In India, Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is growing significantly as a segment of the ITES (Information Technology Enabled Services). The sector has been growing at an annual rate of 50%, which is proof that the industry will continue to bloom. To date, BPO has provided jobs to more than 80000 Indians. But the question arises– how a BPO company takes lead in the market?
A BPO company’s most important department is — Operations.
Let us hear some tips on how to manage and ensure the proper functioning of the operations department from Mr. Anand Kumar Jha, Head of the Operations at CNS Comnet, one of the leading Indian BPO company:
1. Always talk requirements first: SLA (Service Level Agreement) is a list of promises between both parties: the service provider and the client make with each other in terms of requirements and deadlines. Three must answer questions: Volume? Deadline? Expected Quality? To ensure delivery of the required services, it’s the BPO operation representative’s responsibility to ask for SLA and details of the requirements for negotiations. Clarity of requirement is very important in business.
2. Develop a democratic team culture: To ensure the smooth working of the department and to keep up the morale, creating a teamwork culture is essential. By letting employees suggest projects, discuss ideas and work together by setting up goals, one can deflect chances of errors and internal clashes. Appreciating and providing feedback to employees must be seen as an investment. Giving rewards is a factor to inspire and motivate the team, the aim is to focus on “what is right” rather than “who is right”.
3. Proper communication and monitoring are of utmost importance: Miscommunication or under communication can lead to unwanted clashes and can hamper the procedure hence leading to poor delivery of the service. Maintaining reports and modules is essential to ensure consistency in the work. By keeping a backup and maintaining the database, management becomes easier. Communication and meetings must be done regularly between departments in terms of daily tasks, achievements, deadlines, and responsibilities. Do not micro manage but never leave things under managed.
4. Choose your team members wisely: A company is known by its team. The better a team performs, the better is the company’s stake holding. Starting from the hiring procedure, an employees’ skill-set must be studied and attitude towards the work culture must be tested. Treat interviewee like he is an enemy sitting in an interrogation camp and once he is hired, treat him like he the most valuable person of the team. There are four types of people, high skill- high will, high skill- low will, low skill- high will and low skill- low will. Proper utilization of talent and understanding one’s capabilities are important to ensure that people do not swing from high skills- high will to high skill- low will.
5. Always meet your commitment: What’s better: Promise less, deliver more, and get an appraisal for delivering more than promised or Promise more, deliver less, and underperform. Well, I believe everyone would like to go with the first option.
6. Always ask for feedback: Always keep improvising. Asking for feedback from your clients will not only help you understand your mistakes but will also warn you from repeating or making new ones in the future? Never overlook even a minor suggestion from your clients. Because BPO is all about providing what the client wants not what you want to give to the clients.
7. Always track your expenses: A minor leak can sink the whole ship. To claim payment, one must have a clear audit report of what happened and when happened. It will save you from a load of tension and arguments.
8. Stay updated: Remember providing services is all about what the client wants rather than what you want to give to the clients? But what if we are doing every procedure in difficult way when there is an easy option already available in the market, so instead of delivering a project in X time, we take 2X time, now this is terrible. Staying updated and taking risks to accept changes in the procedure will help you to become a leader in the industry because a leader leads the way for its followers by taking risks.
9. Stay focused: If you fail, still be focused. Do not change your goal very frequently instead learn from your mistakes and make required changes in the procedure to achieve that goal. If you are successful, appreciate your team immediately. They should feel valued, so they are focused and committed towards next goal.
10. Security: Very important. Clients trust BPO with their data. It is the BPO’s foremost responsibility to secure it. Nothing matters, if data security is breached.
Starting a BPO isn’t rocket science but maintaining it, definitely is. Outline a strong business plan, find the like-minded team members with high skill- high will set, complete the necessary paperwork, maintain database and a backup, invest in updated technologies, and you’ll have no trouble running your own BPO firm and growing it in no time!