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Agents

Definition

What is an agent?

In the outsourcing industry, the definition of agents is a team of individuals who are tasked to provide customer services via different communication channels available in order to continuously provide a positive customer experience. Agents are deployed to do inbound and outbound functions; both are essential in keeping the relationship between the business and its customers healthy and productive. Processes may involve customer service support, back-office job support, advisory services, email management, virtual assistance services, website maintenance, marketing and promotional services, and the likes.

Agents are trained to render customer support that revolves around the company’s product or service. Ranging from office support to advisory services, agents are expected to provide the best possible alternative course of action for every problem and increase customer satisfaction by attending to their concerns being raised via different communication channels.

What is an agent?

Outsourcing agents

An agent of a BPO company earns an average of USD 4,000 per year in the Philippines, which is roughly USD 345 per month. Aside from that, agents can receive more through overtime pays and holiday pays. Labor laws in the Philippines require higher pay rates during these situations. In some cases, agents can work even with just a high school diploma, but applicants with college degrees have an advantage.

Outsourcing FAQ

What is Back Office?

What is back office?

Back office is a term used to classify business activities that are not directly attributable to frontline customer support, sales, and services.

Its functions relate to administrative functions which do not directly generate income or are accessed by customers, but such is necessary to streamline the other processes involved in a business. The back office can be thought of as the non-customer facing elements of a business.

Back office functions include but are not limited to the following: data entry, account processing, website content management, data verification, mediation, graphic design, writing and editing services, accounting, and financial services, and quality assurance.

These functions are necessary to a business yet attribute additional cost. Some companies find back office jobs costly since you need to allow a substantial amount of capital for recruitment, salaries, and employee benefits.

The back office function is often described as the 'non-core' functions, which means that it does not directly support or contribute to the achievement of the financial or strategic objectives of the business.

Although back office functions are often considered to be less strategic than front office roles, they are nevertheless essential for every business, large or small. The majority of back office tasks are performed by administrative staff and are therefore considered as routine work.

Back office employees typically do not interact directly with customers or clients. Instead, they handle internal operations that are often more complex than those handled by front-office personnel who deal directly with customers. They are also responsible for ensuring that all company business functions run smoothly and efficiently.

Back office operations are typically highly repetitive, making them an ideal target for cost savings opportunities. However, the nature of this type of work makes it difficult to automate and streamline.

Automating these processes can be especially challenging because of their highly fragmented nature and the large number of different users involved. The result is that many back office processes are still performed manually.

To ensure that your manual back office processes are done efficiently, you can consider outsourcing.

Back-office functions

The back office is the cornerstone of any company’s financial and operational success. As a result, it often generates less revenue than the front office.

The traditional back office tasks are divided into two categories. These are the administrative operations that keep the firm functioning, and the customer support functions that directly fulfill customer services and demands.

Modern back office functions are the behind-the-scenes tasks that support a company's front line operations. These include operations such as supply chain management, procurement and logistics that are necessary to ensure an organization can meet customer demand in a cost-effective way.

Further, a modern back office model is one where all departments work together towards a common goal – delivering value to customers at the lowest possible cost. In this model, no department is seen as more important than another and none has more power than another either

The traditional approach to managing an organization involves separate departments focusing on their own specific goals with little consideration for what other departments may need from them or how their actions might impact others' performance

These functions frequently carry out significant, multi-step processes in which more than one individual or functional group contributes to the business’ process fulfillment.

Administrative functions

Administrative back office functions are essential to the smooth running of any business. These roles include:

Human resources Project management Accounting Legal Data entry Virtual reception Market research Inventory control Website management Basic admin duties Customer support functions

Customer support is one of the most important back office functions in any business. It is a process that helps customers get answers to their inquiries, solve problems, and resolve issues with a company's product or service.

These tasks include:

Handling complaints and irate customers Providing information and answering questions about products or services Answering questions about payment plans and refunds Technical support Ensuring customer satisfaction Customer relationship management

What are back-office jobs?

