Priorities constantly change in the customer experience (CX) and business process outsourcing (BPO) industry. We, like our clients, must be agile enough to transform to the rapidly evolving customer demands of the modern marketplace, in which superior service quality has become a key differentiator.
When we talk about service quality in the CX and BPO industry, we refer to the all-encompassing process of anticipating and fulfilling customer needs. This definition goes far beyond the simple process of following a quality assurance checklist and helping a customer solve a problem; itʼs now far more nuanced and more important than ever before.
In this piece, I want to highlight the evolution of quality as a client priority and explain how organizations and their outsourced partners can achieve superior customer experiences in todayʼs rapidly evolving environment.
Quality Over Cost
Not surprisingly, customer experience quality is listed as the number-one priority in many enterprise leader surveys because organizations fully know that excellent CX differentiates the brand, gets customers talking, and ultimately helps the bottom line.
In the same surveys, service cost is consistently the second or third priority since leaders are willing to pay whatever it costs to ensure quality. Donʼt get me wrong; shareholders will always show more interest in cost and good financial health.
However, by being customer and quality-centric, economic growth and increased market share are destined to follow.
This shift in priorities from low-cost to high-quality occurred around eight to ten years ago when there was a massive focus on customer satisfaction (CSAT) and net promoter scores (NPS). As time went on, the competitive landscape increased, and profit and loss metrics became more challenging to keep in the green, so the correlation between quality and success became more apparent.
So, what are the positive outcomes of high-quality CX? Most importantly, superior CX and high satisfaction lead to increased customer lifetime value, as people are more likely to stay loyal to the brand, purchase more products, or subscribe to additional services. From a business standpoint, this level of customer retention leads to continued revenue growth and increased market share, which consecutively leads to attracting more customers.
Still, achieving high-quality CX is not a simple cut-and-dry process; organizations face several challenges on their path to this goal.
What Inhibits High-Quality CX?
Although CX cost has taken a backseat to service quality in the enterprise priority list, some financial pressures still hold companies back from making the necessary transformations to enhance their customersʼ experiences. In its 2022 Front Office CX Omnibus Survey, Ryan Strategic Advisory found that while enterprises expect CX budgets to grow this year, theyʼre less optimistic about their financial flexibility in 2023, impacting long-term planning for quality enhancements.
Moreover, as customer demand increases, organizations deal with higher volumes of customer transactions, which slows down the agent training process. For many businesses, itʼs important to serve customers as quickly as possible to deal with this increased volume — customers donʼt want to wait for resolutions, so brands are under pressure to value their time, even if it digs into essential training sessions designed to improve quality.
Quality training becomes even more difficult in hybrid environments that blend brick-and-mortar mixed with work-at-home, particularly without the necessary mechanisms to maintain an efficient and robust training program.
Ultimately, if the financial budgets or training resources arenʼt there, it can be challenging to achieve service excellence since most changes require investments in people and technology. Still, there are ways to improve service quality without compromising cost or resolution speeds.
Partnering for CX Excellence
By partnering with an established, experienced offshore CX service provider, organizations can solve these challenges through a combination of culture-building and service delivery enhancements through quality-focused training.
When embarking on these partnerships, itʼs essential to determine shared values early on to ensure that everybody in each company shares the same vision for quality improvements. Without these values, the relationship defaults to a contractual, transactional arrangement that ultimately does not last. The health of the partnership must take precedence over metrics since building a strong, collaborative partnership creates much more value for all parties involved.
Technology is a key enabler of quality, so check your partnerʼs ability to work with artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation (RPA), Big Data, and speech-to-text analytics. A well-curated combination of these tools can help organizations uncover what aspects of their CX strategy require enhancement and quantify the efficacy of quality improvement programs.
Offshore location is another crucial consideration. Look for areas where qualified talent is abundant with communication skills, customer service experience, and technical expertise to support the growing and ever-changing needs of the business. It also helps if your offshore partner has a management team with long tenures of leadership and deep domain expertise in your industry.
Lastly, think about the partner organizationʼs size. A multinational BPO might have the capacity for large projects but often lacks the flexibility to adapt to fast-paced customer changes. A small boutique firm may be agile but cannot scale. By choosing a midsized player, enterprises can tap into the benefits of high agility, scaling flexibility, customization, and better quality service.
Quality is not only about transactional compliance; it’s about gaining a fundamental understanding of what customers require, so itʼs vital to listen, communicate clearly, and find persistent ways to resolve their concerns. Fortunately, there are partners who have been building this understanding for decades and can save organizations time and money while also boosting quality.
In this “new normal” environment where supply chain and service issues are exacerbated, going back to basics and focusing on the customer experience will keep companies relevant. At Inspiro, we pride ourselves on this since many people are still reeling from the pandemic, so empathy and malasakit (how we describe the value of caring and acting on the needs of others in the Philippines) have made all the difference.
About the author
Alfredo “Aly” Antonio is the Senior Vice President, Global Sales and Customer Success at Inspiro. He is responsible for driving Inspiro’s global business development and sales efforts by overseeing our US, Australia, and Asia-Pacific teams.
With a 20-year tenure with the company, Aly was part of Inspiro’s pioneer batch of employees and has since held key leadership positions for several media, retail, telecommunications, healthcare, utility, banking and financial services, insurance, and technology programs. In addition, Aly’s extensive background in business development, operations, and quality has led to him becoming a leading CX advisor, certified COPC coordinator, and a Lean Six Sigma practitioner.