Like a picture, an acronym can paint a thousand words. But what does BPO stand for? It’s Business Process Outsourcing, and if this answer leaves you with even more questions, this article is for you! Reading it may give you the inside track on one of the biggest trends in 21st-century business, and if the ideas we’re covering here already match your approach, you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that you’re already ahead of the curve. Let’s dive in!
What is BPO?
So, what is Business Process Outsourcing in practice? It may seem like a rather broad term, but that’s because it covers a wide range of business processes that can be handed over to specialist companies. These span essential support activities that range from accounting to customer service and the intended result is that a specialist contractor performs a non-core business process as well or better than you can.
Sounds good so far? Let’s get down to brass tacks!
What is BPO Used For?
Every business has core and non-core activities. The core business activities are the ones that generate the revenue. But every business has support activities that, while they don’t in themselves generate income, are still essential to its survival. They’re cost centres rather than profit centres, but they’re still absolutely necessary. Ignore them at your peril, because without them, there’ll be no profits to make!
Needless to say, many businesses, quite rightly, see support activities as distracting from the primary tasks in which they specialise. But that doesn’t mean that these processes can be neglected. On the contrary, if they aren’t performed well, there could be massive problems up to and including the demise of a perfectly good core business.
The solution is simple but elegant. If you don’t specialise in a certain process, outsource it to someone who does. Your focus may not be on that process, but the company to which you outsource it is an expert in that field. For you, it’s just an annoying extra that has to be done. For them, it’s what they’re best at.
In answering the question “What is BPO and what is it used for?” a complete definition is necessarily broad. You could be outsourcing anything from accounting to IT to maintenance. You could even be outsourcing customer service, deliveries, payroll, HR, or marketing, thereby freeing up internal resources to focus on your profit centres.
In doing so, you’ll be in good company. Even the biggest businesses, ones that can theoretically afford to have departments for every activity, are eager to outsource non-core business processes and focus on their core competencies.
What is a BPO Company?
To answer this, we need only return to the question “What does BPO mean?” Nevertheless, it’s worth looking at what constitutes a business process. While we could stretch this to include once-off tasks, a business process is ordinarily something that gets done repeatedly, following a specific path to realise a goal.
That means that just about any business that offers services to other businesses on an ongoing basis could be seen as a BPO company. Your business exists to fulfil a need within its market, but this, in turn, gives rise to your business having needs that may be best addressed by another company that specialises in this peripheral, but essential field.
Let’s suppose your business makes children’s toys. You’d love to focus on producing your product range and developing new additions, but meanwhile, someone has to manage customer enquiries, sales, deliveries, accounts, marketing and more. If you’re using outside agencies to handle any of these, you’re already implementing BPO and the companies you chose to help you are BPO companies.
So, what is BPO and how does it work? You contract an external entity to perform a necessary business function, and how well that works depends on who you chose to help you! It certainly should offer you specialist services from well-trained individuals. It should have a great track-record, and it absolutely must communicate with you, whether the news it has to offer is good or bad.
Time to Implement BPO?
Unless you’re a one-man-show, chances are that you already implement BPO in one form or another. But maybe, it’s time to outsource even more business processes. While most businesses don’t hesitate to employ the services of an accounting firm, for instance, there are still plenty who would hesitate to outsource customer service.
Ultimately, you may benefit from a wider implementation of BPO. Consider this: if you trust specialised accounting firms with your financials, surely you could entrust other activities to external specialists too. Your processes are probably already in place, so why not get someone else to run with them and maybe even improve on them?
Let’s consider the question “What is a BPO call centre?” It’s our speciality and it helps to illustrate the things you should consider before deciding on implementing BPO in other areas of your business too.
A BPO call centre is an outsourced company that fields customers’ calls. The risks? Well, your company’s reputation is at stake. Nobody wants to hear that you aren’t responsible for customer service because you outsourced it. The advantages? With the right choice of BPO call centre, you’ll get access to personnel that say everything you’d say in response to a client enquiry, and do it better!
Best of all, you don’t need yet another department within your business that you have to manage. Routine contacts are handled without a further investment of your company’s manpower, and non-routine queries are directed to the right people, allowing you to develop a better blueprint to cover your customers’ needs. With this in place, your BPO call centre will know how to deal with similar queries in future, and so on.
Of course, the success of all this depends on who you choose. No matter what business process you are outsourcing, you need to know that quality is high on the agenda. Remember, you’re not just outsourcing to save time, you’re also looking for improvement and professionalism. Choose firms with a proven track record. Pick companies that are ready to partner with you and who are passionate about what they do. Ask for case histories and contacts. Any BPO company worth its salt will be happy to share its triumphs!
RSVP Your Clients
As a BPO contact centre (way more than just phone calls) we’re ready to serve your clients on your behalf. And no matter what kind of BPO you’re considering, our company represents the principles you’re looking for: efficiency, specialisation, a well-established, reputable firm with all the necessary technological resources and more at our fingertips and the track record to prove it.
Communication is our business. What’s yours? Let’s talk!