A company’s back office operations are formed of several functions, and below are some examples of back office jobs and their key responsibilities:

Financial assistant

A financial assistant is in charge of assisting a company’s finance department. They are responsible for various tasks in the office such as data entry, balance sheet generation, accounting, and keeping financial records up to date.

Because they mostly work on the company’s accounts, financial assistants must be detail-oriented, well-organized, and have excellent analytical abilities.

Here is a quick comparison to see the difference between paying for an in-house and outsourced financial assistant.

Financial assistant Monthly rate of Filipino staff Monthly rate of in-house staff Entry-level $600 $2,800 Average $730 $4,000 Experienced $1300 $6,800

(Sources: Talent.com, Indeed.com)

HR assistant

Human resource assistants are in charge of organizing appointments, keeping records, and onboarding new employees.

Among several other tasks, they handle payroll and keep attendance records, and usually help the human resources manager. Employees in this field must be trustworthy, organized, and have effective communication skills.

Here is a quick comparison to see the difference between paying for an in-house and outsourced HR assistant.

HR assistant Monthly rate of Filipino staff Monthly rate of in-house staff Entry-level $440 $2000 Average $600 $3000 Experienced $877 $4000

(Sources: Talent.com, Indeed.com)

Data analyst

Data analysts are in charge of interpreting data, analyzing data, and putting data gathering systems in place. They also create reports and provide assistance for the data warehouse.

Data analysts must be competent mathematicians with good problem-solving abilities and the capacity to manage information efficiently.

Here is a quick comparison to see the difference between paying for an in-house and outsourced data analyst.

Data analyst Monthly rate of Filipino staff Monthly rate of in-house staff Entry-level $530 $3,323 Average $620 $5,091 Experienced $1,180 $7,800

(Sources: Talent.com, Indeed.com)

Financial analyst

Financial analysts are in charge of various financial activities on behalf of external or internal clients. Their responsibilities include estimating operating expenses, producing reports, and maintaining a database.

In order to stay excellent in this job, applicants must be skilled mathematicians with great analytical abilities. It is also important to be kept updated on the latest developments in the field to determine how they could affect the firm’s financial records.

Here is a quick comparison to see the difference between paying for an in-house and outsourced financial analyst.

Financial analyst Monthly rate of Filipino staff Monthly rate of in-house staff Entry-level $561 $3,659 Average $700 $5,211 Experienced $1,131 $7,419

(Sources: Talent.com, Indeed.com)

Risk analyst

Risk analysts are back office employees who are in charge of supervising investments and identifying potential risks in a company’s investment portfolio.

Based on their review of these investments, they support the company by providing suggestions to corporations to assist reduce future risks. Risk analysts must be skilled in analytical, strategic, and interpersonal abilities.

Here is a quick comparison to see the difference between paying for an in-house and outsourced risk analyst.

Risk analyst Monthly rate of Filipino staff Monthly rate of in-house staff Entry-level $474 $3,940 Average $750 $6,088 Experienced $1,140 $9,405

(Sources: Talent.com, Indeed.com)

Why is back office important?

Back office services are simply the unseen, but critical, processes that make a business run.

The importance of back office services to any business cannot be overstated. Without these services in place, an organization will face financial consequences — whether it's the inability to pay bills on time or having to pay employees late because payroll hasn't been processed. 

The back office is often overlooked when businesses focus on marketing and sales. However, the success of your organization depends on how well the back office runs.

Here are some reasons why it's important:

Revenue. The more efficiently you can run your business, the more money you'll make. If operations are slow, it will take longer to receive payments from customers and vendors — which could impact cash flow. Staff productivity. Employees who don't have to perform tedious tasks like data entry can spend more time on other projects that are important for growing your business or completing daily tasks. Efficiency. By having a back office support team, your core team don’t have to waste time manually inputting data into multiple programs or making phone calls just so that you can get things done quickly and accurately. Instead, all these kinds of tasks are done, handled, and maintained by a dedicated team! Customer service. A well-run back office means employees can focus on providing quality customer service, which will help maintain strong relationships with clients and create referrals for future business opportunities.

Back office support can be provided by third-party companies or outsourced entirely to save time and money by eliminating internal redundancies.

