Crafting Superior Customer Experiences: Technology and Human Touch in Balance

Crafting Superior Customer Experiences: Technology and Human Touch in Balance

Many Asian countries are taking full benefit from the rising BPO industry in terms of economic growth. The Philippines, China, and India are at the top of the list. 

BPO providers are an important part of nearly every company, whether in the technical support industry or customer care. BPO services are essential to ensure smooth business operations in various industries such as telecommunication. This is the major reason why BPOs have become a key component in Asian economic growth. 

As the BPO sector in Asia continues to evolve, this year should reveal a number of exciting trends.

In this post, we will dive into the in-depth analysis of how BPO in Asia will bring future business opportunities and what current trends are ruling the industry. 

Let’s get into this!

Basics to BPO Trends in the Current Asian Market

A growing number of Asian businesses are looking for specialized BPO firms to handle non-essential tasks like human resources, finance and accounting, and customer care. By doing so, they are able to save operating costs without sacrificing service quality or focusing on their core capabilities.

Due to this increasing demand, the BPO sector in Asia is coming up with improved trends that are here to stay and benefit businesses.

 

Trends in India

With its enormous pool of English-speaking, highly educated employees and cost benefits, India’s BPO industry has grown quickly. The country’s voice-based business process outsourcing services have grown in popularity, especially in technical assistance and customer care. But non-voice services like research,  data analytics, and software development are rising. 

 

Trends in the Philippines

The availability of a big pool of English-speaking workers, a favorable business environment, and government assistance have all contributed to the fast expansion of the BPO industry in the Philippines. The nation has become a powerhouse for telemarketing, customer support, and other voice-based businesses.

 

Trends in China

On the other hand, services with more added value, such as medical transcription, game design, and animation, are becoming more popular. The massive population, cheap labor costs, and rapidly developing infrastructure in China have all contributed to the country’s meteoric rise to the position of BPO industry powerhouse. 

Supply chain management along with several other important services related to manufacturing have made the country a central hub. But services with more intrinsic value, like R&D, engineering, and design, are becoming increasingly popular.

 

Top 3 BPO Trends in the Asian Market

The advantages of cutting-edge technology, such as cloud computing, AI and ML, process automation, etc., are inspiring Asian businesses.

Global outsourcing service providers are expected to deploy new technical breakthroughs to tackle market issues, improve products and services, and manage talent shortages. At the same time, they will help keep operating costs low.

So, what does the future of the Asian BPO industry look like this year? Let’s find out!

 

1. Invest in Technology & Social Media Management

Websites and Interactive Voice Response (IVR) were the only tools used by customer service companies to assign calls to the right team members in the late 90s.

A dramatic change in consumer behavior has resulted from nearly three-quarters of Americans now having an active social media account. Regarding overall internet usage, social media browsing has now surpassed all other activities.

Asian BPOs have come to understand the revolutionary power of social media. The plethora of customer data and feedback made available by social media can greatly improve insight into future trends and new product development.

Companies are shifting their focus away from typical call center software and towards real-time consumer engagement. This is helping them learn more about their products from the ground up, incorporate feedback into future iterations, and prevent errors altogether.

McKinsey and Company report that in the last five years, there has been a meteoric rise in the demand from consumers for multi-channel communications.

This shift in client management presents tremendous potential for business process outsourcing companies in Asia. In recent years, BPOs in Asia have been expanding their social media management service offerings.

These services include: 

  • Monitoring social media
  • Gathering business intelligence
  • Responding to customer feedback

Many business process outsourcing companies are also investing in social media service teams. 

When social media teams and customer service agents work together to resolve consumer complaints more quickly, customers are more likely to be satisfied and have a better overall experience.

According to the experts, the investment of Asian BPOs in new technology and social media tools will help the clients grow exponentially.

 

2. Bridging the Gap in Skills Through Multitasking

Call centers were BPOs in the past. Now, internal company operations such as bookkeeping, web design, coding, human resources, and others have replaced this ancient idea.

