Author: David McAbee

As new technology emerges for contact centers, business process outsourcing (BPO) is rapidly shifting. Numerous BPO trends have emerged that offer a way to reduce expenses and improve CX.  
 
59% of organizations cite cost savings as the number one reason they outsource. Working with a BPO provider can bring cost savings in many ways.  
 
From reduced staffing and operational costs to increased productivity, organizations can leverage BPOs’ financial benefits to maximize their budgets. While saving money is a massive benefit of BPO, it isn’t the only reason companies are exploring BPO solutions.  

Another appeal of working with a BPO is their ability to scale up or down quickly. The workforce can rapidly expand or contract, benefiting companies with seasonal highs, lows, or project-based work. Leveraging BPO can make your company more agile and responsive as your business needs evolve.   

When it comes to your employees, the money spent isn’t just on wages. First comes the training and onboarding, and then comes the ongoing management. When outsourcing to a BPO provider, they take on all of this, leaving more time for other employees to focus on core functions that move the business forward.

BPO providers also give you access to specialized skill sets. Whether you can offer your customers multilingual agents or more advanced tech support, having access to more dynamic skills opens up more possibilities.  

Risk exposure is often another concern that leads companies to explore BPO. Keeping your eggs in one basket exposes you to more risk when things go wrong; and something will go wrong. However, when you work with one or more BPO providers, you diversify your support base. 

BPO Trends: What’s Hot

While your strategic approach to selecting a BPO should be focused on meeting your business’s needs and ensuring the proper BPO best practices are in place, being aware of current trends is vital, as this will broaden your perspective on what services and efficiencies these valuable partners can bring to your organization.  

Here are four trends gaining traction in the BPO space.  

#1. Hyper-Automation 

Hyper-automation enables BPO providers to automate a broader range of processes, including those requiring human judgment and unstructured data. It offers scalability and flexibility, allowing BPO providers to adapt quickly to changing business requirements and scale automation efforts across different processes and functions.  

This can result in significant cost savings for BPO providers and their clients by reducing the need for manual intervention, minimizing errors, and improving process efficiency.  

Hyper automation solutions can analyze large volumes of data, detect patterns, and make informed decisions in real time. This improves output accuracy, consistency, and quality, enhances customer satisfaction, and reduces rework or error rates. 

By having hyper-automation handle repetitive, manual tasks, BPO providers (and your organization) can shift their focus to higher-value activities that require human creativity, critical thinking, and problem-solving skills. 

Leveraging a BPO to provide automation provides a win-win scenario for both firms. Customers can experiment with new technology without the cost and risk of deploying it themselves, and BPOs enjoy improved margins when they can include digital offerings of any kind. A positive side effect is better service from the BPO provider because they are not trying to constantly operate within the confines of very thin margins. 

#2. Enhanced AI and Machine Learning 

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) are changing many industries, including BPO.  

On the customer side, you have improved personalization, more effective chatbots, increased automation, customer sentiment feedback analysis and more.  

Operationally, tools like predictive analytics powered by machine learning are changing the game. More accurate business forecasting and demand planning, trend and pattern identification, and better resource allocation are all benefits companies can experience.  

By effectively leveraging the AI and machine learning BPO trends, you can expect improved decision-making, better resource optimization, and the ability to deliver more efficient, personalized, and value-added services to your clients. 

#3. Virtual Customer Experience 

E-commerce sales account for nearly 20% of all retail sales in the US, which continues to rise. That means, as a company, you need to meet your clients where they are — online — without compromising your level of customer experience.  

Having chatbots and virtual assistants that are instantly responsive means your online customers get the support they need to buy. That’s why BPOs are finding additional ways to streamline and improve the virtual customer experience — to help their clients generate more sales and ensure customers return in the future.  

#4. Sustainability 

Many BPO providers have embraced sustainability and are achieving LEED certifications in their newest facilities as a differentiator. While going paperless is more accessible, more significant initiatives like reducing the carbon footprint or reducing energy consumption can be more challenging.  

BPO providers typically operate centralized facilities with energy-efficient technologies and infrastructure. By consolidating operations in environmentally conscious office spaces, BPOs can effectively curtail energy usage, diminish carbon emissions, and shrink the ecological impact of their business processes. 

Leverage BPO Trends to Meet Your Business Objectives 

These BPO trends are only the start if you’re considering CX outsourcing. When you vet a provider, you’ll have countless questions to ask to ensure they have the right ingredients to meet your business objectives.  

With so much at stake, many organizations work with a BPO consultant to provide the insight, expertise, and guidance essential for aligning their organizations to achieve their short- and long-term objectives. 

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