For instance, many online businesses hire virtual assistants (VA) to provide administrative and customer service assistance without having them physically present in the office.

This allows businesses to maintain contact with their customers without paying for an expensive location in an expensive city with expensive overhead costs like rent and utilities.

Back office support definition

Back office support is responsible for organizing and improving the customer experience in the company. Accurate data, clear and interesting content, and well-designed websites all contribute to a better customer experience.

Back office support is the term used to refer to the services provided by an organization to its customers, suppliers, and other business partners. It encompasses all the activities that take place in a company's offices that are not directly related to its main products or services.

Back office support is the work that enables other people to get the job done. It's important because without it, no one will be able to do their job very well. The back office is also called "administrative support" or "administrative services," and it includes jobs like human resources, payroll, data entry, and accounting, among others.

Back office support jobs are frequently concealed behind the scenes. However, they should never be underestimated.

These roles help expand company demands and minimize friction from the customer experience for roles dealing with data input, content moderation, office services, and financial services.

A good back office support program can help you prevent unfavorable encounters at every point of interaction. Employees in back office roles are equally as important to excellent CX as those in front office positions, from multichannel services to order fulfillment.

Further, back office support can be broken down into two categories: Support for sales staff, and support for other departments.

Support for sales staff

This includes administrative tasks such as keeping accurate records of sales and customer information, ordering supplies and equipment, managing budgets and paying bills.

It also includes providing technical support for sales staff, such as answering queries about products or services and helping them resolve any problems that may arise during a sale.

Support for other departments

The back office provides all the non-customer-facing functions that keep the business running smoothly. This includes accounting, human resources, IT, and facilities management.

Basically, the back office is where the work is done. It's where the staff are, and where the support is provided.

In most businesses, the back office is where you'll find most of the employees. It's where your business happens.

Back office outsourcing

With the advent of the internet age, companies can now take advantage of what we call Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). This business approach can lessen the operational costs of running back offices while maximizing its full benefits.

This also translates to more time for you and your core office team to focus on income-generating functions.

Outsourcing back office roles guarantees that you are working with skilled professionals minus the hassle and cost of recruitment, as well as other operational and employee benefit expenses.

There are several reasons why businesses outsource their back office functions:

Cost savings

Outsourcing your back office operations will help you reduce operational costs without impacting the quality of your services. You can also cut down on employee expenses such as office space and cost of equipment.

Back office outsourcing can help you save money by reducing the need for expensive in-house personnel to perform these tasks. In addition, it gives you access to employees who specialize in these areas and have the expertise needed to handle them properly.

Time savings

Reducing costs means saving time too! You'll spend less time on administrative tasks like data entry, filing taxes and finding new vendors to do business with because all this will be handled by your outsourced provider.

Improved productivity

Back office outsourcing will allow you to focus on core business activities while leaving other roles to experts who have years of experience in handling such tasks.

This will help increase productivity levels at your company, since they can now focus on their core responsibilities.

More time to spend on revenue-generating tasks

Back office outsourcing frees up entrepreneurs to spend more time working on revenue-generating activities such as sales and marketing, which will help them grow their businesses faster than ever before!

Higher quality services

Outsourcing companies have a lot of experience in providing back office services. They also have a large network of resources to draw from.

Your BPO provider can provide you with high quality services at a lower cost than what it would be if you were to set up your own back office operations from scratch.

Where to find a back office outsourcing partner?

Thanks to the growing BPO industry, finding a back office outsourcing partner is easier these days. There are thousands of companies that have entered the business process outsourcing industry to accommodate clients who need specific skill sets in their business.

The good thing is they can be found in any country across the world — whether nearshore or offshore.

The Philippines is among the fast emerging outsourcing destinations in the world ever since its emergence in the 1980s. Their expertise in back office services, as well as numerous other roles, attracts global firms to their shores.

The country’s wide pool of BPO firms makes sure that their representatives are competent enough to handle the client’s needs. Outsource Accelerator lists over 3,000 business process outsourcing companies in the Philippines that specializes in back office administration.

What is Customer Service Representative?

