What differentiates your business from your competitors? Why should a prospect choose you over another? How can you reduce expenses while still maintaining essential business functions?
In today’s world, businesses are always looking for ways to gain the advantage over their competitors. This article on Chron defines four key strategies that a business can use to gain the edge and help ensure continued business success. The strategies include cost leadership, differentiation, defensive strategies, and alliances.
There is a multitude of different strategies a business can use in their efforts to gain the competitive edge, one of which is Business Process Outsourcing.
Business Process Outsourcing, or BPO, is a subset of Business Process Management. BPO involves the contracting of specific processes to a third-party provider. These processes include, but are not limited to customer care, back office, inside sales support, IT and accounting functions. Businesses that utilize a BPO firm can realize cost savings while maintaining excellent customer service and a well managed back office. With these cost savings, the businesses can put more funds into differentiating their business and ultimately gaining the competitive advantage.
So, what should your business look for in your BPO partner?
4 Key Attributes of a BPO
Keep it simple
“Like all magnificent things, it’s very simple.” ~Natalie Babbit
When you decide to move forward with a BPO strategy, it can bring some logistical confusion. How do you seamlessly manage the transition while maintaining your excellent customer service record? Every engagement is unique and is not a “one-size-fits-all” process. Make sure your provider has an implementation and change management process defined to ensure a clean and efficient transfer of duties. Some of the key factors of this process are:
- Designated change management consultant
- Process Documentation
- System requirements assessment
“Training is an investment in the future of your business.” ~Author Unknown
In the same way, you wouldn’t hire a new employee and expect them to get immediately up to speed on your business and their duties, neither should your BPO partner. Evaluate their training policies and requirements. Do they send someone to be onsite during the training process? Will you be training every staff member assigned to your account or an assigned individual? How quickly can the partner get up to speed and begin working on your account? Ensure that your partner’s training strategy is one that aligns with your current business processes and helps ensure a seamless transition.
“Reporting is the pursuit of simple truth. Like many technical challenges, the underlying complexity can be daunting.” ~Gideon Rasmussen
It can sometimes be daunting to move entire business functions out of the physical business space you have been utilizing, and regular communications should be a foregone conclusion with any BPO partner. Reporting should serve two distinct functions:
- Provide an analytical tool that measures the performance of the BPO staff with specific performance metrics as designed by you and your BPO consultant
- Provide real-time performance analysis to determine and direct the BPO staff in day-to-day operations.
Dedication could be the key to success
How many tabs and programs do you have open on your computer? How many different communication devices are at your fingertips? Most likely you have both a cell phone and a desk phone. How about chat programs such as Skype or Google Talk? And email. How many different email accounts are you managing? Most of us have at least 2, personal and professional. There are multiple ways to keep in contact and help get work done, but how productive is it? Multi-tasking can be a detriment to your productivity instead of an asset and research shows that people who change tasks more than ten times a day can drop their IQ by 10 points.
The same is true for outsourcing. When evaluating your outsourcing provider, ask if they have dedicated resources to your account or will your assigned staff be working on multiple accounts. It goes without saying that a resource which is dedicated solely to your account will be able to ramp up faster and provide a better quality of service to you and your customers.
Business Process Outsourcing: The Key to Gaining a Competitive Advantage
The business world can sometimes be a cutthroat world, and businesses like yours need tools to gain the advantage. Outsourcing back-office functions can be just the ticket to your success. By freeing up those back-office resources to focus on more strategic roles, your business can realize a significant advantage over your competitors. Speak with a Premier BPO representative today to see how your business can gain the edge and secure your business future.