3 Lessons from the Outsourcing Institute Digital BPO Innovations Conference
Last week, I attended the Outsourcing Institute’s Digital BPO Innovations Conference in New York where Arise was honored as the 2016 Recipient of the Best Practices Thought Leadership award as part of the Best Outsourcing Thought Leadership (BOTL) Series. The conference was a great mix of panel discussions and keynotes about how the traditional outsourcing paradigm has been disrupted through the advent of new innovations and how the new model is forming. Over the course of the day, 3 key themes emerged that will certainly be a part of the “new” outsourcing model and are critically important to consider with regard to the future of customer management business process outsourcing (CM BPO).
Customer Contact Flows Should be Designed with Omnichannel Simplicity in Mind
In Gregory North’s keynote, he mentioned how leaders in this industry will reimagine processes through leveraging the simplicity and power of apps. In customer management, this means creating low effort process flows which meet customers where they are, allow them to accomplish simple tasks on their own, and get quality, live support from someone who understands their problem when a customer has complex issue. This sort of “frictionless” experience with companies, as my colleague Tadd Wilson recently described in his post about the Shop.org show , is critical not just for driving improved CSAT and customer retention stats but will also lower costs.
CM BPO Solutions Should be Flexible and Enable the Scale and Agility Necessary to Support the Unexpected
In the panel on digital disruptors, the shift in operating models of companies like Uber, Airbnb, and others who leverage the platform economy were given as examples of ways BPO can enable the scale and agility needed to facilitate continued fast growth. In the customer management and contact center arena, accommodating fast growth is just one use case for needing flexibility. Being flexible to handle influxes in call volumes in any situation from unpredictable demand is key.
For example, just last week we saw Hurricane Matthew cripple much of the Southeast. Could companies in those areas flex up to handle volume increases due to the disaster or better yet have the agility to redirect existing volume from call centers forced to close due to evacuation orders? Black Friday, sales, and new product launches are other great examples – the system doesn’t apply a discount, inventory controls are off, websites fail from high volume – do companies in those industries have the flexibility to handle in their customer management / care operations?
I don’t know about you, but during times like these 9 times out of 10, I sit on a long hold when contacting companies facing unpredictable demand, and with at probably 6 out of 10, I sit on some hold on a normal day! The issue frequently is that businesses do not have the flexibility to handle this because of restrictive brick-and-mortar model which necessarily constrains business operations to a defined maximum capacity.
With a platform connecting to thousands of virtual call centers, the process of customer contact becomes so much more efficient, facilitates lower hold times, higher levels of utilization, and lower costs as a consequence. Further, if you couple self-service with a virtual call center platform solution like Arise’s partnership with Interactions, cost savings can be even higher from empowering customers to help themselves.
Bottom line, businesses need flexible customer management / contact center operations.
Buyers of Outsourcing Are Looking for Strategic Partners not Vendors
As part of the transformation from the “old” outsourcing model, buyers have progressed beyond just looking for cost reductions, particularly through labor arbitrage from offshoring, as a reason to outsource. This are many reasons for this revolving around the hidden costs of offshoring which my colleague Marisol Martinez wrote about previously in her post on American Made Customer Care like the cost of customer turnover from language barriers, etc.
Now, buyers are looking for sustained competitive advantages when moving to outsourcing their customer contact and other functions which brings up the important discussion of partner vs. vendor. Service providers who are partners truly care about results for the company the work with, provide dedicated improvement teams, iterate and ensure they are looking out for the best interest of the buyer first as they realize if the buyer is not happy, the relationship won’t last. Vendors, on the other hand are shortsighted and provide a certain level of service, but typically aren’t interested in investing in the improvement teams to iterate and get better – they’re just looking for a paycheck.
As you may imagine, buyers are looking for partners and the way buyers look to discern strategic partners from vendors as was presented at the conference is seen through the increasing prevalence of outcome based pricing models where the partner has some skin in the game to deliver a certain service level on metrics that are meaningful to the buyer.
Fortunately, Arise has strategically positioned itself to help clients address these needs in their call center operations through providing a robust cloud-based technology platform enabling flexible access to on-demand resources coupled with a dedicated client results team to innovate and enable the agility and scalability required for 21st century business. If you’re looking to learn more about the Arise quality, flexible, and cost-effective on-demand solution for companies’ contact center needs, visit the value section of our site.
Stay tuned for an upcoming post about the Platform Economy and its implications on customer management and contact center outsourcing.
About the Author
Taylor Jones, Senior Manager, Marketing & Business Development, is well-versed in what companies need to create strong customer experiences and successful customer contact operations.
Immediately prior to joining Arise, Taylor worked at Red Ventures, managing a team of 6 associates and had P&L ownership for organic search sales & marketing performance of over 30 websites, which drove calls to Red Ventures’ sales center and produced millions in revenue annually. The multiple sites spanned numerous industries including energy, insurance & financial services, and telecommunications.
At Arise, Taylor is responsible for managing digital strategy for Arise marketing, including all SEO, SEM, social, display, email marketing efforts and analytics, as well as assisting the business development team on numerous other projects.
He holds an MBA in Leadership from Queens University of Charlotte and a B.S. in Applied Mathematics & Spanish from the University of South Carolina Honors College.