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Choosing the right
BPO provider

June 2020 | Article

By Dan Vanrenen

By Dan Vanrenen

Choosing the right BPO provider:
7 questions to consider

As you know, business process outsourcing (BPO) makes good commercial sense. It increases productivity, lowers costs and improves customer service. While your outsourcing partner deals with the day to day, they allow you to focus on your product.


So far, so good. But how do you choose the right provider?


Here are 7 questions to consider before you sign on the dotted line.

Choosing the right BPO provider:
7 questions to consider

As you know, business process outsourcing (BPO) makes
good commercial sense. It increases productivity,
lowers costs and improves customer service. While
your outsourcing partner deals with the day to day,
they allow you to focus on your product.


So far, so good. But how do you choose the right provider?


Here are 7 questions to consider before you
sign on the dotted line.

1. Is it value for money?

You may be thinking that cost isn’t your primary concern. After all, one of the benefits of outsourcing overseas is saving money.


But let’s be honest, this is business. Cost matters.


When you’re comparing quotes, it’s worth bearing in mind the old adage ‘If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is’. Some providers may offer rock bottom rates, but they will undoubtedly recoup those costs further down the line – and you’ll pay the price with capacity, turnaround and quality.

1. Is it value for money?

You may be thinking that cost isn’t your primary
concern. After all, one of the benefits of outsourcing
overseas is saving money.


But let’s be honest, this is business. Cost matters.


When you’re comparing quotes, it’s worth bearing in
mind the old adage If it sounds too good to be true, it
probably is’. Some providers may offer rock bottom
rates, but they will undoubtedly recoup those costs
further down the line – and you’ll pay the price with
capacity, turnaround and quality.

2. How do they monitor and improve quality?

Take a close look at their quality assurance framework, particularly the way they deal with accuracy issues.


Ask them about the monitoring, feedback and training loop. How do they analyze the results of data monitoring? And crucially, how do they use that information? In other words, what happens next?


Many BPO providers simply focus on transaction errors and provide blanket training for all. They fail to see or address the subtleties of human behavior that lie behind the error.


Choose an outsourcing partner who understands how, when, and why specific individuals are falling short. Relevant tutorials, videos, or focused training will modify the behavior that’s leading to mistakes, and each person will feel a sense of responsibility for getting it right.


It’s a simple idea. Once you change behaviors that cause errors and inaccuracies, the error rate drops, accountability increases and accuracy improves.

2. How do they monitor
and improve quality?

Take a close look at their quality assurance framework,
particularly the way they deal with accuracy issues.


Ask them about the monitoring, feedback and training
loop. How do they analyze the results of data monitoring?
And crucially, how do they use that information? In
other words, what happens next?


Many BPO providers simply focus on transaction
errors and provide blanket training for all. They
fail to see or address the subtleties of human behavior
that lie behind the error.


Choose an outsourcing partner who understands how,
when, and why specific individuals are falling short.
Relevant tutorials, videos, or focused training will
modify the behavior that’s leading to mistakes, and each
person will feel a sense of responsibility for getting it right.


It’s a simple idea. Once you change behaviors that cause
errors and inaccuracies, the error rate drops,
accountability increases and accuracy improves.

3. Do they have the right industry experience?

Business doesn’t operate with a one-size-fits-all approach. Nor should your BPO provider.


Your industry has unique requirements and pain points – whether it’s banking and fintech, automotive, food delivery, healthcare, or retail.


The right BPO will have operational expertise in your sector. They will understand your industry, the target market and the customer experiences that produce brand loyalty.


When you’re shopping around, ask about their current clients. Have they proactively sought ways to improve productivity models? Have they suggested automation as a way to streamline workflows? Most importantly, ask how they’ve enhanced the customer service offering.

3. Do they have the right
industry experience?

Business doesn’t operate with a one-size-fits-all approach. Nor should your BPO provider.


Your industry has unique requirements and pain
points – whether it’s banking and fintech, automotive,
food delivery, healthcare, or retail.


The right BPO will have operational expertise in
your sector. They will understand your industry,
the target market and the customer experiences
that produce brand loyalty.


When you’re shopping around, ask about their current
clients. Have they proactively sought ways to improve
productivity models? Have they suggested automation
as a way to streamline workflows? Most importantly,
ask how they’ve enhanced the customer service offering.

4. Are they in the right geographies?

In a global business environment, customers can come from
anywhere at any time. Your BPO provider should be present 24/7.