What is a customer service representative?

A customer service representative (CSR) is an individual who interacts with customers on behalf of the company, usually to address their concerns.

Customer service reps are the front lines of service providers in customer support. They know first-hand how satisfied and dissatisfied customers are with the services they receive. Most importantly, CSRs prevent delivering poor customer service as much as possible.

A good customer service rep possesses a lot of skills they need to effectively deliver customer service. This includes good communication and problem-solving skills, quick wit, and interpersonal skills.

Customer service representatives are also called customer service associates and customer service advisors or consultants.

Duties of a customer service representative

Customer service representatives typically aim to maintain customer satisfaction and answer questions regarding a company or product. Their duties depend on what type of customer service they handle, whether inbound or outbound.

Inbound customer service representatives are the ones who handle incoming customer inquiries and concerns. More so, they are responsible for the following tasks.

Do basic troubleshooting Process orders Pull up customer accounts Handle and resolve customer complaints Help determine solutions for each problem

Outbound CSRs, meanwhile, are the ones who reach out to customers either through cold calling or emails. They deal mostly with the following aspects.

Lead generation Billing reminders Appointment confirmation Market surveys Key skills of customer service representatives

Most customer service representatives enter the industry with a high school diploma. However, a good customer service representative should have the following key skills and traits needed to be competitive at work.

Good communication. Customer service representatives must have good communication skills, especially since they will talk to customers all day. They have to listen carefully to their clients and be able to speak with them at the same time. Problem-solving. A good customer service representative should be able to analyze customer inquiries correctly and provide the best solutions for their concerns. Time management. Customer service representatives work in a fast-paced environment, handling volumes of calls and workload each day. This is why they need to manage their time properly so they can accommodate their target calls in a given period. Empathy. Most importantly, they must be able to handle their customers in a professional manner and with empathy. Customer service representatives should be able to place themselves in their client's shoes and understand their situations at hand. How to become a customer service representative

Anyone can ace a customer service representative job by doing the following steps.

Complete at least a secondary education. Many customer service representatives enter the industry with a high school diploma. This is since they have developed basic communication and interpersonal skills needed at work. Develop necessary skills. As much as possible, customer service reps should work on developing other necessary skills, including those mentioned above. Consider getting certifications. Lastly, a certification or license from institutions can be used as strong proof of their proficiency and skills. This is why getting certifications is most recommended, especially for CSRs looking to advance their employment. BPO customer service

BPO customer service means hiring a third-party service provider to handle inbound and outbound calls and other non-verbal communication with customers. In most cases, customer service outsourcing teams are part of a call center service.

For businesses, partnering with an outsourcing company is an ideal option to offer the best possible level of service to clients. After all, the more positive the experience is, the more it drives loyalty and brand recognition.

To find the best partner for your customer service tasks, you have to be open to assessing new and innovative service providers — either nearshore, onshore, or offshore

Be diligent in searching for the right fit for your company.

Remember that it is critical to choose a partner that understands the latest market demand to help you grow your business, maintain clients and gain new patrons.

Customer service representative in the Philippines

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to great customer service representatives that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour. By doing this, you can save up to 70% on staffing costs.

We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about and engage with customer service outsourcing.

To get started with customer service outsourcing, take a look at our list of the Top 40 BPO Companies in the Philippines.

What is Help Desk Support?

What is help desk support?

Help desk support is incorporated with Information Technology (IT). It is technical support provided for customers who have issues and problems such as hardware and software related. 

Organizations that have their help desk support usually track the technical issues until further resolutions have been provided. Help desk support typically uses software to deliver fast assistance, such as email support, chat support, and inbound calling.

One popular type of help desk support is in the form of a call center company. A call center has many call center agents or whom we usually refer to as call as customer service representatives

These call center agents ensure straightforward resolutions in any form of issues such as technical issues, shipment-tracking, placing an order, and such. These are considered as help desk support.

Help desk support duties

The typical workload of a help desk support team varies depending on the needs of the company and its clients. The majority of help desk representatives are the first point of contact when issues arise within a business’ products and services.

