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TCPA Compliance

Definition

What is TCPA Compliance?

The Telephone Consumer Protection Act or TCPA compliance controls telemarketing calls, automated calls, pre-recorded calls, text messages, and unsolicited faxes. TCPA compliance is one of the most important policies you have to work within the call center. 

The TCPA has since developed a nationwide do-not-call registry, and the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is authorized to issue guidelines and restrictions enforcing the TCPA.

Guidelines for TCPA compliance

To retain TCPA compliance, any company approaching a person must comply with a set of guidelines. Here are some of the guidelines for TCPA compliance:

  • Agents can’t call residences before 8 a.m. and after 9 p.m local time.
  • Every company must maintain a DNC list (do-not-call list) of those who request not to be called.
  • DNC must be honored for five years. In addition, companies must honor the National DNC.
  • Companies must also provide their name and the name of the company for whom they are calling.
  • Artificial agents and automated recorded calls are not allowed.
  • Companies should provide a telephone number or address of the company for whom they are calling.
  • Lastly, companies should provide their contacts with a choice to opt-out, like replying “STOP.” 

The TCPA currently restricts automatic dialer or pre-recorded voice to make calls to a mobile phone, unless the caller has received direct express permission from the caller. Telemarketers must have direct express written consent to do the same thing.

 

What is TCPA Compliance?
What is TCPA Compliance?
Outsourcing FAQ

What is Shared Services Centre?

What is a shared services center?

A shared services center (SSC) is the dedicated unit responsible to do specific operations for the company, such as human resources, IT, accounting, and payroll. They centralize a common task from different teams instead of having one for each team to have a better organization and processing. 

Shared services centers are considered internal service providers for the company. They help the main corporate team focus on growth and management aspects through handling these operations. 

Shared services center characteristics

The specific characteristics of a shared services center may vary depending on the requirements they need to do a task. However, they should at least have standard processes, infrastructure, manpower, and compliance to operate. 

For instance, an accounting department should have specific processes for handling account payables, receivables, financial statements, tax filing, and payroll. At times, businesses consult an external provider for their shared services.

What is a financial shared service center?

Within an organization, a financial shared service center acts as an independent service provider. Shared services centers are supported by user fees and contractual arrangements with other business units in their company as independent service providers.

Pros of financial shared service center

Here are some advantages of financial shared services centers:

Performance-driven culture

The majority of businesses do not utilize KPIs to track the operations of their internal finance and accounting departments. Those who do prefer to concentrate on traditional, outward-facing KPIs such as accounts receivable days and accounts payable days. 

With SSCs, the entire strategy changes. Finance and accounting functions are administered as a service, with efficiency and productivity metrics taken into consideration.

In SSCs, the most common KPIs are the number of invoices per full-time equivalent (FTE). FTE cost as a proportion of revenue, percentage of mistakes, and the number of manual inputs. Organizations can find opportunities for improvement and automation by continuously monitoring these KPIs.

Managerial skills

Finance professionals in many places complain about the difficulty in obtaining the necessary skills and experience. By placing activities in countries with a large talent pool, centralization of finance and accounting processes can effectively solve some of these challenges.

An organization with a low overhead

The transition to an SSC model forces businesses to reconsider their whole business strategy. It's an opportunity to consider not just how to execute particular activities more effectively, but also if they're necessary at all.

Benefits of shared services center

Since the workflow is similar across business divisions, many companies have discovered the benefits of adopting shared services. As financial operations must comply with compliance and laws, their approach may and should be standardized.

Shared services centers may also offer significant information from deep data analytics that assist decision-making with the use of automation technologies. 

Here are some benefits of acquiring shared services for your business:

Increased employee efficiency

Your company will be able to get the most out of its technological investments, maintain control, and reduce labor expenses for acquiring shared services. 

Standardize business operation

Business operations should be standardized across the board, and you can enhance the company's capabilities and create best practices using a shared services center. From data management to reporting insights, each process will follow the same predefined path from start to finish.

Monitor return on investment

The accomplishments of the company are all measured through data and analytics. You can quickly determine your return on investment by comparing past data and industry benchmarks to your own KPIs.

What is Standard Operating Procedure (SOP)?

What is a standard operating procedure?

