Career In BPO & Call Centers - Online Article

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is one of the rapidly growing industries in India. It is the fastest developing segment of Information Technology Enabled Services industry. The term BPO refers to outsourcing in all fields. BPO offers different kinds of services including customer support services, telemarketing services, technical support services, employee IT help-desk services, insurance services, data entry services, data conversion services, scanning OCR with editing & indexing services, online research and form processing services.

Scope of BPO career in India

Starting a career in the BPO sector is easy as most of the BPOs provide in house training to the employees. Generally, a candidate with graduation in any discipline can join the BPO companies. They don't require any academic specialization. There is no specific age bar. Most of the BPO companies offer good work environment. The employee can get good wages along with some excellent benefits. Jobs in the BPO sector attract youngsters as most BPO companies provide transport facilities. Most of the people are fascinated towards the attractive lifestyle and flexibility of time that they offer. Due to these advantages, numerous people strongly wish to develop a career in the BPO sector.

Negative points of BPO industry

Along with many benefits associated with this industry, there are some negative points that make people rethink about the job. One should have a clear idea about the positive and negative points before selecting a career in the BPO sector. After doing the job for some time many people find many people find it difficult to continue as they find it tedious and monotonous. Some people leave the job when they need to spend sleepless nights. Some people also find it difficult to move up the career ladder fast in the BPO industry. Some people leave the BPO industry for higher education, higher salary better status.

Reputed BPOs in India

With increasing scope of BPO industry, many top-ranking software companies have established their BPO centers in India making a career in the BPO sector lucrative.Some of the well-known BPO companies in India are WNS Group, Convergys, Zenta, Wipro Spectramind, EXL, ICICI Onesource, Daksh e-Service, Tracmail, HCL Technologies, MphasiS, GTL Ltd, Sutherland Technologies, v Customer, HTMT and 24/7 Customer. These companies are the top-rankers on providing career in BPO sector on the basis of criteria like employee size, overall satisfaction score, job content/growth, salary and compensation, training, company culture and appraisal system etc.

BPO Career Tips

Education and Careers over the past twodecades has undergone a sea change. Until 20 years ago there were limitedcareers and standard routes to those careers. Today a student on the thresholdof College Education or opting a Career is baffled by the myriad options beforehim. With the advent of liberalization and the opening of the economy tothe international world, innumerable career opportunities are being created allthe times.

India has seen the limelight in the past fewyears shifting rapidly, first it was computer education and training in theearly 90's, Y2K was the star during the closing years of the last century. Thenas the dot com boom soared high, it was followed by B2B and B2C, followed bythe SCM and CRM mantra. Today’s star goes by the name of BPO or BusinessProcess Outsourcing. India is today at the core of the Outsourcing Revolution.However as outsourcing moves beyond just call centers and cost cuts, clientsare looking for companies that can provide them with that competitive advantageand go with them where they can’t go alone.

Companies across the globe are favoring India - due its talented and educatedwork force. Read more about what BPO careers can do for you. As the BPO sectorbooms in the job market today, you could also get a sizable piece ofthe pie.

What's a BPO Career all about? A BPO career revolves around the core activityof delivering business process outsourcing services. This involves voice(telephone) and non-voice (email, chat) based customer interaction services,transaction processing, telemarketing, technical support or analyzing ofcustomer specific data. It also involves back-end jobs such as claimsprocessing and processing of Finance & Accounting transactions.

In a growing BPO organization, careeropportunities exist across various facets of the business - extending from thecore contact center to support functions like HR, legal, marketing, quality,administration etc. Opportunities in the contact center include customersupport, telemarketing, technical support and multilingual support (whichrequire people having knowledge of foreign languages like French, Spanishetc.). Opportunities also exist for experienced people from various backgroundsand industries. - like hospitality, services and the retail industry.

The booming BPO industry seems to verycomplacent with its success, for the pavilion at the Bangalore had justabout a few big BPO/call center players. Business process outsourcing jobs areincreasingly being sent by American firms to the low pay nations, nation toregister the highest growth in BPO jobs is India . Most of the Call Center jobsare now moving to the countries like India, Philippines, Russia, Mexico, andCanada where cost is low which is huge savings for the companies outsourcing.

In a growing BPO firm the careeropportunities exists across various parts of business, from core contact centerto the supporting functions like legal, HR, quality, marketing, administrationetc. Opportunities in contact center involve telemarketing, customer support,telemarketing, technical support and multilingual support. Because of its vastEnglish speaking population, India has become an ideal candidate foroutsourcing US workload through business process outsourcing. English is apopular and well spoken language here. Indians learn English as their secondlanguage and are familiar with it. But speaking the global language is not thesole reason for this choice.

About Call Center

History: The Beginning of the industry

Carrying out transactions over the telephone has a long history,beginning with operator services and later, reservations lines, particularlyfor airlines. But in the last 15 to 20 years, the introduction of informationtechnologies and telecommunications advances have expanded the types of work itis possible to undertake, while reducing costs. Concurrently, ideas of'service' and service relationships continue to be redefined as technologybecomes increasingly ubiquitous, rendering the public more receptive to mediatedservice interactions.

