Blockchain, data analytics, artificial intelligence, and chatbots are technologies that businesses employ today to meet the evolving needs of modern consumers. However, you must not overlook the significance of current communication styles. Technology and communication are inseparable, working in tandem to streamline processes and improve customer service support.
Over 68% of people say they’ve wasted time due to communication issues in business. This highlights the importance of good communication channels to fuel amicable customer relationships.
The technologies mentioned can help you shape the way your business can adapt to modern consumer needs. Not only does automation in BPO drive efficiency, cost savings, global reach, and innovation, but it also enables remote work, data analysis, and customer engagement for a competitive edge.
This article will help you navigate how automation can help transform your budding enterprise and discuss its benefits. Explore the five tactics that can propel your BPO operations to new heights.
What is BPO Automation?
BPO automation, which stands for Business Process Outsourcing automation, involves leveraging technology—particularly software and artificial intelligence (AI)—to streamline various business activities typically outsourced to BPO service providers. These tasks include customer support, data entry, financial and accounting processes, human resources functions, and more.
The core objective of BPO automation is to enhance operational efficiency, minimize errors, and reduce overall operating expenses by automating tasks previously performed manually.
BPO automation involves Robotic Process Automation (RPA), chatbots, Natural Language Processing (NLP), data analytics, and automated quality monitoring systems. Incorporating these tools yields several benefits, including cost reduction, improved service quality, and the ability to remain competitive in today’s ever-changing business landscape.
5 Benefits of Automation in the BPO Industry
Automation in BPO offers a multitude of advantages, from increased efficiency to enhanced accuracy. This section explores the five key benefits of automation in the BPO industry, driving your business to greater productivity.
1. Improves efficiency
When 72% of employees think inefficient processes impact their jobs and feel they won’t finish their work on time, you know it’s time to employ automation. Automation allows teams to focus on more value-added activities by streamlining repetitive tasks.
Technology like chatbots with canned messages for frequently asked questions can give your employees more time to focus on tasks they need to finish instead of worrying about the queue for the same question.
2. Reduces costs
Automation significantly reduces operational costs by relieving employees of repetitive tasks that hinder their ability to engage in more strategic and impactful work. This reduction in mundane tasks can minimize the need for extra staff or overtime payments.
For instance, using RPA for invoice processing eliminates manual data entry, resulting in time savings, reduced error rates, and decreased operational expenditures.
3. Improves staff management
You can save time and costs by aligning tasks with employees’ expertise. Utilize optimized scheduling, real-time performance monitoring, and intelligent workload distribution to improve staff management, simplify time tracking, ensure policy compliance, and alleviate administrative burdens.
4. Streamlines reporting
Reporting typically marks the end of a process, but you should always keep a continuous cycle, ensuring you have accurate results before starting anew. However, extracting, processing, and generating reports can sometimes pose challenges.
Businesses often spend excessive time creating monthly reports. While these efforts may not seem significant individually, the cumulative time spent on tasks like formatting reports and adjusting dates can cause considerable productivity losses. Automation simplifies this process, making generating comprehensive and visually appealing business report charts easier.
That’s one less step to worry about and more time to focus on problem-solving and business improvement.
5. Provides high accuracy
Though the error rate in data entry may seem small, an accumulation of this, combined with the amount of data processed daily (328.77 million terabytes), can pile up and make detrimental changes to your business operations, data, and reports.
Automation significantly reduces the likelihood of human errors in BPO services. Automated processes ensure precise results in tasks like data validation and quality monitoring, guaranteeing clients accurate and reliable service.
For example, in lending companies, inaccurate data can cause client dissatisfaction. Automation in finance can verify data, reduce mistakes, and expedite loan processing.
5 Ways to Implement BPO Automation
You should understand how automation increases productivity to implement them in BPO effectively. This section explores five key strategies to integrate automation into your operations seamlessly.
1. Utilize chatbot AI
The BPO industry standard for service level is 80/20, meaning your employees must answer 80% of calls within 20 seconds, but only 16% consistently achieve this. While this may seem short, this call center statistic can quickly pile up to numerous 20 seconds of answering the same question.
Chatbots, however, can handle multiple queries simultaneously, allowing employees to focus on more business development tasks. Chatbot AI takes routine inquiries, delivers quick, 24/7 responses, enhances customer satisfaction, and cuts response times.
2. Minimize operational costs
While a business is a definite investment, costs don’t need to pile up. Automation allows you to have many cost-reducing options, adding efficiency and accuracy to your enterprise. Here are some ways you can cut down costs by optimizing various aspects of your operations.
- Replaces or assists humans in repetitive tasks, reducing workforce size and lowering overhead expenses.
- Decreases error rates, minimizing the need for costly rework and mitigating customer complaints.
- Accelerates task completion, shortening timelines and processing periods.
- Analyzes and optimizes resource utilization, cutting idle time and energy costs, especially in manufacturing.
- Ensures compliance, mitigating the risk of fines and legal expenses.