A standard operating procedure (SOP) is a set of instructions that explains how to do a critical process or workflow. Its purpose is to follow processes according to the standards of a company, organization, or industry.

This helps to protect the employees, processes, and customers from errors throughout a normal workflow and creates a safe work environment for the company.

SOPs are sometimes required to comply with the industry regulations while some institutions suggest them as a company’s best practice. This is mostly used to maintain safety and efficiency in different departments such as production, sales and marketing, customer support, finance, and legal.

Standard operating procedure template

For small teams and solopreneurs, SOPs are made by writing a checklist of routines that should be done. For bigger enterprises, thorough planning and taking note of processes are needed to ensure proper carrying of procedures.

The integral parts of an SOP are the roles that will do the task, the frequency or how often will they do it, and the expected outcome or the deliverables in finishing the task.

SOPs in BPO companies have different standards. Their SOPs need to include compliance with administrative policies, metrics on performance management, and training and coaching sessions.

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

Different forms of standard operating procedures

SOPs can be written in different formats, depending on compliance standards or specific functions that need them. Companies should choose the SOP formats that can work best with their team or the entire organization.

The most common SOP formats are the following.

Step-by-step instructions

As its name suggests, step-by-step SOPs are used to simply list down how to do a process according to its order. This format is used when the process is straightforward and can be completed easily.

A step-by-step SOP works best with processes such as:

Digital logins Routine tasks Safety guidelines

Hierarchical SOPs

A hierarchical SOP, meanwhile, contains more detailed instructions compared to step-by-step SOPs. It elaborates each step and includes all the necessary tasks in a process. For instance, instead of listing a process in 1, 2, 3..., hierarchical steps will include substeps listed as 1a, 1b, 1c...

Flowchart SOP

Flowchart SOP documents are best used when writing complex processes that have more than one desired outcome possible.

Flowchart SOPs give insights on what outcome a team can get should they take a certain step. This format helps in the decision-making process of a team or an organization in general, making them more careful in approaching a process.

Importance of standard operating procedures

Aside from proper documentation of processes, SOPs are crucial in the business processes of a company in different ways.

Knowledge preservation

By creating SOPs, the prior knowledge in a process can be easily stored and updated. Team leaders can also pass them to their members, use this to train new employees, and store them for reference.

Improved efficiency

At the same time, employees perform more efficiently with an SOP document. This can help streamline workflows better and save time in passing organizational knowledge long-term.

Consistent outcomes

Employees perform better and will produce consistent outcomes with the help of an SOP document. This is since they will have an idea of how to do a certain task according to company standards.

Ensuring compliance

SOP documentation is also crucial in following compliances for certifications such as ISO. It makes sure that employees comply with related laws, regulations, and standards imposed by an organization to avoid litigation risks.

Steps to create standard operating procedures

There's no single way to create SOPs for all business processes and organizations. However, firms can take note of the following steps on how they can create an effective SOP for their business.

Define objectives in SOP creation. Define the objectives in creating an SOP, whether it's for documenting a new process or improving an existing one. List down each business process. List every process and function that needs an SOP document and find which process will be prioritized. Choose a format for each SOP document. Choose which SOP formats will be most suitable for each process. Outline the entire process. Starting with the title page, outline the entire process according to how they are made.

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!

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 scores allow companies to look into how their customer feels in each interaction with sales agents. CSAT provides business leaders with two important pieces of information — a detailed insight into every touchpoint of the customer journey and the overall customer experience.

Customer satisfaction scores enable businesses to determine the pain points in their service that impacts the customer journey. Addressing all these pain points and correcting them helps identify unhappy customers and turn them into happy customers, which in turn, increases the customer lifetime value over time.

Buyers are also more likely to become repeat customers — and eventually, become loyal clients — if they have experienced an excellent customer experience in a particular business.

Moreover, because CSAT is measured through doing a customer satisfaction survey, as well as gathering feedback and online reviews, sales agents can do a deep dive into their customer base. This means that they now have access and the capacity to understand what their clients need and want from any business.

How to calculate CSAT?

Measuring CSAT is pretty straightforward.

All you have to do is add the positive responses together, divide them by the total number of responses collected,  then multiply by 100. The outcome leaves you with the overall percentage of customer satisfaction in your business.

