BPOs to the Rescue
With the right BPO, all of this could be handled successfully and efficiently.
When you engage a BPO, they’ll listen to your needs and goals, and then create a plan to meet those needs.
They’ll work with your employees to create the optimum experience for your customers.
And, as a bonus, since BPOs specialize in operational efficiency, they might also be able to save you money.
Let’s take a look at how BPOs can help your business.
Analyse the Tasks That Waste Your Time
As a business owner or manager, you’re no doubt aware of the growing importance of customer experience.
Thanks to the internet and social media, your customers can now be in the same room as you, watching you work through a problem, or offer feedback on a website, app, or social media post that you’ve created.
While the benefits of CX are apparent, this aspect of your operations can also be a source of pain.
Customers can be difficult to reach, dissatisfied when they do contact you, and lack the commitment from your staff that you want to see from your key employees.
One of the first tasks that a business process outsourcing (BPO) company will perform for you is to evaluate the tasks that waste your time.
In most cases, these will be the tasks that you don’t want to be doing, since they take up too much of your time and are not productive.
BPOs can identify these low-value tasks, and either automate them or hand them off to your staff so that you can focus on more important tasks.
By taking care of the little things, you’ll be able to move closer to your goals and enjoy your customers more.
Cut The Red Tape
BPOs can also help you cut the red tape that comes with growing a business.
Thanks to technology advances like APIs (Application Program Interfaces), which allow for easy integration with platforms like Google Sheets or Outlook, it’s now possible to eliminate many of the tedious tasks that come with operating a business.
For example, you might want to set up automated email responses that can be triggered by certain events, or set up a help desk to take care of customer service inquiries.
BPOs can take care of all of this for you so that you can focus on what’s important to growing your business.
With BPOs, all of this could be handled successfully and efficiently, and it might even save you time and money.
However, as we’ve already established, not all BPOs are created equal, and it’s important to find the right fit for your business.
Make sure that you research the quality of various BPOs’ services before making a decision so that you make the right choice for your needs.
The Rise In Contract Work
With the rise of the gig economy, companies are experiencing the benefits of flexible workforces and decreased labour costs that BPOs can deliver.
According to Gartner, Inc., more traditional service industries (e.g., financial services, legal services and health care) will see decreases in their required operational staff while emerging service industries (e.g., software development, information security and marketing) will see an increase in their required operational staff.
In the coming years, the percentage of business value derived from contract work will increase, which means more and more companies will rely on contingency plans, such as BPOs, to handle their most mundane tasks.
Furthermore, as companies become more efficient and effective at performing mundane tasks, their reliance on contract workers to perform high-cost, complex tasks will decrease.
Global Offices, Local Services
Companies are also realizing the advantages of operating a global operation with a local presence.
In today’s digital world, a business can be conducted on a remote level, which means a physical office may not be necessary anymore.
For example, Slack works with over 200,000 companies spanning 40+ countries, so businesses of all sizes can take advantage of their global presence while still maintaining a local presence in case something goes wrong.
The growing trend of working remotely has created the need for companies to have a reliable backup plan in case some employees are unable to work due to a lack of appropriate space or facilities, or simply choose not to operate from home.
That’s where BPOs step in; along with technology that enables businesses to work remotely, the need for on-site presence has lessened, which has led more companies to outsource their back-office functions to BPOs.
From a local call centre that provides sales support to a multinational corporation, BPOs can provide the resources with a business needs, when and where they need them, regardless of their physical location.
By utilizing BPOs for back-office processes, companies save money, reduce risk and improve efficiency.
Higher Productivity, Better Employee Experience
In a world where technology enables businesses to work remotely, travel for meetings and handle most administrative tasks, it’s no wonder more and more companies are seeking to outsource their back-office functions.
Gartner states that the combination of these three elements — flexible working, remote working and temporary staffing — will drive higher productivity, improved employee experience and ROI.
To take advantage of the savings that come with higher productivity, businesses will have to change the way they do things.
For example, instead of providing coffee for everyone who comes to work, consider paying for a quality coffee machine for your employees’ convenience.
Instead of driving to the office every day, consider a car-free workspace for employees to encourage physical activity and reduce healthcare costs.
Instead of sending out dozens of printed reports each month, consider paying for a high-quality scanner so that employees can access and review important documents as soon as they’re scanned.
These are just a few examples of how businesses can get things done more efficiently and improve their employee experience.
Outsourcing back-office functions to a reputable business process outsourcing company means more time for you to focus on the things that matter most to you and your business.
Why You Should Engage A Business Process Analyst Before Starting
Businesses spend hundreds of thousands of dollars each year on BPOs, and it’s money well spent.
The return on investment is evident in the form of increased sales, more efficient workflows, and greater brand awareness.
As a business owner or marketer, you should always be mindful of your customer’s needs and what is desirable to them.
In the same way, you want to make sure that your business is providing value and meeting the needs of your target audience, you may need to consider what is valuable and desirable to the people that you are trying to attract to your business.
This is where you can start to see the value of using a BPO analyst.
The analyst is trained to look at how a business operates and assess whether or not there are processes that could be improved.
They then propose changes that would make the business more efficient and effective.
