Business Process Outsourcing Trends Pointing to Bright Future for Sector

From AI-powered voice response to tailored outsourcing, emerging business process outsourcing (BPO) trends point to a bright future for BPO services across industries.

Business Process Outsourcing Trends Pointing to Bright Future for Sector

Business Process Outsourcing or BPO has its foundation in the manufacturing industry, wherein manufacturers hire other companies to take care of certain processes, like the aspects of their supply chains that are not related to the core competencies needed to create their end products.

Over time, organizations across other industries have also been adopting this business strategy. Currently, the use of BPO services has increased to such an extent that all kinds of organizations, from nonprofits to government institutions are entering into contracts with BPO service providers to cover a wide range of their own processes.


How Does a BPO Work?


Organizational executives decide on outsourcing a particular business process via various avenues. For instance, startup companies tend to outsource back-office and front-office functions since there is a lack of resources required to build the staff as well as support functions in-house.

On the other side, an established business can go for the option of outsourcing a task that has been performed all along, following an analysis that the outsourced provider will be able to do a much better job and at a reduced cost.

Management experts advise enterprises to assess the functions that should be outsourced, where that function should be evaluated against the pros and cons of outsourcing to analyze if moving that particular task to the outsourced provider is a strategically good move for the organization.


Common Types of BPO Services


The most common types of BPO services can be grouped as follows:

I. IT & Software Operations

Organizations outsource IT-related business functions and software processes, such as cloud migration and IT support.

II. Finance & Accounting Services

Here BPO services can include accounts payable, billing services, general accounting, receivables, regulatory and auditing compliance.

III. Knowledge Services

These are higher-level processes, some of which may include data mining, data analytics, internet and web research, data and knowledge management, and also development of an information governance program, as well as offering voice of customer feedback.

IV. Human Resource Services

BPOs also offer services that help address all types of workforce challenges. These may cover healthcare administration, payroll services, workforce training, hiring and recruitment, retirement benefits and insurance processing.

V. Customer Interaction Services

BPO companies can also cover a business’s appointment schedules, order processing, voicemail services, marketing program, warranty administration, email services, surveys, telemarketing, payment processing, customer support, quality assurance, and other customer feedback.

VI. Back-Office Transactions

These types of services include credit, check, and debit card processing, receivables, collection, transportation administration, direct and indirect procurement, warehouse management, and logistics and dispatch.


Trends Shaping the Future of BPO Sector


Among key trends shaping the BPO sector that point to a bright future for the sector include:


1. AI-Powered BPO Solutions

Over the years, the omnichannel experience has become mainstream, prompting enterprises to adopt AI-powered solutions to better serve customers. For example, omnichannel experiences require providing a similar experience on all the platforms, which means businesses allowing voice calls need to provide better voice responses.

By leveraging modern artificial intelligence (AI) tools, BPOs have the ability to transcript all incoming calls, in addition to maintaining the records of conversations, and develop adequate AI-powered voice responses on behalf of organizations.

When AI is leveraged sufficiently, it can act as a bridge between the data gathered from multiple channels such as calls, social media, chats, and emails and the official company responses provided to people for incoming calls.

After analyzing it all, data from various sources can help to reveal patterns followed by particular customers, which helps enhance the overall customer service provided by BPO providers.

As such, the trend in leveraging AI is making it easier for BPOs to evaluate the data and curate better omnichannel experiences on behalf of their clients, which is propelling the sector forward.


2. Tailored Outsourcing for Clients

Given the entry of new companies in the BPO space, experts have noted an increased competition within the BPO sector. A large number of agencies are evolving in order to cater to the specific needs of their clients and the market.

While some BPO providers are training their employees on the latest technologies to cater to a wide range of needs across industries, certain out-of-box thinkers are tailoring their services to specific needs within a particular narrow niche or sector.

For example, sectors such as Fintech and E-commerce are expanding rapidly all over the world. With a burgeoning user base, these sectors eventually find they need to outsource services. Some BPO providers are choosing to focus and tailor their services specifically to niche sectors like these ones, which is also having a positive impact on the future of the wider BPO sector.


3. Social Media As a Customer Service Channel

Today’s customer interacts with brands via social media platforms as well as messaging apps. Instagram, Twitter, WhatsApp, TikTok, and Facebook are some of the most popular platforms that help people reach companies.

Brands are also now dependent on various social media channels to acquire customers these days. Virtually every brand of any size and niche is expected to have a social media presence and leverage the platforms as a customer service channel.

The big, multinational companies like Uber, Netflix, and Amazon already make use of social media effectively for customer service. These brands have managed to raise the bar of customer service considerably, and their contemporaries in the BPO sector have also jumped in on the bandwagon to offer their clients services that provide stellar customer service experiences on social media.

This trend of leveraging social media within the BPO sector is also propelling the sector forward.


In Conclusion


Ultimately, BPOs play a significant role in shaping the whole customer experience. By leveraging journey mapping, benchmarking as well as analytics, brands are able to analyze their customers better, optimize their services, and offer customers a much better experience. With the value provided by BPOs, the future is bright for all stakeholders in business process outsourcing.

Ehtesham Peerzade is Senior Web Marketing Executive at Market Research Future, a trusted firms for syndicated research services.