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In focusContributorsBPO Trends and Expectations in 2022 Interview With Feras J. Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, SILAH GULF

BPO Trends and Expectations in 2022 Interview With Feras J. Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer, SILAH GULF

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The Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) sector has shown clear signs of optimism despite
recent global concerns related to increased skill shortages, trade protectionism, and other
gridlocks. With cloud-based networks and exciting advances in CX tech driving hyperefficiency and revenue growth, 2022 has a considerably more positive outlook than the years past. In fact, new estimates predict the global cloud-based BPO market to
reach $144.4 billion by 2026.

Mr. Feras J. Ahmed, Chief Executive Officer of SILAH GULF, award-winning businessprocess outsourcing (BPO) provider, specialized in innovative Customer Experience (CX) solutions talks about the Trends and Expectations in 2022 for the BPO sector.

How can we redesign industry specific KPIs that will help the new age BPO providers to not just remain a mere vendor but to become a client’s technology partner?

Setting the right KPIs and measuring them has been an important part of the BPO function.
As market and business pressures increase BPO providers will now have to focus
increasingly on how to elevate customer experience to truly reflect what their clients want
to provide. They will have to start building differentiation on their ability to be agile and
accurately support their clients’ end customer goals and expectations. We will see a move
away from the traditional “people-centric” mindset which was the norm earlier, to a more
technology led transformation. The KPIs used will have to be both industry specific and
process specific. The first will drive customer satisfaction and better customer experience,
while the latter will drive operational efficiency.


Is it necessary now to expand the customer base and and see how effective BPOs can be for Startup clients?

Startup businesses have become more and more targeted as potential clients for BPO
companies as the smaller market is less competitive and provides BPO firms with a higher
margin profile. In addition, by starting relationships early with small, fast-growing clients,
BPO companies can expand alongside their startup customers. Startups with small
recruitment budgets often look overseas for cost-effective talent, making them an ideal
BPO customer.


Do we see an increasing role for BPOs to perform as data hubs for their clients?

As customer experience becomes a priority for organisations, BPOs will have to aim for a
more holistic view of their client data and focus on understanding the customer data better.
Because of the high volume of data that contact centres generate, the challenge is to stop
viewing disparate segments separately, and instead integrate using customer data
platforms, AI and analytics to provide and manage the clients “actionable customer data.”


With more data stored in the cloud, how important is it today for BPOs to ensuring data security?


BPOs and their clients need a common understanding of the responsibilities and liabilities
when it comes to data and IT security. As the number if data breaches and cybersecurity
incidents grow, organisations will demand greater IT security requirements from their BPO
partners and this will lead to greater investments in enforcing digital checks and balances.
Now, with more employees working remotely and more data stored in the cloud, the
urgency to invest in cybersecurity has reached an all-time high. Furthermore, with data
privacy laws tightening, and the fines for noncompliance in place, the risks for private
enterprises are significant.


Does attracting and retaining talent continue to be a challenge for BPOs as well as finding talent?


The hybrid work model poses several challenges which require technology and HR
strategies to work in tandem. The remote workforce and rapid growth in self-service scope
have rendered many processes, and even physical locations, redundant.
We see BPOs investing more on technology to drive better employee experience using a
number of methods including, scheduling and employee experience tools, video
conferencing, collaboration platforms and video communications. BPOs that have adopted
next-wave CX tools, like emotion AI and conversational automation, will perform distinctly
better than those who are waiting and watching to see if they should jump into the fray.


What’s next for the BPO industry? Where do we go from here?

While things have not been easy for the BPO industry, it can be said without debate that
the demand for services has only escalated. We are more than optimistic about the
continuous roll out of new strategies and tools that have helped us navigate current
trends and enabled us in supporting our customers to achieve their goals. The best
example of this perhaps is the new state of the art, advanced Chatbot solution that Silah
introduced recently to attain a smoother customer experience. CX is at the heart of our
business and we will continue to explore ways to improve and enhance the experience.

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