Do you think BPO (Business Processing Outsourcing) and call centers are the same thing? Not many people have the misconception that they are the same thing, but they are not.

Even though they have some similarities in their process, they are completely different. Both of them provide services to business and help them grow. Call centers are subsets of BPO services, BPO focuses on providing services such as data entry, customer service, and data analysis, whereas call centers focus on handling customer inquiries and providing support.

To understand what sets them apart and clear out all the doubts and queries about what a call center and a business processing outsourcing are? Stick till the end of the blog. Here, we will discuss thoroughly what BPO and call centers are, their services, characteristics, and benefits, and mainly their differences, so let’s get started!

What is BPO (Business Process Outsourcing)?

BPO (Business Process Outsourcing) is a third-party outsourcing company that provides outsourced business processes to companies. BPO helps a business enhance its business processes by providing services like customer service, payroll, billing, accounting, human resource management processes, etc.

What is BPO

What is a Call center?

A Call center is a Call service provider, which consists of a group of agents or customer service representatives that helps in handling inbound and outbound calls from customers from around the world. Some companies have in-house call centers, while some outsource to call center providers to handle and manage inbound/ outbound calls effectively.

What is a Call center

Call centers are centralized offices that handle customer service, call operations, sales, and technical support. A call center provides billing services, telemarketing, debt collection, etc. Voice-based communication is the primary focus of call centers. However, call centers also assist in handling emails and chat messages, which help organizations improve their customer experience by providing effective and seamless communication.

Types of BPO

BPO( Business Processes Outsourcing) is not limited to call center services, it comes with various services to make business processes efficient. It eases the company’s business operations and helps minimize costs. 

The scope of service is broader as multiple processes can be outsourced instead of just specific segments. Outsourcing also allows businesses to access specialized skills, technology, and resources and streamline operations. Also it also allows the company to focus on its core business activities and increase its competitive advantage.

So here are some types of BPO you need to understand:

  • Onshore Outsourcing
  • Offshore Outsourcing
  • Nearshore Outsourcing

Onshore outsourcing: Onshore or domestic outsourcing is a process in which a business hires a service provider based in the same country as the business. In this type, the business is outsourced from the same country to avoid time zone differences and language barriers. E.g., US companies outsource BPO services from US-based companies.

Offshore outsourcing: Offshore BPO involves hiring a third-party service provider to conduct operations on their behalf from another country. While outsourcing BPO can be cost-effective since labor costs are low in some countries, it can also come with language barriers and time zone differences. E.g., companies in the US outsourcing BPO services from China and Mexico to cut off costs with better BPO services.

Nearshore outsourcing: In this type of outsourcing, the companies outsource BPO services from nearby countries rather than their own country. These kinds of outsourcing are used when specialized capabilities are available at a lower cost in a neighboring country, but specific criteria, such as time zones and language proficiency, must be considered. For example, BPO companies in the US have higher costs, so they hire BPO services from neighboring countries such as Mexico and Canada to reduce costs.

Types of Call Centers

Types of call center

Having a clear understanding of different types of call centers is crucial, as this will enable you to choose a call center that is right for your business. There are three types of call centers, and they are:

Inbound call center

The inbound call center is used to receive incoming calls worldwide. The main aim of the inbound call center is to assist customer solve their issues and queries. The call center receives calls from customers interested in buying the product, learning more about the product, and contacting the company. 

The agents of the Inbounds call center work as a mediator, they provide the necessary information and assistance to the customer for making any purchase or registering a query regarding a purchase made.

Outbound call center 

In this type of call center, outbound call centers perform calls to the customer on behalf of the organization. This outbound call helps an organization reach its potential customer and increase their overall sales. 

Here, the agent reaches out to the customer, pitching the product or services and increasing their business reach. Outbound call center helps organization expand their customer base and reach out to the customers easily.

Virtual call center 

Virtual call centers are call centers where staff are not stationed at one workstation but are widely separated. Virtual call centers may be operated remotely or from home in groups. Here, the agents often use cloud-based software to manage calls and customer data, address their queries, and solve them with efficiency, delivering excellent customer service.

Characteristics of BPO

Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) is outsourcing the services, business-related operations, or work processes of an external, third-party vendor. Generally, BPO services are adopted by companies who are looking forward to cut off cost is adopted by companies to cut costs, freeing up time, and focusing on core aspects of the business. 