They may work with various departments within a company to identify areas for improvement and create a plan to execute these improvements.
A comprehensive BPO analysis will identify weaknesses, challenges, and opportunities that your business can seize upon to thrive.
In the same way that a marketing department can work with a business process analyst to craft an effective digital marketing strategy, a sales department can work with a business analyst to create an efficient sales process, or an HR department can work with an analyst to create a more streamlined onboarding process.
The possibilities for improving processes across an entire company are endless.
A business process analyst’s training will help them understand the importance of customer experience and the impact that it can have on the bottom line.
As a business owner or marketer, you can leverage the understanding that a business analyst brings to the table and the training that they received in the process.
With this new-found knowledge and skill set, you can craft customer-centred value propositions and marketing materials, set up automated marketing and sales funnels, and conduct effective market research.
If you do choose to hire freelance business analysts, make sure to consider their portfolio and references before making a decision.
What To Consider Prior To Taking On A Business Process Analyst
When you are considering the services of a business analyst, it is important to keep in mind the importance of context.
Just because your business has a specific issue that needs to be addressed, it does not mean that the answer is going to be found in a textbook or in a series of articles on the subject.
A business must be considered in its entirety, including the culture, the industry, the target audience, and more.
A business analysis that does not take into account these factors is unlikely to be very effective, and could even lead to detrimental results.
Consider the following example:
A business is going through a product transition.
They are in the middle of overhauling their entire supply chain, and as a result, their procurement processes are becoming extremely inefficient.
They have outsourced a number of their in-house functions to contractors, and these contractors are now working on a project basis, with no direct line of communication with the leadership team.
As a result, the quality of work that is being delivered is lacking, as there is no direct line of supervision.
If this sounds like your business, then you might want to consider talking to a business analyst to see if they can provide any assistance.
Ideally, you will already have a business processes map in place that details the existing process and how it operates.
A business process analyst will be able to look at this map, consider the problem that you are facing, and provide a solution that is custom fitted to your industry, culture, and unique challenges.
This is why it’s important to consider the context of the business when hiring a business analyst.
The 4 Questions You Need To Ask
Once you have decided that the services of a business analyst are valuable to your business, the next step is to craft a short list of questions that you need to be answered.
It is a good idea to jot down these questions now so that you can refer back to them later when you are discussing the scope of the project with the analyst.
It is also advisable to write down some additional questions that you may have, which were not included in your initial list.
It is often difficult for businesses to know where to begin when it comes to overhauling processes, and business analysis can help point the way.
The following are four questions that you should ask the analyst before engaging them on a project:
What is your experience?
The first question that you should ask the business analyst is: “How many years of experience do you have in the industry?”
This is an important question, as you want to hire someone who is experienced in your space.
Bear in mind that your business may not be their typical client, and they may not have the same level of expertise that you are used to working with.
The following are some examples of industries that the analyst may be experts in:
- Supply Chain Management
- Human Resources
- Information Technology
If you feel that they are not sufficiently experienced, then they may not be the best fit for the job.
However, you want to make sure that the person that you are interviewing is competent and capable of delivering the service that your business needs.
Consider this alternative:
If you are looking for a quick-fix solution, then you might want to consider an outsourced service, where you contract the work to be done, and then focus on what you do best.
This may be an efficient short-term solution, or it may be a long-term partnership if the service is of good quality.
You should not go into a contract expecting perfection, as this is not typically the case.
You should expect that some tasks may need to be revisited and some issues may require direct communication with the provider.
In the event that the service does not meet your approval, then you can end the agreement and nothing further will be said.
You should not agree to a contract unless you feel confident that the service will match your expectations.
What are your pricing structures?
The next question that you should ask the analyst is: “What are your pricing structures?”
This is another important question, as you want to hire someone who is offering competitive prices.
Bear in mind that as a startup or a small business, you may not have the money to spend on expensive consulting fees.
It is always beneficial to compare pricing so that you can get an idea of what you are paying, and whether or not it is value for money.
Some companies specialize in providing discounted rates for startups and small businesses.
You should consider whether or not this is something that you can benefit from.
What Type Of Engagement Do do You Need From My End?
The third question that you should ask the analyst is: “What type of engagement do you want from my end?”
Bear in mind that if the person does not want to work with you, then this may be a red flag and you should reconsider whether or not you should proceed with the engagement.
The following are some examples of what you might want from your end:
- Fixing the problems that you are facing
- Assisting with the transformation of your business
- Working with your team to come up with a new business model
- Supporting your marketing initiatives
- Developing new products or services
- Improving workflows
- Analyzing costs and reducing redundancies
- Reducing staff burdens
- Optimizing supply chains
- Increasing productivity
It is always a good idea to ask the person that you are interviewing these questions, as it gives you a better understanding of what they are capable of and how you can expect them to behave.
However, just because they have the right answers does not mean that they will provide the right service, and you want to make sure that you are not being fooled by a charlatan.
To determine whether or not a BPO is right for your specific needs, you should consider the experience level of the team and the depth of the analysis that you need.
In general, the more experienced the team, the more capable they are of providing the right service, at the right price.
With enough planning, you may save a significant amount of time, money and resources, as well as be lean enough to tide through turbulent economic upheavals.