What is a BPO Call Center?
For years companies that required additional customer service support had one of two choices: hire more agents or outsource to a third-party vendor that could manage the overflow. This is called business process outsourcing (or BPO).
A BPO call center takes overflow calls from customers and functions as an extension of an organization’s call center. They may be located on-shore or off-shore. BPO call centers can manage a company’s contact center completely or simply step in to help with temporary overflows.
While this could solve some short-term issues in the past, today, many are facing the same labor and training issues that contact centers themselves are facing. As a result, the benefits are fewer and the costs are higher. According to a writer for CustomerServ.com, “in 2021, we witnessed the most dramatic price increases in the U.S. (onshore) BPO sector than I have personally seen in my 30+ years in the call center industry. Because labor costs comprise more than two-thirds of BPO operating expenses, the biggest impact was felt by brands that rely on third-party BPO services.”
Modern businesses seeking contact center assistance are increasingly turning to artificial intelligence (AI) technology that can automate more and more responses to customer questions and problems without human intervention.
What are some top practices for BPO call center outsourcing?
BPO call center solutions include employing live agents around the world where calls can be routed. This process is seamless for customers and issues can get resolved. However, staffing shortages and high turnover have increased costs and challenges around the globe.
As a result, best practices now revolve around contact center automation using conversational AI. This technology can automate Tier One customer requests and frees agents up to focus on more high-value or complex requests.
What are the downsides of a traditional BPO Call Center?
Traditional call center BPOs are typically the most expensive way to add call center staff. Since these third parties must hire staff to serve as agents for their clients, they experience the same problems in terms of labor shortages, high turnover, and expensive training cycles. They must then pass along those costs to customers.
A BPO call center often has a long training cycle that can take weeks to months and requires rigid contracts that don’t take seasonality or agent off-time into account. This means that they cannot scale up or down rapidly, resulting in fixed costs for services. If customers do not require a high level of service, businesses waste money paying fixed costs.
In addition, A/B testing in a BPO environment is often not feasible and the ability to pivot when key metrics are lagging is extremely slow when compared to out-of-the-box conversational AI solutions. This modern contact center automation offers a long-term solution that completely transforms a contact center’s ability to handle customer requests and questions.
What is a better solution?
Technology is a better alternative to the traditional way of outsourcing customer service calls. Take a minute to calculate your ROI using contact center automation and you will see why. According to Gartner, “74 percent of respondents say creating a seamless customer journey across assisted and self-service channels is ‘important’ or ‘very important.’”
AI-powered technology can help create that seamless journey companies need from a BPO call center. AI-driven solutions cost less and can scale up or down according to customer demand. If you are responsible for the call center solutions at your company, request a demo now.