The year 2017 saw a marked shift in momentum in the call center and customer experience landscape. While many companies looked to integrate technology and the cloud into their daily affairs, many others found themselves in a rough shape as the evolving industry left them behind.
Today, the call center industry is a $22B market, and the biggest challenge it faces is to keep growing without compromising customer satisfaction in any way. But creating the connected customer experience first requires insight into how people are contacting such contact centers today. Over 79% of the people today contact a call center via a phone, and a majority of them (43%) are willing to be put on hold for 1-5 minutes. Attention spans are therefore getting less, and the major challenges facing call centers include -
Today, forward-thinking call center businesses are hunting for strategic capabilities which not only translate into cost savings, but also minimize their capital investment, market risk, and time to market. Cloud computing, in the form of IaaS, SaaS, and PaaS, is a big part of the reason why the call center industry is resurging again.
BPaaS or Business Processes as-a-Service can be defined as a combination of the above-mentioned technology with other processes and people who ensure that the entire business functions as a fully-managed service. BPaaS is extremely popular nowadays, and its perceived benefits include reduced costs and improved turnaround times, while ensuring all the services remain constantly updated with the latest that the technology has to offer. In addition, one of the other benefits of BPaaS is that the business will no longer need to keep checking on regulatory changes, while taking advantage of the elastic pricing which is generally pay-as-you-use or resource-based.
BPaaS can be defined by the following characteristics -
Automating business processes is nothing new for most companies. Earlier this automation was usually done manually or with the help of different programs. While useful, manual automation still had several limitations, and with the advent of BPaaS in cloud computing, this approach is rapidly evolving for the better. Companies now are looking at a service-oriented approach which allows them to handle their tasks and their clients better. Let us have a look at how business processes as-a-service is helping create new opportunities for call center companies -
Selecting BPaaS is not only effective, but extremely practical given that an organization can tune the BPaaS service to match their business policy. This ensures that the service can then be used in a variety of different application environments. Using BPaaS, companies can strive to create uniform processes and roles throughout their ranks, while linking them together through the power of cloud-based SaaS applications amongst others.
The intersection between BPaaS and robotics could not have come at a more opportune moment. RPA, or Robotics Process Automation is rapidly being deployed in modern day businesses for digital labor and advanced software automation. This in turn is helping drive BPaaS offerings that require various cognitive tools. RPA can enhance current BPaaS capabilities for most call center businesses easily, enabling them to work towards labor reduction and elimination thereby saving costs.
BPaaS is based upon the Pay-as-you-go model and therefore is tailor made to suit businesses such as call centers that generally have to deal with dynamic volume. The clients pay a monthly charge based on their usage, irrespective of whether the work belongs to HR and payroll, marketing, product, advertising, etc. By saving in upfront costs, call centers can invest in creating better customer experiences, while not having to worry about maintenance and infrastructure costs.
IoT or the Internet of Things is being widely considered as the 4th industrial revolution, and BPaaS stands to gain considerably in the near future by embracing this technology. Relevant uses include everything from curating customer experiences to social media monitoring, amongst others. IoT powered self-help documentation and chat bots are here to stay, and make your call center business more effective, allowing you to move from the dependency you have on Tier 1 support (voice calls) to multiple Tier 2 channels.
Just because there are many perceived benefits of BPaaS does not mean that implementing the same is a cakewalk for most businesses. There are quite a few challenges involved, and need to be addressed beforehand before trying to implement BPaaS processes throughout your organization. Some of the challenges include -
Ensuring that the groundwork is laid properly before implementing BPaaS can save you from problems which might come up without any prior intimation. Moving your work to the cloud takes time, and implementing business processes which correspond with the same requires efficient planning. Many businesses jump onto the BPaaS bandwagon thinking about the cost benefits, which in turn can lead to undefined roles and a confused business environment down the line. Therefore, transition and transformation programs are a must before the rollout.
In many cases, businesses move towards BPaaS implementation with a set of goals in their mind, many of which can be too lofty for their own good. Since all existing processes are supposed to work together seamlessly under BPaaS, therefore many changes might not be similar for you as it is for another company. If you simply want new processes and activities which work the same way as before then BPaaS is not for you. Initially, SMBs fail to grasp this fact, and therefore it is really important to allow your service provider to take you through the redesigns involved and make the changes together.
Typically, the shift from normal processes to Business Processes as-a-Service requires a lot of change. Therefore, unless you and your employees are prepared to embrace the changes, the benefits will not accrue in the long term. You should not try to move to the old way of working, as most in-house resources will not to managing particular processes any more. Therefore, focus on building your relationship with your service provider who can accurately help you determine the chief bottlenecks in the process and remove them as and when they come.
BPaaS has certain limitations when it comes to allowing for variable customizations out of the box. One of the main reasons behind this is that it follows a tightly defined and standardized approach. Therefore, as a client, you must set realistic expectations about implementing the same processes, and perform due diligence into what works best for your existing setup.
While everyone talks about the cost benefits associated with BPaaS, very few companies are aware that a proper BPaaS solution can sometime prove to be too expensive especially for an SMB. This is because most BPaaS solutions are actually a gateway to more modern technologies which still cost quite a bit of money to setup and implement. So while you might be stuck with legacy systems and trying to move to the world of cloud-powered solutions do remember that your initial costs might be high and therefore prepare for the same.
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Over the past few years, Call center and BPO companies are doing something unheard of, actually evolving with the times! This rapid transition is powered by the growing acceptance levels for modern technology, allowing businesses to provide mature market offerings to their clients and customers while benefiting from better cost savings and effective process structures.
The BPaaS industry is also rapidly evolving as well, moving from takeover models to rapid capture ones. In the future, BPaaS will soon become synonymous with the build-operate-transfer model, thereby providing more customization options to call center companies. From optimizing costs to scaling down unnecessary operations, improving efficiency, minimizing risk, etc., there is very little that BPaaS won't be capable of as we hurtle towards a more modern and technology-driven future.
The end goal for any BPaaS solution has always been to save money, but as businesses adapt to the VUCA environment with the help of many plug and play solutions, they realize that the inherent benefits of BPaaS lie in other aspects of the model as well, allowing them to increase business value, benefit from reengineered and standardized processes, improve overall efficiency, etc.
O2I's expertly delivered and implemented BPaaS solutions for call centers can provide the flexibility and scale to support existing and new processes while helping you achieve your strategic business objectives. Our solutions leverage the best-in-class domain and platform-based business process services and are virtually managed so as to ensure complete peace of mind. With more than 22 years of experience in delivering exceptional call center services, we have the expertise, the delivery options, and the capability to take your business to the next level.
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