Many BPO companies invest in technology in the nations where they source their services. Many major companies are worried that the BPO industry will suffer from a lack of qualified workers due to the rising demand for skilled labor. Similarly, skill shortages have plagued BPO superpowers like the Philippines and India for many years.

NASSCOM, the National Association of Software and Service Companies, has previously voiced concerns about the Indian BPO sector’s inability to handle high-end services. This category includes: 

  • Mobile apps
  • Digital technology
  • Cloud computing

There is a high demand for accounting and finance middle managers with experience in billing, accounts payable, and related functions in the Philippines. According to the BPO business heads, the only way out is to bring in middle managers with about five years of experience.

Companies are looking to cut costs on shared services, which is driving demand for high-skill operations. Due to intense competition, Asian BPOs have begun to invest in cheaper alternatives, such as AI and automation.

Asian governments and business leaders are educating their workforce to meet automation needs because they fear losing low-skilled people to technology. Because of this, business process outsourcing firms have committed to enhancing the skill sets of their present staff.

 

3. Enhanced Transparency

Only massive, international BPOs used to be involved in the past. Obtaining details regarding the contracts and policies was difficult throughout this period. For the most part, client-side staff had yet to learn what was happening with the technological stack, plans, problem areas, or other procedures.

They should have adequately brief the supplier side staff on their skills, organizational structure, investment areas, etc.

Transparency in regulations, contracts, and pricing has pushed the Asian BPO industry to expand when introducing smaller enterprises. Trust between BPOs and vendors must be maintained with a high degree of openness.

Many businesses must change their policies to stay afloat and keep customers from losing to more reliable competitors in today’s cutthroat market. Better client-supplier partnerships brought about by transparency boost corporate innovation and investment opportunities (thanks to information availability).

The rising demands for transparency have been sparked by government intervention. In response to information demands, the Chinese government recently announced that measures will be implemented to ensure transparency about outsourced services.

Over the next several years, we should also see increasing openness from other nations’ outsourcing policies.

 

Future Opportunities for the Top Asian BPO-Providing Countries 

For foreign investors, Asia provides a favorable setting for doing business. Because of this, the region has grown into a leading outsourcing hub. 

The worldwide business process outsourcing industry is predicted to reach a value of USD 544.8 billion by 2032, up from an initial valuation of USD 245.9 billion, per a report by Market.US. Forecasts indicate that this market will grow at a CAGR of 8.5% from 2023 to 2032.

Of course, there will always be some difficulties, but overall development for well-established outsourcing locations such as Malaysia, the Philippines, and India is enormous. 

Let’s see what the BPO business promises for these shining nations in the future:

 

1. The Indian Subcontinent

There are more than 500 Indian businesses that provide outsourcing to more than 66 different nations. India is the base of operations for almost 200 international firms. With an increase of 8% in 2017, the IT-BPO business brought in a total of $154 billion. In addition, business process outsourcing accounted for 7.7 percent of India’s GDP in 2017.

Future Opportunities

Cybersecurity, data science, social media, and mobile app development are some of the newer occupations that have helped diversify the economy away from call centers. Simple tasks are starting to be taken over by robotic process automation (RPA). The Indian BPO industry is getting ready to reskill its employees in anticipation of the rise of RPA.

NASSCOM predicts that as many as 40% of India’s IT-BPO employees will improve their skill sets in the next five years.

 

2. Malaysia 

After India and China, Malaysia is the third most popular choice for business process outsourcing sites because of its relatively stable economic climate.

Outsourcing often goes to Malaysia. The major reason is the country’s convenient location. Not only this but the well-developed infrastructure also plays a vital role. Because of its closeness to other important Asian markets, such as China and India, businesses can expand their operations to these areas. 

To further promote the growth of the BPO industry, the Malaysian government has instituted various initiatives, such as investment grants and tax advantages.

