There was a time when the BPO industry would emphasize on their employees getting trained in voice modulation. BPO employees only attending calls are now a thing of the past. Standing in 2016, this flourishing sector has seen a paradigm shift from Business Process Outsourcing to Business Process Management (BPM). The BPO/BPM industry requires their employees to involve themselves in a wider range of services, such as F&A, analytics, research and IT. This implies that the level of skill and expertise BPOs demand from their staff has just gone a notch higher.

For entry-level staff, voice modulation along with accent neutralization proves to be sufficient. However, as we climb up the BPO corporate ladder, it becomes more and more important that the training provided is as domain-specific as possible. Training is essential if companies want to keep attrition rates in check. Employees are given a desired career path that they can follow, since they now have the mettle required to prove their caliber in this otherwise unforgiving industry.

Since any BPO company has to deal with various clients involved in different kinds of businesses, it has become the new mantra for 2016, to pool in customers for training programs. Training by their customers can help reduce costs as hiring an external trainer can not only be expensive, but also occasionally not so fruitful. This is because an external trainer or even the BPO’s in-house facilitator might not have the best idea about the client’s field of work. A vague idea of business processes will help neither the outsourcing partner to make a mark nor will it bring success and revenue to the client in question. This strengthens the belief that it is only the client who will be able give their inputs in the most comprehensive manner possible.

Vikram Talwar, Chairman of EXL Services rightly claims, ““Around seven years ago, the industry was treated as vendors, but today, we are genuine partners – from provider to understanding the business of the clients and countries, and their policies”.

Partnering with clients to provide training for their employees, BPOs are ensuring that the workforce they take pride in, do justice to their job profiles. Employees are now being hired on the basis of their educational qualification as well as their ability to adapt to all kinds of situations. The sole reason behind such an approach is the observation that clients are often too demanding, whether it is the quality of work or it is the deadline to be met.

Moreover, it is always an added advantage when your staff is not just a good communicator, but also a well-equipped manager, who can handle anything and everything under the sun, from retail and manufacturing to IT and finance. With hands-on training from the clients themselves, the employees have a much better understanding of the business they work for, thus lending their own finesse to the industry.

Som Mittal, President of NASSCOM sums up the 2016 BPO mantra when he says, “This is the time for us to move away from being called as BPO to BPM because that is what we do today, which is customer-centric solutions. It is the management of the full business process of a client, which is technology-enabled, to offer end-to-end solutions”.