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When considering the use of business process outsourcing (BPO) as a viable means of operating a company, business owners have to consider several factors in order to ensure the quality of service provided by their outsourcing partners is in line with the needs of the company. This means taking some time to identifying the level of quality in BPO offerings and make sure the partner has what it takes to enhance and not hinder the progress of the client. To that end, assessing quality in BPO relationships often focuses on factors such as policies and procedures, the level of customer support provided by the partners, expertise in managing tasks, and the ability to adapt to the culture of the client who is buying the outsourcing.
One of the first elements to consider when evaluating quality in BPO services is how well the outsourcing partner understands your business model and what you need with the services provided. The fact is that all business process outsourcing firms are not equally adept at providing all types of services. For this reason, you need to carefully evaluate the level of expertise and experience a given supplier has with the services you are farming out. For example, if the goal is to outsource the payroll functions, you want a partner who can manage hourly and salaried payroll functions efficiently, up to and including the proper assessment of payroll taxes, withholding, and delivering payments to the appropriate tax agencies. Anything less will result in problems that could be quite costly to settle.
Another important aspect of quality in BPO has to do with how the outsourcing partner interacts with your clients. This is especially important if you are outsourcing customer service or technical support functions to a third party. Ideally, you want the partner to understand your corporate philosophy on customer communication and interaction, and to follow it when responding to questions and concerns voiced by your clients. Unless this is the case, there is a good chance that customer relationships will be damaged, sometimes to the point that they cannot be salvaged.
Quality in BPO relationships also requires an easy flow of communication between your company and the outsourcing partner. Reports should be delivered on time, phone calls and email communications must be addressed in a reasonable time frame, and in general there are no lengthy delays in any type of interaction. Contacts that can never seem to be reached or reports that are consistently late could mean that some essential tasks are not being done, something that will likely cause problems for your business later on. Unless the quality in BPO provided by the outsourcing partner is professional, efficient, and enhances your business, then you would be better off to keep those functions in-house, even if doing so would cost more money.
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