As 2022 gains steam, businesses face the reality of retaining end-users while also trying to win new ones. How best to achieve this goal goes beyond promotions to buy from a specific vendor.  The reality of contemporary CX is that delivering quality interactions is the fundamental differentiator.

For numerous enterprises, ensuring quality across channels and functions is limited by antiquated processes and technologies.  Furthermore, investing in solutions that would drive the best of the best in CX is out of reach for many cash-strapped firms.

Still, if there is one area that no company can skimp on, it is training.  Ensuring a robust front-line team of agents that is well-schooled in how to deliver the best outcomes is priceless.  It is also a potential area of differentiation for the BPO community, as its clients strive for a higher quality third-party offering.

Training lies at the core of any contact center’s success.  Yet, for many enterprise’s in-house operations, it is one of the operational areas where executives struggle the most.  This was validated in the most recent Ryan Strategic Advisory Front Office Omnibus Survey of over 600 enterprise CX decision-makers.  In fact, this community identified developing relevant training programs for front-line staff as a top-5 challenge in their contact center operations; in the UK and Italy, it was the second-biggest challenge.

A team of inadequately trained agents is not only a risk to strong interactions with end-users, but it also complicates retention.  It is unlikely that any front-line staff member is going to stay in a role for which they have not been properly trained. Rather, when many face the frustration of not getting the job done, they will bolt for new pastures.  Turnover rates will churn higher as will operational costs.

But, the reality is that for many in-house operators the cash is simply not there for enhanced levels of training, or for more modern, technologically-driven instructional techniques that are especially popular for younger team members.  The Front Office Omnibus Survey confirms this: 3-in-5 enterprise CX departments anticipate flat or declining budgets this year.

This is where the outsourcing community can make headway, with training that ensures quality as a core point of distinction.  Being able to drive the best KPIs via agents that are confident and informed is a true unique selling proposition in a crowded field of generic third-party offerings.

Granted, there is likely to be hesitancy on the part of some outsourcers that feel the only way to win business is with lower prices.  But, the previously-mentioned Front Office Omnibus Survey disproves that notion, showing instead that in-house contact center executives rank cheap pricing only halfway down the list of over 30 success factors that an BPO should possess.  Conversely, CX providers that have strong references and subject-matter expertise in customer management delivery are more likely to win business.

So, what are the implications for BPOs?  First off, no matter what the size of the provider, they must ensure that their training ecosystem is as robust as possible. This needs to incorporate instruction on all aspects of the technology platforms that front-line staff will be required to use, ongoing training around the products/services to be supported, and updates on how to drive the best in CX outcomes.  And, because the days of an instructor at the head of the class are numbered, bringing in new and proven techniques in self-learning needs to be a hallmark of any BPO’s 2022 training approach.

Finally, training cannot just be something that outsourcers undertake as part of their operations – it has to be part of the value proposition they bring to the table when winning new clients.  Training needs to be at the forefront of marketing activities, in order to ensure contract renewals and new deal signings.  With quality the best way of securing long-term end-user revenue streams, putting this capability front-and-center is essential for outsourcers.

Image sourced from Karen Apricot under Creative Commons license