smaller is better in the contact center BPO world, some experts say

Originally published on Customer Magazine

As working remotely becomes more and more common for today’s workforce, many companies are turning to Business Process Outsourcing of their contact center as they’re being forced to rethink where, when, and how their customer service programs will evolve to better serve their market.

For a company new to the contact center outsourcing scene, finding the right BPO partner is easier said than done. When looking for an outsourcing partner, companies often start with the largest BPOs in the market today, but with the innovation in technology and business models, there are many more options available, including working with “next-gen” BPOs who are much smaller than the industry giants.

Mid-size BPO partners often get overlooked due to their market visibility, as they are unable to promote themselves in the same ways that large-size BPOs can. This inability to call attention to themselves, mixed with the notion that a bigger partner will offer better services leads many companies to choose a partner based purely on perception. The mid-size BPO market is growing, in large part due to the availability of less expensive and more sophisticated infrastructure, including software platforms that enable these service provides to hire, train, support, and compensate talented agents who thrive in a remote working environment, while delivering personalized experiences to customers, whether live interactions, webchat, or other omnichannel capabilities.

On the surface, large BPO partners seem like the right choice to new companies looking to outsource, by leading with their staggering workforce numbers, large facilities, and impressive Fortune 500 customer lists.

The challenges start when small and medium clients are treated as the “small fish” as large contact centers prioritize the bigger clients that make up a more substantial portion of their revenue.

Mid-size contact centers, on the other hand, offer more personalized attention and service to a client, while often exceeding the quality of work being promised by a larger partner. “With a work culture that fosters higher levels of employee engagement, small and mid-size contact centers tend to strive harder toward achieving goals and providing customized solutions directed towards a client’s exact needs,” said Tom Silzell, founder and President of CX Partner Source, a Colorado-based company that specializes in matching companies with the best medium size BPO providers.

“Large BPO partners also put a heavy priority on making sure they turn a profit, regardless of the work they put out,” Silzell explained. “With massive amounts of corporate overhead and an immense workforce they must compensate, large contact centers rarely provide value-added cost recommendations for clients. It is often the opposite, as large BPO partners will look to bill clients for anything, hoping to generate the most revenue for themselves as possible.”

According to Silzell, these mid-size BPO partners are also able to offer up their services to a client at a much better rate than that of a large contact center. With less corporate overhead and reduced emphasis on solely making a profit, mid-size contact centers can provide the same quality work all at a lower cost.

“Mid-size contact centers can also provide added value when it comes to the future growth of a client company,” Silzell, who has decades of experience in the large contact center BPO industry, said. “Great teamwork and a strong relationship between the client company and the contact center is essential, and with a larger workforce, these connections are often lacking. Mid-size BPO partners that come with a smaller workforce can focus more on adequate training and give more attention to detail, ensuring more efficient work and a higher rate of customer satisfaction. At the end of the day, customer satisfaction is the most crucial part of a business, and the better a contact center partner can meet this objective, the more a client company will continue to grow.”

Overall, size is of the utmost importance when choosing a contact center to partner with your company. However, instead of focusing on the overall size as an important factor, companies looking to outsource should consider mid-size BPO partners that may better fit their needs when searching. By utilizing all their options, many companies will find that a mid-size BPO partner will offer a better client experience and that the old saying “bigger is always better” isn’t always true.

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