The BPO Industry is renowned for its flexibility and ability to reinvent itself. It is at the forefront of different business trends, often helping shape how other industries use all the latest technologies and staying a few steps ahead of the competition. In the last few years, a few emerging trends arose that look to redefine what the industry is going to be about. Each of them shows not only where the BPO industry is heading, but how others will eventually follow suit in some capacity. Let’s take a look at some of the major trends that will shape the BPO industry for years to come.
AI and Process Automation
It’s almost impossible to talk about the BPO industry without mentioning artificial intelligence. We’ve seen and heard different rumblings of AI being used in the BPO industry, even to the point of saying it could replace people completely. As technology continues to improve, the continued movement towards AI and automation seems inevitable. Analysts predict that within the next ten years, about 40% of jobs could be lost to automation in the United States alone. Indeed, the BPO Industry has prided itself at providing quality labour with reduced costs, and removing these people would be significant.
Despite this inevitability, human input and productivity is something that no machine can replicate. AI will be more likely to work alongside its human counterparts, doing the heavy lifting and tedious work for them so that humans can focus on what’s really important. People have innate creative abilities and decision-making skills that no machine can replicate. Even with the arrival of AI, companies will still need to add their touch to make this software useful. People will be managing AI and correcting it when the processes do not meet their standards.
Yes, artificial intelligence will indeed render a few current roles as inefficient, but that does not mean it should be wholly accepted. In fact, it may open the door to more jobs and opportunities that people can take advantage of. In doing so, automation can make way for more highly skilled employees joining different companies. In the Philippines, it is predicted that around 700,000 medium and high skill jobs will be available by 2022. Companies that refocus on assigning tasks and roles that no AI software can’t accomplish allows them to expand their services and offerings to various clients.
Social Media Management
It’s surprising to think that social media as a whole would be considered an emerging business trend. What was once seen as websites that help people connect with friends has since exploded into a multi-faceted platform that helps drive engagement and become a real game-changer for businesses. Focus on social media will only continue to grow as it is a trove of customer data and real-time feedback that helps companies determine upcoming trends and strategize innovation methods.
Most everyone you know is connected on at least one social media site, and businesses today see the value in using these platforms effectively. People are invested in social media, and it’s clear that companies today are (and should be) as well.
A company’s social media presence is an extension of their image online. That is why social media management is a major responsibility that goes beyond the simple understanding of what it means. Great social media management involves creating engaging content and answering queries or concerns from visitors in a timely, positive and professional manner. A majority of consumers used to do this via calls to their customer service department and while this function still exists, they are now more likely to engage with social media for these concerns.
The Rise of Cloud Computing
In simple terms, you can think of cloud computing as having access to online storage space and systems. Having access to data storage and limitless information over the internet gives BPO companies offer better innovation and develop scalable business strategies. Not too long ago, businesses had to host their software by purchasing expensive servers and get in-house IT teams to ensure everything is running smoothly. Today’s companies are much efficient than ever before, and in 2020, it is most likely that we’ll see more companies embracing the benefits of different types of cloud services.
Adapting To The Trends
The BPO industry used to be all about call centres. Today, many in the industry understand the importance of looking beyond this traditional view and becoming more multi-functional in the current business landscape. They still provide consistent customer service, but it also means offering robust social media services, design work and IT assistance just to name a few. Overall, it means bringing innovation to existing clients by improving productivity and regaining a labour cost advantage.