No small business can do it all, which is why smart franchise and business owners turn to business process outsourcing (BPO) to support them with the most vital functions that keep the company running.
But which functions should your company outsource? Should you look for support in customer-facing roles, or should BPO be limited to behind-the-scenes?
This article describes what you need to know about BPO for front-office and back-office functions and which BPO services to outsource for your business.
What’s the Difference Between Front Office and Back Office?
Front-office functions are those that involve customer interaction. If a customer communicates with an employee as part of their job, then they’re a front-office employee.
Back-office functions support business operations so that front-office employees can do their jobs effectively. Back-office employees don’t typically engage directly with customers, but work closely with the rest of the staff in your company.
Examples of front-office employees include:
- Sales and marketing reps
- Customer service reps
- Insurance agents
- Floor managers
Examples of back-office employees include:
- Human resources staff
- Information technology (IT) staff
- Bookkeepers and accountants
- Claims adjusters
- Administrative staff
Is Front Office More Important Than Back Office?
It’s easy to think that front-office roles are more important than back-office roles because they involve direct interaction with customers. After all, business is all about the customer, right? But the reality is that both front office and back office roles are equally important when it comes to running a successful franchise or business. Yes, you need a great sales team, but what do you think that sales team would do if their health insurance plans were suddenly canceled or the bills weren’t paid?
If you want to inspire leadership and motivation in the workplace, then you need to consider both customers and employees. But how can your business do it all when you don’t have the resources to hire a full team of front- and back-office employees? The answer is with business process outsourcing, which can help you with either – or both – functions, depending on your business goals.
When Should You Use BPO for Front-Office Functions?
When you want to quickly increase your revenue and grow your company, then you should use BPO for front-office functions. Two of the most popular BPO services that can achieve this are marketing and customer service.
A good workplace leader should also be good at marketing their business. But with so many ways to engage with customers, it’s unrealistic for one person to master every type of marketing channel.
Which marketing channels should you choose to maximize revenue for your business? The answer depends on the nature of your business. The right BPO company will not only be able to figure out a big-picture marketing strategy, but also assemble a team of experts who can achieve that strategy for you.
BPO Customer Service
A successful franchise or company can quickly become the victim of its own success. That’s because gaining new customers and keeping those customers are two different things.
Once you have a loyal customer, you can be sure that they’ll come back to buy from you time and time again. Part of the deal is that you need to be ready to attend to customers in between sales, whether addressing complaints or providing technical assistance. The more customers you have, the more resources you need to dedicate to customer service.
This is where BPO comes in. Using BPO for customer retention can be your secret weapon for keeping customers happy. As your customer base grows, you can quickly expand the scale of your BPO call center without having to worry about hiring and training every time — the BPO company takes care of the details.
When Should You Use BPO for Back-Office Functions?
The best reason for using BPO for back-office functions is to reduce operating costs and free up your core staff for more important tasks. Most businesses will turn to BPO for IT, human resources, accounts receivable and payable, and a host of other functions.
BPO Information Technology (IT)
Gone are the days when businesses could get away with a modem and a WiFi router as their “IT department.” Technology is changing the way we do business, and with so much sensitive data going through electronic point-of-sale systems and being stored as electronic records, network efficiency and security are critical.
But with so much demand for IT professionals, you’ll probably have a hard time finding someone in your area that a small business can afford. BPO companies can offer your business the scalability and flexibility to provide specialized services like IT management when you need it. Instead of worrying about what happens when your network goes down while your IT manager is taking time off, all you have to do is call your BPO company to sort everything out.
BPO Human Resources
Human resources is one of the most common BPO functions that companies use to save money. A BPO company that handles human resources will take care of recruiting, training, health insurance and benefits, payroll, and labor law compliance.
Taking on human resources on your own is a daunting task because the risks are so high. When you miss a payroll tax payment, your business can get in trouble with the IRS. When you forget about a new labor law, you can get in trouble with the Department of Labor. And when you can’t offer a competitive benefits package, you can lose your employees to a more generous competitor.
Rather than risk legal trouble or hiring difficulties, companies often turn to BPOs for human resources. In fact, when you take into account all the time and stress you’ll save, using BPO can save your business money in the long run.
Use BPO to Fill Your Talent Gaps
As you decide whether to use BPO for front-office or back-office functions, you should also think about your available hiring pool.
When you’re setting up a new company, one of the most important things to consider besides market opportunities and business insurance is hiring. And depending on where you’re located, you may have easy access to people with certain skill sets, while finding people with other skill sets will be nearly impossible.
For example, if your business is located in an area with many colleges, then chances are that you’ll have an easy time filling skilled roles in accounting, IT, and marketing. Other locations have no shortage of people with experience working in sales or customer service.
As you start your franchise or company, take advantage of the local talent. Then use a BPO company to manage the rest. That way, you can manage the risk that comes with hard-to-fill roles — for instance, when the only qualified IT manager in your area quits or moves away.
BPO Can Help Your Business Focus on What Matters Most
A successful company considers everyone involved in the business. When you work with the right BPO company, you’re allowing yourself to focus on keeping both customers and employees happy. At Confie, we always put people and culture above everything. To learn more, get in touch with us today or call (714) 252 2500.