Tag Archives: bpo

How to Ubersize your BPO Outsourcing Company

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Most BPO companies out there thrive on being average. The people answering the phone just can’t communicate. The people doing the work are mediocre with nobody checking on them. In short, it’s a big mess. The secret to fast growth in the BPO industry seems to be finding an elastic workforce that you can check the quality of on a regular basis. If everyone just works in the same office, you can watch them easily, but you can’t expand or contract your business with any type of ease.

To Ubersize your BPO means you have more freelancers working for you. They could work from home, on call, and with no commitment either way. Developing a large pool of resources for getting work done can make your life very flexible. You have to keep records on how good their work is on various assignments so you can figure out who you are going to select for future assignments.

Or, you could automated your whole enterprise and have customers work directly with your help through a web portal. That works well for freelancing sites, but is not necessarily recommended for medium sized BPO outfits. The bottom line is developing a sustainable and efficient business model that works for you!

Another interesting Uber-Type business model is to have clients input their assignment in a portal, have a manager inspect it, and have your remote helpers grab the assignment. A manager would have to review the subcontractors who grabbed the assignment to see if they are qualified or desired for the job. But, this type of automation allows work to get done more quickly. In real life, most programmers and outsourced workers are busy, or don’t want to bother. Having a system where the one who jumps first gets the job ensures a higher level of motivation. Whether they finish on time is another story, but at least they’ll start on time which is half the battle.

BPO companies in India

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There are many BPO companies in India. New ones seem to sprout up like weeds. Unfortunately the quality of some of these BPO companies in India is not the best. However, on 123outsource.net, we have a variety of methodologies to identify companies that are a lot better than average.

Find a BPO on 123outsource.net!
If you do a search on 123outsource.net for BPO companies in India, you will find some of the better BPO companies. This doesn’t guarantee that they will be excellent, but for every company you find on our outsourcing directory, we have weeded out dozens. For better results, just check the regular search results page for worldwide BPO or Call Center. That way you can find the best companies in the world instead of limiting yourself to India.

What specialties do we recommend looking in India for?
Data Entry is cheap in India with rates starting around US $1.80 per hour. There are also decent medical transcription, billing and technical support companies in India. Web Design and programming services in India are also not bad. The key is to find the right company and not rely on generalizations about how good you think companies are in a particular country.

What outsourcing work should you avoid India for?
For inbound call center we recommend the Philippines or Central America. For lead generation, India has more aggressive callers while the Filipinos are smoother on the phone. For ERP programming, Russia has some huge and well reputed companies.

It is hard to say who you should hire in the long run, but our outsourcing directory 123outsource.net takes a lot of the work out of the process as we have eliminated most of the bad companies from our list and moved the mediocre ones to the bottom of the list. Those BPO companies in India or elsewhere in the world at the top of the list are the best quality that is currently available. So, if you don’t like them, you’ll have to hire your own in-house staff and figure it out yourself!

What are your BPO rates? Does it vary with experience?

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When I ask a company for their rates, I don’t like evasive answers, and I don’t like simplified answers. I want a breakdown that gives me three to five types of answers. More than that would be a headache, and less than that would be oversimplified. Let’s say I’m looking for a .Net programmer. Here are some sample conversations.

(1) Thorough
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: We charge $20 for junior programmers, $22 with 3-5 years experience, and $25 if they have six or more years.

(2) Oversimplified
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: $20 per hour

(3) Evasive (Headache)
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: It depends. What type of programmer are you looking for, how long is the project, what is the nature of the project?

(4) Too Much Information
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: We charge $20 for junior programmers, but give 10% off if you book more then 100 hours, and then $22 for those with 3-5 years experience and we sometimes have a project manager available who has 12 years experience, but he is not always available and we can only guarantee rates if you sign a contract. We are also having a special this month where we will do a sample job for $18 per hour and if it is to your satisfaction, you have the right to continue with a new contract for the next month and that would have an option for six months, etc., etc., non-stop talking.

ME: STOPPPPPPPP….. You talk non-stop when you don’t even know what I want.

(5) Sensible Dialogue
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: What level of experience and expertise would you like?

ME: I’d like someone with 6 years experience.

REP: Well, we have someone with 8 years of experience who can work for $24.50 per hour US dollars.

(6) Paranoid Dialogue
ME: Hi, I’m in the market for a .Net programmer. What are your rates?

REP: Oh… well. Umm…. I hope this is not too much. (pause) We charge $18.50 per hour. Oh no, you won’t like that price because it’s too much. But, I assure you that our programmer is very good, and I personally watch over him.

