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Outsource magazine: thought-leadership and outsourcing strategy | July 25, 2017

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Delivering the Vision: The Three Fundamental Promises of BPO

Progress
  • On August 10, 2016
  • https://www.progress.com

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Whether articulated explicitly or implicitly, a business process outsourcer has to deliver three fundamental expectations for their client:

  1. Service Improvement: enhance the experience of the client’s customers, employees and stakeholders
  2. Operational Efficiency: reduce the cost of day-to-day operations and service delivery
  3. Increased Agility: provide an operational environment in which the business can respond quickly to market shifts, changing dynamics and new opportunities

At first glance, these would appear to be largely mutually exclusive. How is it possible to improve service quality at the same time as cutting the service delivery costs and adding new levels of operational agility? Although there’s no magic formula, organisations should combine economies of scale with more effective use of technology to improve performance of people and processes.

Forrester recently conducted a study that revealed web self-service access to intelligent online knowledge bases is now the most commonly used communication channel for customer service – the first and only channel to exceed phone to date. According to Forrester, in 2016, businesses and contact centres will likely invest more time and resources into creating decision-oriented knowledge bases for their customers, to enable them to resolve their own needs quickly and easily. This will significantly reduce call volume and costs while improving the overall customer experience.

Technology Becomes a Multiplier, Not Just an Enabler

One of the key pillars of success for any BPO partner is using modern technology to deliver operational efficiencies quickly across a range of functions and a range of clients – a task that is difficult if not impossible to achieve for an individual client. Most existing legacy systems are complex and fragile, and modernising or replacing any part of them to meet new business needs is costly and time-consuming.

New technologies enable companies to perform processing tasks in a streamlined, automated fashion. To be effective, however, technology has to enable the people delivering the service to be more efficient than they would have been without help from BPO. At the heart of many of these outsourced functions is the need for continual decision making: this often involves complex decisions around service eligibility, up-sell and cross-sell, fraud detection, claims management and the like – often with an emphasis on consistently taking the right “next best action”. Automating this decision-making at scale across a range of clients can drive down cost, improve operational performance and massively improve business agility.

To read a full report on the use cases and benefits of decision automation for a BPO click here.

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