A few years ago, the growth of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Robotic Process Automation (RPA) posed a risk to the Philippine Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) going out of business as the said emerging technologies are capable to streamline tasks on customer service and technical troubleshooting in a piloted DIY environment. For BPO industry, the challenge was immediate: innovate and evolve or face going out of business as media stated.
In 2021 when the world is still grappling with the pandemic, digital and technological adoption have accelerated for businesses as more and more of them by the day are taking their services or goods online in digital retail while opening up revenues through online payments. As e-commerce soared and major web traffic spiked, customer service department was again challenged to scale and adapt.
For BPOs, the harmonization of new technologies meshes well with their trajectory when it comes to services / solutions offered to businesses. As BPOs who embed themselves with technology are able to transform into the next disruptive players in the industry — alongside being able to provide cutting-edge and disruptive solutions to their existing clients and target market.
More than Just Phone Operators
New technology incorporated into the BPO industry is pushing the envelope for the evolution of these platforms that were once limited to phone operations. New ingrained technologies such as service chat-bots, machine learning, self-service portals and omni-channel resource management effectively allows contact centre to re-integrate themselves into the evolving business landscape by utilization of the technologies that were once posing a threat to their operations.
The evolved contact centre today are more than just phone operators and back office work, they are now suppliers or vendors of solutions that encompass customer service, customer experience and omni-channel resourcing.
Some of the disruptive and emerging technology use cases are:
Blockchain-centric Knowledgebases – That time-stamps customer support instances and with this capability, the support structure can quickly re-discover previous customer needs and their tickets for support. This enables better customer relationships via response.
AI Chat Bots – We are seeing them more and more as Artificial Intelligence is being embedded in the customer support structure. These AI powered chat systems will only get smarter and more sophisticated as they evolve with the customer behavior and as the technology further matures.
Machine Learning Systems – Machine learning is being put to good use under an observation pedestal where they are in the center of it all: always observing every response and resource and crunching them into analytical and visual models where key observations are gained and interpreted meaningfully for decision makers and departments to make informed decisions.
RPA Processes – RPA backed processes that link up processes between human actions and software / information system actions are essential in streamlining the core solutions delivery of BPO. RPA allows both the enterprise and its BPO vendor to work more efficiently in their working relationship.
Scaling with Omni-Channel
As processes are streamlined and multiple operational fronts on customer service are funneled across a solutions line, contact centres and businesses are looking at the versatile utilization of agents, platforms and specialty functions across the omni-channel front in hopes to scale with strategy instead of just pouring continuous resources where the moment defines it. Agents on the roles of solutions specialists are now multi-abled to handle phone, instant messaging, social and bilingual sessions instead of the traditional one-off roles.
Mass utilization of resources involving agents, operators, roles and solutions are a thing of the pass as BPO entities today are now more than just role providers. They are now solutions providers to tackle business needs with the strategic approach of utilizing solutions and resources to approach business needs. With a strategic framework of integration these solutions, the BPO industry study and map business processes and using statistical breakdown on key performance areas, they are able to re-assess and design a solution for the business to scale with volume and long-term needs.