A ticketing system is common in everyday help desk operations so that each member of the team can address and close out each problem that is being raised by a client.

In general, a help desk support employee is responsible to do the following.

Respond to incoming IT issues  Maintain computer systems and act as support the system is down Perform configurations and upgrades in computers when needed Assist with the onboarding of new employees Track and list all equipment, software, and tech licenses

Outsourcing help desk

It is a must to provide exceptional help desk support coupled with excellent communication skills. A good command of the English language is a great advantage for a help desk support agent. 

The team should also be fully equipped with the product knowledge, and who are prompt to answer customers’ inquiries. An outsourced help desk support team has a hands-on team management system that ensures quality assurance and both non-voice and voice help desk support.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2500 BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing help desk support.

What is What is business process outsourcing??

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the delegation of business processes to an external service provider to a nearby or farther location. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to optimize the delivery of services.

Some of the usual outsourced business functions are the following.

Payroll Accounting Human resources Customer service Sales Marketing

In the case of content providers, these could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business processes use their time on core services and competencies.

With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes which may result in improved customer satisfaction. BPO helps companies divert their resources to more critical business strategies.

Often, companies find it impractical to hire a full-time position in-house because of the cost associated with doing so. Outsourcing services can also help them save costs and resources in hiring suitable employees.

The definition of BPO outsourcing

In business process outsourcing, a company delegates their services to a service provider. It can be a local firm, nearshore, or offshore company.

Upon reaching an agreement, the service provider will then set up a team for their client. They will shoulder the costs and resources needed, including the office space, workplaces, connection, cloud storage, and IT infrastructure.

The providers are responsible for tracking the staff’s performance and progress. The clients, meanwhile, are responsible for providing the tasks, processes, and KPIs needed for their operation.

In some instances, they are also allowed to incorporate their culture and values to their team and absorb them as a part of their company.

What is BPO? How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

Business process outsourcing happens when a business taps a third-party service provider to operate some of its internal processes. Such ‘processes’ include customer service, accounting and finance, or sales.

It is different from hiring an agency to do specific tasks, as the outsourcing provider (BPO) is more concerned with the ongoing production of labour-intensive tasks, instead of the higher-level strategy and guidance.

Now, BPO has broadened and is more akin to staff augmentation, or staff leasing.

What are the benefits of business process outsourcing?

There are many benefits to outsourcing, as well as some downsides and risks. Outsourcing powerhouses like the Philippines and India produce high-quality talents at a lower rate due to their low operational costs and full government support.

Since outsourcing companies hire and produce experts in the field, clients can assure better results in their operations – whether in customer service, accounting, or marketing. Their staffs are trained to ensure that their clients achieve the outcome they expect.

Companies are able to scale their staff depending on the demand and availability of their tasks. This also helps them improve their operations by letting their service providers contribute in streamlining their processes.

Outsourcing poses more growth opportunities for businesses of all shapes and sizes. While there is still drawbacks to this practice, it is safe to say that its advantages outweigh its risks. 

To explain it further, below we have outlined the top benefits of outsourcing business processes: 

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in offshore countries.

In the Philippines, for instance, companies can hire offshore staff with a US$500/month salary for starting positions. A team of 10 employees would only cost them as much as a single worker in the US with an equal position.

Global market

Small and medium-sized businesses find it most difficult to hire local employees that suit their roles. 

The widened skill gap in developed countries paired with economic crises affects their capacity to expand their teams as needed.

Businesses get to access a bigger pool of talent that can fit their requirements. They can have better options in hiring employees since they are not limited to what is available in their home countries.

Global presence

At the same time, outsourcing opens clients to global trade opportunities. They can establish their global presence and expand more easily to other locations since they already have operations in the area.

Flexible workforce

Outsourcing is a great way to establish a remote workforce, especially for companies looking to implement this setup for the first time.

BPO reduces internal local compliance obligations including providing additional office spaces to employees. Instead, organizations can hold their business operations on a remote setup, most usually having their teams in an office provided by the BPO firm.

Leverage skill

Companies cannot always do everything on their own. Burnout within entrepreneurs and teams are more common than everyone thinks, especially with everyone filling up the tasks beyond their skill sets.

