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What to Expect from the BPO Industry this Year

by: Sarah Joson

Thursday, January 19, 2012 |

2012 BPO Trends

Gareth Pritchard, CEO of BPeSA Western Cape, shared with ITNewsAfrica.com his predictions for the business process outsourcing (BPO) industry in 2012. He cited major innovations and of course the economic downturn as key indicators of what lies ahead in the BPO landscape.

India’s no longer the go-to voice hub.
2011 had seen several UK-based customer service companies bringing call center processes back home from India to reduce the risk of losing customers over the quality of service. For them, cutting costs during a bootstrapped economy is one thing, but losing a customer because of a transaction gone wrong is more critical. They are also keen on spending more just to keep their customers. Nearshore providers such as South Africa can also benefit from this as they can use their time zone and cultural affinity to their advantage in the voice-based outsourcing sector.

Unemployment level leads to creation of US anti-outsourcing bill.

With the likelihood of another recession and no evidence of the unemployment levels improving, Republican Tim Bishop (D-N.Y.) and the Communications Workers of America (CWA) are rigorously working on getting a House Bill approved that aims to discourage US firms from outsourcing to offshore locations. It would also restrict government aides such as loans and grants. It is predicted that outsourcing destinations such as India and the Philippines will be affected as these countries mostly provide voice-based and back office services to the US.

In outsourcing, quality comes first before reduced costs.
Outsourcing will still be seen as a valuable tool and will definitely grow in 2012 as businesses brace for the recurrence of another economic depression. Business executives will find ways to cut operational costs without sacrificing the quality of work. In fact, a study from Horses for Sources stated that 25% of organizations will remedy the looming recession with outsourcing as it has proven its worth to the services industry.

The cloud will prevail.
Technology is definitely one of the important components of a company’s success. The cloud is seen by numerous companies, especially by small players, as a viable solution in terms of cutting costs and incurring other ground-breaking benefits. The demand for the cloud will grow, as well as the service itself in 2012.

Social media is now widely integrated into business plans.
In recent years, social media has become a great tool for businesses to address customer-related concerns. It also helps in the marketing efforts of companies, and in making a mark in the online world.

Also, this trend has paved the way for other types of customer support in 2012. Call center services will be a mere addition to a bigger package that includes various platforms such as chat, social networking sites, and micro blogs where customer concerns can also be addressed in a timely manner, just like in voice-based services. 

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