Five Considerations When Looking for a BPO Provider

There are always a number of factors to consider when selecting any partner. The considerations may vary depending on the areas you are looking to outsource, but overall, we believe there are five key factors for an insurer to consider when looking to work with a business process outsourcing (BPO) provider.

  1. Capabilities – It’s important that insurers match the capabilities and comparable client experience of any BPO provider to their own needs. Talk to a provider about the types of companies that they’ve provided services to in the past; learn about the lines of business that they have experience with supporting; ask about their process to understand your business and become an integral extension of your team.
  2. Industry Expertise – There are many providers whose services cross industries. A partner who is solely focused on insurance and who has licensed insurance professionals on staff is typically a better fit for most insurers as their offerings and processes will be optimized for insurance. Working with a partner who understands insurance is especially important with today’s focus on the customer experience.
  3. Company Culture – A BPO provider acts as an extension of your team and your brand so it’s important that there is a cultural fit between an insurer and the BPO provider. Insurers should confirm that the provider is aligned with their values, mission statement and quality of service. To understand if the culture is engrained across the organization so it’s important to meet members of the provider’s team to understand how much emphasis is placed on culture.
  4. Technology and Infrastructure – A BPO provider should bring the latest technology to its clients – from core systems to phone systems. With the demands from today’s insured including the desire for instant access to information and fast responses via any channel, you must select a BPO provider who can meet these demands. On the flip side, a provider should also be willing and able to utilize an insurer’s technology as needed for any services they are providing.
  5. Location, Location, Location – BPO providers are either onshore or offshore. Some may be a hybrid of onshore and offshore. We believe it’s important for insurers to use onshore providers who understand the US insurance market, speak fluent English, and understands the culture. Onshore providers will also be located in or near the same time zone.

While there can be much more for an insurer to look at when considering a BPO partner, the items above should be at the top of the list. With the demands of today’s digital world, BPO is helping to advance the industry by reducing operating expenses, streamlining back-office processes and improving customer experiences. Selecting the right partner is critical.

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