Effective Customer Management Strategies for Contact Center BPO

Partnering with a BPO for customer management is vital for business success. This article explores the significance of contact center BPO, addressing challenges, offering tips for customer satisfaction and retention, and presenting a real-life success story.
The Importance of Customer Management in Contact Center BPO

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Customers are the lifeblood of your business. Attracting them to buy your product or service is one thing, but retaining them for repeat sales is another challenge. 

That is why you need to partner with a business process outsourcing (BPO) company that can help you manage customer service and interaction across your different communication channels. 

This article discusses customer management in contact center BPO and its importance and role. It also explores the common challenges of contact center operations, tips to improve customer satisfaction and retention, and a real-life example of successful customer management. 

Keep reading to learn more.

The Importance of Customer Management in Contact Center BPO

The Importance of Customer Management in Contact Center BPO

We must first address the questions, “What is BPO?” and “What is a contact center?” to help understand the role of customer management in outsourcing. 

BPO is a strategy wherein you assign some of your processes to a service provider or a third-party contractor to reduce operating costs and improve efficiency. The BPO provider handles the outsourced operations based on a formal contract called the service-level agreement (SLA), which includes key metrics or key performance indicators (KPIs) to meet.

Meanwhile, a contact center is a business segment that helps consumers and users with concerns about your organization, services, or products. It engages with customers using multiple channels, including messaging apps, live chats, phone calls, social media, and email. 

Based on the definitions above, customer management in a contact center involves a BPO provider handling customer interactions using multiple channels. The third-party vendor provides contact center agents skilled in delivering excellent customer experiences. These agents run consumer support processes to help improve customer satisfaction.

The Vital Role of Customer Management in Contact Center BPO

Customer management entails gathering and assessing customer data from the various communication channels to anticipate consumer expectations, demands, and needs.

Customer management in contact center BPO has a strong link to sales. Effective customer management assists in improving customer loyalty to your product or service. Stronger brand loyalty or customer retention leads to higher conversion rates and wider word-of-mouth promotion. These results positively impact your bottom line.

Consider the benefits of effective customer management below: 

  • Enhanced customer experience. Competent management entails addressing customer queries properly, maintaining excellent rapport with buyers, attending to their requests, and meeting their expectations. All these elements contribute to a better customer experience. Happy buyers tend to return to you for more transactions.
  • Better business edge. Superior customer management and support in contact center BPO can encourage customers of market competitors to switch to your product or service. Additionally, delivering an excellent experience lets you gain a solid customer base that provides a regular revenue stream.
  • More potential customers.  You gain more market leads and prospective buyers from word-of-mouth promotions and favorable customer feedback. This means your sales and marketing machines can work independently with less effort from personnel. An increasing number of potential consumers will be interested in your brand.
  • Improved sales and revenue. Capable customer management in contact center BPO can build, retain, and expand the customer base. A third-party customer service agent trains to provide the best experience and satisfaction possible to make buyers stay with your brand.
  • Higher efficiency. Sound customer management is one way for your contact center to boost efficiency in customer service operations. The more efficient the processes are, the more likely it is that you can address customer expectations while optimizing costs.

Common Challenges Contact Center BPO Companies Face

Common Challenges Contact Center BPO Companies Face

Below are some contact center BPO challenges in customer management that companies experience:

  • Long on-hold time. Customers get frustrated if they wait too long for call center agents to address their product or service concerns. Long wait time results in higher average handle time (AHT) and poor net promoter score (NPS) or customer satisfaction score (CSAT) ratings. They inevitably impact call center efficiency.
  • Poor first call resolution (FCR) grades. Also called first contact resolution, FCR is a critical indicator in measuring customer requests addressed during the first encounter. Poor FCR scores cause call volumes to rise and on-hold times to be longer, which decreases NPS or CSAT ratings. 
  • Limited agent performance. Contact center managers cannot always engage or monitor their agents when working remotely. While this setup offers perks, remote work can adversely affect agent productivity in the long run due to a higher chance of loneliness (feeling isolated) and burnout.
  • Insufficient analytics and monitoring. Another customer management challenge in contact center BPO is the need for the latest analytics technology to track real-time agent and customer activities. Not having the relevant applications can lead to miscommunications, miscalculations, and poor managerial decisions. 
  • Considerable staff churn. The BPO industry, including the contact center and call center segments, has one of the highest employee turnover rates at over 30%. Inadequate BPO agent training, changing shifts, heavy workloads, and high stress from demanding customers are the leading causes of staff attrition. 

