Working in a business process outsourcing (BPO) company can be quite stressful, whether you’re an employee or a manager. Most of the time BPOs are call centers, so they’re full of workers stacked in open plan offices who keep talking on the phone during the entire shift.
And if you’re a senior employee, you can expect a flood of questions and requests which need to be resolved right there on the spot. This definitely isn’t a place for someone who likes to spend their workday at a steady page.
Call center agents seem like they’re under pressure all the time, however BPO managers don’t have it easy either. They seem to be stuck between their workers, who are usually not fond of them; clients, who don’t really care about your procedures and policies, and senior managers who don’t really understand what’s happening on the front lines.
Among our clients we had a fair share of BPOs, so we had the opportunity to hear about the biggest challenges BPO managers are facing. Based on that insight, we’ve created a list of challenges and possible solutions which can help you out. Certainly, an employee tracking software seemed to resolve some of those challenges, but there are other solutions as well.
Let’s check them out!
Employee Motivation and Turnover Rates
Employee motivation in a BPO can easily spiral down, which leads to high turnover rates. And it makes sense - staff is usually overworked and stressed out. Night shifts aren’t uncommon, calls are just coming in, and possibilities for a long-term growth are very limited.
It’s not all bad though, there are positives to working in an outsourcing company, so you must focus on them in order to keep your employees happy and as motivated as possible.
All of your business operations rely on people and their satisfaction is crucial. This is why you should try and understand what’s making them dissatisfied, what would motivate them more - and act on those words. Check out our post about how to motivate employees in a BPO to find more tips on this subject.
BPO employees are probably among the most monitored employees in the world. After all, they are in direct communication with clients and customers, so it’s imperative they leave a good impression and try to help everyone. Therefore, the calls are recorded, managers have access to all written communication, and it’s all for the purposes of quality control.
Of course, your employees have a right to privacy, but as long as you’re monitoring the usage of company computers for the QC purposes you have the right and the responsibility to monitor your team.
Thankfully, technology developments are keeping the demands of a modern BPO, and you can find amazing tracking solutions which won’t interrupt your employees workflow. There are several time tracking and employee monitoring solutions like Workpuls. These tools work in the background of your employees’ computers, tracking which websites and apps they’re using throughout the day. You can see when your employees were on break, if they were idle or if they’re overworked. And the best news? It doesn’t jeopardize employees’ privacy!
Workpuls can also serve as a remote employee monitoring software. It is legal, ethical and simple to use. Also, you don’t have to worry about cost, because it’s one of the most affordable solutions out there! At the end of each day, it creates a productivity report, which comes in as a great addition to quality control and HR managers.
Employee Work/Life Balance
Since overwork and stress are an essential part of almost every BPO, you need to make sure you’re taking good care of your employees’ health and providing them enough space to maintain a healthy work/life balance.
Workers are usually in the night shifts, sitting for 8 hours per day, staring at a computer screen. All of these pose a major health concern. One way to tackle the issue is by providing private healthcare plans and gym memberships to your employees. You can also stock up the kitchen with healthy snacks and fruit.
Another point your should pay attention to is how you distribute days off and night shifts. Some countries have strict laws which clearly set how many night shifts can person work in a week, or how much time they need to rest before coming back to work. Given that BPOs are usually made out of large teams, this isn’t as easy as it sounds.
Once again, the technology steps in, and you can choose between numerous scheduling software options on the market. They can save you a lot of time when it comes to shift planning, and also help you distribute the working hours appropriately.
Customer Satisfaction and Retention
Achieving spotless customer satisfaction and retention is a challenge for any business, especially for BPO companies. Social channels have made customer expectations really high. Additionally, high competition drove customer expectations through the roof, so it’s getting harder to keep them happy. As customers’ wishes go up, customer retention goes down.
It can easily happen that a client terminates the deal and decides to go with one of your competitors instead. These terminations bring huge costs to the BPO. Not to mention that dozens of people could be left without a job.
Whenever you find yourself in a situation like this, it’s imperative you find out the reasons why the client was dissatisfied. It’ll help you improve, and provide better service to future clients. Maybe at some point you could even win these back.
Check whether an employee made a mistake, if the deadlines were missed, if there was a communication problem, or whatever it was. It’s your responsibility, and you must be able to recognize and resolve the problem. Maybe you’ll need to implement stricter employee control, provide additional training, but it will be well worth it.
This article was originally published on March 20th, 2017. It was updated on September 23rd, 2019.