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Customer-Centricity Driving Change for BPOs

Customer-centricity—the practice of aligning business processes and services around the needs of the customer—is driving organizations to understand, manage and improve the customer experience from end to end. Often, systemic and functional silos exist between customer interaction points and the processing parts of the organization, especially when part or all of the customer support and processing functions are outsourced (onshore or offshore). These silos can make it very difficult to align an organization to support a customer-centric strategy. In particular, organizations that leverage captive shared-service organizations or third-party outsourcing partners are challenged to understand how service is delivered and to leverage these partners to take on more case management and knowledge work.

End-to-End Alignment and Optimization

Visibility into how service is delivered. Many organizations first took advantage of outsourcing to gain cost savings through labor arbitration. These contracts were based on a fixed FTE contract. Organizations were satisfied with getting back a completed transaction within a set service goal for continued onshore processing. Now, with more emphasis placed on customer service, organizations are demanding increased visibility into their offshore processing. It is no longer acceptable for BPOs to be a black hole in the customer value chain.

Outsourcing case management and knowledge work. The advent of knowledge process outsourcing and the handing off of complete work streams such as case management (CM) raise the stakes for outsourcers, as more steps and thus, more end-customer impact, are being sent offshore. As those high-value customer transactions move offshore or out of direct ownership, the ability to understand the timing and quality of those customer transactions becomes more problematic.

Enterprise Workforce Optimization

Workforce optimization (WFO), a proven solution for containing costs and improving service in contact centers, has been extended to incorporate the complexities and unique requirements of managing employees in customer service support and back-office operations. Enterprise WFO software can factor in the full scope of resources being applied to transactions, no matter where or by whom they are processed. WFO solutions can help organizations:

  • Gain visibility across their operations;
  • Determine capacity requirements and increase throughput;
  • More efficiently meet service levels and deadlines; and
  • Improve quality, compliance and reduce errors/rework.

Organizations that have applied WFO to their internal back-office processes are now looking to leverage those benefits across all their activities to give them a single view of the customer experience.

Case Example: IT Help Desk Outsourcer

A global applications and engineering firm outsourced its IT help desk support to a BPO that operated support centers in 12  countries. The BPO sought to drive standardization and consistency across all sites (especially in its level 2 and CM areas) by implementing a virtual, single queue to improve customer service and create a competitive differentiator. Building an enterprise workforce management model across the sites helped the BPO understand all its work types, volumes and arrival patterns. The organization built an employee proficiencies model to more effectively match work to individuals skilled in those tasks.

By cataloging the work and the processing steps involved, the BPO was able to standardize processes across all sites. Additionally, a work-item tracking capability enabled the organization to monitor tickets, reprioritize items based on SLAs and deliver a higher level of customer service. The initiative captured 16% to 22% productivity gains based on location and achieved an ROI of more than 500%.

Of course, different types of offshore organizations will have different motivations to meet the cost and service goals of the parent company. Shared-service organizations are being driven to continue to innovate and prove value to the parent company. WFO solutions can highlight where opportunities for improvement exist, and how best to capture and deliver them.

True third-party BPOs have a different set of challenges. Rising wages in those regions with the most longstanding, established offshore capabilities are starting to reduce the labor arbitrage. Combine this with quickly rising competition from other locations (which increasingly includes onshore entities) and it is clear that BPOs need a way to be more efficient to remain competitive and provide increased value by managing their workforce based on end-customer experience.

WFO solutions offer organizations a practical, reliable way to align their internal operations, shared services organizations and third-party processing partners with their customer-centric strategy. By breaking down the silos among these entities and increasing end-to-end visibility into their customer service value chain, both the parent organization and the outsourcing partner can improve operational efficiencies and costs, while focusing on delivering the highest level of service to their customers. 

Impact 360 Workforce Optimization

Verint enterprise workforce optimization solutions are designed to help organizations capture, analyze and act on customer, business and market intelligence. The Impact 360 workforce optimization suite includes unified software and services for

  • Workforce management—forecasting, capacity planning and scheduling;
  • Desktop and process analytics;
  • Recording and quality monitoring;
  • Voice of the customer analytics—speech and text analytics, enterprise feedback management, customer feedback surveys; and
  • Performance management; eLearning and coaching.

Verint is a global leader in enterprise intelligence solutions and value-added services. Contact us at 1-800-4VERINT or visit www.verint.com.

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