Have you ever considered a career in business process outsourcing (BPO)? A BPO job offers a lot in terms of skill growth. One aspect of this is that people can be in different kinds of processes and build expertise in certain areas such as accounts, recruitment, or HR. BPOs also help develop other important life skills such as confidence, people management, communication skills, and so on. Especially for communication skills it’s a good idea to have a good command on your English speaking skills and good conversation skills.
But what exactly is a BPO, and how do they function?
What Does Business Process Outsourcing Really Mean?
Consider a typical telecom organization. What is the core business activity it performs? What does it offer to customers? Simply put, it offers telecom or cell phone services to people through a network.
In order to successfully do this, however, there are several supporting activities that it must also perform. For example, it must provide a system whereby customers can call and talk to the organization’s representatives if they have problems or questions. A large telecom organization has many employees and partners to help with tasks such as marketing, training, administration, and so on. The organization needs a good method to handle details such as vendor invoicing and payments, employee payroll, and so on. In addition, the organization needs a system to screen and hire new employees. They also need someone to train them, complete their documentation and other formalities, and get them ready to become productive within the company.
Clearly, to complete its core activity successfully, the telecom company has to engage in a large number of important supporting activities. This is true for businesses in any industry – be it telecom, banking, insurance, or healthcare. Increasingly, companies are choosing to focus on their core business activities and contract other companies to help with their supporting activities. This also gives them a cost advantage because these non-core activities can be performed by teams in locations where costs are lower. In addition, service providers are experts and may often do these tasks in a more efficient manner. This is the fundamental idea of business process outsourcing or BPO.
Are BPOs and Call Centers the Same?
BPOs are often mistakenly considered synonymous with call centers. In reality, tele-servicing is just one of the many processes that are outsourced. Other processes include data entry, e-mail support, technical writing, content writing, medical billing, and so on. A broad categorization of processes in BPO is “voice” and “non-voice” processes.
Are all BPOs international?
No. There are domestic as well as international BPOs. Domestic BPOs handle calls and other processes for servicing customers based within the country. International BPOs service customers all over the world.
What is a Captive BPO?
Sometimes, a company may set up its own business process outsourcing office or call centre. This BPO would be dedicated to servicing the customers of the parent company only. Such a BPO is called a captive BPO.
Some companies such as HSBC and Dell have established captive BPOs. Others are categorized as Third Party BPOs and handle processes for many different client organizations. Therefore, a third party BPO, such as HCL or Genpact would have several teams servicing different processes for a range of different companies.
What Kind of Growth Does a BPO Offer to Its Employees?
Since the BPO industry is a fast-growing sector, BPOs will attract and retain talented professionals who can help make them successful. Therefore, BPOs do offer promising growth –in terms of responsibility, designation, and compensation as well as in terms of experience and learning opportunities.
A typical BPO employee starts off as an executive. Their primary job in a call centre would be to take calls from customers (inbound) or call customers for sales or feedback (outbound). He or she would then move up a level to a senior executive or and start coaching others as well. The next level is a team lead, where he or she would be responsible for about 10-15 executives or agents. Successful team leads would move to the next stage where they would be responsible for the success of an entire process and then for multiple processes being handled by the BPO.
Improve English Speaking for Growth in the BPO Sector
Working for a BPO can help you understand customer relations and their needs. This will not only enhance your English speaking skills but will also help you improve conversation skills. If you feel you need help in improving your English speaking skills, you can try EnglishHelper’s Learn English program!
It is clear that BPOs are here to stay. Till a few years ago, only routine and low-skill jobs were outsourced. Now, high skill jobs such as knowledge processes (KPO), engineering processes (EPO), technical writing, and content writing are also being outsourced. BPOs are therefore in need of qualified, skilled, and experienced people to make them successful. This makes a BPO job a very good long term career option instead of a makeshift job just to save money.