What Is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

Business Process Outsourcing BPO on notepad

What Is Business Process Outsourcing (BPO)?

Business process outsourcing (BPO) is when a company delegates specific business functions to a third-party vendor.

Whether it’s the accounting firm your company outsources payroll to for its hundreds of employees or the small but mighty marketing agency that manages your company’s social media presence, BPO is an incredibly common practice.

By no means a new phenomenon, the process of outsourcing is as old as the industrial revolution itself — although, it wouldn’t be formally recognized as a business strategy until 1989. That doesn’t mean the practice of outsourcing was immediately championed by all.

For many years, the use of BPO has been criticized for resulting in poor customer support experiences with ill-prepared agents who did not speak the native language well.

This perception has shifted in recent years, however, with widespread globalization and sweeping improvements to technology making BPO more accessible and easy to adopt than ever.

What Does BPO Mean?

A BPO call centre is an outsourcing service that processes incoming and outgoing calls for other companies. Although outsourced agents don’t work directly for the company they serve, they still provide excellent customer support.

BPO agents undergo extensive training to understand their client’s catalog so that they can answer questions with the depth of knowledge your customers expect.

If you don’t have the bandwidth to hire a full support team in-house, a BPO call centre could be a worthwhile investment. BPO agents can handle tasks like:

Inbound and Outbound Calls

BPO agents answer customer calls and make outbound calls to increase brand awareness. Along with calls, agents generate leads, which can be pursued by your in-house team.

Market Research

Agents reach out to current customers or prospective ones to gain information to improve products and services. BPO agents determine soft leads using an ideal customer profile determined by the company who hired them.


BPOs can be talented first-line sales members and pass along any warm leads to the company’s sales team.

Help Desk Services

Many organizations use a BPO centre to assist with customers’ commonly asked questions.

Technical support

Some BPO agents have in-depth experience and knowledge of a product. Those agents often triage more specific, technical customer questions.

Lead Generation and Sales

BPO agents may act as a built-in sales team, which saves your company time and increases revenue.

While these activities sound similar to the tasks call centre agents perform, remember that call centre agents are fully integrated within a company while BPO agents are completely outsourced.

Thanks to Assembled

Author: Robyn Coppell

Published On: 27th Apr 2023
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