In one way or another, anyone who has tried calling the customer service hotline of a big company may have encountered a foreign accent from the other line. In the early 2000s, the rising demands of agent positions led large corporations to move their customer service functions overseas. Not only was this a smart strategy for them in terms of saving costs, it was their kind of lifesaver – improved innovation, enhanced resources, easier call volume management, and reduced staffing issues – all of these may not have been possible without the transfer of this particular business function to a third-party service provider.
This is what we call outsourcing. It is clearly defined as the transposition of a specialized task within your business to another service provider with the expectation of them fulfilling the job and using their own resources to complete it.
Outsourcing a company’s customer support such as that of call centers is just an example of the myriad of jobs that can possibly be outsourced. Furthermore, Philippines and India are not the only typical destinations for outsourced jobs; neither does US nor UK the only country which normally outsource. In the global economy, everybody is doing it, mainly because it serves as a leverage in increasing the assets of both the client company and the company vendor.
Here are the top five outsourcing jobs that have made noise in the international market which have either made or broken many enterprises regardless of size.
1. Call Centers.
In the example stated above, a number of companies have stretched their way to Asia to hire call centers which have English-speaking employees who have lower cost of living. In that sense, it becomes a cost-effective plan of action for business owners as they are to pay less and still get the same level of quality. Aside from eliminating direct staffing responsibilities, they are guaranteed with optimal uptime as most of these call centers are dedicated to work round the clock and handle large call volumes to address customer’s needs.
However, some of the many challenges of offshoring call centers include the most obvious: cultural misunderstanding and decreased customer satisfaction. Hearing a different accent from the other end of the line when you call a customer support hotline may not be a big issue at all, but not being able to understand what the other party is saying is another story. The linguistic barriers almost make it impossible to make customers truly satisfied, not to the mention the lack of cultural knowledge and the fluency needed to ace the call. This may not be true to all as there are first-rate call centers which hold extensive training and high end recruitment.
Recent studies though, show that the inflation of unemployment rate in the US, the increase of minimum wage in popular call center hubs and the decreased number of happy consumers result to a lower percentage of call centers being outsourced today.
BPO, or Business Process Outsourcing is also one of the most outsourced jobs in the world. Other than the typical call center faculty, BPO involves so much more. It could be in the form of back office jobs such as accounting, billing, and healthcare, or customer-related services like sales, marketing and tech support. The top command posts for BPO are India, Philippines, and China.
Decades ago, when print was the number one source of information in terms of written content, people only depend on journalists to produce valuable material. These days, as the internet becomes our one-stop information provider, we meet writers from all walks of life concentrating on web content, blogs, press releases, books, and reviews. Can you just imagine how vast the world wide web is? It contains around 50 billion web pages, and each page has at least one article, or web content. As the mantra goes, “Content is King!”
Online entrepreneurs fight for website rank and the best way to do that, if not the only way, is to produce useful content consistently. This has given birth to freelance writers, who work on a contractual basis. Categories include ghostwriting, copywriting, creative writing, and technical writing. It appears a lot more economical for companies to hire freelance writers as they are no longer obliged to pay for a full-time staff or a resident writer. On the other hand, these freelancers are free to work for multiple clients.
4. Research and Development
For a company to nail the right strategy for business growth, it is important to conduct research and sketch a sound business development plan. Consumer demographics, research in finances, market research are all types of research that are customarily outsourced by various enterprises.
Not long ago, the technology titan, Microsoft, launched a $100 million worth of research facility in Shanghai that houses over 1,500 employees. Due to their high confidence to the highly literate workforce in countries like China and India, it is said that Microsoft’s gigantic move will produce ripple effects to other companies eyeing for the same trend.
5. Information Technology Support
With the advances in technology, it is not surprising to offer IT support from any part of the world as providing such has been made easier over the years. The technical knowledge of professionals located in countries like Russia and India are beyond exceptional and it would be a waste not to take advantage of them. Honorable mentions include Graphic Design, Web Programming, Web Development, and Computer Professionals.
With the advent of more outsourcing ideas, it is electrifying that we are more and more becoming objects of outsourcing. It is indeed a great channel to maximize profit and revenue as it offers tons of good returns but without the right discretion, it may be fatal for a business owner. More often than not, it takes an organization a notch higher but at some cases, it holds back growth and development. Therefore, it is critical to know what jobs to outsource, what company is being outsourced to, and when to do so.