There are a variety of factors, which have led to the increase of telephoneservices, suggest Richardson and Marshall, including the transformation oftelephony by "the development of digital exchanges, intelligent telephonenetworks and their integration with computer data bases"; fallingtelephony costs and the introduction of toll-free numbers; the high degree ofpenetration and familiarity of telephone technology; and the ability tocommunicate complex information by phone in real time. In addition totechnological progress and social advantages, another likely reason for theburgeoning of the call center industry in the early 1990s was a significantperiod of retrenchment in a number of business sectors, including a drive towardsreducing costs and cutting staff-both of which can be accomplished bycentralizing services, reducing branch offices close to the customer, andtaking advantage of lower cost real estate and labor costs in locations outsidemain business centers. Call centers, of course, permit all of these activities.

The US was in the forefront of the call center movement, yet Nadji Tehrani,editor of the first trade publication devoted to the telemarketing and callcenter industries, writes that when Telemarketing Magazine was launched in 1982in the United States, there were "only a handful" of companiesconducting market research or handling customer service by phone. He describesthe rapidity of technological development during the ensuing years: "Wehave seen the use of 3 x 5 cards and rotary dial phones, evolve to push-buttontelephones to integrated contact management software and automated dialing toWeb-enabled call centers".

Outsourcing centers that specialize in providing call center services for othercompanies are also expanding. Although most call centers in the UK arecurrently nationally oriented, there is a move towards pan-European callcenters in areas such as hotels, travel, and computing.

Still, despite its rapid rate of growth, the call center industry is relativelynew. The "vast majority" of call centers in the UK have "existedfor less than ten years" claims Cameron, while Michel notes that inGermany, 25% of call centers in the country were established before 1991, and 41%during what he terms the "call center boom" after 1995. A boom isperhaps an accurate term. One estimate suggests a rate of growth between20%-25% a year in Canada, while a 1996 Datamonitor report gave a figure of 40%for call center market growth in Europe, a number anticipated to hold until theturn of the century. Similarly, as mentioned above, academic interest in callcenters is also quite recent, with the bulk of reported research beginning inthe late 1990s and beginning to accumulate in the last two years.

Definitions of "Call Center"

As a first step, it is useful to establish adefinition of a call center. This is not a completely straightforward task, asthere are considerable variations between types of call centers, which arespread across several sectors of the economy, and which perform differentfunctions for different organizations, both within and across sectors.

The broadestdefinition in the call center literature is that provided by Norling, whostates "a call center is any communications platform from which firmsdeliver services to customers via remote, real-time contact". Callaghanand Thompson apply a similarly inclusive definition, stating that call centersmay be "broadly defined as workplaces that integrate telephone andcomputer technologies". While these definitions usefully highlight thecentrality of communication technology integration in the call center field, itleaves the boundaries of the industry somewhat ambiguous. Taylor and Bainnarrow the definition by specifying the types of technologies used: "wedefine a call center as a dedicated operation in which computer-utilisingemployees receive inbound-or make outbound-telephone calls, with those callsprocessed and controlled either by an Automatic Call Distribution (ACD) orpredictive dialing system. The call center is thus characterized by theintegration of telephone and VDU technologies."

We define call centers in the following way:

Employees are engaged in specialist operation which integrate telecommunications and information systems technologies; Their work is controlled by automatic systems which virtually simultaneously distribute work, control the pace of that work and monitor their performance; They are in direct contact with the customer through dealing with in-bound calls, making out-bound calls or a combination of the two. How does a Call Center Function?

A typical call center functions as follows - A caller uses a toll free numberthat is connected to a customer support center. When the call reaches the callcenter, a trained consultant with access to a wide database of information,answers the call. The dedicated telecommunication links connect a remote callcenter to the parent organisation through voice links and online databaseaccess. There for a caller maybe calling a local number in USA, but the callmaybe answered in India without any time delay and the caller is oblivious ofwhere the call is being answered. These services are very popular in countriessuch as USA, Europe, Japan and Australia.

Types of a CallCenters

There are two types of a Call Center, anOutbound Call Center and an Inbound Call center.

Key Responsibilities of an Outbound CallCenter Personnel

  • Makeoutgoing calls to follow up on overdue account holders worldwide, offersolutions
  • Updatethe relevant information in the database
  • Adhereto highest standard of quality and compliance
  • Becustomer friendly and extremely courteous

Key Responsibilities of an Inbound CallCenter Personnel

  • Handleinbound calls relating to customer queries on a product or service
  • Updatedatabases
  • Adhereto highest standard of quality and compliance
  • Becustomer friendly and extremely courteous

Application Areas of a Call Center

  • Sales Support
  • Complaint Handling
  • Technical queries
  • Relationship and Accounts Management
  • Lead generation and follow up
  • Telemarketing
  • Credit and Billing problems
  • Market Research
  • Database Development
  • Callcenters are operated by large airlines, banks, mutual funds, telecom services,IT product companies among others.

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Prashant Gaur on 2009-03-01 22:16:41 wrote,

A very useful article in present day conditions..can help someone shape his or her career in BPO services...!!!

Chandra Bhushan on 2009-03-01 22:42:48 wrote,

@Prashant Gaur,
Thnx buddy... its just our job to provide right article at right time.... hope it will help in shaping ur future

Prashant Gaur on 2009-03-01 22:50:19 wrote,

@Chandra Bhushan,
Well yaar i am not interested in BPOs but still it can help others...n yeah yoou said it right that we provide best at the right time % thats why we are the best in the bussiness..!!