The following are some characteristics of BPO:

Specialization

BPO providers specialize in specific business processes, such as customer support, data entry, finance and accounting, or IT services. Their expertise and experience in these areas help ensure efficiency and quality.

Reduce cost

By hiring a BPO company, businesses can save a lot of money, resulting in reduced labor and operational costs, as well as eliminating the need for expensive infrastructure and technology investments. Companies can save up to 70% of their operating expenses, and labor costs can be saved by outsourcing your business. Also, You won’t need to spend on building infrastructure, investing in technology, or hiring workers.

Scalability

Scalability allows the organization to adjust the level of service based on changing business needs, since BPOs are dynamic, they can scale up and down to meet their clients’ needs. This ability to adapt quickly allows the organization to remain competitive and efficient. BPO is also cost-effective since it allows the organization to cut back on overhead costs while still providing the same level of service.

Access to Skilled Workforce

A BPO consists of an expert, trained, and skilled workforce to handle business processes, something most organizations lack. The skilled agents in BPO help businesses deliver excellent customer service and manage business processes, eliminating the need for in-house training and development. It automatically reduces the time and effort needed to recruit and train staff. Furthermore, It also provides access to a global talent pool, allowing businesses to find the best talent worldwide.

Global Reach 

Organizations can choose BPO service providers located anywhere in the world to take advantage of cost differentials, language capabilities, market expertise, and global reach matter the location of your business, the expert BPO agents helps business to reach global platform and expand your business.

Characteristics of Call Center

Call centers are crucial for any business to enhance their communication and provide better customer service. Ideally, call centers must be able to address customers’ needs and solve their queries and problems with ease. They have a number of key characteristics that define their operations, some of them are:

IVR( interactive voice response)

IVR is the highlight characteristic of the call centers, many call centers use an (Interactive Voice Response) IVR system to direct the calls to the right agent with automated menus. An IVR system assists customers with first-call solutions and provides necessary support in solving their queries by connecting them right away to the appropriate agent who can assist them in solving their problems and providing customer satisfaction.

🔖 You might find it interesting: The Importance of IVR in Virtual Phone Systems for Call Centers

Integration of Technologies

The call centers have transformed with the advancement of technology. From old rigid call centers to Virtual call centers, both technology and services have evolved. The integration of technologies with call centers has become a game-changing solution. leveraging tools like customer relationship management (CRM) software and call management systems helps in efficiently managing calls, tracking customer interactions, and providing a seamless calling experience.

The inbound and outbound services

The call center is a multi-purpose center that is designed to handle both inbound and outbound calls. A call center provides both inbound and outbound services. It provides support and assistance to inbound callers and initiates outbound calls for telemarketing, sales, surveys, and customer retention. In addition to providing inbound and outbound services, the call center provides better customer service, technical support, and answering service. It also resolves customer complaints and inquiries promptly.

Specialized Agents

Call centers generally hire an agent for different departments based on their expertise and experience. The main aim of a call center is to provide information and guide the customer to solve their queries and issues. So, a call center consists of dedicated customer service agents, sales representatives, and technical support experts to provide a better calling experience, solve issues, and provide assistance according to the customers’ needs.

Benefits of BPO

Benefits of BPO

Hiring a BPO can be a game-changing factor for many businesses. Hiring skilled agents for every business process can be very costly for businesses, so most businesses choose BPO. With BPO, businesses can minimize workload and streamline business operations at a minimal cost. Here are some benefits that BPO brings to your business:

Cost saving: It is the foremost benefit of hiring a BPO for businesses. By leveraging labor cost differences, cutting hiring expenses, and optimizing processes, BPO can help you reduce operating costs. Also, BPO helps businesses enhance productivity and business processes at a very optimal cost. 

Global reach: BPO allows businesses to outsource from any part of the world as BPO providers can operate globally. Also, With BPO, businesses can have access to international markets, language capabilities, and a diverse talent pool, which will help businesses expand internationally and grow their business.

A wider pool of talents: BPO generally hires skilled agents and professionals in their field, and the specialized team of experts helps to handle business operations with professionalism and ease. So businesses do not have to waste their time and money on hiring an expert employee, which can be very beneficial for them.

Focus on Core Competencies: By outsourcing non-core processes, your business can focus and excel on what it does best This focus will automatically minimize the burden and lead business to innovation and growth.