A BPO company enables them to leverage the skills of other specialist companies on more complex tasks such as accounting and IT.

Focus

Lastly, BPO enables organizations to focus on their core business functions. This is since most of their non-core business operations are done with the help of a reliable service provider.

Business process outsourcing examples

The BPO sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing millions of people worldwide.

As stated in the Market Analysis Report, the global business process outsourcing market reached over USD 245.9 billion in 2021. Thus, it is foreseen to acquire a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 9.1% this year, 2022 to 2030. 

The proliferation of the global BPO sector is utterly driven by several key factors that organizations take full advantage of: 

Improved efficiency and agility Focus on core competencies Decreased operational costs Adapt to the ever changing business dynamics

In general, when we speak of outsourcing, it always entails contracting out parts of business processes to an external provider either domestically or offshore. 

BPO can be seen in different forms and contexts, from hiring single staff to getting an offshore team.

Here we have listed some of the examples of business process outsourcing:

Big enterprise

Corporate outsourcing has been around since the industry started. The new breed of large companies are still taking advantage of its benefits and use it to expand their offerings further.

Some of the known enterprises that outsource their services today include the following.

Google. Google has been ramping up its outsourcing efforts since 2016 by delegating development and customer support. Facebook. Meta, particularly Facebook, outsources content moderation to the Philippines as a way to filter toxic content and keep the platform safe for its users. Wells Fargo. Wells Fargo has been outsourcing their operations to the Philippines since 2011. It has recently pulled out its functions in the country, though the company retained its BPO center in Manila. Medium-size businesses

A medium business with 50-500 staff might outsource the labour-intensive accounting and finance functions to a team in the Philippines.

Small business and entrepreneur

The recent Clutch survey stated that around 90% of small businesses plan to outsource their services in 2022 due to the efficiency and flexibility that companies get.

It is common for small business owners to have a Virtual Assistant (VA) working for them full time and remotely from the Philippines.

Aside from this, organizations can delegate other services such as development, IT, and digital marketing.

What are the different types of BPO?

Outsourcing can be executed in different forms, depending on the outsourcer’s needs. Truth is, not everyone are fully aware, and has an in-depth grasp of the BPO sector. 

For most people, BPO can simply mean farming out business processes to third parties located in another country, but this is just one type of BPO. 

As for businesses, it is always vital to be familiar with the various classifications and functions of BPOs. This way, they are able to opt for a business process outsourcing provider that is best suited for their type of requirements and industry. 

More importantly, outsourcing is not a one size fits all strategic approach, this is why it is not enough just know what outsourcing is and how it works. 

There are several types of BPOs that businesses can choose from. The type of business process outsourcing can be characterised by their specialisation, location, and size.

Generalist or specialist BPOs

Business process outsourcing is in the human resources and professional services sector. 

However, their services extend across all industries. The majority of BPOs are generalists, in that they offer a full range of professional services.

Meanwhile, some specialise in certain verticals such as the following.

Legal process outsourcing

Legal process outsourcing deals more with delegating legal processes and compliances to legal firms in another area.

Knowledge process outsourcing

Meanwhile, knowledge process outsourcing enables companies to outsource knowledge-related work including research and development, innovation, and creatives.

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates from developing nations such as the Philippines, India, and Colombia. They typically have cheaper cost-of-living and bigger populations. Different locations offer different advantages.

Size of BPO

The bigger BPOs employ more than 250,000 people. They are huge, global operations. Medium-sized BPOs range from 500-5,000 staff and offer a full range of services. The smaller BPOs might have 1-500 people.

Offshore

Offshore outsourcing refers to the process of delegating a part of operations or a department to an offshore country.

To maximize profitability and efficiency, companies choose to outsource to a different region or timezone. India, the Philippines, and South Africa are some of the popular countries known for offshore outsourcing services.

Onshore

Onshore outsourcing or onshoring, meanwhile, is preferred by firms looking to delegate their services within their country.

Onshoring does not offer much savings as that of offshoring or nearshoring. However, clients prefer this as a way to maintain their branding and satisfy their local markets.

