Service Level Agreement (SLA)

Definition

What is a service level agreement (SLA)?

Service Level Agreements (SLA) are formal or informal documents that outline the expectations between a provider and end-user. Originating from internet service providers, it has become a standard tool, not only in business process outsourcing but even within corporate structures. The key benefit of an SLA is that it provides clear, measurable outcomes that are subject to periodic review by designated representatives.

The hallmarks of a good SLA are as follows:

  1. It describes the services to be provided;
  2. It sets expectations for the reliability, availability, and responsiveness of the service;
  3. A clear metric for measuring and monitoring service levels is articulated and a format for a performance report is agreed to;
  4. A standard reporting procedure is agreed to by both sides to raise issues and concerns with the service;
  5. A timeframe for issue resolution is established;
  6. Penalties are set for failure to meet expectations; and
  7. A timeframe for a periodic review of the service and the service level agreement is established.

Service level agreement call center

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with outsourcing and having effective service level agreements with companies or call centers.

Service level agreement call center
Service level agreement call center
Outsourcing FAQ

What is a Call Center?

What is a call center?

A Call center may refer to a physical center where an outsourcing company conducts various customer contact services that act as a front liner to customers. Call centers comprise of a team of agents who are trained for the product or service being offered. A call center may also refer to a type of BPO setup where a client gets a remote team to handle its customer service hotlines and attend the client’s customers in its behalf.

In call centers, agents often does inbound or outbound call handling. The former talks about customer service, order processing or technical support. The latter focuses more on telemarketing, promotions or selling. In this setup, it is the call center agent who initiates the call to potential customers.

Call center outsourcing

A call center employs agents who act as representatives of their client’s behalf to deal with questions, concerns, and complaints of the customers. Aside from that, call centers can also function as sales hotlines and telemarketing teams. Outsource Accelerator provides you the best call center outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up-to 70% on staffing cost.

What is Employee Satisfaction (ESAT)?

What is employee satisfaction (ESAT)?

Employee satisfaction measures how content and happy employees are with their current positions. The computation is quite simple. Companies use employee satisfaction surveys to compute for this metric. Although this metric is not an ultimate tool to determine employee satisfaction at the deeper level, it is enough as a start, especially if your business is experiencing fast turnover. Many factors affect employee satisfaction. These factors may include compensation, team environment, workload, management perception, and among other things. You can add all of these elements in the survey to determine employee satisfaction. Alternatively, you can use individual survey for each factor.

Aside from quantitative aspects, qualitative evaluation of the survey is also crucial in determining whether your employees are satisfied or not. For example, one employee scores a good to a perfect rating for all other factors except for management perception. This exception should be a good indicator that something’s not good at the management level or maybe conflict is rising that you might want to investigate.

Employee satisfaction and outsourcing

Outsource Accelerator has over 3,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn more about managing an outsourcing team and ensuring that ESAT is consistently high.

What is Customer Satisfaction Rating (CSAT)?

What is customer satisfaction (CSAT)?

Customer Satisfaction Score (CSAT) is a popular key performance indicator that tracks customer satisfaction. The process involves a survey question or a set of questions. The customers answer by indicating their level of satisfaction. The most popular scale is 1 to 10, with 1 being the least satisfied and 10 as the most satisfying level.

The result gives a business the necessary output whether or not to improve customer service right there and then. However, the possible ambiguity might be a disadvantage, especially if a customer is dissatisfied with the service.

Why is CSAT important

CSAT tells a business about how satisfied their customers are with their services. From this, they can also understand the needs of their customers through feedback and comments they give in each survey. 

The best timing to use this methodology is after-sales, before the renewal of subscription, and after customer support. These times are crucial especially for repeat customers. With this, a business should have first-hand knowledge of its customer satisfaction. A simple interview or a feedback form after a sale would do. 

CSAT in outsourcing

Customer satisfaction score might be the simplest metric but it’s a powerful tool for all businesses. It closes the loop on first customer interaction and helps businesses move on to the next level. 

Computation is quick and easy. You add up all the ratings and divide the total score by the number of respondents. Most likely, you’ll get a percentage. Get your customer satisfaction score a notch higher by outsourcing your customer service team. Check out Outsource Accelerator’s extensive list of outsourcing companies in the Philippines.

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

What is Business Process Outsourcing?

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is the engagement of services from a third-party provider. BPO uses various technology-enabled services to hasten the delivery of services. The business activities could be back-office such as, but not limited to, payroll, accounting, human resources, or front office jobs like customer service, sales, and marketing, etc. In the case of content providers, these business activities could mean hiring writers, remote editors, or virtual assistants.

BPO speeds up processes and enhances efficiency. Companies that outsource some of their business activities use their time on core services and competencies. With this shift in focus, companies improve their current processes that 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.

How does Business Process Outsourcing work?

When a business engages an external specialist to manage and operate some of its internal processes, it's referred to as business process outsourcing. 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: significant savings of up to 70%, leveraging the lower global salaries Global market: access to a bigger employment pool of talent Global presence: having operational across the globe increases trade opportunities Flexible workforce: reduces internal local labour and employment compliance obligations Leverage skill: leveraging the skills of other specialist companies Focus: enables the client company to focus on their core functions

 

Business process outsourcing examples

The business process outsourcing sector is a vast industry, generating over $200bn annually, and employing many millions of people worldwide. Some examples 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 hem full time, 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 generalist, in that they offer a full range of professional services, although some specialise in certain verticals (ie accounting, or animation).

Location

Business process outsourcing typically operates form 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: operational, technical and specialist functions Healthcare: various functions of the backend of the healthcare and health-insurance industries Creative and content: everything from post-production of Hollywood movies to newspaper and website content Tech, IT and development: network management, web and app development and maintenance Sales & customer support: ongoing sales and customer operational support and delivery Marketing: ongoing marketing, communication and branding activities Talent and HR: externalising the management of company HR, recruitment and compliance Administration: general business administration and operational activities Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services

Outsource Accelerator is the most trusted source for independent information & advisory for Business Process Outsourcing (BPO). We have over 4,000 articles, 200+ podcast episodes, and a comprehensive directory with 700+ BPOs… all designed to make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with, business process outsourcing.

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