How Are Call Centers Different From Business Process Outsourcing?

by | Last updated Dec 29, 2023 | Published on Jan 20, 2022 | Business Process Outsourcing

We often hear the terms “call center” and “business process outsourcing” or “BPO” used interchangeably. While both are classified under the broad categorization of business process outsourcing services, there is a difference in the range of tasks handled.

Call Centers and Business Process Outsourcing Solutions

  • Call centers can be part of business process outsourcing solutions. However, they only handle one aspect of the BPO range of jobs – answering calls for customer care, from sales to technical and post-sales support.
  • Business process outsourcing, on the other hand, involves handling a host of back office responsibilities that involves data entry, document scanning, document conversion, PEO services, etc. unlike call centers that only handle calls from customers.

Both are outsourced tasks though, and help businesses handle these non-core responsibilities efficiently and in a streamlined manner without compromising on their core tasks. However, in some cases, BPO services also involve core tasks such as manufacturing products, allowing the client company to focus on research & development to further improve their products and services to grab a competitive position in the market. BPO companies could also handle human resource management for their client companies. In short, business process outsourcing is an umbrella covering a range of services, while a call center only deals with voice processes, handling the customer queries of client companies.

If your business directly deals with customers, it would need the services of a call center. However, to cut costs and streamline their operations, businesses of all kinds absolutely need BPO services. Let’s look at the massive potential of a BPO company.

The Massive Scope of BPO Services

For one, a BPO handles a range of data and document related tasks – data entry, document conversion, document scanning, legal process outsourcing, etc. These tasks are crucial for the day-to-day functioning of organizations:

Document Conversion

Documents can be converted from and to DOC, TIFF, PDF, Excel, text, JPEG, PNG, PDF, PPT, HTML, XML, CSV and other formats. It ensures vital documents are saved in the most appropriate format for easy storage and use. This helps in the functioning of the whole business.

Document Scanning and Digitization

Another area of BPO expertise is document scanning service and digitization. Lots of companies and organizations are faced with the challenge of storing tons of paper files, microfilms, micro fiches and hard copies. Digitization services ensure that these files are converted to the preferred digitized format and saved securely as well for access by authorized personnel. Onsite as well as off-site scanning are offered to suit the specific needs of the clients.

Data Entry

Efficient data entry outsourcing ensures that all the important data the company deals with is stored and recorded accurately. Short-term and long-term projects are offered with technology and data driven analysis. Services offered deal with various industries and include data entry from surveys, images, insurance claims, medical files, handwritten files, etc. Conversion of digital or numeric data files, and automated data entry through ICR and OCR technology are also offered.

Legal Process Outsourcing (LPO)

Legal processes are also part of the services offered by a business process outsourcing company. These services help law firms, attorneys, courts and the legal departments of businesses. They include legal document scanning, document management, legal coding, legal research, data extraction services, document preparation, E-brief hyperlink creation, etc. Outsourcing companies also customize their services depending on the specific legal processing requirements of clients.

Medical Processing Services

BPO companies are also trained to offer processing solutions for hospitals, physician clinics, nursing homes, etc. Medical document scanning and records scanning are offered, while many of the services mentioned above also apply to medical practices. Medical transcription is one of the most commonly known outsourced tasks that help doctors and practices record medical data. These services are obviously HIPAA-compliant.

Comprehensiveness of Business Process Outsourcing

As you can see, business process outsourcing solutions are much more comprehensive than call center services. It improves the functioning of almost every department of the organization and has relevance for various industries including healthcare, banking, legal, nonprofit, insurance, education, banking, hospitality, manufacturing, pharmaceuticals, etc. The call center is usually relevant only for consumer products manufacturers, insurance providers, telecommunications and internet providers, and travel and tourism industries where direct customer interaction is required for answering queries, clearing doubts and ensuring the smooth functioning of the product or service. By contrast, BPO has relevance for just about every industry.

Telecommunications, Sales and Support Handled by Call Centers

A call center deals specifically with telecommunications. That still covers many responsibilities such as inbound support, technical support, customer service, answering service, outbound support, customer chat & email support, and even inbound sales and order taking that directly impact the sales and revenue of the client company.

BPO services are more diverse and usually deal with tasks performed behind the scenes rather than being in the limelight with customers. However, BPO companies can also handle front office responsibilities and answering calls. So while a call center is a BPO, for the fact that a call center’s responsibilities do come under the list of features an outsourcing company offers, BPO includes more than just a call center’s tasks.

With efficient and comprehensive back office outsourcing, businesses can streamline their functioning. Call center services can contribute to better customer relationships, which can help build goodwill and improve the company’s reputation, leading to increased sales and revenue.

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