Types of Business Process Outsourcing
Business process outsourcing (BPO) is the subcontracting of inbound and outbound call center activities to a third-party vendor. All roles and responsibilities are transferred to this outside vendor at a negotiated price, which typically reduces costs and increases efficiency for a company.
As the business world becomes more global in nature, many BPOs are taking advantage of less expensive offshore labor. At the same time, artificial intelligence (AI) technology continues to make significant strides, offering an automated solution for basic, tier-1 requests. According to McKinsey, of all operational call-center technologies, digital solutions were ranked as one of the most important by 80 percent of executives.
Understanding the different types of BPO options that are available today, as well as how they can work in combination, can help you make a smarter decision for your specific organization.
How can BPOs help my business?
If you are a small or medium-sized business without the internal resources to adequately maintain a call center, business process outsourcing can be extremely beneficial. BPO allows you to reduce hold times, manage high call volumes, expand call center hours, and scale rapidly.
What type of BPO do I need?
Many types of Both in-person and AI-driven BPOs are available today. They span several business departments, and can vary in pricing models. Common pricing models include hourly, performance-based, or a hybrid model. Depending on your particular situation, you may want to use one or a combination of many. BPOs can offer cheaper operations, eliminate the need for an internal call center, and provide 24/7 support. Conversational AI solutions offer a more economical pay-as-you-go option.
Replicant offers a free demo of conversational AI AI-driven BPO to help you learn which solution is better for your business.
What are the types of business process outsourcing available?
BPOs can meet the needs of a wide variety of business functions and can be used creatively to address a wide range of company challenges and opportunities. Here are some types of outsourcing:
Perhaps the most common use for BPO business process outsourcing, customer service support must be available 24/7 these days to meet the ever-increasing expectations of the consumer. According to Microsoft’s State of the Global Customer Service Report, 95 percent of respondents say customer service is as important as their loyalty to a specific brand. Whether you’re answering product or order questions or trying to resolve a complaint, your company is expected to be available for your prospects and customers when and where they want.
Technology is evolving at such a fast pace that customers can easily be confused and overwhelmed. BPO can help your company address technical difficulties and troubleshooting requests in a personalized and more efficient manner.
Account-related questions, payment processing and invoice inquiries, and returns can be more easily managed with BPO. Both an in-person call center or an AI-driven solution can be integrated into a company’s accounting system for increased visibility to better serve customers.
Marketing and Sales
Finally, outbound BPO solutions can support an organization’s sales and marketing efforts by introducing new products, upselling or cross-selling services, and conducting consumer research of needs and wants.
In-Person BPO: Pros and Cons
Like any business solution, in-person BPO activities have advantages and disadvantages. Consider all these factors before making your decision.
- Has a more personal feel.
- Can be an extension of your organization.
- May add resources quickly.
- Carries high training cost.
- Generates high turnover rate.
- Requires payment regardless of usage.
A medium or small business that needs to add inbound or outbound call center assistance and doesn’t have the internal space or resources to do so may benefit from BPOs. Business process outsourcing may help fill gaps in processes, address resource shortages, or assist during peak seasons.
AI-Driven vs. BPO: Pros and Cons
As AI technology continues to develop and become more sophisticated, AI-driven BPO strategies carry their own advantages when compared to BPO as well as some drawbacks in this space.
- Easily offer 24/7 support.
- Improves job satisfaction for human staff who can handle complex requests.
- Costs less than in-person alternatives; pay for only what you use.
- Some calls still need to be handled by a human, but AI can intelligently escalate calls.
- AI needs continuous updating, but a reliable partner will take care of this for you.
- Poor conversational design can frustrate customers.
Organizations that are seeking a less expensive way to address common, tier one, easy-to-answer questions and business activities can greatly benefit from AI-driven BPO solutions over a BPO. According to Deloitte, about one-third of executives surveyed believe that AI and robotic solutions have evolved enough to justify investment and implementation.
Small- to medium-sized businesses that need to add inbound or outbound call center assistance and don’t have the internal space or resources to do so may benefit from BPOs. Business process outsourcing may help fill gaps in processes, address resource shortages, or assist during peak seasons.
Affordably Boost Your Productivity
If you’re looking for a way to efficiently boost productivity at an affordable price, BPOs are worth considering to be more competitive. Be sure to understand the different solutions available, both in-person and AI-driven and craft a solution that can meet your organization’s specific needs.
Learn more about Replicant’s products and proven AI-driven BPO solutions.