There was a time (if I remember correctly) when anything related to the Business Process Outsourcing  industry used to make it to the front page of English newspapers. Then for some period, BPO related stories got shifted to inside pages. Yesterday economic times brought the sector back on its first page with the headline “ Twitter Facebook Give BPOs Social Security” If you see it from the editorial point of view, this was a sure shot eye catching stuff. Though it was a different matter that the story had nothing new to offer, just a regular report on what is already happening within the industry.

Their competitor Network 18’s FirstPost too published their analysis on the same. The crux of the story was business process outsourcing biggies who are having a difficult time retaining their voice based clients are looking forward to social media as their savior. Gartner too has predicted that by 2015, refusing to communicate by social media will be damaging to a company’s reputation as customers are preferring to use them over email and phone call. The simple reason for this is – When a grievance becomes visible in a public domain it adds more pressure on the company to act swiftly than any complaint filed in isolation via email or phone call.

ET adds “Industry observers say that the new opportunity will be a key income stream for the Indian BPO sector that is chasing a revenue target of $50 billion (Rs 2.9 lakh crore) by 2020, up from Rs 1.1 lakh crore at present. Realising the potential, industry body Nasscom is working to create a centre of excellence in the segment.”

Needless to say, it will be imperative for the companies to have an active presence on the big three networks viz Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. In the past too we have had some bloggers at BPO Voice who have raised the similar points on why Social media is important for the bpo industry. Social media is now an extension of customer service and companies cannot use it just to promote their product/ services or achievements.

The forecast and prediction is all very nice. Social media is the next BIG wave of opportunities for the call centers .The big question is – Is India ready? I have earlier raised questions about the talent mismatch which is quite visible. Do we have the right kind of workplace who will fill this void effortlessly and help us make the most of social media outsourcing!