ME: The price is not bad. I care more about the quality of the service than the price.

As you can see, there are many ways that sales reps interact with clients. If you were a client, which rep would you prefer? I prefer #1 and #5 because they give me the pertinent information without any grief. Try to think from the perspective of clients, and you’ll win over more of them!

What is a BPO and what do such companies specialize in?

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A BPO is a business process outsourcing company. The term is popular in India, but is gaining popularity around the world. It is expensive and time consuming to do your own back office work. So, it is popular to hire virtual assistants and outsourcing companies overseas to do particular repetetive tasks at a low price. Please be aware that there is RPO which is recruitment process outsourcing, KPO which is highly specialized knowledge process outsourcing which normally includes research, accounting or programming. LPO work is legal process outsourcing. But, in a general sense, all of those other acronyms fall into the BPO category.

There are various general categories of BPO work.
Call Center, Data Entry, Programming, Web Design, Medical Transcription, Accounting, and Content Writing are some of the most popular BPO tasks to outsource. Recently, social media outsourcing has been on the rise as well. There are various subcategories of call center work including appointment setting, order taking, chat support, inbound, outbound, lead generation, sales, and technical support.

Then, there is more general back office work that is harder to categorize. Some companies offer marketing and loyalty programs, content management, digital marketing, online publishing, payment processing, proofreading, data transcription, engineering, eCommerce set up, translation, web research, mobile applications, and the list goes on.

In fact, there are so many types of BPO tasks, that 123outsource.net divided the tasks into 28 specialties to keep them all straight. The most popular by far is our general call center search results as well as BPO and data entry.

We welcome you to browse 123outsource.net to see what companies are out there. We verify our search results every few months, so the information should be up to date 97% of the time! Good luck!

BPO & Call Center categories doing well on 123outsource

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123outsource has been online for about eight years now. We slowly added to the site and slowly refined it. We are continuing to do quality control by removing defunct listings and interacting with all companies listed to feel them out to see who sounds better. We will additionally be interviewing the workers at some of the call centers and hiring a few on test projects to see how cooperative and good they are.

The BPO and Call Center pages on 123outsource.net are doing much better than the other categories and also receive more attention from those who spend advertising money with us. As a result, we have increased our budget for what we pay on Google Adwords to attract more visits from the United States in those respective categories.

As time goes on we will continue to gain sophistication in our methods for refining our search results and increase our advertising budget so we can dominate search for call centers throughout the world. Wish us luck and feel free to advertise on 123outsource.net!

Here is a list of stupid things BPO companies do to look for clients

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It is unbelievable how incompetent some people at overseas BPO companies can be. The emails, the online requests, the forum entries requesting genuine processes, it just doesn’t end. So, I decided to compile a list of dumb things people do to market their BPO services.

1. Commenting on Blogs
When you comment on someone’s blog entry, that can gain positive attention if you leave a URL to follow. The problem is, that 99% of the comments I get on my blog are desperate and illiterate people begging for processes. I get requests like, “Dear sir, I am desperate, please give me process.” I get, “I have a 25 seater and require a process.” Don’t they get it that I don’t give people processes? I run a directory. When I ask them to pay a small fee to get listed where hundreds of thousands of people will see them — they ignore me. Instead, they spam my blog and just get erased. Idiots!

2. Filling out the “I want to use this company” form.
On 123outsource.net there is a button you can click if you intend to use a particular company. We use it for tracking. Unfortunately, most people who use that form are so stupid they leave their resume. The form is for people GIVING a job, not for people who are BEGGING for a job. Instead of begging for work, it might make sense to get more schooling so you might have more to offer. That way people would be begging you to work for them instead of the other way around.

3. Sending clueless emails
“Dear sir, I am responding to you about the process.” There is no process, and never was. First of all, if you are emailing me, learn who I am and what I do. I run a directory. You can ask me if you want to be listed –that’s it. If you have no experience or knowledge, don’t ask me about starting a BPO because you will fail. It takes management experience to run a BPO — something you don’t have! If people sent an email saying that they offer such and such a service, and please respond if you are interested that would be better. The best type of correspondence is to know who you are talking to and ask them if they have any software or call center needs. Information gathering and small talk are the best ways to start a business relationship.

4. Hiring agents
If you hire an agent to help you get genuine processes, they usually require money up front which you will never see again. Pay only once you get a lead unless you know the company has a good reputation. There are lots of con men out there, so don’t get duped.

All about the BPO Industry

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The BPO industry is an industry with many different types of BPO companies in different countries doing various types of tasks. There is no normal in business process outsourcing.

