How SmartVirtual Solves the Perpetual CX Problems in Traditional BPO

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February 2020

Even though demand for elevated customer experiences is higher than ever, traditional BPO providers risk falling behind as they continue to battle the same issues they’ve been facing for decades.

Absenteeism, attrition, work quality, business continuity, and scalability have been the main topics of contention for BPOs since day one, stemming from the industry’s transactional nature and its low-cost approach to recruitment, training, and customer service.  

Elevating CX requires a severe departure from the norm, which is where SmartVirtual™  comes in. Here’s how we avoid—and even solve—some of the BPO industry’s most persistent CX challenges with our revolutionary Smart Virtual model.

CX Excellence is a Right, Not a Privilege

Clients outsource customer service because they want customers to have better experiences, but BPOs will often charge extra for that privilege instead of offering it as a baseline service.

With the overheads associated with brick and mortar facilities, it’s understandable that BPOs need to find additional revenue streams to fund their operations. However, with the technology available in the market today, this approach is grossly outdated.

Leveraging the SmartVirtual™ model, Activus Connect doesn’t suffer from these problems and neither do our clients. Our artificial intelligence platform enables us to perform 100% auto quality, so we can deliver on the CX mantra without charging above our base rate.  

With these AI tools we can hone in on our Ambassadors’ key issues across all of their conversations, not just a small sample, giving us the power to provide actionable feedback in a digestible way. They can then synthesize that knowledge into their future calls and see immediate improvements in work quality, elevating experiences for customers and Ambassadors alike.

Addressing Needs With Empathy and Regional Experience

When someone calls customer support it’s because they have a need with a sense of urgency. They may be trying to make a purchase quickly, could be stranded or lost somewhere, or perhaps have immediate concerns about paying a bill.

That need, whatever it is, is always the reason for the call, so the ability to empathize with the customer’s situation, recognize the context behind their tone of voice, and react appropriately during the interaction is essential to providing an authentic customer experience.

In the past, the BPO industry has failed to deliver this level of CX because companies often employ workers offshore, providing them with pre-written scripts that don’t match what the customers need to hear. An agent who lives and works overseas, for example, lives a very different life to a customer in the U.S., so their ability to empathize and interrelate is drastically lower than that of a North American Ambassador.

With SmartVirtual™ , this issue is pretty much irrelevant. Firstly, our Ambassadors are located in 48 U.S. states, so the local lexicon is a natural part of their dialect, and secondly, they each have enough work and life experience to understand the caller’s needs and concerns, allowing them to expertly address and defuse conflicts when customers are agitated.

At the end of the call, even if the customer isn’t smiling, they’re at least appreciative that the Ambassador could navigate them through the call, which is something that the BPO industry has not always been able to achieve. These value-added interactions really define how the SmartVirtual™  model surpasses the industry’s outdated commodity-based interactions.

Recruiting for Added Value

Whether they are offshore or onshore, high-school graduates or individuals with limited work experience more often than not require regular supervision and training to meet the needs of today’s customers, which ultimately creates more costs for the BPO industry and its clients. Brands also heighten the risk of negative feedback when their CX teams lack the professional capabilities to provide elevated experiences. 

The SmartVirtual™  model dramatically reduces that cost by hiring Ambassadors domestically in the US with ten or more years’ professional service experience. We also hone in on people specifically looking for virtual-based work, rather than office-based. This approach to recruitment gives us access to a diverse pool of higher-quality talent, as well as reducing the costs associated with brick and mortar operations, adding significant value at an attractive price point.

When recruiting, we use predictive index tools to assess how people might behave and whether or not they can work well in a virtual environment. This approach ensures that our Ambassadors are fit for the environment and more likely to stick around, resulting in envy-inducing levels of absenteeism and attrition, far below the average BPO standards.

Balancing the Price to Value Equation

The BPO model is usually based on the lowest costs and the ability to meet staffing commitments, rather than being specifically built for value-driven customer experience. Frankly, without that CX value, all you’re really getting is a costly staffing solution, which you could get from a traditional staffing agency.

With Smart Virtual, elevated customer experiences are table stakes because the platform includes the tools, the talent, and the techniques that result in great CX, without the need for expensive facilities, outdated practices, or unfair pricing models.

In the end, if organizations are outsourcing service and support it’s because they need better CX, so companies have to become more value-based, providing elevated experiences as a baseline in order to move forward as an industry. We’d gladly welcome some healthy competition in this revolutionary new SmartVirtual™  arena.

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