During the initial years, outsourcing was only used for basic processes such as data entry and payroll processing. However, as connectivity expanded and the technological skills of BPO companies advanced, businesses started outsourcing more and more processes/services. Today, you can outsource many backend processes and financial/operation functions such as invoice management, accounts payable processing, survey reporting, and utility bill management to name a few.

In this era of constant digital transformation and evolution, here are the top 5 business process outsourcing trends that will rule the market in 2020 and the years to come:

  1. Cloud-Based Management Platforms

This is most talked about business process outsourcing trend on the outsourcing horizon and yes, you’ve got it right! We are talking about cloud computing that will overhaul the traditional way of doing things.

Cloud computing is steadily digitizing businesses across the world. According to a recent study by Gartner, INC., the worldwide public cloud services market is expected to further expand by 17% in 2020 to $266.4 billion, up from $227.8 billion in 2019, is not it huge

A cloud is basically an interconnected network of internet servers that store, analyze, and process data in the virtual space. Cloud computing, then refers to a network that is used for the delivery of software services and data.

Cloud computing provides stability, security, and greater flexibility in outsourcing processes. A cloud-based platform works as a great collaborative platform for companies with locations in different countries as it allows data visualization that provides businesses with real-time data and information. It is further estimated that the next generation of business process outsourcing solutions will be all cloud-enhanced solutions

Cloud computing and business process outsourcing has evolved beyond an imaginable scale over the past decade. The Cloud, which was considered a mere concept not so long ago, is making waves in the industry today. Small businesses are the ones who have benefited the most, as they now have access to larger computing resources and high-performance infrastructure, which they could never dare to afford before. Since the high demand for the ‘cloud’ has led to numerous innovations, organizations, no matter what scale, are prioritizing to acquire superior cloud-based services and computing resources for increasing business process speed and efficiency.

Finding the right strategic fit has become an intimidating task, especially for entrepreneurial start-up ventures. Small-scale businesses usually lack market knowledge, skills, proper information and experience, which restricts them in finding a suitable computing service provider. As a rule of thumb, the better the service, the higher the expectations, the higher the results. This means that acquiring the right service is absolutely necessary if you expect to achieve significant results in terms of improved business processes and value chain engagement.

2. Artificial Intelligence or AI

Attention! The fears were true; artificial intelligence is taking over the world and outsourcing is next!

Scared you pretty good, didn’t we? Well, jokes aside, it is a fact that artificial intelligence or AI is becoming an increasingly vital feature in every industry and the outsourcing business is no different.

AI is being increasingly employed to automate several data entry and processing functions including accounts payable processing, invoice management, and utility bill processing.

AI streamlines all these processes by identifying and segregating data and even automatically filling in missing details. As an example, let’s say you need to process a large number of invoices in every format ranging from physical documents to email attachments and digital invoices. Once the document conversion process is over, AI can automatically detect and fill in any missing information to complete the invoice document and increase the chances of swift approval and payment.

The applications of AI in business process outsourcing are endless and will revolutionize business process outsourcing solutions in the years to come.

Artificial Intelligence is fast invading various industries, so it is dictating upon business process outsourcing companies. To put it in a nutshell, Artificial Intelligence is transforming industries by researching in Big data and Cloud computing. As such, BPO is the one that is most affected as it is intimately related to both the former and the later. Moreover, it acts as an epicenter for numerous kinds of business process outsourcing companies. The centrality of the BPO industry also paves the way for meeting the growing customer expectations. Therefore, it would not be wrong to point out that a thriving BPO industry would flourish with AI intervention.

In the post-globalized world, businesses are eager to pile up their revenues. To make it happen, they want to cut down on unnecessary costs and further the scale of their operations especially in the untapped markets where favorable business conditions are present. Hence, they desire the outsourcing units to leverage the power of AI so that not only the subsidiary company is benefited but the parent company also becomes a partner in the road of rapid monetary progress.

BPO companies worldwide are now fast responding to this changing business climate. Using Big data and cloud computing they are mining large sets of data and generating a comprehensive graphical analysis from the raw and randomly stacked up data sets. These analytical data sets are not only useful for the scaling up of business operations in general but also tracking up customer satisfaction by review monitoring in particular.

