a bpo outsourcing team hard at work in a conference room

Choosing the Right Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Partner

Your team focuses on important—and urgent—business challenges and products. But what about the business challenges that aren’t getting attention?  Many businesses aren’t growing as quickly as they can because of process inefficiencies, poor communication systems, lack of employee training, or not having the technology or tools they need. But with your team focused on more urgent goals, how can you find time to focus on foundational layers like processes or onboarding?  That’s where Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) can help. A BPO outsourcing partner comes alongside your team to provide process analysis, employee training, technological support, and more. BPO partners are a great way to free up your team for essential internal work while making your company and team more efficient, supported, and primed for growth.  Keep reading to learn more about business process outsourcing, what to look for in a BPO service provider, and how to choose your first BPO team.  

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)? 

BPO, or Business Process Outsourcing, refers to using a third-party vendor, team, or agency to outsource some of your business processes.  BPO applies to various business processes and services, including IT services, customer service, marketing, back-office, financial BPO, accounting services, human resources, knowledge process outsourcing (sometimes called KPO), and legal processes.   Business process outsourcing companies are experts in the above functions and bring that expertise to your organization. They help give your business a competitive advantage in a cost-effective way – while you can focus on developing your products or services.  

What are the types of BPO Companies? 

There are three types of BPO partners: onshore BPO, offshore BPO, and nearshore BPO.
  • Local or onshore outsourcing companies operate in the same country as your business. For a Canadian company, an onshore BPO partner would also be located in Canada. 
  • Nearshore outsourcing companies are located, as the name suggests, in a nearby country, perhaps one that shares a language or some similar cultural aspects. For a Canadian company, a nearshore BPO might be located in the US or Mexico.
  • Offshore BPO companies are located in another country, commonly India or the Philippines. 
Each option can give you flexibility on labor costs, multilingual support, and extra hours.  

What is a BPO Call Center? 

Outsourcing customer service, marketing, and call center activities are some of the most common reasons to use a BPO partner. A BPO call center can handle many customer service and marketing tasks, from outbound surveys or sales marketing to inbound sales or customer support, technical product support, customer service, and even omnichannel customer support.   

How to Choose a BPO Partner 

Choosing a BPO partner isn’t as easy as just picking the first BPO center you come across or asking another company which BPO partner they use. Choosing a BPO partner is an intentional decision you must make with your company’s goals, needs, and current processes in mind. You’re looking for the perfect fit.  

Know What You Need from BPO 

Before looking for a BPO vendor, conduct an internal audit of your processes and needs and determine what you’re looking for. Develop a scorecard based on your top priorities, needs, and goals. Then, when you look at potential vendors, you can create a shortlist of your top choices based on your scorecard. 
  • Aim for a results-oriented partner. Check the potential partner’s website for results and case studies, or ask for customer reviews and testimonials. 
  • Look for an established, reliable partner. A BPO center that has references and has had successful results in outsourced service with other companies in your industry is more likely to offer successful results for you as well. 
  • Ensure your BPO partner is communicative and professional. Even if you’re working across time zones, outsourcing business processes requires excellent communication every step of the way. The initial research process is a great way to see what their team’s communication skills are like and if they fit your team’s communication style.

Ensure That Your BPO Partner Offers Services That Align With Your Needs

It may sound obvious, but if you’re looking to deliver an omnichannel customer experience for your customers and you outsource to a call center that doesn’t have experience with multi-channel support, you won’t be able to deliver. If you’re looking for technological process optimization but your BPO partner doesn’t use best-in-class technology, your experience will be disappointing.  With BPO centers offering a wide range of services, it’s essential to look into whether your preferred BPO center has experience in the business area you’d like to outsource.  You should also look for signs that your BPO partners don’t just have experience but are actually experts in your industry, business operations, or the kinds of services and results you are looking for. Case studies or results published on their website can give you an idea of their expertise.   

Understand Their Reporting Capabilities 

Before choosing a BPO partner, it’s essential to understand what data, reporting, and analytics they’ll use to optimize your processes and company growth. Determine what metrics are most suited to your business and goals, then look into which metrics and KPIs each call center tracks.  Additionally, find out if the BPO partner you’re considering will provide customizable reports for you to analyze, particularly over the long term. Ensure they can easily track, analyze, and implement learnings from the metrics you’ve decided to follow.  

Ensure Your BPO Partner Can Be Flexible and Grow With You 

If you’re looking for a BPO call center or partner, ensure they have the staff, tools, and expertise to grow with you as your business grows. Ideally, a BPO partner will help improve your bottom line and grow your business, so if you outgrow them quickly, you’ll be back at square one.  A BPO partner that is flexible and agile will be able to help your business grow more quickly.   

What to Look For in a BPO Partner 

BPO partners can offer many benefits—alleviating stress and extra workloads from your internal team members, providing specialized and highly-trained support, upgrading processes, and helping to improve customer satisfaction and internal metrics.  But not all BPO centers are created equal. When choosing a BPO center, you want to look for at least three things:   

1. Your BPO partner should leverage the best tech. 

Whether you have a suite of technology already in use or are looking for new technological processes to help automate and optimize your business processes, look for a BPO partner that knows how to integrate with and use best-in-class technology.  When you work with J-Curve technologies, we’ll help you leverage the best technology for your brand and goals, from planning to implementation. We’ve even reduced install times by up to 90 days, making the transition process even smoother—and faster—so your team can get the results you want sooner.   

2. Your BPO partner should provide quality process analysis 

Of course, as a Business Process Outsourcing team, you want your BPO partner to provide quality process analysis. You should be able to outsource specific tasks or areas of your business, such as IT or customer service. But you should also be able to trust your BPO partner to build more robust processes to improve your company.  For example, companies often hire more people to solve process issues, which outsourcing can help. But a good BPO partner will also analyze your processes to see if there are ways to automate or eliminate tasks, reducing the need to hire more employees.   

3. Your BPO partner should support employee training & development 

A BPO partner should do more than just analyze your business processes. Improving your employee experience and training is crucial to optimizing sales, improving retail customer experience, and taking your team to the next level.  With J-Curve, we can conduct a gap analysis of your current employee training process and conduct employee interviews, side-by-sides, time studies, documentation analysis, and secret shopping to provide in-depth recommendations for optimization. Beyond that, we’ll develop employee training materials to strengthen your customer service and improve customer experience.   

Final Thoughts 

Ready to start working with a BPO partner that can leverage the power of customer success, smart systems, technical innovation, and talented people to help your business reach its full potential?  Connect with J-Curve Technologies today and see how we can support your business goals.