5 Questions to Ask When Switching BPO Providers

Hiring remote teams is an excellent strategy for businesses looking to grow, but it’s important to choose the right partner. If you’re thinking of switching BPO providers, there are several things to consider.

Unfortunately, we hear of many cases where businesses haven’t reached their full potential because their business process outsourcing provider (BPO) wasn’t the right fit. Switching providers can transform your business’ fortunes.

To help you find the right partner, we have compiled the top questions that you should be asking when switching BPO providers. 

Questions to ask when switching BPO providers

1. Is this the right type of BPO model for me?

Before selecting a BPO provider, consider the services they provide. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all partner catering to every business out there. Instead, there are a number of different models on offer, with each having distinct pros and cons. 

Some of the most common outsourcing business models are: 


Freelancing is often the cheapest outsourcing model available, but the riskiest. 

Through various websites, businesses can find individuals for projects or ongoing roles. While there are some great freelancers out there, there are no background checks to ensure that the person has the appropriate qualifications and experience, and no safeguards to ensure your project will be completed on time, or at all. 

Freelancing also makes it difficult to expand your operations, grow your team and maintain your company culture. 

Fully managed service

In this model, an outsourcing company handles everything for you. You tell them what you need done and provide KPIs, and they do the rest. All recruitment and day to day management is done by the provider and they provide you with periodic reports. 

It can be a good approach for those looking for a hands-off solution, however the downside is that the outsourcing provider will control your business processes which means that they can change the people working on your business. 

And because you have no control over the processes of your offshore team, it’s possible that the quality of work may suffer. There can also be a disconnection between cultures if your offshore team isn’t integrated into your business. The fully managed service model is also usually the most expensive model because of the additional management and risks that the provider takes on. 

Staff leasing

Staff leasing is the most popular model for most small to medium sized businesses and involves you setting up part of your company in another country via an outsourcing partner. 

The provider handles different areas of your business, such as recruitment, facilities, IT, HR and payroll, while you retain full control of staff management and work quality. This works particularly well for businesses scaling quickly and those interested in improving efficiency.

There are numerous benefits of this model. 

You can build your own full-time, dedicated remote team that’s integrated into your business. You also have complete control over your tasks, processes, and quality of work. 

Service providers with years of experience such as Cloudstaff can help you recruit and set up your team, and they understand the local laws and culture of your new people so they can offer you continuous support.

2. What are the fee structures and what value do I get?

Just as providers vary with their business models, they also differ in price and service – and it’s essential to take this into account when considering switching BPO providers. 

BPO providers can range from small operators with a handful of staff who offer the bare basics to large multinational organizations.   

Your choice depends on your needs and budget, but as with most things in life, you tend to get what you pay for. The cheapest option is rarely the best. 

It’s common for micro operators to offer prices that seem too good to be true; and they rarely are. Make sure you ask about any additional fees early on so you know what the real price will be. 

You also need to know what services and support you will be getting in return for your investment. 

One way smaller operators keep fees low is to cut corners with hardware, infrastructure and support services. For example, the standard setup might be a relatively low spec computer running on a slow internet connection. The initial cost savings might seem enticing, but you will eventually lose out when the staff are not able to work efficiently. 

Other features to look out for include recruiting capabilities, staff retention programs, training and conference facilities, and HR support. 

The bottom line when choosing a new outsourcing provider is to get a clear and upfront pricing plan early on and really spend some time looking into what you get in return. 

3. What will moving mean for my current staff?

If you want to start with a new team, ask your prospective provider for clear timeframes around how quickly they can recruit and set up a new team, as well as finding out what recruiting costs may be involved.  

If you want to bring some of your existing remote staff over when switching BPO providers, check the policies of both the incumbent and prospective providers. 

In many cases, the incumbent provider will charge a fee if you want to employ the staff directly or take them to another provider.   

Staff moving to a new provider will also have concerns, most notably around accumulated leave, tenure, salary continuance and retirement benefits. These are the key points you should be asking any prospective outsourcing partner. 

Some providers take a very hard stance which can disadvantage incoming staff, while others offer more flexibility. 

For example, when we have staff joining us at Cloudstaff from another BPO organization, we allow those people to carry their staff tenure for regularization, assist with salary continuance, and give the option to transfer unused leave and length of tenure for retirement benefits. We also provide all new staff with a welcome kit to help them settle into their new surroundings. 

4. What about corporate culture and values?

While remote staff are not directly employed by your company, they are still your staff. They represent your business and your brand, which is why it’s important when switching BPO providers to choose one that matches your business culture and shares the same vision. 

No matter how strong your business culture is, it will be difficult to incorporate your values and vision without the support and compatibility of your remote workforce provider. 

When speaking to prospective BPOs, don’t just ask them about their culture, because nobody thinks they have a toxic workplace culture (or at least they won’t tell you about it).

Instead ask them about the steps they actively take to build their culture. What incentives, programs, policies, benefits and events do they have? Do these align with your own. 

Another key point is staff retention. Unfortunately, many BPO companies suffer from extremely high staff turnover. At Cloudstaff, we buck this trend with an environment that values and supports our staff. We have an industry leading 98.2% staff retention rate that has been independently verified. 

5. What happens when things go wrong?

If recent events have taught us anything, it is that modern businesses need to be agile, flexible and forward-thinking to thrive. Nowhere has this been more evident than in the BPO industry. 

When looking to partner with a new provider, business continuity planning is usually not at the top of most requirements lists, but it should be. 

Top providers have redundant internet and electricity sources, and many will also have multiple locations to work from. 

Ultimately you can’t control when a disaster will strike, but you can be prepared. Make sure that your outsourcing provider is too.  

Still need help with switching BPO providers?

Cloudstaff is here to help.

Moving your operations from one provider to another is a big decision. We hope this guide has provided some useful guidance. 

Speak to us today for more advice on switching BPO providers.