For many years now, European companies have been torn between the high costs of outsourcing customer service to onshore locations and the low service levels sometimes prevalent in offshore destinations.
Yet this is changing rapidly, with many companies recognizing Eastern Europe as a viable location for outsourcing customer service.
Indeed, the 2014 AT Kearney Global Services Location Index ranked Bulgaria 1st in Europe and among Top 10 most attractive worldwide outsourcing destinations. With its combination of multilingual skills, a highly educated and motivated workforce and competitive pricing, Bulgaria is poised to become an increasingly attractive choice for outsourcing customer service and other functions.
AT Kearney describes Bulgaria as a home of advanced IT centers servicing both multinationals and local companies. True, Bulgaria offers everything that a company would look for in an outsourcing destination, especially for the IT sector – a large talent pool of professionals, a strong educational system that excels in engineering, and a strong presence of multinational companies in the region.
Bulgaria also offers:
- Maturity and robust growth of the BPO and contact center sector, with over 22,000 people employed in the industry
- Excellent language skills in all major European languages. 45% of the Bulgarian population speaks at least one foreign language, and 85% of students study English
- A highly-qualified, motivated and flexible labor force – 28% of the population holds university degrees
- A large talent pool with strong aptitude for IT and traditions in the engineering industry
- Cultural proximity to the Western business world in terms of business attitude and ethics
- Geographical proximity to Central and Western Europe, and EU member states
How Business Process Improvement changes the outsourcing landscape
In the past, outsourced contact center vendors were simply evaluated on their low-cost ability to provide basic customer service, but today they are evaluated on their strategic ability to deliver on the customer journey, while adding value to the overall customer experience.
Today, contact center providers must fully understand the processes of their clients and be able to assess and improve them. This is referred to as Business Process Improvement (BPI). This trend will continue to shape the industry and be a driving factor in the evolution of BPO and call center services in the years to come. BPI eliminates any unnecessary processes and procedures, which not only reduces costs, but also allows a business to become faster and much more responsive to its customers, while driving revenue growth.
As more BPOs develop these kinds of high-value services, Bulgaria’s reputation as a preferred outsourcing partner will only continue to grow.