The American Society for Quality (ASQ) recently conducted a survey of its members and customers to gauge satisfaction with Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) services. The survey, conducted in October 2010, covered a variety of industries, including finance, government, utilities, healthcare and Information Technology.

Companies outsourcing their processes expected from the relationship cost reductions, improvements in efficiency and greater workforce flexibility. The types of processes outsourced are the following:

back office services: accounting, record-keeping, compliance, IT, etc (36%)
facility services/security (23.6%)
quality assurance/management (18.4%)
human resources (12.6%)
front office services: customer service, sales, marketing, etc (7%)

To what degree were their expectations met? The ASQ survey identified a number of key areas where performance is falling short. These include:

providing good value (34% satisfied)
assigning quality people for projects (41% satisfied)
meeting performance metrics (41% satisfied)
retention of key people assigned to projects (39% satisfied)

In all of these key areas, more than half of client companies are dissatisfied with the service delivered. How can Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) providers lift their performance to better meet the expectations of their clients? Client’s responding to the survey offered these suggestions:

more communication between service provider and client higher quality workforce training to reduce staff turnover improve quality processes to raise service levels encourage more innovation and creativity meet service delivery expectations and deadlines better

There are salutary lessons in this survey for companies providing outsourcing services. Are you listening to your clients and working with them to improve satisfaction levels? If you are outsourcing some of your services, how are you managing the relationship to receive a good return on your investment? Are you thinking of bringing some of your services back in-house?

If so, check out how you can improve your internal processes to bring lower cost and greater efficiency at