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Telephone Answering Service

Definition

What is a telephone answering service

A telephone answering service is a type of customer service where an agent answer calls on behalf of the business. They usually take care of client calls after office hours or when the owner is away. With this, the business can offer extensive service to their clients anytime.

A company can avail of their service at a specific time (from 6:00 AM to 12:00 MN), during office hours, or 24/7. They can also hire a telephone answering service to do other tasks such as order taking and helpdesk support.

Telephone answering service for business

Businesses of any size can use a telephone answering service to their advantage. Travel agencies, clinics, restaurants, and law firms use this to assist clients with on-demand needs and inquiries. Credit card companies put up a helpline for concerns such as stolen cards, fraudulent activities, and balances.

telephone answering service
What is a telephone answering service
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 Key Performance Indicator (KPI)?

Key Performance Indicator definition

A Key Performance Indicator (KPI) is a critical indicator of a company’s progress in reaching its objectives. It is used by different organizations at different levels to evaluate each process that contributes to the progress of the company and its overall performance.

Critical indicators are categorized into two categories: Quantitative and Qualitative.

Quantitative is based on numerical standards of a goal while qualitative refers to the quality based on physical feelings, tastes, or opinions. 

They are also measured into five types: Input, Process, Output, Outcome, and Project. Since this is an embodiment of a SMART goal, it measures its objectives and individual goals through the methodology and presents it in data form. 

Key Performance Indicator examples

Indicators may fall into different points of measurement: financial metrics, process metrics, customer metrics, and people metrics. For instance, assessment of net profit, cost of goods sold, and the tally of revenue vs. target falls on the financial metrics. 

For people metrics, there’s the average number of employee turnover, training and seminars held for employees, and the number of open positions every quarter. 

Process metrics, meanwhile, measure the number of processes it has for each role over the efficiency of these processes.

KPI by industry

Regardless of whether you call them indicators or measures, KPIs are the most crucial benchmarks for the performance of an organization or industry. Using and measuring the right KPI is a key step in your business’ road to success.

Determining what indicator you want to utilize is the hardest part of performance management. It can be financial, customer-focused, process-focused, and many more.

KPIs vary between different sectors. These industry-specific measures will enable you to analyze your data to know your performance and create concrete decisions for your company.

The BPO sector also has a set of KPIs followed. Supervisors monitor and measure the performance of its employees through the average number of calls in a day, the percentage of call drop rates, call handling time, transfer rate, and the average of issues the agent resolved since the first call.

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 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.

What is Order Processing?

What is order processing?

Order processing is the sequence of steps to gather a customer’s data, encode their order, and pass it on to another department for fulfillment. Depending on the industry, fulfillment can take the form of shipping or bookings and rentals.

Further, depending on the scale of the business, business owners can choose to leverage technology to speed up order processing and use data science techniques to better understand their customer base and predict inventory and sales trends. 

Some business owners, however, prefer to use more traditional pen and paper processes for their lower upfront and maintenance costs.

Why is order processing important?

Order processing is crucial since it leads to more revenue and better customer service. Order processing manually wastes time and money, whereas an efficient order processing system saves time and lowers overheads in the business process. 

As soon as you use an order processing system in your business, you’ll be able to scale your business without becoming overwhelmed with customer messaging regarding inquiries and complaints.

Order processor definition

An order processor is in charge of keeping track of a company's database platform. Responding to customers' questions and concerns, processing orders, handling payments, and confirming order information before shipment. 

In addition, order processors guarantee the quality and quantity of the products to avoid order delays and customer complaints are all part of the job description. They are responsible for updating inventory data, preparing bills, and resolving billing issues. 

Order processors work closely with delivery drivers and dispatchers to ensure accurate and timely delivery confirmation. They require computer abilities and strong communication skills, particularly when dealing with consumer criticism on services.

Outsourcing order processing

Order processing can now be digitized for a considerable price due to advances in telecommunications technology and cloud-based storage. Finding the skills to use the data from digital order processing is a much more cost-effective alternative for small business owners because of outsourcing.

Thanks to advances in telecommunications technology and cloud-based storage, order processing can be digitized much more cheaply. 

And thanks to outsourcing, finding the expertise to leverage the data from digital order processing is a much more economical option for small business owners.

Outsource Accelerator provides you access to great order processing specialists that you can outsource from the Philippines starting from $6 per hour, where you can save up to 70% on staffing costs. We make it easier for clients to learn about, and engage with back-office outsourcing.

Does outsourcing order processing work?

The pressure of managing and maintaining an order processing and fulfillment system is eliminated when you outsource order processing.

One of the advantages of outsourcing order processing is that you won't have to appoint, train, or deploy customer service and fulfillment employees because the offshore model will take care of all.

Further, overcoming personnel and resource attrition, as well as shorter turnaround times and higher efficiency and quality, are benefits of outsourcing order processing.

In addition, order processing enables you to focus on your core business tasks such as sales, marketing, and product development.

Why your business should outsource order processing services

Here are some reasons why businesses need to outsource order processing services:

Help make data-driven decisions 

When data is distributed across various platforms, it's difficult to keep track of it. Order processing makes it simpler to assess available data and make data-driven choices by allowing users to access all sales order data in one location.

Since you can see the entire process, order processing makes it easier to recognize real-time issues. Making data-driven decisions can help companies save money for the business. 

Further, fixing even the smallest inefficiency may drive supply chain efficiencies and have a big impact on the bottom line when order volume is high.

Saves time and effort

When you started as an entrepreneur, every hour you spend analyzing fulfillment difficulties is an hour you might be spending on more strategic tasks such as product development or brand growth.

It's a good start to do everything yourself, but order processing will be a big help to better understand your customer and increase sales.

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 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.