How important is vertical experience when selecting a BPO?

An experienced partner can align not only your objectives and needs but also be invaluable in aligning with your company culture, but that is not the sole consideration to take into account when looking to outsource.

Experience is important. No one will deny that. This is doubly important for any company looking to step into the outsourcing world.

Having a knowledgeable partner who can not only provide the services but also help you navigate the complexities involved and best set you up to avoid any pitfalls and hurdles that can spring up along the way. Finding the right BPO provider can be tricky, usually taking three to six months (per research conducted by Knowledge Executive on behalf of BGS World). Surveyed buyers from Australia, Canada, the UK, and the US all revealed it took a great deal of work to even narrow down to a short list of just the five best providers.

With many years of being on both sides of both looking for outsourcing providers, as well as now being one of those providers, Transparent BPO’s leadership knows the trials of finding the right partner – and how to work with our clients to avoid the headaches and struggles they once experienced when in their shoes. We find it very important that you take some critical considerations into account when looking for the best BPO provider for YOU and your program, one that can act not only as a provider but as a consultant to guide you through implementation and selection.

We find it very important that you take some critical considerations into account when looking for the best BPO provider for YOU and your program, one that can act not only as a provider but as a consultant to guide you through implementation and selection:

  • Do I (my company or program) have very specialized business needs? – this is where the vertical experience most comes into play. Industries that deal with specialized processing, functions, restrictions, or other niche requirements have specific considerations to consider. However, this is not the only major factor and program success can lean heavily on these other factors
  • Is my provider going to be flexible to fit my specific needs best? – This is especially important for those companies that are new to the BPO world. How rigid does the BPO provider operate according to existing playbooks, operating procedures, implementation, management style, technology, etc.? TBPO prides itself on not believing in cookie-cutter contact center services. We do leverage proven processes and best practices, but we also excel at approaching solutions differently.
  • The people make the program – what is the level of recruitment, training, and quality control, and what is the involvement of the supervisory and operations teams? Does your BPO provider provide transparency into their recruitment, training, and attrition methodologies? Their experience here is crucial at every step of your program to ensure initial and continued expense
  • Cultural affinity – This dovetails with the prior area. Are your BPO’s agents going to be able to connect and build a bond you’re your customers they serve? Will they be able to pick up discreet nuances in your market? Belize showed itself to be an ideal location for Transparent BPO to provide just that. Before coming to TBPO, many of our agents worked in the tourism industry, which benefits from over a million American visitors every year. Also, US channels dominate Belizean television and include everything from cable news to lifestyle networks to sports, movies, and more. This combination of face-to-face interaction and media influence gives our agents an understanding of US culture that the majority of offshore providers do not have.
  • What is the actual cost of doing business with the BPO? – Whether it’s quality, responsiveness, ability to adapt to ever-changing situations readiness, or value-added services – you need to look beyond just the number on a page. What your chosen BPO provider brings to the relationship can prove crucial and go beyond the initial cost. It is essential to consider the overall benefits of your potential partners to ensure you’re getting the most for your spend; you typically will be getting what you pay for (or don’t spend on).
  • Location – Are site proximities and ease of travel to your important BPO sites? Is a stronger cultural affinity from nearshore vs. offshore something you place value in? Having an ability to travel to get a first hand, unfiltered view is important to many current and potential clients – whether for collaboration or calibration.
  • Value Propositions – Is one BPO provider’s solution more flexible for growth, or has the potential to handle new needs down the road? Does the cheaper vendor retain quality employees, or does the more expensive one offer the attention and oversight your program deserves?

A combination of factors

The best BPO experience depends not just on their experience with your vertical but instead on a combination of the above variables and a few others specific to a BPO client’s needs. Your success is due to the balance of your program and the BPOs scale, services provided, responsiveness, scalability, strong fundamentals, and what they’re really going to be able to execute. Choosing the right fit partner will help reduce costs, improve the experience of your customers, provide scalability, and the ability to act rapidly whenever the need arises.

Whether it’s quality, responsiveness, ability to adapt to ever-changing situations readily, or value-added services – you need to look beyond just the number on a page. What your chosen BPO provider brings to the relationship can prove crucial and go beyond the initial cost. It is essential to consider the overall benefits of your potential partners to ensure you’re getting the most for your spend; you typically will be getting what you pay for (or don’t spend on). Are site proximities and ease of travel important to your BPO sites? Is a stronger cultural affinity from nearshore vs. offshore? Is one solution more flexible for growth, or has the potential to handle new needs down the road? Does the cheaper vendor retain quality employees, or does the more expensive one offer the attention and oversight your program deserves?

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