Kick Start Your Customer Support BPO Partnership Successfully

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Expanding to new time zones, providing multilingual support, and scaling to keep pace with ticket volumes are a few reasons why call centers and customer support teams bring in a BPO (“business processing outsourcing”) organization. Regardless of the reason, outsourcing your customer support to a BPO can be a great way to maximize efficiency and provide excellent customer experiences. But how can you make sure you are set up for success? 

This blog will outline essential tips to get you up and running successfully with your BPO partnership, pulling heavily on industry insights we gathered from our customer Rubiko, a best-in-class, customer support provider (BPO) for the iGaming Industry.

Read on to discover how to get started with a customer support BPO, from selecting the right provider, aligning performance expectations, on-boarding successfully, and optimizing performance long term. 

Selecting a BPO that’s Right for Your Business

The ideal BPO will help you achieve your operational goals while enabling fantastic customer experiences. Finding a partner who can live up to such high standards doesn’t happen by chance. That’s why when selecting a BPO, it’s “not just about the experience; it’s also about the tools the BPO can provide to support the services the client needs,” said Francisco Parker, Head of Operations at Rubiko. “What’s key here is creating that relationship, so you can determine what the client wants.” 

Here are 5 key factors to have in place before selecting a BPO that’s right for your business:

1. Know your primary objectives: Start with an internal review. Have you been tasked with scaling in-house services, adding a multilingual customer support team, or does your business needs now require 24/7 customer support services? This analysis will help you determine the best time to reach out to a BPO, as Paulina Coronado, Human Resources, Head of Business Operations at Rubiko, said, “once you have determined that you could benefit from the expertise of a partner (BPO) to help you take your primary objectives to the next level,” that is the optimal time to reach out to a BPO.

2. Have a project owner: Appoint a team player who knows how to drive the project momentum forward, and knows when to bring in additional stakeholders or resources. 

3. Determine selection criteria: To select the right BPO for your business, it’s not only important to identify five to ten business needs that the BPO should meet, but Parker recommends getting the answers to three key interview questions:

  1. What metrics does the BPO focus on?
  2. What are the BPO’s values?
  3. How will the BPO meet the client’s key metrics?

Of course, each BPO will share different insights when responding to these questions. “At Rubiko, we care about quality, but in general, when it comes to metrics (first call resolution, email response time, etc.), some BPO’s are going to just share what’s important for them. So already, you can start assessing what they value and what they are capable of offering,” said Parker. 

The answers from a potential BPO should really “be based on what the client needs and what the client wants,” added Parker. “In the end, it’s about pulling all the pieces together, so that you create a joint partnership in order to find success.” 

4. Define success criteria: Define the KPIs and performance standards you expect from a BPO partnership and use this criteria to determine which companies are the best fit for your business objectives and support teams’ needs. For example, you might set very clear performance expectations upfront with your BPO partners around quality standards for customer support. To take this a step further, you could include these performance expectations in your BPO service level agreements to hold the BPO accountable. 

5. Be prepared for speed bumps: Even the best partnerships face challenges. Coronado recommends interacting with the BPO for at least three weeks (requesting demos, more information, or follow ups) before making your final selection, so that you get a sense of the BPO’s communication style and how it may handle challenges.

It’s vital to remember that you are in a sense, selecting an “extension of your business,” said Coronado. “You are incorporating someone into your organization, into your operations. You're not outsourcing, I don't even think that outsourcing is the right word…it’s a partnership,” said Coronado.

Onboarding & Working with Your BPO

It is an exciting time for any business when they have finally selected a BPO partner and are ready to officially kick off their onboarding process. Coronado pointed out that many BPOs complete their onboarding process in 30 days, however, to her, onboarding isn’t a one-time activity, she takes a long-term view of this process. It should be thoughtfully planned and maintained over a period of 9 to 12 months and even beyond.

Onboarding is the process of integrating a partner into the business, and for Coronado, “it starts the moment you have that first conversation with the potential business partner.” 

Getting the Most from Your BPO Partnership

So, what are top brands doing to maximize their BPO relationships? The team at Rubiko believe their best partnerships have the following characteristics: 

1. Expect Positive Results

“The best ones challenge us, question us, and request results,” Coronado said. Don’t be shy to ask tough questions and change what isn’t working. After all, partnering with a BPO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it proposition.

2. Look for Transparency & Collaboration

How do you handle a misalignment on performance standards by your BPO? “Teamwork and being as transparent as possible is important,” said Parker. He further recommends that if you see that the BPO is not achieving a metric that you as the client has set, then collaborate as a team to start changing that.

3. Ask for Meaningful Data & Insights

Most BPO providers will provide basic reporting back to the client, but for most businesses this isn’t enough. “Companies that partner with us,” said Coronado, “are expecting valuable insights. They expect us to meet specific specifications, and they expect us to go the extra mile. So those are the best ones, because they make us better.”

Meaningful data and insights from a Quality Program helps: 

  1. Identify the knowledge level of your BPO’s agents and training gaps
  2. Analyze customer interactions that drive low CSAT or churn
  3. Standardize the BPO’s QA Processes (this is extremely important when using multiple BPOs)
  4. Understand the BPO’s overall performance and evaluate contract renewals.

Unlike Rubiko, many BPO’s manage QA on their own without sharing meaningful data and insights. Unfortunately, this results in a lack of visibility into the data and limits a brands ability to uncover any meaningful trends or opportunities for improvement. In fact, more often, a lack of visibility leads to more disconnect and performance problems with the BPO due to the inability to see the full customer journey, unreliable reporting on quality scores vs NPS or CSAT (due to inflated QA scores), the inability to understand top/lowest performing individual agents (by QA score), and a misalignment on calibrations, just to name a few.

By leveraging MaestroQA’s platform, Rubiko is able to provide the brands they work with complete visibility into the QA workflow so they can spot trends, analyze results, and make smarter decisions that can lead to better customer interactions and even impact retention and business growth. From grader performance dashboards and coaching metrics, to an DSAT analysis dashboard, Rubiko’s “clients can see how we are doing and we can show them that,” said Parker. 

Here’s a good example of how Rubiko manages a broad range of teams using a MaestroQA Grader dashboard that allows them to keep up with the high volume of tickets that require grading each month. 

MaestroQA Grading Assignments: BPO Blog

With the Grader Performance dashboard, Rubiko is able to quickly compare average grading times vs the number of tickets graded. 

MaestroQA Grader Performance Dashboard: BPO Blog

The MaestroQA coaching dashboard also provides Rubiko with a centralized platform for 1:1 sessions and agent performance reviews.

MaestroQA Coaching Dashboard: BPO Blog

The DSAT Analysis Dashboard in MaestroQA provides Rubiko with an automated way to identify and aggregate tickets from unhappy customers—without manually exporting data from a helpdesk.

MaestroQA DSAT Dashboard: BPO Blog

Uncover a Better BPO Partnership with QA

MaestroQA provides QA software that CX teams can use to ensure quality customer interactions. Quickly grade support tickets, track key performance metrics, and seamlessly provide coaching for in-house and BPO teams.

See how leading brands use MaestroQA to better gauge their BPO’s performance.

Request a demo to uncover a better BPO partnership with QA.

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