BPO Projects
Many BPO companies are in a constant state of desperately looking for projects. The companies looking for work are usually the ones you don’t want to hire as they often lack language and communication skills. In my experience, if you write broken English, your work will probably be broken too which is why nobody will hire you. But, there are literate BPO companies out there looking for BPO projects too. They advertise on the web, send customized emails, and are pleasant to talk to on the phone.

Genuine Processes
Indians like to use the word “genuine process.” I’m not sure why they use this term. Are people normally offering them non-genuine processes? BPO work or BPO jobs should be genuine by definition and the nature of the work needs to be researched. Without a contract, the vendor is not protected from customers who are playing games.

Indian BPO Company / India BPO Companies
Many people in India want to work for a multinational company. The smaller Indian BPO companies have trouble retaining workers once the workers have four or five years of experience under their belt. If you work for an Indian BPO company, if you stick around and are any good, you might be promoted to manager after a few years. Do you want to be a big fish in a small India BPO company, or a small fish in a big pond at Oracle or Infosys? The India BPO scene seems to never be boring as new companies are sprouting up like weeds. However, every company I call has horrible phone skills and sloppy work skills. If India BPO companies would just clean up their act, they could gain so much market share it would be unbelievable!

Medical Transcription
Medical transcription companies in the US often hire companies in the Philippines or in India to do their work during the night. When Americans return to work in the morning, the work is done (hopefully). Accuracy rates are well documented in this industry, so there is no room for shoddy workmanship otherwise your BPO will go under quickly.

Software Development
The software BPO industry is a much more disturbing one as there are no definitive standards for the quality or speed of work. Hopefully, someone will set the score straight and create a blue book for costs of particular programming tasks of which there are zillions of.

How to start a BPO company?
If you want to start a BPO company in India or elsewhere we recommend working in management for someone elses for many years so you become an expert. Owning a business from the business angle is hard, but without basic skills you would learn managing someone else’s BPO, you don’t have a chance. Create a solid foundation for yourself before attempting the impossible.

20 Seat BPO
Many people want to start their 20 seat BPO by renting an office. Without customers, or at least without steady customers, your business will not last. Start off with one seat, and then work your way up, getting to know your workers, customers, and processes well until you develop a very steady base to build on. A 20 seat BPO is 19 seats too many when you are just starting out. It is better to rent a seat or two in a big call center that has empty seats, or share an office with someone.

You might also like:

How to get more clients for your BPO or Call Center (compilation)
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/08/20/how-to-get-more-clients-for-your-bpo-or-call-center-compilation/

18 ways to boost your social media marketing in 10 minutes a day
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/05/05/18-ways-to-boost-your-social-media-marketing-in-10-minutes-day/

Developing your hiring intuition
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/06/14/developing-your-hiring-intuition/

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Outsourcing

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DEFINITION OF OUTSOURCING
Outsourcing is a business practice where a particular company will hire someone who does not work for their company such as another company or a freelancer to do particular tasks for them. Typically, tasks outsourced will be highly repetitive or specialized tasks such as calling long lists of names with a particular call script, accounting, programming, data entry, technical support, payment processing, or some other specialized task.

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REASONS FOR OUTSOURCING
The reason companies outsource work to other companies are multi-fold. One reason could be to:

Save Time — so that employees and management can focus more on the core competencies of the company such as selling widgets while outsourcing bookeeping and reminder calls to companies who specialize in those particular tasks. Another reason could be:

Cost Cutting — Many outsource companies are located in India, The Philippines, or Eastern Europe where labor costs are lower than the United States, hence, creating an opportunity to capitalize on less expensive labor.

Skill Optimization — is yet another reason to outsource work as outsourced companies specialize in particular tasks such as blog set up, eCommerce site creation or XML conversion while your company specializes in widgets.

Eliminating Uneven Schedules — if you have a job to be done that will take only 10-15 hours a week on some weeks and more or less hours on other weeks, hiring a full-time or even part-time employee is a commitment that you will have trouble keeping. If that employee quits in the middle of a project, you’ll have another problem. It might be easier to outsource the project to a company who specializes in that task and has dozens of people who know exactly how to do it rather than hire your own staff.

Reducing Hiring — hiring and firing is expensive and is an art form that you might not have time to master. If you have a particular job that people are always quitting every two months, it might be easier to have the job outsourced to Manila where they have full-time HR managers to handle the hiring and firing for you! That way you can focus on widgets instead of dealing with people who quit on a whim leaving you high and dry. The outsourced company you hire will have plenty of backups all in the same specialty when the employee assigned to you quits.

