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Business process outsourcing (BPO) is an effective strategy for saving money and boosting productivity.
Offshore outsourcing, in particular, is best for reducing costs and improving services. Hiring the right offshore outsourcing company is essential to avoiding this business strategy’s possible risks and challenges.
So how do you go about choosing the right offshore provider? Continue reading to learn practical tips for managing your outsourcing project.
How To Choose the Right Offshore Outsourcing Company for Your Business
With the advent of globalization, outsourcing has become a proven strategy for scaling operations, streamlining processes, and growing businesses. To better understand what BPO is, think of it as entrusting your tasks to a reliable third-party provider.
Companies should capitalize on the BPO market’s continued growth. The global BPO market reached $261.9 billion in 2022 and could grow to $525.2 billion in 2023, expanding at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.4%.
Among the different types of BPO, offshore outsourcing is best for cost savings and business scalability. Some leading offshoring destinations are the Philippines, India, and China. However, your outsourcing success still depends on your chosen offshoring company.
To choose the right BPO provider for your business, follow these steps:
1. Define Outsourcing Goals and Needs
Every company operates with specific objectives, primarily revenue generation and business expansion. The decision to explore outsourcing typically arises when businesses encounter operational hurdles that necessitate addressing their core needs. However, it is imperative to delve deeper and delve into the root causes of these challenges.
Begin by conducting a comprehensive assessment of your organization. Identify areas where inefficiencies and bottlenecks exist and any underlying issues. Are you facing a shortage of specialized talent, lagging in adopting modern technology, or grappling with resource constraints? Are your customer satisfaction (CSAT) scores low, accompanied by high customer complaints? Asking such questions facilitates the identification of which processes to outsource and clarifies your specific outsourcing objectives and prerequisites.
2. Research Potential Outsourcing Companies
After establishing your outsourcing objectives and criteria, the next step is identifying the suitable offshore outsourcing firm for your needs. Commence your quest for BPO service providers through online research, focusing on your chosen offshore destinations. As you conduct your research, compile a roster of potential offshore partners.
Additionally, consider seeking recommendations from other enterprises or industry experts. They may already have established collaborations with outsourcing partners in locations like the Philippines, India, or elsewhere. Leveraging their insights can lead you to reputable providers that can significantly benefit your business.
3. Check Experience and Expertise
After compiling a list of potential partners, the initial aspects to evaluate are their experience and proficiency. Give priority to offshore providers with specialized knowledge and a track record of handling the specific services you require. Confirming that they have prior experience working with clients within your niche or industry is essential.
When considering experience, aim for a harmonious blend of longevity and excellence. Ensure that your prospective providers boast a stellar track record in BPO. To guarantee proficiency, opt for an offshore partner with a dedicated focus on the services that align with your needs, whether it pertains to customer service, IT support, or accounting. The ideal provider should demonstrate their capability to manage your processes with efficacy and competence.
4. Evaluate Communication and Project Management Skills
In addition to experience and expertise, there are two pivotal aspects of outsourcing: effective communication and adept project management. As you know, communication invariably stands as a linchpin for achieving business success. Furthermore, the prowess of a BPO management team can be instrumental in the triumph of your outsourcing endeavor.
Firstly, give precedence to offshore providers who prioritize establishing transparent lines of communication. They should have well-defined protocols for regular check-ins, meetings, and comprehensive reporting. Secondly, opt for a BPO firm with a robust management team, as it is the vital bridge connecting you, the client, with the provider’s workforce. Choosing the right offshore outsourcing company can significantly impact the overall success of your outsourcing initiatives.
5. Assess Data Security and Confidentiality Measures
Outsourcing fosters collaboration between two companies striving to achieve shared business objectives. Nonetheless, it entails the entrusting of your business and customer data to a third-party provider, potentially exposing this information to both physical and cyber threats. The risk factor escalates, particularly when collaborating with offshore providers.
The optimal approach to mitigating this concern is to engage with a well-regarded BPO firm. Ensure that your selected provider has implemented cutting-edge technology and network security protocols. Furthermore, they should have stringent data privacy policies to uphold confidentiality and ensure comprehensive protection. Ultimately, strategic outsourcing is geared towards minimizing the risks inherent in such partnerships.