3. Implement workforce management systems
Your employees are the lifeblood of your business, and maximizing their skills is essential. Workforce management software can help by automating scheduling, tracking performance, and optimizing resource allocation. This ensures tasks are assigned based on employee skills and capacity, increasing efficiency.
For example, a BPO company might use workforce management software to schedule call center agents’ shifts based on historical call volume data, ensuring adequate staffing during peak call times. This reduces overstaffing during slow periods, optimizing resource utilization and minimizing costs.
4. Create accurate reports
Reports, often involving tedious details and complex numbers, can be time-consuming to prepare. Automating reporting streamlines the generation and distribution of performance metrics and insights. Automation tools can extract data from various sources, process it, and create comprehensive reports with graphical components like charts and graphs. Some examples of reporting automation systems include:
- Business Intelligence (BI) tools
- Data warehousing solutions
- Cloud-based reporting platforms
To illustrate, a BPO managing e-commerce customer support can automate monthly reports, covering response times, customer satisfaction, and issue resolution rates. This saves time and enhances the quality and accuracy of reports.
5. Import accurate data
RPA uses software bots to perform tasks previously handled by humans, efficiently managing high-volume data entry, enhancing accuracy, and reducing operational costs in BPOs. This automation streamlines data processes, enabling scalability and competitiveness while freeing time for strategic initiatives.
5 BPO Automation Tactics for Productivity and Accuracy
Automation emerges as a vital catalyst for enhancing productivity and ensuring accuracy. This section explores five strategic automation tactics for competitive BPO operations.
1. Identify areas in your business that need to be improved
Before implementing any automation, you must know what business areas need improvement. Automation begins with a systematic review of current processes, exposing inefficiencies, redundancies, and error-prone tasks.
You can do this through data analysis—recognizing gaps and bottlenecks, while discussions with your workers may help you spot the potential for CRM automation to enhance client relationships. The strategic blend of data-driven insights and employee feedback can improve operational efficiency.
2. Prioritize areas to automate
Prioritizing automation tasks can be daunting, but starting with simpler tasks can help build expertise and confidence as the tasks get progressively complex.
Businesses often prioritize automation based on goals such as cost reduction or scalability. In regulated sectors like healthcare and finance, they may focus on particular processes, streamlining automation for faster, cost-effective implementations.
3. Establish roles and responsibilities
You cannot assume that if a robot performs one task, the rest of the process will proceed similarly. Ultimately, humans are responsible for following procedures appropriately without overlooking any prerequisites.
To ensure seamless technology integration, assign managing roles responsibly. While bots are valuable, human intervention remains necessary for handling inputs, errors, exceptions, and monitoring bot outputs.
Defining clear roles and responsibilities is critical in a call center aiming to automate customer inquiry handling through chatbots. Responsibilities might include:
- Chatbot developers build and maintain chatbot capabilities, ensuring accurate responses.
- Customer service representatives oversee chatbot interactions, handle complex queries, and train chatbots.
- Supervisors/Managers set guidelines and monitor chatbot performance.
- IT support provides technical support, ensuring system uptime and troubleshooting.
Clearly defining these roles facilitates the seamless integration of chatbot automation into the call center, reducing the human effort required for routine inquiries while maintaining the quality of customer interactions. One successful example is the deployment of IBM Watson’s chatbots by various companies to handle routine inquiries efficiently and improve overall customer service efficiency.
4. Create a standard procedure
Establishing standard operating procedures (SOPs) in a call center is paramount for consistent and efficient operations, particularly when integrating automation. SOPs make it easier for people to move into new roles and fill in for each other.
In hiring companies, these procedures standardize hiring processes by automating tasks like connecting businesses with top prospects, which reduces hiring time and expenses. Automation allows hiring teams to prioritize candidates over paperwork, freeing them from repetitive tasks. Relying on manual data entry and institutional memory for candidate information can lead to consistency issues.
5. Train users
You often won’t be the primary user of your automation tools. Instead, your employees will be responsible for operating and maintaining them. Therefore, you must ensure they receive adequate training and knowledge to use these tools effectively.
Train your employees on the new technology and the altered processes of automation. Business process automation often necessitates procedural and role changes, even for those indirectly involved, requiring comprehensive training.
Remember that timing is critical. You can’t train too early, but don’t delay it until after replacing old processes entirely.
Embrace the Advantage of Automation
Automation is no longer an option; it’s a necessity. It goes beyond efficiency and cost-cutting; it’s about delivering exceptional customer experiences, maintaining a competitive edge, and swiftly adapting to changing market dynamics.
Indeed, delaying automation poses a substantial risk of falling behind competitors who have embraced technological advancements.
The question isn’t whether to automate but how to do it strategically. Automation strategies involving streamlining reporting, optimizing workforce management, and automating routine operations are key to maintaining agility, competitiveness, and responsiveness to shifting market demands.
Explore these possibilities and discover how automation can transform your BPO services. Contact a call center in the Philippines, like the Executive Boutique Call Center, today!