Skip to main content

Picture this: It's a hectic Monday morning at your office. The customer service lines are ringing non-stop, with eager buyers seeking information and customers looking for assistance. 

Then a significant issue emerges during the chaos, creating intolerable wait times. Agents, already grappling with pressure and needing more training and resources, are finding it increasingly difficult to focus due to heightened stress, giving rise to a cycle of diminishing efficiency and escalating customer dissatisfaction. Despite their best efforts, the agents are ill-equipped to uphold the high service standards they strive for, resembling soldiers thrust into battle without proper armament.

Sound familiar? 

If this narrative strikes a chord with your current business situation, know you are not alone. In this pressure-cooker environment, the urgency for a strategy to improve the agent experience and safeguard customer loyalty is glaringly evident.

why call center turnover rates matter infographic

Drawing from my experience working at a BPO and working with various others as clients, I can attest to the transformative impact that business process outsourcing (BPO) can have in reshaping this grim narrative into a story of efficiency, contentment, and growth. I've written this article to help you uncover new possibilities with limited resources and understand how outsourcing can steer your company toward a resilient and customer-centric business model in a fiercely competitive marketplace.

The Imperative Shift To Doing More with Less

In the aftermath of the pandemic's economic turmoil, the business landscape has radically changed, causing companies to enter a phase where the optimization of resources without undermining customer satisfaction has taken center stage. 

Companies are under heightened pressure to preserve their competitive advantage as they navigate shifting market demands and staffing hurdles. This current climate demands new strategies that underscore efficiency and financial savvy, fostering a business culture where "doing more with less" has evolved. Unlike in the past, where it might have implied mere cost-cutting, it now embodies a holistic approach that seeks to enhance productivity and innovation while judiciously managing resources. Some trends that have significant relevance for CX decision-makers include:

1. Outsourcing: A potent strategy to sustain operational efficiency and augment customer satisfaction.

  • Identify Core vs. Non-Core Activities: Determine which tasks are essential to your business's identity and which can be outsourced without compromising quality.
  • Carefully identify then weigh the pros and cons of outsourcing initiatives, especially those like customer service which have a high impact on customer experience.
  • Choose the Right Partner: Research potential outsourcing solutions thoroughly, ensuring they align with your company's values and quality standards.
  • Maintain Regular Communication: Establish clear channels with your outsourcing partner to ensure alignment and address any concerns promptly.

2. Resource-Saving Innovations: Harnessing technology to automate mundane tasks, enabling human resources to concentrate on strategic endeavors.

  • Adopt Automation Tools: Use software that can automatically handle routine tasks, allowing your team to work on more important projects.
  • Keep Learning: Make sure your team is trained on the newest tools and methods to get the most out of the technology you use.
  • Check and Adjust: Periodically check how well your tech tools are working and make changes if something isn't helping as much as it should.

3. Personalized Customer Experiences: Employing AI and machine learning to craft a personalized customer journey, nurturing loyalty and contentment.

  • Data-Driven Insights: Collect and analyze customer data to understand their preferences, behaviors, and pain points.
  • Implement Predictive Analytics: Use AI tools to predict future customer behaviors and tailor customerce-centric strategies accordingly.
  • Feedback Loop: Encourage customers to provide feedback and use this information to refine and enhance the personalization process.

4. Self-Service Options: Introducing new opportunities that enable customers to find resolutions autonomously, alleviating the pressure on customer service teams.

  • Intuitive User Interface: Design platforms that are user-friendly, ensuring customers can easily navigate and find solutions.
  • Regularly Update Knowledge Bases: Ensure that FAQs and other self-help resources are current, comprehensive, and address common customer queries.
  • Monitor Usage Patterns: Track how customers use self-service options to identify areas for improvement and potential pain points to address.
Get the latest from the brightest minds in CX, UX, and design thinking.

Get the latest from the brightest minds in CX, UX, and design thinking.

