The notion in everyone’s mind is that growth in business means a definite increase in the workforce and unless that happens no business can grow. Some would say that they don’t think that way and probably this is no longer a thought process and it is old school, but if you ask me - this thought process still exists.
Now, me being from Outsourcing industry and been here for the last 9 years, I have seen things happen - seen growth and I am reluctant to say that overall business growth is equally proportionate to organic growth. In simple words I can say that an easy way to grow is by acquisition and subsequently organic growth. Sounds very easy isn’t it?
But like every coin, this one has a flip side too. We do get growth when done organically but it comes with many issues related to human resource management, infrastructure management and this also leads to increase in operational costs pertaining to infrastructure and people management.
So how can I - a BPO service provider grow? There could be number of answers for this or just one.
What drives any business - good end customer experience whether it is a B2C or B2B environment? If, being a service provider, I can assure good end customer service for my clients’ customer base then I am sure to get more business from them and other prospects too. This means growth in the purest term.
So, if you ask me, a service provider should focus on two things - People and Process.
Unless people of my organization are in sync with the plan to improve customer experience, we cannot achieve any target. We certainly need to work, to improve the employee experience which would act as a means to create an exceptional customer experience. We need to have a mechanism to connect CX with EX. CX plans should have plans to quantify the efforts of employees and tie it with the organization’s revenue. If the efforts of employees lead to higher revenues, then the appreciation should reflect back in the form of performance incentives and salary increment. Here Analytics comes into action to understand the tone of their conversation and this when combined with personality traits, management behavior, and employee profiles helps find out what correlates to high customer satisfaction.
When it comes to process - I believe we need to agree that labor arbitrage and cost reduction are not out of the equation completely, but they are not the primary factors affecting growth.
The word of the day is Go Digital!!
The first thing that we need to ensure is that processes cannot be effective unless they are not enforced throughout the organization and not in silos. Customers demand consistent digital experience (DX) and it can’t be achieved unless the Application Development and Delivery teams work to integrate these silos across the organization and make integration core to their DX platform strategy.
BPS&O market has seen major change in service offerings and technology is playing a major role in defining processes. The services and technologies have evolved over the past few years and will continue to reshape the future of BPS&O services. Two BPS&O technologies which are expected to bring revolution in the outsourcing industry - Digital Business Consulting Services and Intelligent Automation Next-Gen Services. Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is another aspect that is governing the processes for the outsourcing industry and same is reflected in Gartner’s statistics “By 2020, digital services, automation (such as RPA) and AI will convert 60% of BPS providers' current "people-process-centric" business models to a "business-services-centric" model. This new model will also reduce employee requirements in business shared-service centers by 65%”.
Digital, automation, and analytics service is rapidly changing the face of the BPS&O industry. Amalgamation of all these factors leads to an omni-channel delivery system which is key to providing customized, effective, and hassle-free end-customer experience.
To conclude, rather to continue later it would be safe to say that business process services and outsourcing scenario is evolving at a great pace and that customer experience initiatives are key to growth without adding extra burden of human management and the likes. M&A and partnerships need to focus on enhancing access to technology, extending portfolio offerings (invest in vertical based AI tools & technologies), and expanding geographic reach.
Shrinivas Pandey has been part of Tech Mahindra BPS (formerly BSG) for the last 9 years.
He is a Business Consultant in BPS Marketing and handles the Analyst & Advisory function.
It has been an eventful and learning 9 years for him and he always looks for opportunities to understand the nuances of the outsourcing business more comprehensively.