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TYPES OF OUTSOURCING ARRANGEMENTS

Freelancers — Some companies hire freelancers which is a type of outsourcing.

Fixed Schedule — Others hire another company for a particular schedule with a contract which extends for a particular number of months or years such as 40 hours a week for two years.

Employee Leasing — Some companies hire a team of workers from an agency which is sometimes called “employee leasing.” Other companies pay for results in specialties like lead generation rather than paying for particular hours of work.

Assignment Based — Programming or software development outsourcing often has a company pay for a completed product or for a particular number of hours to do a particular job although there is very rarely a deadline.

On Call — Some outsourcing is on an on call basis. Programmers might be hire to fix code only when it breaks or to do programming work as needed. Call centers might have a small assignment from time to time only when needed.

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CATEGORIZATIONS OF OUTSOURCING JOBS
Outsourcing jobs are sometimes categorized using particular terms such as:

ITES — Information Technology Enabled Services which could include data entry using computers, web design, technical support, or other tasks which involve technology to facilitate the task in some type of a way.

KPO — Knowledge Process Outsourcing is also a bype of Business Process Outsourcing that includes tasks that require a higher level of education, knowledge or skills such as Accounting, Software Development, Research, etc.

LPO — Legal Process Outsourcing focuses primarily on legal research, patent research, contract drafting and legal support services, but rarely involves actually going to court.

RPO — Research Process Outsourcing or Recruitment Process Outsourcing. Research outsourcing is popular in Bangalore, India as there are many companies that offer market research, web research, and Pharmaceutical research. RPO could also be a form of human resources outsourcing where an outside company will help you find employees or leased agents. This is by far the least popular form of international outsourcing as there are few providers who offer overseas assistance with recruitment.

HRO — Human Resources Outsourcing as mentioned above is the least popular form of international outsourcing as there are very few overseas companies who offer competent service in this industry. However, there are a few companies in India and the Philippines that allow you to lease call center agents and programmers at low rates. However, the quality of such help is dubious and not guaranteed in any way by the provider company.

MBPO — Medical Business Process Outsourcing includes outsourcing of Medical Billing, coding and Medical Transcription. Quality standards and billing in these fields is a lot more uniform than in other BPO tasks as companies can charge a percentage in Medical Billing and can offer rates per number of characters or words (or lines) in Medical Transcriptions. Quality standards are also easy to measure as there are international standards for Medical Billing and Medical Transcription. You can measure errors as a percentage rate. If a company makes more than a particular fraction of a percent of errors, they generally go out of business or get fired.

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TYPES OF OUTSOURCING JOBS
Commonly outsourced jobs might include: Accounting, Bookkeeping, Call Center, Data Entry, ePublishing, Legal Research, Market Research, Medical Billing, Medical Transcriptions, Social Media, Software Development, and Web Design. However, there are many specialties in most of these types of outsourcing jobs.

Accounting Specialties — Bookkeeping, Tax Preparation, Payroll, Bank Reconcilliation

Call Center Specialties — Appointment Setting, Chat Support, Collections, Customer Help Desk, Data Verification, Email Support, Inbound Customer Care, Lead Generation, Order Taking, Outbound, Survey Taking, Technical Support, Telemarketing, Ticket Sales,

Data Entry Specialties — Data Capture, Data Cleansing, Data Conversion, Data Entry, Data Mining, Data Processing, Data Quality, Data Security, Data Transcription, eCommerce Data Entry, Forms Filling, Forms Processing, Image Processing, Product Data Entry, Scanning, etc. Data Conversion includes XML, SGML, HTML5 conversion, PDF or JPG conversion, and conversion from one language or format to another.

Social Media tasks might include article writing, proofreading, posting on Facebook, managing a Twitter account, LinkedIn, Instagram, Pinterest, or any of the other common social media platforms. Most companies specialize in several social media platforms, but cannot provide service for ones they are not familiar with or don’t have sufficient staff for.

Software Development Specialties — Blog Set up, eCommerce Set up, Software Testing, Web Design, Employee Leasing, etc.

Common software languages include: C, C#, C++, ERP, J2ME, Java, jQuery, LAMP, MySQL, .Net, OpenSource, PHP, Ruby on Rails, SAP, SQL, XML, and more.

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You might also like:

Wikepedia’s article on — outsourcing

Investopedia’s article on — outsourcing

Entrepreneur’s article on — outsourcing

See our informational page on the term — outsourced.