A global footprint is obviously important, but where exactly does
your provider operate?


The Philippines and India are the traditional powerhouses for
overseas outsourcing. However, as BPOs move away from the tier 1
cities you may find that quality and capacity are sacrificed in favor of
the lowest possible costs.


It’s worth considering other locations – not only in terms of quality
but also as a way to mitigate risk.


For customer service, South Africa is now seen as a gold standard
global location. Its multilingual, highly educated teams form a
natural cultural fit with customers from virtually any country –
particularly the US.


Bangladesh is a rapidly rising star for tech-enabled BPO. Not only
are Dhaka’s universities producing a wealth of technical expertise,
the government has also invested in a robust IT infrastructure. As a
result, the country is predicted to achieve an impressive 7% growth
in GDP over the next 15 years.

4. Are they in the right geographies?

Rectangle (7)

In a global business environment, customers can come from anywhere at any time. Your BPO provider should be present 24/7.


A global footprint is obviously important, but where exactly does your provider operate?


The Philippines and India are the traditional powerhouses for overseas outsourcing. However, as BPOs move away from the tier 1 cities you may find that quality and capacity are sacrificed in favor of the lowest possible costs.


It’s worth considering other locations – not only in terms of quality but also as a way to mitigate risk.


For customer service, South Africa is now seen as a gold standard global location. Its multilingual, highly educated teams form a natural cultural fit with customers from virtually any country – particularly the US.


Bangladesh is a rapidly rising star for tech-enabled BPO. Not only are Dhaka’s universities producing a wealth of technical expertise, the government has also invested in a robust IT infrastructure. As a result, the country is predicted to achieve an impressive 7% growth in GDP over the next 15 years.

5. How scalable are their teams?

OK, all BPO providers say they’re scalable. The question is, how do they scale?


Scalability isn’t just about hiring lots of people. It’s about hiring the right people for the job.


Inexperienced, poorly trained teams will inconvenience your customer and harm your brand reputation. Additionally, hiring the wrong person means a high attrition rate – expensive not only for the BPO provider but also for your process efficiency.


Find out how the BPO has scaled up for clients in the past. Ask about their experience of taking a team from 0 to 300. That should provide all the answers you need.

5. How scalable are their teams?

OK, all BPO providers say they’re scalable. The question is, how do they scale?

 

Scalability isn’t just about hiring lots of people. It’s about hiring the right people for the job.


Inexperienced, poorly trained teams will inconvenienceyour customer and harm your brand reputation. Additionally, hiring the wrong person means a high attrition rate – expensive not only for the BPO provider but also for your process efficiency.


Find out how the BPO has scaled up for clients in the past. Ask about their experience of taking a team from 0 to 300. That should provide all the answers you need.

6. How do they treat their employees?

Much like scalability, most BPO firms like to advertise themselves as a caring employer.


Be careful about this. Dig deeper and ask for proof.


It could be their gender pay gap, clear paths to promotion, accessibility to upper management, their working environment or regular awaydays.


By far the best indicator of a good employer is their attrition rate. If it’s less than 10%, you’ll know that they really do care.

6. How do they treat their employees?

Much like scalability, most BPO firms like to advertise themselves as a caring employer.


Be careful about this. Dig deeper and ask for proof.


It could be their gender pay gap, clear paths to promotion, accessibility to upper management, their working environment or regular awaydays.


By far the best indicator of a good employer is their attrition rate. If it’s less than 10%, you’ll know that they really do care.

7. How collaborative are they?

A good provider will be more focused on your organization’s growth
than their own.


That may sound counterintuitive in a competitive world but the fact
is, if your organization is successful, the BPO provider’s own
business will grow too.


Look for someone who is happy to share their knowledge, offer
advice on best practice and proactively solve any process issues.


It’s about listening properly, being thoughtful and understanding
that collaboration brings a better result for your customers and,
ultimately, for your business.


At Quantanite, we can answer all these questions plus a lot more.
Get in touch with us here.

7. How collaborative are they?

Rectangle Copy 3

A good provider will be more focused on your organization’s growth than their own.


That may sound counterintuitive in a competitive world but the fact is, if your organization is successful, the BPO provider’s own business will grow too.


Look for someone who is happy to share their knowledge, offer advice on best practice and proactively solve any process issues.


It’s about listening properly, being thoughtful and understanding that collaboration brings a better result for your customers and, ultimately, for your business.


At Quantanite, we can answer all these questions plus a lot more. Get in touch with us here.

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