Hence, when we are talking about the superposition principle in the case of AI and BPO, we are referring to the mutual benefits one can bring for the other. Put in simpler words, AI can make the BPO industry thrive in the form of revolutionizing the processes liked to the chatbot. On the other hand, the BPO industry can benefit AI by acting as a hotbed of research and a new genre for researchers interested in this field.

3. Reinvention and Innovation In Outsourcing Solutions

Outsourcing has moved beyond simple, repetitive, and basic tasks. Today, businesses are looking for smart solutions to their everyday problems that involve the perfect combination of human innovation, automated efficiency, and technical accuracy, i.e. people, process, and technology.

Outsourcing firms have risen splendidly to this challenge with a range of customized technological solutions. From custom-built automation bots to cloud-based collaboration platforms, the process of outsourcing has become a smart sourcing one.

By Reinvention and innovation, BPO doesn’t just hand you the same list of services with the same processing solution. BPO’s these days studies your business model and your current processes to identify the cogs in the wheel and then optimizes each step to create a flawless workflow with a customized solution that is tailored to your company’s specific needs.

BPO teams comprise college-educated, well-experienced members with analytical minds, and strong problem-solving skills. These skills translate into successful business solutions with the efficient employment of advanced automation and machine learning technologies.

BPO providers should look to build Omni channels as true “human services companies.” They have the data in place to do great analytics, but can’t always manage it from a technical and operational point of view.

One key issue is that improvements tend to be small, isolated, and almost exclusively under the umbrella of the English language. In a truly global market, BPO providers are missing out on key improvements that have the power to ensure clients maintain innovative practices and high-profit margins.

When BPO providers can nail areas like customer service, the benefits of new technology like AI and automation can be unlocked and services will be more affordable, which is of course the bottom line for customers.

Ultimately it all comes down to disrupting before you’re disrupted. It’s time for BPO providers to grab the opportunities to adapt, innovate, and reinvent successfully for the future.

4. Robotic Process Automation

Robotic process automation or RPA refers to the application of specialized computer programs to automate secondary or repetitive tasks such as data entry or mining for higher accuracy and reduced operating costs

However, for a complete digital solution, you need a blended approach that uses artificial intelligence and machine learning with the right human intervention and supervision to create successful solutions.

The first step in the implementation of robotic process automation is a thorough analysis of the existing business process and the creation of an optimized solution to eliminate all errors. Once the new process has been defined, special software robots, i.e., bots are coded and assigned to the existing workstream wherein they start performing tasks with greater speed, accuracy, and precision.

The purpose of automation goes beyond just reducing costs, bots speed up your processing time drastically, while also delivering high-quality consistent data with greater accuracy.

The option of customized coding elevates robotic process automation over enterprise automation solutions as RPA offers more than just automation, it gives you a super-efficient work-stream, manages your workload effectively, and frees up your time and office resources so that you can focus on developing your core competencies and scaling your business.

Robotic process automation is set to revolutionize the outsourcing industry by transforming raw, unstructured data into measurable performance. Let’s keep a lookout for it, shall we?

Suggested Reading: Customer Service happens when the experience breaks down – Here’s How?

AI for Contact Centers – What you should know?

5. Increased Focus on Cybersecurity

Ironically, one of the biggest fears about outsourcing is also one of the biggest myths about outsourcing.

Cyberattacks are on the rise; as per RiskBased Security, data breaches exposed approx. 4.1 billion records in the first half of 2019 alone.

According to Fundera, around 43% of cyber attacks target small businesses. Statistics further indicate that healthcare, retail, and manufacturing are the most targeted industries for cyberattacks. This means that providing high-grade data security will one of the major business process outsourcing trends in 2020.

For any company, one of the primary outsourcing concerns while outsourcing data processing services is the fear of data theft and the negative impact it may have on their business. Their fear is entirely justifiable and that’s why outsourcing companies are paying greater attention to data security measures and protocols.