See 123outsource’s compilation on best articles about outsourcing.
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/04/02/compilation-of-best-outsourcing-articles/

What countries are best to outsource a particular task to?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/04/07/which-countries-are-the-best-to-outsource-particular-tasks-to/

Six problems that only individuals working in a BPO industry would understand.
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/06/15/six-problems-that-only-individuals-working-in-a-bpo-industry-would-understand/

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Outsourced

Categories: Keyword, Outsourcing Articles | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Definition of Outsourced / Outsourcing

Verb
Outsourced is the past tense of the verb to outsource.

(1) To obtain services from an outside or foreign supplier in place of an internal source.
(2) To contract work to an outside firm or abroad.
(3) To assign particular specialized and/or repetitive tasks that are not core competencies of the mother company
to an outside or foreign company.
(4) To procure back office services with an outside supplier or provider.

Explanation
BPO Outsourcing is becoming more and more popular as companies have to fight harder to survive in a world where margins are getting tighter by the day. If a company is doing a particular task even slightly less efficiently than the competition, they will lose profits and market share in the long run. One solution available which may or may not increase efficiency is to outsource particular tasks to a company that specializes in those particular tasks. For example, if your company focuses on widget production, but 10% of your labor resources are devoted to reminder calls, it might make sense to focus more on widgets, and outsource the reminder calls to Manila where there are companies who specialize in all aspects of the call center business. Knowledge intensive tasks are also more and more commonly outsourced to KPO and LPO companies who specialize in knowledge process outsourcing and legal process outsourcing.

Outsourced — the TV show
Outsourced is also an American television sitcom filmed in Los Angeles that was set in an Indian Workplace fictionally located in Mumbai, India. A catalog based company selling American novelty goods such as whoopee cushions, foam fingers, and wallets made of bacon hires Todd Dempsy from Kansas to relocated to Bombay. Every episode of this hillarious comedy focuses around Todd’s culture shock dealing with Indians and attempting to teach the local Mumbai staff all about American sensibilities and culture.

See NBC’s profile page for the show — Outsourced

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You might also like

See our feed of articles about — outsourced

See our comprehensive definition of — outsourcing — which goes over when and why outsourcing is done, types of outsourcing arrangements (freelance, contract, staff leasing), a detailed look at categorizations of outsourced tasks (BPO, KPO, LPO) as well as a detailed look at 55+ commonly outsourced specialties in the call center, data entry, software and other outsourcing industries.

Is it fair that American jobs are outsourced to India?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/12/25/is-it-fair-that-american-jobs-are-outsourced-to-india-2015/

What is the correct order of steps to screen an outsourced company?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2013/08/16/what-is-the-correct-order-of-steps-to-screen-an-outsourced-company/

Compilation of best outsourcing articles:
The best tasks to outsource are not critical or time sensitive
If you invested in BPO employees, what types of tasks would you teach them?
The 2 minute contact rule
more…
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/04/02/compilation-of-best-outsourcing-articles/

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Marketing your BPO Outsourcing Firm from A to Z

Categories: BPO, Marketing, Outsource Marketing | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Do you run a call center, BPO, software outsourcing company, or want to? If you are good at what you do, you just might be able to expand into a real business! You’ll need management experience and solid skills, some cash, and some understanding of marketing — but, you can do it! But, where do you start?

WebsitesOutsourcing companies need a website. Most people look for services online. So, making yourself easy to find with a website is paramount. However, having “a” website is just not enough. It needs to be well organized, have a services page where you have a long list of services you offer and notes about your expertise in those services. You need “About Us” information so people will get a sense of who you are. A good contact page is essential too with email addresses, a choice of phone numbers and an online form. Make sure your site is attractive, loads quickly, and does not have spelling mistakes, etc.

You might also like:
How to get more clients for your BPO (compilation)
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/08/20/how-to-get-more-clients-for-your-bpo-or-call-center-compilation/

Good Sign Bad Sign: What to look for in newly hired workers
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/01/13/outsource-blog-good-sign-bad-sign-what-to-look-for-in-newly-hired-workers/

Email — Many companies market by email, but do it wrong. Marketing by email should be personal. You should try to learn what the company’s needs are and cater to them. Additionally, emails that do not state the NAME of the recipient are impersonal and get ignored close to 100% of the time. Email marketing is powerful, but only when it is customized to the reader, and having a previous connection to the reader helps so they will know who you are. Otherwise, you are just another nuissance spammer. If you email decision makers in thousands of companies, find a way to ask them what their needs are, and get some dialogue going, you are in luck.

