Episode 4: Going from one to many BPOs

This week's episode: This week, Alex talks with Ramon about navigating the big jump from one to many BPOs. Ramon shares important tips for measuring performance at the granular level and improving the quality of your BPOs over time.

Last updated on: 
August 11, 2023
Alexander Kvamme
Alexander Kvamme
March 24, 2021
3 min read

Five Minutes on the Front Line is a weekly segment hosted by Pathlight CEO Alexander Kvamme and Chief Customer Officer Ramon Icasiano, who is a former CX leader at Earnin, Netflix, Zynga, and Verizon.

This week's episode: This week, Alex talks with Ramon about navigating the big jump from one to many BPOs. Ramon shares important tips for measuring performance at the granular level and improving the quality of your BPOs over time.


Alex: Hello, everyone. Welcome back to Five Minutes on the Frontline. I'm Alex Kvamme, cofounder  and CEO of Pathlight. With me, as always, is Ramon Icasiano, former CX leader at Zynga, Verizon, Netflix, Earnin, and now Chief Customer Officer at Pathlight. We chat with Ramon every week on key challenges that CX leaders are facing every day, every week, every month, and we get quick and actionable tips from him.

This is a part of our mini series on BPOs. We've already talked about choosing a BPO, how to properly manage a BPO. The next step is going from one to many. Companies, at some point, reach a level of scale where you need to go from one to many vendors and bring on more folks for a variety of reasons.

Now, that going from one to two doesn't double the complexity, I would imagine Ramon, it could triple or quadruple the complexity. So how do you successfully navigate that? How do you make sure performance is maintained? Both immediately and over time. I'll turn it over to you.

Ramon: Thanks for asking. And for folks that are actually going from one to many BPOs, congratulations, because that means your business is growing. And scaling in that manner means you've really decided to invest in this part of the business. So there's two tips here that I'd like to share with you. One when you're going to multiple BPOs, be able to do a true apples to apples comparison.That's the first tip. The second tip is immediately set up a standard, or this process, of what I call "Quality Olympics."

So let me go into detail. Apples to apples comparison isn't looking at overall charts. It's not looking at two BPOs at a high level of quality. It's actually taking something like quality and taking it all the way down to a ticket category, by locations, right? By agents. And being able to kind of cut your data in a true apples to apples, meaning same type of contact, same type of ticket. What's their true quality there? What's the quality measure there? And then you can compare it. That tells you exactly who's on top in terms of who's performing the best around what you expect.

The second thing I would absolutely set up, as you onboard new providers, BPOs, is set up Quality Olympics. You know, what we had set up at Zynga, we had four different BPOs worldwide, total about 10 sites. We were handling 20 million live interactions a year. And what we did was, with that data, we were able to basically share with the other BPOs, how their competitors were doing, in an anonymous way. So there were four lines and anyone that had the lowest performance, we would basically stop their ability and slow down their ability to backfill new headcount and we allocated the new hiring to the top performing BPO. So over time, the highest performing BPOs would continually  grow. We would grow them a little bit faster and quicker than the lower performing ones.

And what this Quality Olympics means is that there are situations where you may end up terminating an agreement because they just continually aren't backfilling, they continually trade out their teams, and you're not funding their business. And so you can essentially just turn them off without funding them anymore.

Alex: Got it. So to summarize: one, have the capability and ability to do an apples to apples comparison, not just at the top level, at every level and across every kind of cut of data and your business. You can truly do a comparison and then you leverage that structure, to your second point, to run an ongoing Quality Olympics, where you are measuring and managing BPOs against these KPIs over time. And the bottom performers are getting spend decreased and the top performers are getting that spend reallocated to them over time. You might actually end up going from four to three to two, but that's great because you're now working with the top performing vendors.

Of course this ties really well back into what we do with our customers at Pathlight. A variety of our customers use multiple BPOs and they actually use Pathlight, not only at the top level to do an apples to apples comparison, but all the way down through the org chart. And they actually  can run those Quality Olympics automatically in the platform.

So this has been another Five Minutes on the Frontline with Ramon Icasiano. Thanks again, everyone, as part of our mini series on BPOs and more to come. Thanks guys. See you around.

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