If you’re mapping or want to track your customer journey, there are plenty of things to be kept in mind – and plenty of pitfalls to be avoided.

While customer journey mapping may not a brand new idea, the last few years have seen a steep increase in the impact, the concept is having across the business, and critically, in the boardroom.

As is the case with many emerging disciplines, it’s easy to get carried away and run headlong into it without even fully understanding what your goals are.

Customer journey mapping needs to embrace much more than just a list of your sales and service channels. It needs to deliver a thorough understanding of what your customers are trying to achieve, and the steps they take to achieve it.

A true customer journey map provides a robust framework that encompasses the entire business, how each area impacts the customer and informs your Voice of the Customer (VOC) program to ensure you’re able to capture feedback at the right moments.

Here are some critical Do’s and Don’ts to bear in mind when it comes to mapping your customer journey.

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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?

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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

 

It’s the age of the customer and the world’s biggest brands are duking it out every day for a greater share of our hearts, minds, and wallets. Customers hold more decision power than ever in an era where information about any company’s products and services is just a mobile search away.

Where does the Voice of the Customer (VoC) land in the priorities for your company’s overall strategy? Forrester’s Customer Experience Council survey shows that 79% of all respondents believe that measuring customer experience is a top priority.

Market research shows that the Customer Experience Management (CEM) market is estimated to grow from USD 5.06 Billion in 2016 to USD 13.18 Billion by 2021, at a CAGR of 21.1%.” If you’re not investing in CX, it’s very likely that your competitors are.

The stage has been set – now let’s jump right into the top Reasons to Invest More in Customer Experience (CX):

1. The ROI customer experience

Building customer loyalty and increasing revenue go hand in hand. When compared with customers who had negative experiences, those who had positive experiences were more likely to recommend, trust, try new products or services, purchase more, and forgive your company after a mistake.

2. What gets measured gets done

Measuring customer feedback is the first step to measuring up to your customers’ expectations. Whether you’re an advanced scorecard-driven enterprise or just beginning to think about CX, the most important thing to do is to start actively listening and measuring your customers’ feedback.

3. Time to set new customer experience goals

CX is not as fluffy as it may seem. There are real science and methodology for measuring and improving customer satisfaction (CSAT). There are many metrics to consider as part of your VoC program, but Bain & Company’s Net Promoter System and Forrester’s Customer Experience Index stand out as the gold standard top-line measures in the CX industry.

4. Elevate your operational performance

Operational performance and CSAT are inextricably linked. For example, it’s no coincidence that airlines with the best CX ratings also boast the highest percentage of on-time arrivals. The best CEM programs cause cross-functional customer-centric collaboration, which requires your company to break down organizational silos to be more valuable, efficient, and enjoyable to your customers.

5. Put the customer at the center of every decision

Your customers see you as one whole cohesive brand, regardless of how complex your organization, systems, and processes might be. When your customer interacts with your company, they don’t care about any bureaucracy, different divisions, and departments, or roles and hierarchies.

6. Plug-in and empower your employees

Ready to take your CX program to the next level? Tap into your company’s most valuable assets – your people. The more customer-facing employees with access to a real-time view of customer feedback, the more awareness, focus, and unity there are around your company’s CX mission and goals.

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Understanding the various touchpoints you have with your customers is key to delivering memorable customer experience.

Once you’ve mapped out your touchpoints, it’s often helpful to group them into channels. That’s the focus of this blog post.

The most common channels

Websites: refers to customers visiting websites to gather information about a company. Can include both mobile and regular versions of the website.

Native Mobile App: refers to customers who download a company’s iOS or Andriod app, and feedback is gathered about their experience with it.

Contact Center: an important touchpoint where customers call for more information or assistance. Online chat is another part of modern contact centers.

In Location: refers to actual in-person customer experiences, such as a retail store, restaurant, or hotel.

Field Services: customers interact with a company in their home.

Mapping your touchpoints

When you look at all the touchpoints on your map, each of them will likely fall into one of these five channels.

No matter how your customer interacts with you, the ultimate goal is to have a consistent “omnichannel” experience.

When your in-location experience is different from your web experience, or when your web experience is different from the experience a customer has with your native mobile app, this inconsistent CX will create problems.

Customers might feel like the company cares about them after a positive field service experience, but if the contact center fails to provide the same level of experience, the customer will be disappointed.

Keep in mind that if you’re working with a premium brand, all channels will need to deliver an outstanding customer experience. If you’re working with a mid-tier, value-oriented brand, the goal may be to achieve a certain standard throughout each channel, such as professionalism or efficiency.

Gathering Omnichannel feedback

If you want a consistent omnichannel experience, make sure you are listening to your customers on each channel! You can gather feedback from these five channels in various ways.

For example, you might ask about their most recent experience with a field services representative through an email survey. How satisfied were you with our technician’s most recent visit to your home? Why? Were there any problems? If so, please describe them.

Or you can gather feedback via methods that are channel-specific.

For website feedback, pop-up surveys can ask the customer for feedback while they are on the website or after they leave.

When a customer uses a mobile app, a survey can be embedded into the app asking them to provide feedback.

An interactive voice response (IVR) survey or a computer-generated survey can be used after a customer interacts with a contact center—the system directs the customer to the survey when the call is complete.

We are also seeing more and more text surveys, or Short Message Surveys (SMS), these days as a substitute for email surveys.

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The goal is to obtain feedback from the customer in whichever way they prefer to provide you with that feedback.

It will largely depend on the customer. If your primary customers are millennials, they might prefer a text message survey. If you’re working with baby boomers, they probably prefer completing a survey via email at a time that’s convenient for them.

 

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