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The Right Approach to KPI Setting in the BPO Industry

Many companies choose a business business process outsourcing (BPO) provider to save money. However, the only way to truly know the impact of outsourcing is to establish and track key performance...

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Many companies choose a business business process outsourcing (BPO) provider to save money. However, the only way to truly know the impact of outsourcing is to establish and track key performance indicators (KPIs).

Dozens of potential KPIs exist, so companies must know how to select the right ones for their business. KPIs must be relevant, and specific, and span the entire breadth of work covered. 

Beyond knowing what to track, businesses need to know how to put KPIs to use to manage their teams. This article will focus on steps and approaches to using KPIs in a multinational team across different continents.

What Are KPIs?

KPIs are metrics used to measure performance against a set of predetermined objectives. They’re also used to gauge the success or failure of particular strategies or initiatives. KPIs help businesses stay accountable and transparent about who is doing what. Teams that don't track KPIs regularly risk complacency and loss of business opportunities.

Which KPIs Should You Track?

When it comes to setting KPIs for BPO operations, there are several key factors you should consider tracking: 

  1. Cost Efficiency: This includes the cost per transaction and total cost savings achieved through outsourcing various tasks or processes. 
  2. Quality: This involves measuring customer satisfaction levels with the quality of service provided by your team or provider. 
  3. Speed of Execution: This KPI looks at how quickly work is completed and delivered back to customers compared to pre-determined deadlines and target dates. 
  4. Scalability: Are your resources able to ramp up quickly in response to changing business needs? Measuring scalability helps identify areas where more resources may be needed in order to meet performance goals and objectives. New technologies like automation (like live chat and chatbots) and artificial intelligence have moved the needle on scalability, and you should work with a BPO provider that has some of those capabilities and understands how to use them.
  5. Security: How secure is your data? This KPI will provide an indication as to whether any security measures need improvement so that customer information remains safe and secure during any transactions or exchanges with a third-party provider. This includes using a mobile web proxy you can find online, a VPN, or a firewall. 

How to Select KPIs

While many KPIs exist, you want to track those that deliver the most meaning and value for your business. To choose the right set of KPIs to monitor, you can follow a proven step-by-step process. 

#1 Select and Define Relevant, Specific, Meaningful KPIs

The first step is to choose metrics that are relevant and specific to what you are trying to measure. Here are a few examples: 

  •           Response time - refers to how quickly your customer service agents respond to customers.
  •           Call abandonment rate - refers to the number of customers that hang up before reaching a representative. There are many variables that could affect this KPI, such as how many agents you have available, seasonality, and other factors.
  •           Service level - refers to the percentage of calls answered in a specific span of time. It's an important productivity signal and can also show you if you should increase or decrease your capacity. 
  •           Cost per call - helps customer support leaders manage their budgets better.
  •           Occupancy - refers to the length of time agents are occupied, which includes both the call with the customer and finishing up tasks after the call.

These are just a few examples of KPIs you could track. Depending on your business model and the industry you're in, you could opt to focus on many other metrics. The priority is to choose ones that are measurable and actually move the needle of your business growth.

#2 Secure Stakeholder and Team Buy-In

Once you’ve determined which KPIs to track, the next step is to secure stakeholder and team buy-in. This means getting everyone on board with the KPIs that have been chosen, how they will be tracked, and the general process that you are proposing for the team.

#3 Assign Ownership of KPIs

The next step is to assign ownership for each KPI. Who will be responsible for tracking the data? Who will be responsible for making decisions based on this data? You should ensure that everyone understands their individual roles and responsibilities to ensure successful implementation and tracking of KPIs. 

#4 Determine How and How Often to Collect

To measure progress accurately, you need to determine how data will be collected and how often it should be collected. Make sure everyone involved is clear on when they should collect data and what kind of information needs to be captured.

Another important aspect of data collection is identifying alternative measures of measuring these KPIs. 

#5 Communicate About Results

Once you’ve established your KPIs, it’s important to ensure that everyone is aware of the results. Use findings from your KPI tracking to identify areas where improvements can be made and celebrate successes where you are meeting or exceeding goals.

#6 Review and Refine your KPI Approach as Needed 

Finally, review your KPI approach regularly to make sure it’s still relevant and up-to-date with current industry trends or changes within your organization itself. Refine or adjust your approach as necessary so that it continues to provide valuable insights into performance over time. 

By following these steps and setting effective KPIs in the BPO industry, you can ensure that your team or provider is constantly striving towards greater efficiency, quality, speed of execution, scalability, and security — all while delivering the best possible service to customers.

Work with an efficient BPO provider

Companies that transition to BPO can cut costs and decrease delivery times. For example, if a brand outsources its customer service it can support customers much better and faster, improving satisfaction and loyalty. However, it can be challenging to gauge the performance and quality of these external providers. And that's why it's so essential to set and track KPIs throughout the process to optimize performance.

Need help setting better KPIs? Want to work with a BPO provider that understands your business needs and stays accountable to every KPI you're measuring? 

Here at Helpware, we have an expert team of customer service agents that could help bring your business to the next level. Schedule a demo to see what we can do for your business.

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Dana Mahoney
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