Nearshore

Lastly, nearshore outsourcing is preferred by companies that do not want the hassles of time zone and cultural differences in offshoring but still want to get the best out of their delegated services.

Through nearshoring, businesses can collaborate with their teams located in a nearby country. This gives them the opportunity to maintain their local compliance and save on costs since most nearshore locations are cheaper than their onshore counterparts. 

Functions of business process outsourcing

Collectively, business process outsourcing provides any kind of staffing solution. Common functions of BPO include:

Finance and accounting

Outsourced finance and accounting services help businesses manage their books, monitor cash flow, and keep up with corporate income tax compliances without fuss.

Healthcare

Healthcare outsourcing, meanwhile, organizes various back- and front-end functions done for the healthcare and insurance industries.

Creative and content

Creative services outsourcing covers everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content.

Tech, IT and development

IT outsourcing involves delegating network management, web and app development, and cybersecurity protection to IT firms in different countries.

Sales & customer support

Some BPO providers specialize in sales and customer support for pre- and post-sales transactions. This helps companies meet the expectations and demands of their customers, keeping them satisfied even after their purchase.

Marketing

BPOs and marketing firms can help in ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities for their clients. This helps them attract more suitable leads in a cost-efficient way.

Talent and HR

Businesses can delegate HR, recruitment and compliance to professional employer organizations to maximize recruitment and workforce management.

Administration

Generalist BPOs help organizations accomplish general business administration and operational activities. This includes data entry, appointment setting, and other related functions.

Supply chain management

Lastly, e-commerce stores benefit from outsourcing supply chain management to manage warehouse and delivery processes.

The future of BPO outsourcing

We have gathered five expert opinions from renowned global business leaders. They shared how they perceive the future of outsourcing will be, including the trends that will prevail in the coming years.  

Meg Marrs, Safer Senior Care

Meg Marrs of Safer Senior Care strongly believes that entrepreneurs and business leaders should outsource their essential tasks. “Outsourcing certain roles has freed up my time to focus more on big picture strategy, rather than being completely meshed in the day-to-day tasks.” 

One thing is certain, outsourcing to support businesses growth is something that will never go out of trend. 

Sean Nguyen, Internet Advisor

As for Sean Nguyen, Director of the Internet Advisor, outsourcing to streamline processes is another essential trend that businesses will continue to apply. 

He quotes, “Outsourcing can be really helpful, even at the most incipient levels, because it allows you to streamline operations. If it’s not essential to have it taken care of in-house, there is no reason to do so.”

Elandas Miller, Kicking It Sports

Elandas Miller of Kicking It Sports, has been outsourcing back office and creatives since 2017. “I like to think of outsourcing as a tool to help me get to my goals faster and more efficient without burning myself out.” 

Outsourcing to support both organizations' short and long term goals is another trend that companies will practice in the foreseeable future. 

Tom Baker, Tom’s Projects

The founder of Tom’s Projects, Tom Baker, offshores his entire product and development. “Outsourcing means that we can scale the team up and down when need be.” Scaling workforce through outsourcing is yet again, among the trends that will remain prevalent. 

Bobby Reid, Capitol Tech Solutions

For Bobby Reid, founder of Capitol Tech Solutions “Outsourcing has helped our business by being able to provide expertise for a service quickly. While these contracts are outsourced, they are incorporated into our company culture when possible, since they are working full time with our firm.” 

Lastly, outsourcing to fill-in talent gaps and expertise is one of the key trends that more and more organizations will utilize in the coming years. 

The future of work is digital, says Outsource Accelerator Founder and CEO Derek Gallimore.

The world has moved on from manufacturing and creating products to providing services. And as we enter the post-pandemic world, he says we are “moving towards a single global economy.”

The concept of work dramatically changed with COVID, and things have changed for good. These changes made us realize that technology is available for remote and digital work interfaces.

Once showed an unsteady growth, the global outsourcing market spiked to US$245.9 billion in 2021. The sudden surge of demand brought by the pandemic along with the worsened talent shortage has led companies to increase their outsourcing efforts.

