Poor visibility of data damaging outsourcers’ chances of success

New research from Aspect Software finds just 6 per cent of Business Process Outsourcers have access to all data needed to achieve agreed service levels

08/02/16, London, UK

The latest independent research from Aspect Software has found that the vast majority of Business Process Outsourcers (BPO) struggle to access the data sources needed to achieve their targets, improve their service levels and drive down the costs of their operations. As BPOs become more central to supporting the business operations of their customers, addressing this data blind spot must be a priority, says the customer engagement technology specialist.

The research, which was conducted by Vanson Bourne in late 2015 and surveyed 50 BPOs offering horizontal and vertical services, sought to uncover the state of the UK’s BPO industry and the challenges faced by outsourcers today. Visibility of data emerged as one of the biggest issues confronting the UK’s BPO community, with respondents on average reporting having access to just half (52 per cent) of the data sources available. These sources include agent performance, voice analytics, historical trends and the customer journey.

Other key findings include:

  • BPOs typically experience a 26 per cent weekly swing in the volume of interactions;
  • Almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of BPOs hold the main responsibility for providing forecasting data, yet only 40 per cent have complete confidence in the data sources available to them;
  • Around half (48 per cent) have only a partial view of data sources within their own organisations, while 40 per cent do not have a full view of the end-to-end journey of the end customer

Commenting on the findings, Colin Whelan, Senior Solutions Consultant at Aspect, said: “Data is the foundation on which every outsourcer’s operation is built, and is fundamental to BPOs’ ability to forecast and resource correctly, and provide the service their customers’ customers expect. But it’s clear from the research that there is significant room for improvement when it comes to BPOs’ access to sound data sources.

“The raison d’etre of many outsourcers is to provide a service more cheaply and efficiently than their customers can do themselves but their ability to do that – at least in a way that safeguards their margins – is jeopardised by poor data,” Whelan continued. “Without good data, employee engagement and satisfaction decline, staff attrition increases and operational costs skyrocket. Taking the example of forecasting, if you’ve not got the information you need to anticipate the peaks and troughs in the demand you’ll either over- or under- provision staff – increasing overheads unnecessarily or leaving too few agents to meet service levels. This is undoubtedly one of the biggest issues facing the UK’s BPO community today.”