Here are four high level questions that should guide your assessment:
Q1. Is it a BPO company that you want?
It is worth noting the distinction between two kinds of outsourcing. Managed services are those delivered by an outsourcing provider using marketing systems that may be owned and hosted by the client . Business process outsourcing is where the management of a specific marketing function is handed over in it's entirety to the provider, who uses either internal or outsourced technology. For example, a call centre firm that handles your telemarketing is a BPO company. The distinction is useful as some companies supply both services
Q2. Understand the relationship
Not all outsourcing relationships are the same, so what your enterprise wants from a BPO company is important. Some relationships are about enhancing your existing business, where the provider supplies expertise your company does not have, while other relationships are more transformative, driving business performance through cost savings or revenue generation.
Clients and their BPO company naturally bring different perspectives to the relationship. For clients, high customer satisfaction as well as savings are typically the priority in customer-facing processes. The BPO company is mainly concerned with managing risk in their contractual obligations. Since contracts typically set incentives and penalties for meeting / not meeting certain metrics on the Service Level Agreement (see Tip 4), outsourcers know that consistent failure to meet these metrics can jeopardise the contract.
Q3. Think about duration of contract
BPO services are attractive for enterprises because they offer flexible, cost efficient solutions, but the decision to outsource should be strategic rather than tactical. Consequently, the contract duration ought to strike a balance between your nearer and longer term goals, i.e. lasting sufficient time to make a difference, while being short enough to allow a flexible relationship that you can periodically renew. Typically, BPO company contracts run for three to five years.
Q4. Think about metrics
Outsourcing broadly involves two classes of risks: qualitative risks concerning customer satisfaction issues that are usually measured by the client through surveys etc.; and quantitative risks surrounding the efficiency and effectiveness of the outsourced process which are evaluated though a choice of metrics agreed between the BPO company and the client. Efficiency metrics typically measure time-related aspects of a process, such as the average handle and hold times of calls, or the number of cases handled per hour. Effectiveness metrics measure outcomes, such the percentage of outbound calls that result in sales. A systematic approach to selecting the right metrics for your Service Level Agreement will enable organisations to implement proper monitoring and analysis of business processes, so that you fully realize the benefits of outsourcing.
The above are only just some of the questions you will need to answer when you consider engaging a BPO company. Thinking of outsourcing your call centre services to a BPO company? Then contact us to see how we can help with your project.
Authored by John Drury, Sales Director at Interaction Europe.