Phone — Phone calls from strangers are an annoyance. But, at least you can learn who the contact person is and gain their attention. Remember, step one is not to sell, but to learn people’s names, positions, and find out what types of services they use. Focus on getting information and find out what they need, what they like and dislike about their current service, and what improvements they would like to see in their service if they lived in a perfect world (which you will of course create for them.) Don’t call businesses unless they are very targetted otherwise you are wasting their time. Additionally, have someone considerate who has good English skills make the call instead of a bumbling nitwit who will lose your prospect’s interest the minute he opens his mouth.

Network — There are dozens of ways to network. You can go to networking meetings in your home country or the country where you are seeking clients. You can network with other companies in your industry to handle their OVERFLOW which is a serious problem. If you can be reliable about handling overflow, you might just become popular.

Freelancer Sites — Several years ago freelance sites were not that big a deal. Now, they are the standard way of getting anything done. Hiring BPO companies is a headache, but hiring a freelancer has never been easier. You can advertise your company as a freelancer, or freelance company on any site that will take you and watch the jobs come in. Yes, you will lose a percentage to the site, but you will also gain some long term clients who will refer you if you do a good job.

Linked In — We used to recommend Linked In more highly. But, since August of 2015 they made it hard to contact people using their medium without really paying. Linked In might change their rules in the future, but as of now, you can find people on Linked In, but you need to contact them using email or social media other than on Linked In. You can still try Linked In, but it is not as efficient or user-friendly as before which is a shame.

Advertise — There are sites like Craigslist where you can advertise. You can also advertise in industry specific publications. Track your sales that you got from your advertisements so you can keep the winning ads and get rid of the duds. You can advertise on 123outsource.net which specializes in promoting outsourcing companies on the web. We have a category for each type of outsourcing service as well, so your ad will be highly targetted.

Adwords PPC — PPC can be expensive, but you can geo-target where you want your ads to be shown and how much you want to pay. If you get a good return from adwords you can build a business fast. I built my Notary directory using adwords when it first started back in 2005 and got a bargain on it. I was paying 5 cents per click before others caught on. Boy was I at the right place at the right time. You can advertise specials that are displayed on your website using PPC .

Outsource Marketing — Who says that you should do your marketing yourself? Marketing is a specialty that might be better left to a specialist assuming they do a good job. But, many in marketing do not do a good job and don’t even care. So, be careful who you pick and offer results based compensation otherwise you won’t get any results!

Understand What the Client Wants — In India, business people are in a hurry to talk non-stop without listening. This is horrible. To do well in business you need to be gentle, smart, and listen. Your job is not to over-talk, but to be a detective and find out what the customer really wants. They might not tell you, so you have to figure it out. Understanding what clients want is similar to men understanding how women feel. If you hire a guy who has far too many girlfriends and keeps them all satisfied, he might be the right guy for the job (although he might come to work from a different direction each day.)

Be a Partner — The BPO outsourcing companies I have worked with have not tried to be a partner. Many have asked for formal partnerships, but this is not what I am talking about. Be a partner WITHOUT the formality. Be there for your clients. Offer suggestions without them asking. Alert them if they have done something dumb with their business. If you care about them more than they care about themselves, you will be rewarded with loyalty and referrals. People will swear by you. I have never seen anyone be this good all the time, but I do have one “partner” who is like this part of the time.

Correct English — Most Indians don’t feel this is important. However, Americans won’t hire you if you can’t communicate in proper English. You won’t get respect or jobs. We judge you based on how good your English is. If you make spelling and punctuation mistakes, we might not hire you. If you sound garbled over the phone or put us on hold without permission, we will assume you offer horrible service. In my experience, those who communicate poorly always do pathetic work — and I work with thousands of people. So, hire a tutor, and get your skills in order otherwise you will be unemployed.

Customer Retention — Outsourcing companies do not think about customer retention. They think of wooing new clients while they neglect existing clients who will therefor shortly dump them. It is easier to give good service to an existing client than get a new client. So, spend more energy making sure all of your clients are getting what they need. You could even ask them if there are any issues with the service and you might be surprised or appalled at what you hear. Some people won’t tell you unless you ask.

Blogging — Many companies understand the importance of community building. If you run a blog, forum, or community of some sort, you attract people who get to know your writing over time. These people can become clients or share your articles on the web on their networks. Blogging is a powerful way to make meaningful connections with thousands of people. I blog daily and swear by it. I spend an average of ninety minutes per day blogging which says a lot.

Chat Support — Many people will come to your site, but if you offer online chat to visitors, you might annoy them or you might develop a dialogue which could turn them into a client. Chat services on your site are something to consider although that is more of an advanced technique than a basic one.

