What are the advantages of outsourcing your communication needs? Do the advantages outweigh the cons? Learn everything you need to know about call center offshoring & BPO services.
Call Center Offshoring & BPO Explained
Businesses can save money by outsourcing their business processes to an offshore call center. Call center offshoring — also known as call center outsourcing and business process outsourcing (BPO) — can help you delegate certain sales and customer service duties.
Why Do Businesses Outsource Processes?
From large enterprises to small businesses, companies across the board have outsourced (some, if not all) of their services to BPOs. And the main reason for this is to reduce costs. With call center outsourcing, you send out customer service and sales processes, which gives your business more time to focus on developing customer-focused products and services. So, not only do you save on the cost of running a sales and customer service department, you make more space for business development.
How Does an Offshore Call Center Work?
An offshore call center takes on some business processes such as customer service, lead generation, technical support, and human resource management. As such, they work to bring on new clients and retain existing ones.
These call centers are well-equipped to handle customer inquiries and concerns. And they have the most advanced software and tools that support call management, performance monitoring, data security, and more.
What Services Does a Call Center BPO Offer?
Businesses in almost every industry are outsourcing various processes to offshore call centers. These industries include business services, healthcare, retail, e-commerce, telecom, banking, and more. The plethora of services covered by offshore call centers has, in fact, led to subspecialties such as:
- Customer service & lead generation — Which focuses primarily on generating sales for a business and offering customer support services. As part of the lead generation process, agents contact prospects and leads on a predetermined list provided by the business. Some call center outsourcing services may even help with the creation of lead lists through market research. As part of the customer support service, agents answer calls made to business clients and offer troubleshooting help, resolutions, and more.
- Customer interaction — Oversees a company’s communication channels such as email, phone conversations, voicemail, and social media; appointment-setting and scheduling services; marketing and telemarketing services; order and payment processing; customer support and customer success; customer feedback, and more.
- Travel & tourism — Focuses on offering support and itinerary-planning services to travelers. Works with local and international tourism companies for deals and promotions.
- Financial services — Focuses on finance and banking-related services such as payment processing; activation of services; collection; billing and counting services; general accounting, auditing, and more.
- IT and software-focused — Offers technical support; technology-related troubleshooting; offshore software product development; implementation services; IT helpdesk, and more.
- Virtual assistants — Acts as a cost-effective resource to help you grow your business, by managing incoming calls and providing customer support.
Pros & Cons of Call Center Offshoring
So, should your business take advantage of call center offshoring & BPO services? Let’s look at the advantages and disadvantages of using an outsourcing service.
Pros of Using a Call Center BPO
1. Lower communication-related costs
Sending your business processes offshore can help reduce or eliminate costs related to business communication or running a call center. Since you do not need a comprehensive team of sales agents and customer service reps and managers, you can save on hiring costs as well.
2. Lower staffing issues
Your BPO will be responsible for hiring, training, and managing agents and reps. You won’t have to worry about conducting performance analysis or scheduling agents, or managing call center agents. This can save you time and money.
3. Better call management
Offshore call centers come equipped with advanced call center software and tools. This ranges from call management features to call recording and analytics. With these services, you can often get better customer support and learn how to appease customers better. Additionally, you can handle high call volumes or high periods of call traffic by outsourcing to your call center BPO from time to time.
4. Better business continuity
Virtual call centers can have multiple geographic locations spread across the globe. This can help your business offer 24/7 customer support in regional languages and time zones.
Cons of Call Center Offshoring & BPO
1. Lack of company knowledge
When you outsource business needs, not every agent may be thoroughly schooled in your company’s mission, values, and product education. As such, they may not be able to provide the level or standard of service your business promises.
2. Less control over business functions
When outsourcing, you give control of basic and core services to agents and employees you have not worked with. Additionally, it may be hard to track and monitor each agent representing your business for quality assurance.
3. Decreased customer satisfaction
Usually, agents and reps from a call center BPO don’t offer the same personalized service as your business would. Customers realizing this may be less satisfied with the service they have received and may seek better service elsewhere.
Choosing Between BPO and KPO
The terms BPO and KPOs are often used interchangeably. However, these two types of outsourcing services differ in a variety of ways. In this section, we will discuss Knowledge Process Outsourcing services (KPOs) and the differences between KPOs and BPOs.
KPO: Definition and Types
What is a KPO? Knowledge Process Outsourcing (KPO) is the outsourcing of information-related processes. KPOs are considered an extension of BPOs and require more complex skills outsourcing business processes. Knowledge process outsourcing services include specialized expertise and advanced technical skills. Common types of KPOs include:
- Market Research
- Business Research
- Legal Services
- Medical Services
- Accounting & Financial Consulting
- Content Development & Design
- Data Analysis
- Corporate Training
- Education and Learning Solutions
Benefits of KPOs
A company may choose to use a KPO to handle high-level, complex tasks instead of hiring in-house employees to handle those tasks. KPOs are built to handle such tasks and provide expertise, making them a reliable source. Here are the benefits of using knowledge process outsourcing services:
1. Cost-effective & scalable
KPOs can help your business reduce costs in a number of ways. Get access to expert services at reasonable rates while increasing profits. Cut down on infrastructure and operating costs, and increase or reduce staff as needed. Overall, using KPOs make for a cost-effective solution.
2. Access to experienced professionals
Your business does not have to take on hiring and training experts for different internal functions. Instead, you can spend time focusing on core services like product development and sales while outsourcing other services to a KPO. This also helps reduce the cost of recruiting and training new employees.
3. Low asset & equipment investment
When outsourcing services to a KPO, you can save on office space and equipment costs. No need for extra hardware or high investment in real estate and tech equipment.
4. Better use of resources
Additionally, you can utilize your own resources in other activities or processes when you outsource certain services. For instance, you may invest in workflow automation to support your employees’ productivity and efficiency, or chatbot services to boost your customer service efforts.
BPO vs. KPO
So, what is the difference between BPO and KPO? Here are some key differences:
Skills needed: BPOs are less complex and require low-level skills, while KPOs are more complex and need analytic and technical skills.
Level of expertise needed: Employees working at a business process outsourcing service need basic professional expertise, while those at a knowledge process outsourcing service need advanced and specialized expertise.
Types of tasks: BPOs focus on administrative tasks while KPOs focus on analytic and more complex tasks.
Offerings: BPOs are all about efficiency and streamlining processes; based on a set process and rules. KPOs provide professional expertise and knowledge.
Day-to-day: Call center BPO employees may have a standard, monotonous routine designed to reach targets. KPO employees, on the other hand, offer specialized insights (such as forecasts) and may work directly with the client.
Related: Call Center Trends 
Is Call Center Offshoring Right for You?
Depending on the size and needs of your business, a combination of onshore call center and offshore call center services may be a better choice. This way, you still have control over your own call center. Additionally, you can take advantage of virtual call center software to utilize the same tools and features that call centers use. And you will have the backup support of offshore centers as well. To learn more, speak with our experts at 1 (888) 908 6171.