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Average Speed of Answer (ASA)

Definition

What is the Average Speed of Answer?

Average Speed of Answer (ASA) measures the time it takes to answer the calls from the moment the client is placed in a queue and to the point in time the agent responds to the call. 

ASA is one of the most popular Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). However, it can also be one of the hardest to interpret. Call center supervisors must have a complete and accurate understanding of what ASA is to be able to enhance the work efficiency of the agents. The low average speed of answer also decreases the call center costs and reduces the handling time while increasing the agent and customer satisfaction.

Importance of average speed of answer

The average speed of answer is essential since it provides the call center workers the knowledge and resources they need to work efficiently. Customers value their time, but knowing what they want when they call in is the first step significantly improving consumer loyalty.

ASA is also a vital component of the Service Level Agreement (SLA) in call centers.  It gives the assurance that a certain volume of cumulative calls can be answered within the agreed timeframe.

Another explanation why the average response speed is vital is its relationship to interactive voice response (IVR) systems. Since IVR operates by directing a caller through menu options, the average speed answer is useful to calculate the usefulness of menu options.

 

What is the Average Speed of Answer
What is the Average Speed of Answer?
Outsourcing FAQ

What is Domestic Outsourcing?

What is domestic outsourcing?

Domestic outsourcing, more commonly referred to as onshore outsourcing, is a strategic form of business process outsourcing where a company outsources its business functions to a third-party provider located in the same country where the business is headquartered.

Back office functions like customer service, IT operations, and accounting are usually the roles outsourced to these third-party providers.

Domestic outsourcing keeps a company’s core team focused on their main responsibilities, and it reduces the worry about additional employees’ equipment, benefits, office space, and so forth. It also helps save on costs while hiring a dedicated outsourced team with the right educational backgrounds for the job.

Domestic outsourcing vs. offshore outsourcing

Offshore outsourcing is the complete opposite of domestic outsourcing. It is the other form of a strategic solution that refers to when a company outsources its business functions to a third-party provider located in a far-off country, most commonly Southeast Asia.

The top outsourcing destinations in Asia include the Philippines, India, China, Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, and Singapore.

Benefits of domestic outsourcing

While domestic outsourcing can still help businesses save money, clients won't have as many savings as when they outsource offshore.

However, they can still enjoy the following benefits that domestic or onshore outsourcing provides.

Less time zone difference

Businesses hiring in their home countries can experience less to no time zone difference. With this, they can easily synchronize their in-house personnel with their offshore team for better collaboration.

Better communication

Since they won't experience language barriers or cultural differences, clients and their outsourced teams have better communication and understanding at work.

Localized support

Companies can provide their customers with more localized support through their domestic outsourced teams. This gradually helps in improving customer experience and satisfaction better.

A different layer of security

Domestic outsourcing can help firms have another layer of security from intellectual property and other issues that may arise when hiring overseas contractors.

Long-term cost savings

As mentioned, businesses won't have as many cost savings when they outsource domestically compared to their offshore counterparts. However, clients can notice having bigger savings in the long run out of their operations.

Services delegated through domestic outsourcing

While many businesses nowadays delegate the majority of their operations offshore, companies can still delegate some of their services strategically through an outsourcing company located within the same country.

Some of the services that can be outsourced domestically include the following.

Software development

Some startups choose to delegate software development to a local development firm or service provider.

Labor costs in these providers are usually the same as when they create an internal team. However, businesses get to save long-term on their resources and the hassles of intellectual property issues through this.

Logistics

Domestic outsourcing is also helpful for managing warehouses and shipments. They can tap a procurement provider that can get the best international shipping for them or a generalist BPO for inventory management.

What is Resolution Time?

What is Resolution Time?

Resolution time is the average amount of time it takes for a customer service provider to resolve a customer’s issue, request, or concern. It is the amount of time from when the client creates an incident report or files a ticket, to when the problem or cause of concern is actually solved.

This metric is typically measured through business hours instead of clock hours, due to the company's customer service organization down time. It may vary depending on the company though, as more and more businesses are investing in 24/7 customer service teams.

Resolution time vs. response time

These two terms are typically interchanged, but they have one distinct difference. Like mentioned above, resolution time is the average amount of time it takes for a customer service provider to resolve a customer’s issue, request, or concern.

Response time, on the other hand, refers to the average amount of time it took for a customer service provider (automated bots not counted) to address the client’s incident report and let them know that they’re currently working on it.

What is List Penetration?

What is List Penetration?

List penetration refers to a measurement used throughout the call center companies to calculate the proportion of the entire list that has reached a final resolution. The list penetration rate calculates the number of prospect records closed according to the overall number of campaign records. It emphasizes the precision and data of the call list.

The higher the penetration rate of your list, the better. It indicates that you're running on clean records. You can always check the details if the list of the penetration rate is lower than the expected result. Looking at your details will show if your agents call cold or inactive leads.

Monitoring the list penetration may help minimize the challenges that your organization may encounter from the risks. Embracing proper security practices will protect your company. You will resolve the prioritized risks and regularly monitor your market risk exposure by taking a risk-based approach to cybersecurity.

How to measure list penetration rate?

Calculating the list penetration allows the management to assess the scale of the future demand for their offering. If the overall value of the competition is high enough, the new entrant should be persuaded that it can achieve a fixed proportion of the total number of future buyers.

The list penetration rate is simple to calculate if you know the scale of your target market. To compute, divide the number of clients you have by the size of the target market to measure the penetration rate, and then multiply the figure by 100.

The formula looks like this: “Penetration Rate = (Number of Customers ÷ Target Market Size) × 100”

What is What is business process outsourcing?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

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.

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, business process outsourcing 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. The common benefits include:

Cost savings

Companies can enjoy savings of up to 70% by leveraging the salaries and costs in countries such as the Philippines and India.

Global market

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, business process 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

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

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

Big enterprise

Facebook and Uber outsource many of their operational functions, including content moderation for Facebook, and customer service for Uber

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

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

What are the different types of BPO?

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.

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.

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 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, 350+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 2,500+ 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.