Free Services — My best marketing secret is to offer free services in order to maintain and develop new connections with new people. A free client can turn into a paid client after they get to know you. Free services are by definition limited and not labor intensive for you to maintain. However, if you talk to your free members after a few months, you might find that they are more open to buying from you now that they have gotten to know you. My entire business model revolves around free services and I swear by its effectiveness as 25% of my paying clients started as free members. The question is, what type of free services could you offer? Samples of your work, or some other web-based application that they could have access to online. Think long and hard about this as it could change your future.

You might also like:

Best Marketing Resources (compilation)
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/02/24/compilation-of-best-marketing-resources/

Why email sales promotions don’t work as well as cold calling
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/10/25/why-email-sales-promotions-dont-work-as-well-as-cold-calling/

Who are your best business connections? They are not who you think!
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/09/08/who-are-your-best-business-connections-they-are-not-who-you-think/

Create stories in your blog about the experience of your clients
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2014/07/18/create-stories-in-your-blog-about-the-experience-of-your-clients/

How to start a Call Center or BPO Company – advice analyzed

Categories: BPO, Call Center | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Real world commentary on starting a call center BPO business plan

How to blogs are easy to write, and popular too. But, how practical is the generic advice really? Does general advice cover “what if” scenarios? In real life, does business ever go as planned? Does your text book always, sometimes or never cover what to do in situations that really do happen? The answer is that generic advice will only give you a general framework of ideas of what to do to start out in a BPO business. The rest should ideally be covered in detailed tutorials, but rarely is. Part of the problem is that there is no market for nitpicky business advice — few want to read it unless it is juicy and drama-packed. So, here is my commentary about generic how to start a business advice.

Create a business plan
It is a well known fact that individuals who succeed are much more likely to have written plans than those who do not succeed. The fact that you wrote your plan down indicates that your though is more decisive, and also better thought out. A BPO business without a business plan is like a road trip without a map or idea of where you want to go. You need some type of plan, and the best plan incorporates all of the variations of what you might do. In real life, you have no idea of what direction your business will go if you are successful at all.

Real World Advice
The most important real world advice I can give you is to be receptive to what people want from you, and don’t be fixed on what you think you want to do. If you want to do customer support in call centers, but your clients want you to do Android technical support for 70% of their accounts, it’s time to learn Android. If you only have one request for Android, then it might not be worth pursuing. Basically, you have to be ready, willing, and responsive to shift directions when you feel it makes sense to do so. Being too rigid can kill a small call center startup.

Investors
If you wish to attract investors to your BPO startup, a professional and formal business plan will be necessary. You should have it done in conjunction with a professional who specializes in formal business plans who can guide you through the process. Those who fail to plan, plan to fail, so don’t skimp on planning. Without the head of the company having a solid background in BPO work and management, investors will not give you the time of day — nor should they. A company without a foundation will likely not get off the ground. But, there are plenty of opportunities to pay your dues at call centers in the Philippines and India and get experience.

Executive Summary
Specify how your company fills a need in the market place and why you feel you will be successful. If you have already been successful in the market previously, that is a type of indication that you will do well again.

Company Description
Write a quick description as to what your services will include. The critical aspect here is to specify what your company will do better in terms of hiring, training, hours of operation, and specialized, customized or tailored services. Companies that do well tend to focus on particular tasks and be experts at what they focus on in addition to having a few supplementary and related tasks they do as well.

Market Analysis
You need to document and research how large your market is, how large the market is projected to grow, how big your niche market is, etc. You need to include market pricing, government regulations, operating costs, and more.

Real World Advice
Market analysis is all find and dandy. But, what is more important is knowing how you can penetrate the market yourself, and what people will pay you. They might pay you a lot less than others are charging until you build a reputation and steady clientele. It is hard to pay employees, pay rent, and make a profit when you are being paid 20% less for the same work the other guys get full price for. Temporary as that situation is, take it into consideration.

Services
In addition to specifying the wide variety of services you wish to offer, you need to specify this clearly on your website. Many websites go on and on about high and lofty company missions without ever mentioning what the company actually does! Fluff vs. facts. If you offer too many services which you know nothing about, you might look good on paper until someone actually uses you. If you focus on doing particular services well, and don’t do what you can’t do well, your reputation will precede you.