In a podcast episode, Derek explained, “There are eight billion people on the planet, and they are now all increasingly connected digitally.

There are [also] four billion people who are highly-qualified professionals sitting around the world, and they’re not just virtual assistants and basic roles. You can find [people with] PhDs, architects, accountants, or whatever you need for your business.”

To conclude, Derek believes that the global economy and a globally-sourced workforce is the future, and it is not going away.

Leaders all over the world also know that outsourcing is here to stay. Former US President Barack Obama says that jobs that have been outsourced cannot be brought back to the country. 

As a result, it is better to retrain and re-skill the workers who have lost their jobs on account of outsourcing.

Obama further suggests that community colleges could provide the necessary skills for a person to be gainfully re-employed in the workforce. He adds that this is a necessity that Americans look forward to in the future.

Looking back doesn’t always make people feel good, so it is essential that they retrain for the ‘jobs of the future.’

How to choose a Business Process Outsourcing vendor

Over the years, outsourcing has been the go-to strategic practice for businesses looking to scale their operations effectively.

But just like any other venture, companies should be wary of the possible drawbacks of outsourcing before selecting a BPO company. 

Risks of BPO outsourcing 

Despite its advantages, business process outsourcing done incorrectly leads to outsourcing risks that affect a company one way or another. 

Hidden charges

Some BPO vendors do not totally disclose the total fees they charge and their terms. Clients could experience “bill shock” upon seeing the hidden charges they get.

Compliance issues

Compliance is crucial, especially in handling financial information and dealing with intellectual property. BPOs that violate compliances could risk their clients’ reputation and branding.

Problems with security

Lastly, BPO vendors with loose security compliance could risk getting their client’s data exposed and used for malicious purposes.

Choosing the right business process outsourcing vendor

The key to successful outsourcing lies in choosing a suitable business process outsourcing vendor and working with them along the way. Here are some of the considerations to look for in a BPO vendor.

Expertise

A BPO vendor’s expertise can be shown primarily through their approach to their clients. Even without getting too technical, they can comfortably discuss the initial solutions to provide according to their client’s requirements.

Compliances

Especially when delegating functions involving sensitive information, a BPO vendor should be up-to-date and compliant with regulations relevant to their services. Check for ISO, HIPAA, and PCI certifications as much as possible.

Employee satisfaction

A good BPO vendor also places employee satisfaction to their priority. Check on employee reviews online to see how the staff feels about their company.

Technology

The tools and equipment a BPO vendor uses largely affect their performance in general. Check to see if they use updated technology at work and how they train their employees on using them.

Top BPO companies in the world’s top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of business process outsourcing companies in different parts of the world provide the utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them even earned recognition by award-giving bodies due to their performance in both their roles and their level of care for the employees.

Check out the top BPO companies in several outsourcing destinations below.

Top BPO companies in the Philippines Top Indian BPO companies Top South African BPO companies Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

With the rise of new offshore outsourcing locations, companies can have better options in terms of location and services they can delegate. However, finding a suitable BPO company can be a daunting task to be done on their own.

Good thing advisory services such as Outsource Accelerator is there to help them.

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 5,000 articles, 400+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPOs from different locations.

Outsource Accelerator’s offerings make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing companies worldwide.

Want to learn more about outsourcing? Check out the Inside Outsourcing book as well as the Inside Outsourcing book review today!

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About OA

Outsource Accelerator is the trusted source of independent information, advisory and expert implementation of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO).

The #1 outsourcing authority

Outsource Accelerator offers the world’s leading aggregator marketplace for outsourcing. It specifically provides the conduit between world-leading outsourcing suppliers and the businesses – clients – across the globe.

The Outsource Accelerator website has over 5,000 articles, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 3,000+ BPO companies… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about – and engage with – outsourcing.

About Derek Gallimore

Derek Gallimore has been in business for 20 years, outsourcing for over eight years, and has been living in Manila (the heart of global outsourcing) since 2014. Derek is the founder and CEO of Outsource Accelerator, and is regarded as a leading expert on all things outsourcing.