The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) industry worldwide has come a long way in the pandemic era. The initial impact took it by surprise, but providers have now accepted the new normal.
The global landscape saw a massive decline in managed services when the blow came, and things looked bleak for BPOs. Yet, COVID-19 gradually emerged as a catalyst for the transformation of their traditional business model.
The move to remote working from the brick-and-mortar centres was a scramble to survive, but it has paid off. Agents have a better work-life balance, while BPO companies enjoy higher productivity and save money as they let people work from home.
It will be interesting to see the overall impact of the pandemic on the industry to get a better understanding of how things will pan out in the future.
Looking at the challenges first
Before finding more about the positives of the remote transition, BPOs must understand the challenges that accompany it. Consider it as a reverse approach, where you go back to the problems to find viable solutions.
- Workforce monitoring is perhaps the biggest challenge, not only for BPOs but also for other organisations that made the shift. Companies struggled to trust employees as they work from home because even the best ones can falter with their networks and devices. So it becomes crucial to establish remote governance and overcome the challenge.
- As people work from home, data security emerges as another daunting concern. The secure network and mechanisms that existed in the office settings are now missing. Moreover, it is hard to ensure that agents follow data protection policies. Only robust IT support can provide businesses with a security blanket for remote workers. Thankfully, most organisations have been successful on this front.
Virtual contact centre solution: The silver lining
Contact centres faced significant challenges when the pandemic struck––the struggle was more than anticipated. But businesses embraced technology to resolve them smartly, even as the remote teams staggered due to the absence of proper infrastructure and security.
The Virtual call centre solutions came in as a silver lining, keeping them afloat and ahead in the CX game. Here are some ways these solutions delivered above and beyond the expectations of businesses and consumers.
Availability makes the best impression on customers, which is the reason why businesses expect to shine. However, the pandemic raised doubts as it was hard for remote working agents to be available at all times.
A remote contact centre software solution, however, took them a step ahead with constant availability. Agents could now work from their existing devices while maintaining data security. Location was not a concern either, so businesses did not have to worry about compromising workforce productivity or the customer experience.
Modern consumers are active across diverse channels––from phone calls to emails, messaging, and live chats. This was another reason to worry for BPO providers. Thankfully, virtual contact centre technologies offered omnichannel capabilities. Agents could engage with customers and prospects via their preferred channels. Furthermore, they could have contextual interactions with clients.
Running a BPO successfully depends heavily on tracking call centre metrics correctly. But it gets a tad challenging in a remote working model. Managers cannot track the performance of individual agents.
However, virtual contact centre solutions offer features like a live dashboard, call monitoring, and detailed reports. These enable supervisors to check the granular details such as login time, response time, call volume, and customer queue for each agent and the entire team. With such helpful information, they can ensure top-notch performance and fix any weak links.
BPOs had a hard time managing customers during the pandemic as they were stressed and anxious. Distributed teams made it harder to resolve queries, and agents had no way to seek advice from supervisors.
This caused an alarming surge in customer support queries and inbound call volume. Advanced contact centre solutions brought smart call routing algorithms to the table. They connected callers to relevant agents and departments to facilitate first contact resolutions.
Virtual solutions for BPOs took CX a notch higher for companies and helped them boost agent motivation through the challenging phase. However, remote working, in the long run, could have made people feel isolated and low on morale.
With software that offers the gamification feature, it gets easy to engage agents in healthy competition and encourage them to give their best. Managers can gamify various aspects of contact centre operations, from customer interactions to agent performance and lead conversions.
The new normal: What BPOs should do in the long run?
Now that the wheel is rolling for remote working BPOs, the question is whether they should continue with the strategic transformation for the long haul. Change should be embraced when it has a positive impact, so businesses should stick to virtual solutions and look for ways to get better at them. Here are some pieces of advice they can follow:
- Consider work from home as a new business model rather than just a short-term continuity plan
- Prioritise data compliance to stay on the right side of the law and maintain consumer trust
- Training and development programmes for remote working contact centre teams are a worthy investment
BPOs are ready to embrace transformation as a choice rather than a compulsion. Therefore, it makes sense to look for a virtual contact centre solution that can empower agents to deliver their best even as they work from home. Servetel is the best choice for BPOs of all sizes as it delivers the entire range of features, along with the assurance of quality, reliability, and cost-effectiveness.
Looking for the best virtual contact centre solution for your BPO? We have it for you.