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Subject Matter Expert (SME)

Definition

Definition of Subject Matter Expert (SME)

A Subject Matter Expert or SME is an essential intelligence provider within a consumer call center. A subject matter expert is a person with thorough knowledge of a specific task, procedure, department, operation, technology, system, material, or types of equipment. Subject matter experts in many disciplines also serve as expert witnesses in court trials and other legal proceedings.

SMEs are known to be experts on a given subject, who are capable of sharing their expertise with other stakeholders. This knowledge is vital to any business because it gives a strategic advantage. 

Benefits of subject matter experts in the call centers

Having an internal subject matter expert has a huge benefit for any call center company. The creation of internal SMEs has significant benefits for businesses, call center workers, and consumers who need knowledge and assistance. Small to medium-sized companies in a consumer contact center will support managers and supervisors when it comes to preparation, coping with scaling orders, and helping to transfer expertise to other staff members.

Subject matter expert also frees managers to devote more time coaching and working with agents. With this, team members can focus on small and medium-sized enterprises for issues relevant to their area of expertise.

 

Definition of Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Definition of Subject Matter Expert (SME)
Outsourcing FAQ

What is a Team Leader?

What is a team leader?

Team leaders within the outsourcing industry are in charge of handling agents or employees, reporting the team's progress to higher management, coordinating efforts and division of tasks, and resolving interpersonal concerns. As opposed to a manager, a team lead does not have the authority to hire or fire employees, but will often be called for their input into such decisions.

A good team lead will have excellent communication skills and empathy, as the creativity and organizational skills to create an environment where team members have clear goals and a clear division of labor. Depending on the team, some may define their goals and divide their labor collaboratively, other times the team lead will be the one to set both with input from the team. In both cases, a team leader must create an environment where the members have bought into the tasks at hand.

Call center team leader

In the Philippines, a team leader can earn somewhere between $7,000 - $10,000 per annum. In a typical call center environment, they are expected to handle anywhere between 5 to 15 agents at any given project.

Outsource Accelerator provides you the best customer service outsourcing companies in the Philippines, where you can save up to 70% on staffing cost. 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.

What does a call center team leader do?

A call center team leader is in charge of supervising and monitoring a group of call center staff. Their role is to give training and feedback to the team, as well as to guarantee that the team's goals are accomplished and to analyze each member's performance.

Discussing objectives with the call center manager and delivering them to the staff are also part of the team leader's responsibilities. 

Leadership abilities, customer service experience, observational awareness, and the ability to communicate effectively over the phone are all required for this position.

Call center team leader duties and responsibilities

Lower-level managers at call centers are called team leaders, and their goal is to get the best performance out of those under their supervision. A customer service director or call center manager is usually their supervisor.

Here are some primary duties of call center team leaders to maximize productivity and quality customer care:

Handling daily operations

Leaders of call center teams are hands-on leaders. They ensure that proper processes are followed and offer regular instructions to their employees on what to do and how to improve.

When a customer service representative requires assistance, call center team leaders may engage, give advice, or request a specific adjustment. One of their responsibilities is to schedule personnel to guarantee appropriate coverage.

Motivating team members

Responding to client complaints might be difficult at times. Team leaders motivate their staff to take their jobs seriously and to work hard to develop a good customer relationship.

They create targets and goals for them to accomplish to motivate them and assess their performance.

Hiring and training staff

Call center team leaders may be in charge of recruiting, interviewing, and hiring employees if they have a good understanding of what their organization needs from its customer service team.

They then familiarize these new team members with their responsibilities and expectations in the company.

Evaluating performance

Team leaders should monitor how their team and their employees are doing. They need to consider how they can boost efficiency and customer satisfaction. Written reports to senior management may be used to document their observations in the company.

Key points for effective team leadership in a call center

Here are some effective key points for team leaders to remember:

Be responsible and adaptable

Anyone who takes on leadership duties in a call center should be adaptable in every aspect. Your senior position doesn't guarantee you're in charge of the whole process in the call center.

That's why it's crucial to be willing to acknowledge your mistakes and make improvements. Through continuing quality assurance, management may be able to inform you of your errors, which may come as news to you.

It's easy to overlook the fact that you're not at the top of the food chain, but you must take any criticism, figure out how to adjust, and incorporate this into your work style.

Conduct regular coaching and training

When QA analysts conduct quality assurance in your call center, they will find issues at all levels of working procedures. Before a QA system detects problems, agents, team leaders, and supervisors can all contribute to poor customer service.

Based on the data obtained throughout the quality assurance process, team leaders must give coaching and training to service agents. Strong communication skills are essential in this situation, as they will help you connect with team members and guarantee that they understand how to develop.

Improve team experience

Listening to customer service agents' concerns, resolving their demands, and presenting management with their feedback may all help your employees feel more appreciated.

As a team leader, you should take the efforts you can to improve their job experience. Work with management to propose positive improvements in working practices, such as flexible hours, casual attire, and conduct training. 

Further, reward programs are an excellent method to motivate employees and increase their passion for their professions.

What is an Operations Manager?

What is an operations manager?

An operations manager (OM) is responsible for the production floor of a company and oversee the production of goods and services. In the BPO industry, most operations manager would have started out as an agent and have worked their way up to being a team leader and then eventually becoming an operations manager.

As part of their oversight over operations, operations managers are expected to stay abreast on developments on local rules and regulations regarding safety, environmental compliance, and labor issues. More fundamentally, however, operations managers are expeted to have great people skills. Not only do they have to maintain awareness over the company's staffing needs, they may also be called to help out with human resources, from hiring, training, to performance appraisals.

Operations manager offshore

A typical operations manager in a BPO company handles team leaders (who in turn handles about 10-15 agents) and would earn around $1,200 per month.

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.

What is Internal Metrics?

Definition of Internal Metrics

Internal metrics are methods introduced and applied to measure the success of inbound or outbound call centers. Usually, a call center works in a pressured atmosphere where administrators need to handle tasks, including the timely response to every call while maintaining a high degree of customer support, and customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Internal metrics are evaluation indicators used for the assessment, comparison, and monitoring of results or output. Usually, companies use a group of metrics to create a dashboard that managers or consultants analyze daily to maintain performance reviews, perceptions, and business objectives.

Call center internal metrics 

Average Handle Time (AHT). AHT is the approximate length of the entire customer service transaction, from the time the customer initiates the call until the completion of the conversation.

Blocking Rate. Blockage Metric lets the staff track the number of calls that could not be addressed due to business constraints or infrastructure problems. 

Cost per Contact. The Cost per Contact KPI calculates how much each contact costs your call center, which is a vital part of the cost-benefit study at the same time.

Customer Satisfaction (CSAT). Consumer Satisfaction (CSAT) is a sign of customer pleasure. CSAT is based on a brief survey that consumers fill out after a discussion.

Forecasted Calls vs. Actual Calls. It is a primary factor in deciding the actual amount of capital needed, calculated as a proportion of the difference between the number of calls predicted and the number of calls received.

Number of Calls Offered. It is the total number of calls sent to the call center, including abandoned calls or calls where the caller gets a busy signal.

 

What is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

What is Business Process Outsourcing BPO?

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 Top BPO companies in the world's top outsourcing hubs

A wide range of BPO companies in different parts of the world provide utmost services to their Western and local clients. Many of them have even earned awards and recognitions by award-giving bodies due to their performance on both the roles they take and on their way of taking care of 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

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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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 Philippines 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 900+ 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.