6. Consider Pricing and Contract Terms
Let’s revisit the core question: why do most businesses outsource offshore? They collaborate with offshore providers in regions like the Philippines, India, and even Latin American nations to curtail labor and operational expenditures.
In light of this, meticulously examine the pricing frameworks offered by your potential partners, whether they employ fixed-price (FP), staffing, or time and materials (T&M) models. Solicit requests for proposals (RFPs) to facilitate a thorough comparison of outsourcing expenditures. Remember that your chosen offshore outsourcing company should be instrumental in delivering long-term cost savings.
7. Conduct Reference Checks and Ask for Testimonials
In the realm of business, reputation holds paramount importance. Collaborating with a BPO service provider with a sterling reputation is imperative. A provider tainted with a negative image has the potential to adversely impact your business and drive away your customer base.
Embark on the journey of assessing reputation by inquiring about the credentials of your prospective partners, encompassing aspects such as business licenses, industry certifications, and any accolades within the BPO domain. Additionally, thoroughly peruse their websites and delve into their case studies. Lastly, gain insights from client testimonials, online reviews, and references to gauge the perception of their previous clients.
8. Hire the Right Offshore Provider
After your screening process, the final step is to hire an offshore outsourcing company. The ultimate goal is to find the right offshore BPO company to help your business grow and succeed.
Here are a few things you need to consider:
- Meet your outsourcing requirements. Your chosen provider should meet your outsourcing requirements regarding services, workforce, technology, resources, pricing, etc. It should meet any specific technical or industry-specific needs your business might have.
- Best fit for your business. Your selected offshore provider should also fit your overall business. So consider cultural compatibility, communication skills, and a project management approach. Look for a BPO partner that shares your values, ideals, and philosophies.
With these two considerations, you can find the best outsourcing partner.
5 Practical Tips for Managing Your Outsourcing Project
A successful outsourcing engagement requires more than just hiring the right offshore outsourcing company. You must carefully manage your BPO project to maximize the full benefits of offshore outsourcing.
In an article about post-pandemic outsourcing trends, BCG cited that 62% of businesses planned to renegotiate their outsourcing contracts. Additionally, nearly 80% of companies asked service providers for help in some form such as:
- Payment extension (47%),
- Cost reductions (45%), and
- Free support for more processes or additional services (41%).
As you can see, businesses are looking for ways to manage their outsourcing projects. So, consider the practical tips below if you hire e-commerce or healthcare offshoring services.
- Develop a Service-level Agreement (SLA). An SLA is a legally binding contract between you and your outsourcing provider for clear service expectations and legal protection. Negotiate the terms and conditions with your hired provider and create a comprehensive SLA.
- Set Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs are measurable metrics used to track the performance of your outsourcing project. They usually revolve around service efficiency, quality, compliance, and CSAT. Include these in your SLA contract!
- Establish Communication Protocols. Effective communication is key to a successful outsourcing engagement. Establish communication requirements, such as regular check-ins and meetings with your BPO management team. The goal is to identify areas for improvement and address them immediately.
- Require Regular Monitoring and Reporting. Setting up a quality assurance (QA) team for your BPO workforce is crucial. This team tracks performance and audits work to ensure quality service and business compliance. Review monthly reports to check your outsourcing progress and success.
- Visit the Offshoring Destination. Visiting your BPO service provider at least twice a year is a good idea. That allows you to see the actual operation and recommend some improvement strategies. Doing so also helps establish a good relationship with your offshore provider and strengthens the outsourcing engagement.
The Bottom Line
Offshore outsourcing has become a viable means for balancing cost reduction and business optimization. However, working with the right offshore company is key to outsourcing success.
Follow our critical steps above for choosing an offshore provider. Hire a BPO partner that meets your outsourcing requirements and best fits your business type, niche, size, and budget. When you have chosen a particular provider, consider our practical tips for managing your outsourcing project.
Planning to employ offshore outsourcing and hire a BPO partner in the Philippines? Get in touch, and let’s connect! Unity Communications is ready to serve you with our front- and back-office outsourcing services.