When it comes to solving business problems in the contact center, the solution always has been and continues to be People. Agents are what drive customer experience. How we collectively arrive at that solution is changing through partnering with the right Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) consultant.
The InflowCX team has helped over 200 companies implement & execute a successful BPO strategy. We sat down with Bill Pieper, Vice President of Business Development to lean on his decades of experience to learn more about what a successful BPO strategy looks like, considerations for choosing the right partner, misconceptions, and more!.
A Good BPO Strategy Starts With A Great Current State Assessment
Knowing where you are today and benchmarking that against industry standards is the first step in the assessment process. So much has changed with contact center technology, automation, and innovation that can solve some of the pain points. Analyzing the workflow, integrations (or sometimes lack of integrations), agent tools, and total cost of labor are a few of the many data points we consider.
This is where it is important for our team to just simply gather information. There is a tendency to want to start bringing solutions (because there are many) early in the process. If we do that too soon then we are doing a disservice to our customers as we may not have a full understanding. We pride ourselves on the thoroughness of our Current State Assessment.
Knowing Industry Best Practices And Partners Is Critical
In our decades of experience, we know that contact center trends and best practices change rapidly. Additionally, the knowledge base and expertise that fills the seats in outsourced contact centers is growing as well. When you are able to find the intersection of those two, you have considerable value.
We believe companies should focus on what they do best and partner with the rest. If you are great at human resources, do that, and let us handle the contact center. Manufacturing? Go sell the product we can handle the orders, service, and everything that goes into a great customer experience.
We partner with best-in-class contact center providers, and this is exactly what they do: contact center. Just like your area of expertise is what your company does best, our partner contact centers focus on efficiency and customer service.
Three Misconceptions About BPOs
- “Nobody can do it better than we can since we’ve been doing this for a long time.” The outsourced agents receive the same training and level of supervision that the internal agents receive and are monitored for quality with the same criteria. It’s no different than if the outsourced agent was hired internally.
- “We will lose control.” The outsourcers work on the client’s platforms as it’s common today for clients to BYOP, or “Bring Your Own Platforms”. Included in those platforms are WFM, QM, Analytics, etc. So, the client continues to provide forecasting, scheduling, and adherence, no different than the client’s internal operation.
- “It will cost more to outsource than my internal operation”. Our many assessments have shown that the labor expense in an internal contact center is approximately 50% of the total cost of operating an internal center. In a recent labor strategy engagement with a new client, their starting wage for agents was $19.25 per hour plus benefits costs of approximately 15% added to that wage. Therefore, their total cost to operate the contact center was over $44 per hour. InflowCX recommended a BPO with extensive experience in the client’s industry that was able to provide full service to the client at $17.25 per hour, a savings of over 50%.
Considerations In Choosing The Right BPO Partner
When it comes to choosing the right BPO partner for your business, some items on the punch list are non-negotiable. In order to have a successful BPO strategy you should have the following on your punch list:
- Choose a contact center partner, not a contact center vendor.
- Don’t position your program as a small fish in a big pond, many outsourcers have hundreds of thousands of seats.
- Select a contact center that has expertise and experience in your industry.
- Ensure that the outsourcer’s culture and chemistry are in alignment with yours.
Let InflowCX Be Your Tour Guide On The BPO Journey
There are a lot of options when it comes to Business Process Outsourcing. We have helped hundreds of clients maximize efficiency while scaling at what they do best. We would love the opportunity to speak with you and see how we can help you today!