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The impact of generative AI on the business process outsourcing (BPO) sector

Updated: May 7

Although generative AI may be established way to the 1960s, for the average person, one of the most amazing technologies they have ever seen was introduced in the last year. People have been astounded by ChatGPT's capacity to produce text, graphics, and other content depending on the data it is trained on since the platform burst onto the scene in late 2022, amassing an astounding one million users in just five days 2.

Many industries have been working hard to figure out how to make the most of a technology that is here to stay, even though early headlines focused on students using ChatGPT to cheat3 and Hollywood recently suffered the effects of strikes against generative AI4. This also applies to the global BPO industry, which takes great pride in its openness to embracing new ideas that enable their clients to further improve customer satisfaction, cut expenses, and increase efficiencies.

This guide aims to provide readers insight into how generative AI is projected to help BPO providers and their clients, as well as possible challenges to be overcome and implications for the outsourcing industry going forward. 2024 is anticipated to be another pivotal year in the development of generative AI.



What is AI in outsourcing?

Artificial intelligence (AI) technology known as "generative AI" creates text, images, audio, and synthetic content using deep learning models. It can improve automation, optimise processes, and elevate services for the benefit of offshore workers and the customer service when incorporated into a business process outsourcing (BPO) environment.

How is AI used in BPO industry?

Using generative AI to support hardworking staff members can have a number of advantages for outsourcing companies, who take great satisfaction in going above and above for their clients.

Customer experience: Generative AI solutions can assist BPOs in raising the bar in regards to providing quicker service and comprehending the demands and preferences of their customers, especially in light of the increasing emphasis on the need to provide more customised experiences for them. The technology can raise customer satisfaction and loyalty rates through assessing consumer data and making tailored offers and recommendations.

Automation: Like other businesses, BPOs are motivated to work less, not more, and generative AI is a great tool for this kind of job. Many technologies and solutions can automate repetitive and routine operations that were previously completed by humans, freeing up employees' time to focus on higher-value and more difficult work. Better quality, lower costs, and increased efficiency were the end results.

Predictive analytics: In the modern business world, data is king, and artificial intelligence can lead to new opportunities by giving BPOs access to industry trends and insights into customer behaviour. By doing this, outsourcing companies may make more informed decisions and eventually provide their clients better services.

Scalability and flexibility: When onshore organisations must scale their operations up or down in response to shifting demands, the BPO industry is a priceless resource. Enhancing that capability is something that generative AI solutions can help with. Outsourcing companies can employ these techniques to supplement the standard technology and hiring initiatives that have traditionally been used to give such flexibility, whether it be a seasonal peak or rise in client requests.

Why is caution needed when using generative AI in BPOs?

Even if a lot of BPO companies are looking into the possibility of generative AI pilots, they and their clients need to set reasonable standards. In fact, one could argue that now more than ever, they must consider carefully about whether rushing to deploy specific generative artificial intelligence (AI) methods will be worth the risks or not.

Outsourcing executives are not alone in believing that generative AI may be a one-way ticket to higher productivity and better efficiencies in the midst of the fervour around ChatGPT and other solutions. While this might be fine for low-risk activities, it is an urgent concern when utilised in customer-facing situations because generative AI is still an emerging technology and there is a possibility of inconsistent and unpredictable information being provided.

Because of this, BPO companies must concentrate their generative AI skills on "agent assistance," the domain in which the results produced by technology are verified by people. Though the field of outsourcing is mostly about people, generative AI is transforming the business landscape. Until technology can give 100% accuracy 100% of the time, it should be used to support the people that make BPOs the indispensable services that they are.

Where can generative AI enhance BPOs?

Outsourcing providers should prioritise areas that will yield immediate benefits to themselves and their clients when implementing generative AI.

Human resources: The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector relies significantly on recruiting and onboarding, and generative AI offers enormous potential to improve the HR support function. The technology can facilitate employee onboarding and help find qualified candidates. It can also conduct candidate research and analysis to support staff engagement and retention efforts.

Contact centers: The business process outsourcing (BPO) sector relies significantly on recruiting and onboarding, and generative AI offers enormous potential to improve the HR support function. The technology can facilitate employee on boarding and help find qualified candidates. It can also conduct candidate research and analysis to support staff engagement and retention efforts.

Content creation: Business process outsourcing (BPO) businesses offer a variety of services, such as marketing materials, FAQs, and customer-facing articles, all of which call for the creation of pertinent and contextual content. Such content can be initially drafted by generative AI, that offshore staff can then assess and utilise. In a world where material is in limited availability, the key is to scale content needs while maintaining human oversight to ensure quality and accuracy.

Workforce optimization: Any organisation that focuses on people, the most valuable resource of all, needs to allocate resources well if it is to succeed. Generative AI can be used by BPO operations to use past data, customer trends, and outside influences, which will ultimately result in more accurate resource allocation and forecasts. One way to ensure that individuals with the appropriate talents are assigned to the right tasks at the right time is by streamlining staff schedules.

Summary

The emergence of generative AI is not exclusive to the BPO industry, and there are still numerous obstacles to overcome before realising the full potential of it. Individual players must overcome a variety of obstacles, including those related to implementation, data privacy, technology costs, training, and maintenance, not to mention the requirement for stringent human staff supervision. Having said that, it's a really exciting moment for offshore providers as well as the clients they service because of the potential for them to enhance their operations through the use of generative AI.

It is simple to ignore the numerous "proactive" benefits of working with a reputable offshore supplier in the midst of hiring difficulties and financial strains. Find out why more companies are using outsourcing to help them achieve a long-term steady expansion.

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