The changes coming to the BPO industry could open new opportunities for your business
- Emerging BPO trends show us how the industry is changing.
- These changes could affect your business and how it outsources.
- New technology, social influences, and governmental policies are all affecting BPO.
The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry began with big manufacturing businesses outsourcing processes like engineering, distribution, and supply chain segments at a significantly lower cost than starting an in-house operation. It advanced along with the technology that became available. Telephones, fax machines, mobile devices, and the Internet have helped BPO become one of the most valuable tools in a business’ arsenal. More and more industries are seeing how it increases their influence, efficiency, and bottom line.
BPO is part of more than a business’ economic strategy, today. There are several advantages to it beyond cost arbitration. As technology and processes continue to evolve, so does BPO. Recent trends show changes coming to customer experience, data collection, automation, and more.
Let’s look at some BPO trends and how they might affect small businesses in the future so that you don’t miss an excellent opportunity to expand.
Trends to watch
Artificial Intelligence (AI), data science, automation, robotics, and advanced analytics have changed the face of the BPO industry. Vendors are recalibrating their skills to produce the insights-driven results clients want.
Here are a few trends that are currently making waves in the BPO industry:
Robotic Process Automation
Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and other new technologies have significantly impacted BPO. RPA uses robots and AI to get work done faster, less expensively, and with fewer errors.
Business process outsourcing firms should upgrade their RPA services to keep up with cost demands and other service offerings. Without a viable RPA presence, a BPO firm runs the risk of being replaced. Businesses often outsource talent for administrative tasks, which are the first jobs to be eliminated with RPA advancements.
RPA provides immense cost-saving, accuracy, and speed, making it very desirable to implement. This type of rapid growth has a significant impact on how BPO companies will operate in the future.
Social media management tools
Social media has changed consumer behavior dramatically and companies have caught on. Businesses were once dependent on Interactive Voice Response (IVR) and websites to correctly route a call. Now, social media provides an unprecedented influx of feedback and consumer data that helps them prepare for new trends.
Instead of using a call center, businesses can invest in real-time engagement with customers to hear first-hand reviews and problem-solve on the spot. Live chats, instant messaging, and social media meet the high customer demand for multi-channel communication.
This change in customer management presents an ample opportunity for BPO firms to invest in the skills and tools needed for social media management.
Smaller businesses often don’t have the budget for high-end office space and state-of-the-art infrastructure. To counter a lack of data centers and the personnel necessary to run them, small businesses can utilize virtual storage in the cloud. More than 77% of businesses have at least a portion of their processes functioning in the cloud.
Companies are turning to cloud computing to outsource their work because of the increased security, flexibility, and scalability. These advantages will continue to be vital to small businesses next year.
Teams with multiple skillsets keep work flowing. Bilingual or multilingual call center representatives are a prime example. They were once a rarity, and as a result, call centers backed up or completely stopped. Many call center agents today are multilingual and can take calls in more than one language.
Clients may sign on to outsource a specific task but soon realize many more services will help their business grow. Large BPO firms are educating their current staff in high skill areas such as engineering and IT to combat the lack of talent in the industry.
Transparency and accountability
When BPO was mainly a big business venture, information about policies and contracts wasn’t always readily available. Small businesses burst onto the scene, though, and things changed. The industry competition has skyrocketed and businesses are more critical of BPO service providers now.
To meet this challenge, BPO companies have made their policies, pricing, and contracts transparent to vendors and BPOs. Transparency helps strengthen relationships and often leads to innovation and investment options.
The outlook for the BPO industry looks positive for years to come. Growth will continue to be powered by burgeoning competitiveness from new outsourcing locations and the pressure businesses face to improve costs. Expert predictions say the BPO industry will reach USD $343.2 billion by 2025.
DOXA can answer your questions
The world of BPO is changing and you don’t want to fall behind. Trends such as RPA, social media for customer support, and cloud computing will spur new growth for businesses that leverage BPO.
Doxa7 is a global business services firm structurally aligned to deliver better results for small businesses. We help local companies build and scale high-performing and highly skilled offshore teams while creating a more significant opportunity for all. There are no one-size-fits-all solutions because every business is unique as is every business leader. Whether you’re a start-up or a scale-up, DOXA can adapt to your needs, big or small, no matter how complex. Contact us for a free consultation.