Businessfortnight had an interview with Lovekesh Dev, Head – Sales and Solutions of Teleperformance India, a leading global digital integrated business services provider.
Sharing his insights on the changing dynamics of the BPM industry with a digital-first approach, and how to inspire trust in customers in uncertain times:
In the last few years, traditional business process outsourcing (BPO) has transformed into an agile BPM setup. With contact centres becoming a network of geographically dispersed teams and as customer preference for technology and cloud-based communications grows, the landscape of the BPO industry has completely changed. The developing BPM model leverages the power of digital transformation and is creating a higher level of productivity that keeps businesses agile and profitable.
With people’s lives becoming digital like never before – from essentials to entertainment – everything is happening on smart devices. Delivery companies, over–the–top media services (OTT), digital wallets, and video-sharing apps are some of the new booming companies that have propelled volumes and accelerated the need to service customers with digital-first channels. Unlike the pre-Covid era, the ‘always-online’ customer today is relying on new businesses and apps for their needs. This has, in turn, instigated BPM and outsourcing companies to transform, advance, and take a digital-first approach.
As the digital transformation sector evolves and client expectations heighten, the global BPM market is seeing growth too. According to Brand Essence Research, the BPM global sector was valued at $187.91 billion in 2018 and is expected to reach $314.81 billion by Continuous demand for subcontracting business processes, particularly those enabling seamless and consistent home working experiences, is driving the growth of the sector and demonstrating its adaptability to change.
In India particularly, the BPM and sector is growing tremendously. Now a digital engine for driving process excellence, India capitalises on the English language skills and high education standards of a large portion of its population to deliver superior business services. However, moving forward, we can expect the BPM space to become more insights-driven to guide businesses towards creating high-value digital transformation services. By developing Intelligent Automation and Advanced Analytics, and reliable Back-Office services, businesses can deliver valuable customer experiences and expand cloud-based offerings.
Hyper-personalisation – making the most of data to deliver personal services
The increased demand for customer service across multiple digital channels means companies have had to safely store a vast amount of data. With this, has come an opportunity for organisations to better understand, manage, and meet users’ expectations and growing appetite for personalised experiences.
Advances in technology, data, and analytics also allow customer experience teams to create much more “human” experiences.
Hyper-personalisation allows businesses to use data to curate personalised customer journeys in real-time, which act upon and anticipate what customers want. This is more important than ever before as businesses revamp their IT infrastructure in the face of the pandemic and need to stay in tune with how loyal and prospective customers are behaving.
Bolstering the back-office for a reliable front-office
As we slowly emerge out of the pandemic, businesses and people are increasingly craving human-to-human interaction. The BPO sector, capable of reaching customers in all regions of the world through advanced technology stacks, address the need for compassion by balancing this digital pendulum.
It is vital to combine digital business transformation tools and solutions with the empathetic capabilities of human agents to elevate the customer experience and remain agile in responding to different queries. Even when it comes to brand interaction through chatbots and messenger – despite its convenience – customers still value, and often favour, the human tone in this approach – especially when discussing sensitive topics.
Hybrid working innovation and expanding cloud offering
Ongoing safety concerns, exposed by an uptake in office-based working, are driving the shift towards cloud network deployment. In the digital era, companies are having to embrace technological disruption to proactively redefine success and agility in the front and back- office.
Most companies trust cloud communication and collaboration systems for exchanging information without engaging a massive amount of data storage space. Cloud-based hubs, designed for seamless and reliable remote working, are allowing businesses to meet their clients and end customers, anytime, anywhere, and ensure zero disruption to critical services.
To keep both company and customer data protected, BPO companies are implementing custom-built security practices and tools in holistic remote working and hybrid platforms. These platforms benefit from enhanced security tools and monitoring infrastructure designed for the virtual environment to keep both company and customer data protected.
Multi-factor authentication and device lockdown measures are increasingly being deployed to lockout unverified users, uphold business continuity and protection against future disruption.
Trust and Safety – for an increasingly digital world
Another major aspect for BPOs to flourish is to have Trust and Safety services for businesses and customers to be able to protect their content and online presence.
The need of the hour is to effectively monitor online content, mitigate risks, and guarantee user authenticity. This happens with advanced algorithms and machine learning along with human understanding and values to protect brands and their users leading to increased efficiency and improved reputation.
The future of the BPO sector
A lesson that can be taken from the pandemic is the need to shift to digital ways of working and inspire trust in customers in uncertain times. As the BPO sector stands at the forefront of technological changes in our new, increasingly digital reality, it has proven its ability to adapt to changing market dynamics by integrating channels to streamline processes and strengthening online delivery systems and brand reputation.
In the future, the BPO sector can stay on the leading edge by outsourcing talent and building a diverse and inclusive workforce. The pandemic has highlighted the possibility of ‘anytime- anywhere’ working and the trend is here to stay to make BPOs grow, take cost benefit, and utilise untapped talent pools, resources, and technology from different parts of the world.
Needless to say, a key goal for the BPO sector in the future will be to maintain an edge in the market and a cloud-based approach to keep up with clients’ technological expectations, without compromising on the human touch and empathy. AI, omnichannel solutions and Trust and Safety services for brands to interact with customers are a competitive advantage now, but soon, they will be indispensable.