Future Opportunities

Outsourcing Malaysia chairman David Wong predicts that, in the next years, business process outsourcing will overtake ITO. In addition, he mentions that Malaysia’s shared services sector is bringing in a huge number of global investors. Therefore the local industry will need to be flexible to meet this need in the future!

 

3. Philippines 

As far as call center countries go, the Philippines is now number one, surpassing even India. Entrepreneur reports that more than 1.2 million Filipinos are employed by business process outsourcing companies. The literacy rate in the Philippines is 96.3%, which could be the reason behind this.

One reason for the country’s recent growth was the expansion of BPO activities to other provincial regions like Cebu and Davao, outside of the capital Manila. Foreign corporations may be discouraged from entering the Philippine market in the future due to lowering tax holidays for the BPO industry.

Future Opportunities

Following the success of business process outsourcing, a new industry called knowledge process outsourcing (KPO) has emerged to meet the growing demand for specialized services In the Philippines. Some top examples are web design and development, market research, and more.

The cost of labor in the Philippines is also lower than in countries where English is the primary language. This is because the cost of living is very much on the lower side in the Philippines. Companies can significantly reduce their expenses by outsourcing various back-office services, contact centers, and more to the Philippines.

 

Is Asia the Best Location for Long-Term Outsourcing?

The shortest answer is YES, IT IS!

It is fair to assume that outsourcing to Asian countries in the long run would be very beneficial, given the region’s present market position and the business process outsourcing industry’s five-year strategic plan. 

The above discussion shows that the industry can suit your business needs, although it is prudent to consider additional elements as well. 

You can look forward to experiencing the below-mentioned important benefits, whether you need inbound or outbound BPO customer support or any other type of service:

  • Solid Infrastructure: Investments in high-quality real estate, digital city projects, and telecom infrastructure advancements are all part of Asia’s strong ecosystem that supports global commercial services.
  • Cost-Effective: Companies can save a lot of money by outsourcing to developing nations like the Philippines. Based on the research conducted by IBPAP, companies may save at least 70% compared to outsourcing to the US or Europe when they work with the Philippines.
  • Very Good Command of the English language: With an impressive 96% literacy rate, the Philippines is one of the most English-proficient Asian nations, and its citizens are highly proficient in English.
  • Abundant and Qualified Talent Pool: With an impressive number of college graduates (850,000 a year), 4.4 million enrolled students, and 2,400 colleges and universities across the country, the Philippines is home to a large and highly skilled workforce that is ideal for BPO.
  • Government Support: Bypassing and enforcing legislation and programs beneficial to the IT-BPM industry, the Asian government has consistently shown its support for this sector.
  • Similarity in Culture: Workers and service providers in Asia are culturally sensitive to international norms, especially those prevalent in the West. Client organizations and customers are able to receive services that are both natural and tailored because of this cultural congruence.
  • New Technological Developments Everyday: In order to improve the speed and precision with which they complete different jobs, BPOs in Asia use the latest technology including cloud computing, ML, AI, and automation.

 

Conclusion

When it comes to empowering Asia’s economy, the BPO industry plays a vital role!

Businesses would be under increasing pressure to function cost-efficiently and face growing competition from new outsourcing destinations, propelling the BPO industry to rapid expansion.

Over the next few years, some prominent outsourcing firms working in Asia plan to pour a lot of money into robotic automation, social media management, and other latest tools. If the governments of the top BPO nations, like India, Malaysia, and the Philippines, want to be ready for increased demand, they will look to solutions like better education and training. Current BPO workers will be required to acquire new abilities to fulfill these demands.

Beginning this year and continuing into the future, startups will also play an essential role in the Asian outsourcing business. Transparency, multitasking, and exceptional social media management will also help the industry. 

Business process outsourcing in Asia has grown rapidly in recent years, and as a result of which, the future of the region’s economy seems bright!

 

Author: Greg.B

Executive with 25 years of proven success in call center management and revitalizing business units. Proven career record of producing multimillion-dollar profits through pinpointing operational inefficiencies and encouraging the revitalization of employee morale and corporate culture change.

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