BPO should recognize that with data security, comes great responsibility.

They must be extremely particular about our clients’ data security and thus they should have their VPNs, SSLs, encryption protocols, HIPAA, PCI, GDPR compliances, and security protocols in place.

In addition to security compliances and protocols, they should be extremely careful about who they expose your data to. Access to sensitive data is strictly on a need-to-know basis, and they must have measures in place that ensure that your data cannot be moved, edited, or seen by all.

They should also take special care to hold sensitive data only for a strict time limit, once they are done with the data and have successfully delivered it, it should be disposed of it after the specified date. BPO clients trust them with sensitive data because they know that they can. They should also regularly review and update their security measures to manage the client’s documents and data entry securely.

There are some more trends going on for BPO companies, we will keep discussing them in our coming blogs, keep reading, stay tuned and more importantly fine-tuned

 

Sources: Gartner Forecasts Worldwide Public Cloud Revenue to Grow 17% in 2020

 

Customer service reports  not only provides you an overview of all customer service requests received from your customers but also allows you to identify the key areas for improvement, plan your workload and schedules of your customer support team. You can keep track of your CX trends, and most importantly, you get to know whether your customers’ expectations are met or not.

Lets have a look at the reports:

1) Number of requests received per day:-

The “number of requests received” report shows you how many customer requests you have received within the last day(s). Knowing the number of requests you receive helps you identify customer service trends and gives you insight for how you can plan and schedule your support team.

For example, if you start to notice an increase in requests on Saturdays and Sundays, it might mean that you need to schedule your team to work on the weekend.

2) Number of requests closed per user:-

The “number of requests closed per user” report provides an overview of how many requests each support agent is closing. With this report, you can measure the performance of individual customer service agents, allowing you to identify how productive each agent is and how many requests they are able to handle.

If you find that an agent is answering twice as many requests as the rest of your team, it might mean that the agent is “cherry picking” the easy requests over the more difficult ones. One way to solve this is to automatically assign requests to the next available agent so that all requests are distributed equally.

Another example might be that one agent is answering too few requests compared to the rest of the team. If an agent is struggling, then you should consider conducting a training session. Find out what’s slowing them down and suggest ways they can improve their workflow.

3) Average response time:-

According to a study, 82% of customers say the number one factor to great customer service is having their issues resolved quickly. This is why it’s important to measure how long it takes you to respond to a customer!

Average response time is calculated from the time a request has been sent by a customer, to the time an agent has responded. For example, if a customer sends a request at 3pm and a customer service agent responds by 4pm, then the response time is one hour.

The faster you can respond to a customer, the better service you deliver.

If you find it is taking too long to respond to customer service requests, if could be due to the fact that the right department or agent isn’t receiving the request and that the delay occurs when trying to find the right contact person.

Another reason for taking too long to respond might be due to the responses themselves. Are your agents creating each response from scratch? Are lengthy emails slowing down your response time?

4) Number of messages per owner:-

Customers don’t enjoy endless back and forth messages with customer service departments and prefer to have their issues handled by an agent who has all the right information, asks all the right questions and gives accurate answers, within the first reply.

What is first contact resolution?

It’s when you can resolve a customer issue in your first response.

Only 11% of companies are able to manage customer requests in the first reply.

This report tells you how much effort your customers have to put in to get their issues solved.

A high number of messages could indicate that the request responses from your team are not detailed enough.

However, an agent could easily include all of these details within the first response, which would lead to a high first contact resolution rate.

5) Number of requests created per month:-

The “number of requests created per month” report is an important report for identifying customer request trends.

Like any business, you will have your high season and your low season. If you sell your product or service to businesses, you can expect a high volume of requests during the work week and you can expect the number of requests to drop during the weekends.

When there’s so much data available, it’s easy to spend time reading the wrong reports.

And there’s no use in getting bogged down in data without knowing what to actually do with it. The reason you are reviewing this data is so you can make better decisions, improve your processes and understand how your team is performing.

By using these customer service reports, you can keep track of trends, employee productivity and customer satisfaction, all of which have a significant impact on your bottom line.

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