  • By submitting this form, you agree to receive our newsletter, and occasional emails related to The CX Lead. For more details, please review our Privacy Policy. We're protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

The Advantages Of Outsourcing And The Gig Economy For Greater Efficiency

Outsourcing, a significant trend in the current business landscape, offers many benefits, including cost savings, access to expert skills, and the freedom to concentrate on core business aspects. It operates on various models, employing full-time agents and engaging independent contractors as part of the growing gig economy. This flexible labor market allows companies to hire professionals on a project-by-project basis, offering a dynamic approach to meeting business needs.

Weighing The Outsourcing Options: Pros And Cons

When venturing into outsourcing, companies have a spectrum of options to consider, each with its unique set of advantages and challenges:

1. Onshore:

   - Pros: Seamless communication owing to linguistic and cultural affinity, superior control over processes.

   - Cons: Elevated costs in comparison to nearshore and offshore alternatives.

2. Nearshore:

   - Pros: Economical, relatively similar time zones foster easier collaboration.

   - Cons: Restricted markets, potential cultural disparities.

3. Offshore:

  - Pros: Outstanding cost reductions and access to a broad spectrum of skilled professionals.

  - Cons: Language barriers and divergent time zones may hinder collaboration.

As noted by Nick Jiwa in his article on [Execs in the Know] brands are progressively opting to diversify their BPO outsourcing markets to mitigate risks and access a reservoir of proficient English-speaking talents in untapped markets.

Selecting Top Providers: A Crucial Consideration

Choosing a BPO is a critical decision that hinges on several factors, including talent acquisition, investment in agent training, performance evaluation, and retention strategies. I can't emphasize enough the importance of selecting a provider that resonates with your brand's ethos and objectives. A judiciously chosen BPO can become a valuable extension of your enterprise, amplifying customer satisfaction and bolstering brand image. It also helps boost your reputation and customer loyalty when including "impact sourcing" as part of your hiring practices.

Though customer service is the most common reason companies outsource, there are other reasons companies will augment their staff with a distributed workforce, including:

  • Social Media and personalized content writing
  • Market research- survey takers, mystery shoppers, etc.
  • Telemarketing and follow-up
  • Customer onboarding and account relationship management
  • Voice of Customer (VoC) analyst with closed-loop compliance
  • Chatbot development and data security
  • Talent sourcing and payroll administration
  • Claim processing and patient data management

Projecting The Future Of BPO

A study by the global market research entity Technavio indicates that the beneficial attributes of BPO services are fueling the growth of the business process outsourcing market at an anticipated CAGR (Compound Annual Growth Rate) of over 7% from 2020 to 2024. The market, expected to burgeon by US$76.90 billion during this period, implies an acceleration in market growth momentum.

In light of these projections, I firmly believe that business process outsourcing is here to stay, with an increasing number of companies leveraging the expertise, budget flexibility, and technology that BPOs offer.

Conclusion: Navigating A Future Of Enhanced Engagement and Satisfaction

As we traverse the complex terrain of today's economic environment, "doing more with less resources" unveils itself as a golden opportunity, a pathway to sustain and flourish. By enhancing the agent experience to reduce burnout and augmenting their workforce adeptly, companies can significantly mitigate the risk of customer dissatisfaction. 

Embracing outsourcing trends and tapping into the vibrant gig economy with also the right tools and technology offers a chance to redefine the workspace, fostering a culture prioritizing employee well-being and customer satisfaction. This forward-thinking approach is a promising avenue to cultivate a resilient and customer-centric business model, setting the stage for a future where agents and customers find value and satisfaction in every interaction.

Learn more about the Future of Work. Listen to Stacy Sherman's interview with Slack SVP Brian Elliot here. And check out ways to reduce agent attrition caused by "Ambient Gaslighting"

strategic solutions to current customer service challenges infographic
Stacy Sherman
By Stacy Sherman

Stacy Sherman is a customer experience and marketing global keynote speaker, journalist, co-author of two books, coach and host of the award-winning DoingCXRight podcast. Known for her Heart & Science™ framework that produces profitable clients and brand loyalty—fueled by empowered agents and employees. Stacy's been walking the talk for 25 years as a strategist and practitioner at companies of all sizes and industries, such as Liveops, Verizon, Schindler Elevator Corp, Wilton Brands, and AT&T. She's also a board advisor at multiple universities, featured in Forbes and other top-rated publications.