Marketing & Sales
You need to know how you plan on selling services. How many salespeople will you have? Will you have a website or online advertising (recommended.) Who are you going to contact for jobs? You should make a very long list. You need to know the analytics and metrics of service sales as well such as how many calls you’ll have to make to get a single contract. In a small startup you will be the sales, management, training, marketing, and finance department. If you don’t know how to do all of these things you’ll have to rely on a partner who might easily betray you, quit, or slack off leaving you high and dry.

Funding Needs
If you are just starting out, it is hard to know how much money you’ll need. You need staff, an office, phone lines, computers, utilities, consultants, and more. It is better to overestimate how much you’ll need as running out of money will shut you down permanently.

Financial Projections
The advice I read online is that you should have a projection of financial data for the first five years. In real life, you have no idea of what will be going on in five years, even if you are very established. Markets change fast, you will change, and you probably won’t even be in business in five years (a cheerful thought.) Whatever your financial projections may be are just guesses. I tend to suspect that those who do financial projections for Coca-Cola Corporation are the best in the business and yield a lot of accuracy for their statements. You unfortunately do not have Coca-Cola’s highly paid experts. So, just do your best and don’t invest any faith in your numbers as they are no more permanent than clouds in the sky.

Appendix
Include any supporting documents, important information, credit history, reference letters, licenses, permits, contracts, etc.

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Is it time to Uber-size your outsourcing business?

Categories: Innovation, Semi-Popular | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Uber is always in the news
Every time I go online, I see news about Mark Cuban, Startups, Apple, Uber, Richard Branson, Innovations, and more. People either love Uber or they hate them. In the Notary industry which I am heavily involved with, there is a company called Snapdocs which used an Uber-type model to run their business. They have Notaries all throughout the United States who get text messages whenever there is a local job available. The Notaries can accept the job or barter for better terms. Snapdocs has somewhat transformed the Notary industry in the United States — and it will never be the same.

Can your BPO use Uber thinking?
But, how can your outsourcing or BPO company apply Uber-type principles to better running your operation? In some ways you can. Most outsourcing companies have between five and fifty people in a particular location. Or, some of them might work from home. Uber operates on a nationwide or worldwide level. If a job is inputted into the system by a customer, any service provider who is close can claim the job. Outsourcing is geo-specific, as you function in a particular area, but — you cater to the whole English speaking world.

Job Offers
Uber operates on the principle of having small jobs taken care of quickly at an affordable price and in a nice way. If you deal in huge programming contracts, the Uber model might not be appropriate for you. But, if you dissected your huge jobs into smaller parts, you might be in business. If you have ten people who answer inquiries all day and all night long on a commission basis, they could answer inquiries as fast as Uber drivers pick up customers. Your reps could answer questions, give quotes, and advice too, all in real time (within minutes.) Smart companies offer samples or smaller jobs at reasonable prices to gain the confidence of new clients. Small jobs could be dispatched, priced, and finished overnight using Uber modes of operation.

Call Centers
Smaller call center contracts could be sold the same way. If a smaller client wants service for one day per week, this small order could be fulfilled well using Uber type principles. Many small businesses have a horrible time finding good call centers who are responsive to small clients. Most do not take an interest in small clients and don’t return calls. If yours is the one that is responsive, you might dominate the small-client market and clean up!

Think Small
Uber type principles are good for small jobs. But, how can you make money doing small jobs? First of all, if you accumulate a lot of small jobs, you can make a lot of money. Secondly, small jobs might pay higher per hour than large jobs giving you a better margin. Third, small jobs can turn into regular clients if you take care of them well — which most companies do not as most companies are only interested in big jobs.

How Do You Do It?
Just have an online system where clients can put in their work requests. Make sure that a team of people is around to answer requests on a first come first provide service basis. Once the request is handled, work goes on just like any other job that you are taking the old fashioned way.

Should You Do It?
If you have a really cool modern system, and it catches on with good marketing, you could become a huge company overnight. Most other companies are very sluggish about offering quotes or getting back to people. If you are the one that is effective, polite, and does good work fast — you could conceivably take over!

You might also like:

Is Amazon too tough on their workers?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/06/10/is-amazon-too-tough-on-their-workers/

When you slow down, I slow down
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/05/04/when-you-slow-down-i-slow-down/

Good business karma or bad business karma?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/03/08/good-business-karma-or-bad-business-karma/

America invented & forgot about customer service
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2016/03/02/america-invented-forgot-about-customer-service/

What if you got your business advice from Yoda?
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/11/30/what-if-you-got-your-business-advice-from-yoda/

You don’t get to the next level in business by being in a hurry
http://bpo.123outsource.net/2015/11/13/you-dont-get-to-the-next-level-in-business-by-being-in-a-hurry/

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