- BPO Consultants: Five Critical Questions to Ask Before You Hire - November 9, 2023
With more organizations looking for ways to increase CX efficiency while keeping costs in check, BPO consultants offer a proven method to ensure you maximize the full potential of your CX.
As the business process outsourcing (BPO) global market has doubled over the past two decades, there’s been a resulting increase in demand for BPO consulting services.
Outsourcing helps companies with countless business functions — information technology, human resources, customer support and other in-house core business teams. Despite many myths about BPO, it offers a proven way to accomplish business goals.
A BPO consultant can help reduce risk when hiring an outsourcing firm as they’ll lead the process. They’ll collaborate with you to ensure the needs of your company are met, your customer experience can be enhanced and you keep your competitive advantage over others in your market.
Here are five critical questions to explore when considering engaging BPO consultants for your next outsourcing project.
#1. What’s Their Approach to CX Strategy?
Different business models need different business strategies, and you don’t necessarily want to solely rely on potential BPO vendors to guide the strategy process.
Before your outsourcing journey even begins, you’ll need to identify which areas you want to prioritize and identify what your specific business needs are. This is where working with any BPO consultant should start.
A BPO consultant is there to help you decide how to get the most out of your resources, and they provide an analytical eye to help make that happen.
Any potential advisor for your CX outsourcing should have
extensive knowledge of the industry and business process management. Look for consultants that will create a custom strategy focused on meeting the business’s goals, whether it’s improved cost efficiency through reducing labor costs or increasing customer satisfaction.
Proceed with caution if anyone says they can skip the strategy and cut right to selecting a BPO partner. That often leads to less-than-optimal results as not all BPO partners are alike.
#2. How Will the BPO Consultants Guide the Process?
Sometimes, we don’t know what we don’t know, and your BPO consultant should have a clear and proven process. When considering a consultant, you’ll want to ensure they have criteria for vetting potential outsourcing partners and insider knowledge of how each BPO provider works.
Ask how they assess potential vendors on location, partnership, workforce management, pricing, and performance measurement to ensure the best fit.
By engaging a third-party consultant, you want them to be able to ask questions that may be more nuanced or that your organization hasn’t fully considered. This could include questions about:
- Near and long-term business goals
- CSAT, NPS, or other CX goals
- Service level agreements
- KPI reporting
- Regulatory compliance requirements
- Use of artificial intelligence
- Quality assurance
- Supply chain management
#3. How Will They Help You Achieve Greater Cost Savings?
For many companies considering leveraging outsourcing for some of their operations, achieving cost savings and improving profitability is a driving factor.
Staffing costs can have one of the most significant impacts on a company’s bottom line. In the short term, the cost of talent acquisition is high, with the average cost per hire estimated at around $4700 per person.
Conversely, if you’re operating a business with seasonal highs and lows, paying staff during down periods when the volume of work doesn’t match the size of the workforce adds up quickly.
The ability to scale up and down as business demand changes is one of the biggest appeals of outsourcing.
A seasoned BPO consultant understands all these challenges and is there to help you determine where to cut costs or if it will negatively impact your operations. They can identify where there are opportunities for the company to grow and provide insight on how to capitalize on these opportunities.
#4. How Will They Drive Operational Efficiency?
Frequently, in business, leaders know that there are opportunities to improve efficiency, but they aren’t sure how to get there.
When selecting an outsourcing partner, there’s a prime opportunity to improve workflows via streamlined operations and increased efficiency. However, to do that, you need to have a deep understanding of which ways will work best for your organization.
Part of a BPO consultant’s role is identifying how to drive operational efficiency. As experts who’ve worked with other companies in the same situation, they understand what and how to shift tasks to the outsourced team.
When vetting possible consultants, ask how they will support you in deciding which non-core functions make the most sense to be outsourced. Many times, this will ultimately impact which outsourcing provider is the best fit for you, as you’ll need specific skills and experience to do this effectively.
#5. How Can They Help You Scale?
When looking at the bigger picture, most businesses aim to scale. From startups and small businesses all the way through to giant corporations, the hope is to move the business forward and become bigger, better and more profitable.
But to do that, having the proper infrastructure is crucial.
A BPO consultant understands that one of the biggest challenges to scaling is being able to staff appropriately. By outsourcing, you have the flexibility to scale quickly, and this is a model that most companies will not be able to replicate in-house.
Explore how the consultant can help you map out a plan that allows for scaling when needed, considering the organization’s longer-term growth plans. If they cannot do this, that can be a potential red flag in the selection process, as this is a critical part of outsourcing in a way that drives CX results.