 on their call centers. During the height of the pandemic, frustrated and highly emotional customers experienced average hold times that suddenly inflated from minutes to hours in some sectors. Today, many companies are still struggling with performance and supply chain issues, staffing shortages, and how to adapt their staffing models for a constantly shifting business landscape. Brands are dealing with fierce competition from their competitors, ...