Trends Impacting BPO Longevity

Strong business practices always look for ways to increase revenue while decreasing expenses. There are some expenses that can be renegotiated or eliminated altogether, but many companies choose to outsource as a way to eliminate costly overhead. Third-party companies that provide specialized services create a cost-savings for the primary user because the talent pool is more qualified, the equipment is provided, and the processes are more streamlined. Whether a company will look to outsource sales or their customer service protocol, these third-party contracts are often advantageous to both parties on the contract. However, as new technologies come onto the scene, the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry is in danger of losing a significant part of its market share. There are several trends threatening the world of BPO.

Robotic Process Automation

The push to develop processes that rely on artificial intelligence and software is continuing to grow strong. It is estimated that more than 40% of American jobs are going to be lost to automated processes by the 2030s. This is a frightening prediction for those who work in the BPO industry. Although BPO has been able to offer reduced labor costs by moving their companies to overseas countries offering cheaper employees and a lower cost of living, there is an incredible threat that comes with software that is able to provide the same functions at no cost. Among some industries, AI is being viewed as a job killer and a homelessness creator. However, the reality is probably going to be more of a partnership between humans and computer learning. Humans will need to make the software use, and BPO companies can have a part in managing AI activities.

Social Media

No longer a tool for tweens and teens, just about everyone uses one or more social media platforms each day. For the business that hasn’t been able to figure it out, there is a lot of catching up to do. Consumer behavior places an expectation on a company, and with social media usage being in the top three categories of popular online activities, the consumer practically demands that a business pay attention. However, social media management has become a full-time job. It takes hours to source and delivers engaging content, and it takes finances to pay employees to respond to customer concerns or questions efficiently and professionally. Although call centers have traditionally been some of the largest outsourcing entities, social media management will soon surpass the need for someone answering the phones. Good customer service can be a way to secure customer loyalty, but keeping up with the consumer demands and expectations of instant gratification through social media connections can be exhausting and potentially damaging. One instance of terrible customer service can damage a company’s brand.  However, BPO companies may become more useful in addressing customer concerns more quickly and being able to stop publicity before it starts.

Cloud Computing

The early days of technological integration have offices and companies hosting their own software solution, as they were tailored to the needs of the business. The required significant investment into a server and a well-trained, on-site IT department that could manage everything. Development in software and storage opportunities have created a more lean business approach to digital integration. As improvements continue, there will be a more noticeable shift toward the use of cloud-based products and SaaS. For starters, this trend will continue because of the cost-saving that cloud hosting and storage brings, but these services also have a tax benefit since a company that adopts these services can take a tax write-off for the purchase. The BPO industry will be expected to adapt to this trend and develop software and cloud tools that can be used for potential outsourced tasks.

Diverse Applications

The past high point of outsourcing was the work of call centers, but the world and its business needs have changed. A total package service plan could include customer service, design work, social media management, and IT monitoring. It is possible to outsource almost anything, and small companies or startups on a tight budget may be interested in a BPO that can offer more.

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