What Is a BPO Call Center?

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Picture this: your business suddenly sees an unprecedented surge in customer calls due to a successful product launch. Your in-house team is overwhelmed, and customer wait times are skyrocketing. That’s where a BPO call center comes in as a specialized partner equipped to handle such spikes in demand seamlessly, ensuring that each customer receives the attention and service they deserve without missing a beat. Entrusting these critical conversations to a partner who answers customer calls with empathy and deep industry knowledge and masters the art of turning each call into an opportunity for growth and connection. 

Clearly, the BPO industry is redefining the boundaries of customer service by offering customized, professional, and round-the-clock support. And among the various types of call centers, a call center BPO can scale customer service resources quickly and efficiently, which can significantly impact customer satisfaction and loyalty.

In this blog, we will explore the world of call centers and BPOs, revealing a landscape where efficiency meets empathy, technology partners with a human touch, and businesses unlock their potential by focusing on what they do best. We’ll define BPO and call center, explain their similarities and differences, and provide the steps to hire a BPO call center.

What Does BPO Mean In a Call Center?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) in a call center means hiring outside service providers to perform various call center operations and customer service functions. This approach can include anything from handling customer inquiries, technical support, and telemarketing to back-office tasks like data entry and billing services. Outsourcing these functions enables your business to access specialized skills and advanced technologies to improve its resources and concentrate on its primary business. For example, BPO gives businesses the ability to focus on product and market development. Essentially, BPO lets companies outsource specific tasks to specialists and lets them concentrate on their core business and growth strategies.

Plus, BPO benefits call centers in more than just operational efficiency. It enables businesses to scale up or down their customer service operations as demand changes without investing in infrastructure or recruiting extra personnel. This scalability allows customer service quality to remain consistent during peak times, such as product launches or seasonal sales. In addition, BPO firms bring industry experience and insights that can help refine customer engagement strategies and penetrate new markets. In short, BPO turns call centers into strategic assets for customer satisfaction, loyalty, and business success.

Is BPO the Same as a Call Center?

Simply put, BPO and call centers are related but distinct concepts. In general, BPO refers to outsourcing business operations to an outside business, including payroll, bookkeeping, human resources, and customer service. A call center is a more specific type of BPO that only takes telephone calls, live chat, and email. For example, inbound and outbound call centers focus on customer service, sales, technical support, and other client communications.

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Here are a few differences between BPOs and call centers:

  • Communications Channels: Call centers typically handle phone calls, but modern centers offer omnichannel support using email and live chat. BPO services can include non-communication tasks like data entry and processing.
  • Business Objectives: BPOs strive to improve operational efficiency and reduce the cost of various business functions. Call centers specialize in enhancing customer service quality and response time at a lower price than in-house employees.
  • Company Integration: BPO firms are sometimes embedded into a company’s internal processes—handling whole business functions like HR and accounting. While sometimes integral to a business, call centers focus on customer interaction and service, not entire business operations.
  • Performance Metrics: BPO providers are measured using a set of broad yet distinguished KPIs, including process efficiency, cost saving, and service quality for the outsourced responsibilities. Customer service metrics like call resolution times, customer satisfaction scores, and call volume handling are typically used to evaluate call center performance.

In short, all call centers are a type of BPO. However, not all BPO services can be considered call centers. Keeping that in mind, call centers are one service that BPO companies provide to businesses looking to outsource business operations, such as phone calls. Ultimately, the difference is in the scope of services: BPO firms offer services across a business’s operation, while call centers serve to provide customer communications and engagement over the phone or other online channels.

Here’s How a Typical Call Center BPO Works:

What do you need to do to hire a BPO call center? Let’s take a step-by-step look at how your business can set up a call center and the outcomes you can expect:

  1. Research BPO Call Center Services: Imagine your business wants to outsource its call center functions. The first step is to research options and follow up with a customer service BPO firm that best suits your business’s needs. During this process, you should discuss needs, objectives, and expectations regarding the service.
  2. Sign a Service Agreement: The next step is for the BPO service to draft a service agreement that details the scope of work, performance measures, costs, and confidentiality terms. This document is the blueprint for the partnership. In some cases, BPOs offer benefits such as no long-term contracts or custom plans. 
  3. Begin Training and Onboarding: The BPO firm recruits and trains agents for your business’s products or services and customer service protocols in your industry. This phase prepares agents to represent the business’s brand.
  4. Set Up Technology: The BPO company sets up the technology infrastructure, including telephony systems, CRM software, and other tools needed to handle customer interactions across various communication channels, such as phone calls, live chats, and email.
  5. Begin Operations: With everything in place, BPO call centers handle customer communications for your business’s clients. This could include answering questions about products or services, technical support, and tasks like appointment scheduling.
  6. Implement Monitoring and Reporting: The BPO call center continuously monitors performance against agreed metrics—like wait times, customer satisfaction, and customer retention. You’ll then have access to regular reports on customer satisfaction, agent performance, and process efficiency.
  7. Foster Continuous Improvement: Based on feedback and performance data, the BPO call center and your business can refine processes to address challenges and improve service quality. This approach offers your business flexibility and scalability to provide top-notch service to all of your customers. 

This method of customer service and call handling lets a BPO call center take over your business’s customer service functions and provide specialized support while leaving your employees to concentrate on core business operations.

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