Benefits of Call Center

Benefits of Call Center

Having a better call center can bring a lot of advantages to business. Tracking customer leads, delivering excellent customer service, and managing both inbound and outbound calls can help businesses increase productivity and sales. Here are some of the benefits of a call center in business:

Better Customer Service: Call centers are basically used to handle calls, assist customers in solving their queries, and provide the necessary support. The main aim of a call center is to provide customer service. The call center helps customers address inquiries, resolve issues, and offer assistance, resulting in greater customer loyalty and satisfaction.

Multichannel Support:  Not only phone calls but modern call centers also come with multi-channel support, which allows the customer to interact via email, voice, chat, and social media. These options give you a wide range of options for reaching and assisting your customers.

Efficient Sales and Marketing: With customer service with call center outbound calls, businesses can reach out to their potential customers, generate leads, and increase their overall sales. Furthermore, they can help you increase revenue through effective sales and marketing strategies.

Language Support: Many call centers offer multilingual support so you can serve customers in their preferred language, improving accessibility and satisfaction.

Difference between BPO and Call Center

If you still think BPO and call centers are the same. Then,  this difference between BPO and the call center will clear your misunderstanding and help you understand better.

BPO( Business Processes Outsourcing) Call Center
BPOs are third-party service providers that provide various services, like finance and accounting, sourcing, procurement, and human resources, to businesses. A call center is a call center service provider that helps businesses handle and manage calls, solve customer queries and issues, and provide top-notch support and assistance to new customers.
A BPO offers a variety of communication channels, including voice, email, chat, social media, etc. Call centers primarily focus on Voice-based communication.
Hiring a BPO service helps businesses to handle multiple processes and business operations. I.e., Back-end processes and front-office processes. Meanwhile, Call center helps business in managing call services. I.e., only front office processes.
A BPO company specializes in various business processes and tailors them to meet business needs. The call center specializes in voice communication services, telemarketing, and customer support.
BPO is a Multi-service delivery model. A call center is a Single service delivery model 
You can save money on long-term operations by hiring a BPO vendor. It is expensive to build a call center from scratch, but it is very effective in retaining customers and increasing sales.
BPO aims to streamline business processes and reduce costs. The call center aims to provide top-notch customer service, assisting and addressing inquiries and delivering better customer satisfaction to satisfy and retain customers.
💡 This might be helpful: How to Choose the Best Virtual Number Provider for Your Call Center?

Wrapping Up

To wrap up, Call centers are basically customer support hotline that aims to solve customer queries, reach out to the customer, and provide excellent assistance and support. Whereas BPO services multitasking experts who can handle a wide range of business processes and streamline business operations. So there are two different things: Businesses can use these services according to the needs of the business. I.e., whether to enhance the business process or provide better customer and calling services.

In a nutshell, Both of the services provide the necessary assistance to businesses and help the business grow better. So hurry up, save your time and money adapting these services, and watch out for the exciting benefits and transformation they bring to your business at a very cost-effective price.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What are call center operations?

Call center operations are the processes and activities involved in managing and handling a call center. Call center operations involve answering and performing calls, managing the contact center, and assisting customers to enhance the calling experience. 

How are call centers related to BPO?

BPO and call centers are related as both of them are outsourced by businesses to enhance business productivity. Call centers are a subset of BPO, whose primary function is to handle and manage calls for business and deliver excellent customer satisfaction, whereas BPO is not only limited to phone call services it offers different services to enhance business operations. A call center is one of the services under the BPO umbrella, so they are related.

What are the key components of BPO?

The key components of BPO are:

  • People
  • Processes
  • Technology
Prasanta Raut

Prasanta is the founder and visionary CEO of Dialaxy. He is on a mission to redefine the landscape of SaaS solutions, infusing creativity and ingenuity into every aspect of Dialaxy’s offerings. His fervent dedication to simplifying sales and support processes drives Dialaxy’s forward momentum, delivering unparalleled value to businesses of all sizes. Embark on a transformative journey with Prasanta and Dialaxy as they pave the way for a new era of sales and support excellence.

Prasanta Raut

Prasanta is the founder and visionary CEO of Dialaxy. He is on a mission to redefine the landscape of SaaS solutions, infusing creativity and ingenuity into every aspect of Dialaxy’s offerings. His fervent dedication to simplifying sales and support processes drives Dialaxy’s forward momentum, delivering unparalleled value to businesses of all sizes. Embark on a transformative journey with Prasanta and Dialaxy as they pave the way for a new era of sales and support excellence.