Do complex challenges call for simple solutions? Not always. You will quickly find at least a dozen BPO providers that can provide a global offshore solution if you want to standardize mainstream processes from accounting to sourcing across the globe and want to outsource to a shared service center. However, this is not as easy for after-sales outsourcing, since customer care requirements vary considerably from country to country. Regional competence and a local presence are thus paramount.
In my last blog post we looked at the success factors of after-sales outsourcing. In addition to deep customer care expertise, a complete solution that covers all after-sales disciplines and a commitment to joint success, the choice of a BPO partner should be dependent on their global presence. I would like to focus on this aspect once again since it is often neglected in discussions on after-sales BPO. All major BPO vendors position themselves globally, meaning they have a global coverage of 80 percent or more. Outsourcing providers feel they are maintaining their global promise in accordance with the good old 80/20 rule – they are present in at least 80 percent of countries and well, it is acceptable to ignore the other 20 percent.
BPO Solutions for Markets Where Global Standards Do Not Work
We know from our own experience that most device manufacturers do not face their biggest challenges in established markets like North America, Europe or the well-developed parts of Asia, which all fall in the 80 percent category. The real challenges are to provide excellent customer care in the remaining 20 percent; in markets that promise huge growth on the one hand, but which also have special requirements for after-sales services on the other. A truly global BPO partner should be able to support mobile and IoT brands with a world-class after-sales solution even in markets where global standards do not work.
For the IoT and smartphone industries, it is countries like India, Brazil, Russia and Vietnam above all where there will be huge growth in the future. While growth in the smartphone and tablet industry is stagnating or slow in many established markets, emerging markets are experiencing growth rates well into the double-digit range, and in the IoT segment it is even up to several hundred percent annually. Penetration rates for smartphones and other connected devices are still low and the need to catch up is enormous.
Emerging Mobile and IoT Markets With New After-Sales Requirements
Rapid growth is causing new demands to be placed on customer care. Many customer needs and preferences are emerging as a result of the increasing prevalence and use of smartphones, tablets, wearables, virtual reality headsets and other IoT devices. Service and support concepts that work in established markets are not necessarily suitable everywhere and rarely meet the needs of users in new emerging markets.
India is such an example. Having become the fastest growing mobile market in the world with annual growth rates of up to 30 percent, the smartphone is the primary device for accessing the Internet. Mobile Internet, messaging, social media and online shopping: 60 percent of Internet users in India had their first online experience on their smartphone and dependency on it is correspondingly high. Offline service channels such as walk-in service centers are the first port of call when a device does not work. As a global BPO partner, we offer our customers in India, which include Apple, Lenovo, OnePlus, Samsung and Xiaomi, a solution that best meets these local needs. We now operate one of the most advanced customer care solutions in the country with 240 service centers, where we provide personal support and fast repairs.
Global After-Sales Platform, But Customer Care Operations Directly Onsite
As a global BPO provider for after-sales services, we address specific local requirements, just like in India, through a mix of our global technology platform, a comprehensive service partner network with more than 500 local partners and our own after-sales expert teams on the ground. It is this triad that ensures the efficiency of a global after-sales platform and that works best in markets like India, Brazil, Russia and Vietnam.
Speaking of Vietnam, we will report about our activities in the Vietnamese market in our next blog post. Just a few days ago, we announced our new joint venture with Digiworld and our extended partnership with Samsung – take a look at our new video. Together with Digiworld, we offer mobile and IoT brands a comprehensive go-to-market solution including after-sales service. Samsung is one of the first major brands for which we are operating as an after-sales BPO partner with our new solution in Vietnam to provide end-to-end customer care for smartphones, tablets, connected home appliances, TVs and other IoT devices. Send us an email if Vietnam or other emerging markets are on your agenda. We have the solution for you!
Rainer Koppitz is CEO of B2X.