For example, if 50 people took part in your customer survey and 30 of them gave positive feedback — your CSAT score would then be 60%.

See here:

(30 positive responses / 50 total responses = .60 x 100 = 60%)

This indicates that while the majority of your clients are satisfied with your service, you can still improve it to better serve your customers.

The best time for measuring customer satisfaction is post-sales. These times are especially crucial for repeat and new customers as the experience is still fresh in their minds.

What is a good CSAT score?

Now that your customer satisfaction score, the next thing to do is determine if it is good enough to guarantee excellent customer service. Is your numerical score enough to gain new customers and improve the overall customer lifecycle?

While every industry has different standards for CSAT scores, an excellent rate usually falls between 75% to 80%. Reaching this customer satisfaction rate means that three out of every four buyers had a positive experience with your brand.

While most companies would love to see 100% satisfaction in their services, that is rarely the case. Additionally, the pandemic has certainly affected customer happiness when purchasing a product or service.

Each buyer has their own opinions and standards. Having customer conversations, hearing their responses, and gauging customer happiness ton a product or service can help companies create new strategies that could improve customer satisfaction.

CSAT in outsourcing

Customer satisfaction score might be the simplest metric but it’s a powerful tool for all businesses. It encompasses the whole customer journey and helps businesses determine the things that they should improve on to gain customer loyalty.

Measuring customer satisfaction 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.

Strengthening customer loyalty with CSAT

Customer loyalty refers to buyers who always go back to your brand to do repeat business. It is usually brought on by customer satisfaction, positive customer experiences, and the overall value of the goods or services a customer receives from a business.

A company's CSAT score evaluates the services of different brands and determines if your company is able to retain customers instead of losing them to competitors. It also brings customer feedback so that businesses can strengthen their services.

It could be hard for business owners or sales representatives to identify unhappy customers from satisfied customers. CSAT surveys assist in detecting customer satisfaction at the earliest stage of the customer lifecycle.

They allow companies to amend poor customer service and improve it before experiencing the worst-case scenario — customer churn.

Remember, customer expectations for a possible repeat business rather than lose them to competing brands. Trust is a critical part of any business relationship, but finding the right strategies to improve it — along with your customer satisfaction — can be challenging.

There is more than one side to the customer satisfaction equation. The key to improving customer satisfaction is a healthy balance between understanding and improving performance internally while doing the same with customers externally.

Tips to improve your CSAT scores

There are a couple of tricks that you can use to improve your CSAT score and ensure excellent customer interaction all the time. Here are some of them:

Request customer feedback

The easiest way to gauge your market's reaction to your products or services is to ask them to rate their customer experience. This can be done by handing out customer satisfaction surveys to post-calls or asking them for an online review.

Gathering customer feedback will help you determine the issues in your service and address it quickly so that you wouldn't lose the trust of your clients.

Meet customer expectations

Customers usually expect to gain whatever good things you have said about your business. So, to keep them satisfied, it is important for your whole team to work hard in meeting those expectations.

For example, if you say that your customer support call center is open 24 hours, then you have to put some of your staff on standby at all times for any inbound calls. If you advertise that there is a promo for a specific product, then you have to uphold for every buyer.

Additionally, it is important to remain transparent with your consumers. From the time that they are still prospective buyers, you have to make sure that they already know what to expect from your brand and the policies that they will be agreeing with as paying customers.

Provide proactive customer service

If you want to boost customer satisfaction, you have to make sure first that you have a dedicated contact center for your clients. This contact must be personal, timely, and always pertinent to the user.

Reduce inbound calls in call centers as they increase agent effectiveness. By offering customer service proactively you can show the customer that good support does not only benefit the business.

CSAT vs NPS vs CES

CSAT is not the only key performance indicator that measures customer satisfaction. Businesses also look into their net promoter score (NPS) and customer effort score (CES) to capture customer feedback and measure customer loyalty.

The net promoter score determines the likelihood of customers recommending your business to other consumers. The higher your NPS score is, the bigger chance there is for brand recognition. NPS scores are usually measured using a 1-10 rating system.

CES, meanwhile, measures customer sentiment on how well they have used your products or services. The CES surveys aim to determine the ease or difficulty of customers deciding on purchasing your products.

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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.