Best Practices for Customer Management in Contact Center BPO

Follow these useful tips to enhance the customer management strategies of your contact center BPO partner: 

  • Prioritize the relevant KPIs. Work more on the metrics that maximize customer service, satisfaction, and experience. These include FCR, AHT, call abandonment, and average hold time. Also, focus on agent schedule adherence, which indicates whether the contact center agents follow designated schedules. Low rates mean poor customer service. 
  • Obtain the latest software. Get the relevant customer relationship management (CRM) applications to handle customer service and agent productivity. Predictive dialers, automatic call distribution (ACD), interactive voice response (IVR), and workforce management software are the other must-have programs. 
  • Assist agents with self-service options. Use accessible self-service features for basic or common customer concerns. Agents can transfer buyers to useful resources while they are busy during peak periods. Examples include chatbots, frequently asked questions (FAQ) pages, product or service tutorials, live chat, and messaging. 
  • Harness customer feedback. Leverage customer input to gain insight into their requirements, enhance their buying journey, and boost engagement. Discuss with the team the negative reviews and comments. Find the best possible solutions for these issues to improve customer experience. 
  • Execute effective training and upskilling initiatives. Arrange regular training sessions for contact center agents to gain maximum output and efficiency. Skill development and retraining must be continuous for everyone. Seek help from best-performing agents to guide and inspire the rest of the team, especially the new hires and the underperformers.

Tips for Enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Retention Rates

Tips for Enhancing Customer Satisfaction and Retention Rates

Providing consistently excellent customer satisfaction and high retention rates are signs of effective customer management in contact center BPO

Forbes lists different ways to boost consumer satisfaction and retention. Below are some examples:

  • Apply the Pareto Principle. Build a customer panel and employ both qualitative and quantitative techniques. You can use customer heatmaps, phone calls, or basic surveys with a thumbs-up or thumbs-down answer. Employ the Pareto Principle by concentrating on the 20% of issues with the greatest effect. 
  • Examine the sources of discontent. Analyze the drivers of dissatisfaction to determine why customers are unhappy and what you can do to fix it. Check whether the problem lies in the people, technology, or process. Review the metric of customer dissatisfaction (DSAT) and make adjustments to improve customer experience and strengthen loyalty. 
  • Provide customers with distinct and prompt service. Offer unique, personalized, and timely services to gain a competitive edge against market rivals. Customer service has dropped for years and worsened since the pandemic. Take advantage of this rare opportunity by delivering one-of-a-kind customer support to stay ahead of the pack. 
  • Develop strategic planning. Identify what you want to know about your customers and their purchasing journey. Generate short survey questions to gather more relevant data for analysis, then build a customer service plan.
  • Make yourself an expert. By paying attention to the comments and inquiries of the clients, you can guarantee that they feel heard. Provide all the answers promptly and accurately. 

Case Study of Successful Customer Management in a BPO Contact Center 

A real-life example of effective customer management in contact center BPO is the case of service provider Unity Communications. A private equity company specializing in e-commerce brands sought the assistance of the BPO provider for its customer operations. Below are the details:

Challenge: Lockdowns induced by the pandemic have influenced customer purchasing habits. Online sales are increasing significantly, and e-commerce transactions are multiplying fast. With these developments, the private equity company found it challenging to meet the rising demand and needed help to maintain higher customer satisfaction.

Solution: Unity Communications’ initial focus was developing a team to answer inbound calls and define KPIs to assure quality assistance. The three key indicators are AHT, CSAT, and first-call resolution. The team discussed reports and expectations, including managing call flow structure and escalation calls and communicating during operations. 

The client was pleased with the performance and experienced increased customer service after two months of outsourcing operations. It wanted to extend the team, adding five more members and two team leaders. We have added to our customer service team so we can field more sales calls.

Results and benefits: After three months, the customer experience improved. The third-party team achieved a net score of 95% satisfaction. The entire team had 30 minutes of idle time during the eight-hour shift to maximize productivity. During low call volumes, team leaders coached and trained the agents to sharpen their technical and interpersonal skills. 

The Bottom Line

Effective customer management requires gradual development and considerable planning. It also depends on the team being adequately oriented and organized.

The service provider can assist in acquiring the people and resources required to boost customer management when hiring contact center BPO services. It can provide you with the proper third-party team for customer-facing responsibilities and to help achieve targets. Customer success is within reach if you partner with the right BPO firm. 

Let’s connect if you want to discover more about effective customer management strategies in contact centers in BPO.

Rene Mallari
Rene Mallari considers himself a multipurpose writer who easily switches from one writing style to another. He specializes in content writing, news writing, and copywriting. Before joining Unity Communications, he contributed articles to online and print publications covering business, technology, personalities, pop culture, and general interests. He has a business degree in applied economics and had a brief stint in customer service. As a call center representative (CSR), he enjoyed chatting with callers about sports, music, and movies while helping them with their billing concerns. Rene follows Jesus Christ and strives daily to live for God.
Rene Mallari

Rene Mallari

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